dinner party subject: baseball
Monday, August 20 2012
There was a small dinner party at our house tonight with two other couples invited over as guests. As six-person dinner parties go it was a bit unusual in that we were the youngest couple present. In preparation for all this, Gretchen had made one of her cold tomato soups (which I have to confess I do not all that much, though I was much better about ingesting every drop in my bowl than any of our guests). The main course was homemade vegan ravioli that had taken Gretchen hours to assemble, and to see some of that go uneaten on peoples' plates was to witness the worst food crime I've ever seen committed under our roof.
We've been friends with one of tonight's couples for years, but I was only meeting to the members of the other couple tonight. They're both published novelists, and evidently Scott, the male half of that couple, is fairly well-known (though, as not being much of a reader of fiction, I'd never heard of him).
Shortly after the atrocities of dinner had been committed, something odd happened reminiscent of a different, more primitive time. Us three men remained at the dinner table while the three women moved over to the couches in the living room. It was an odd enough thing that we couldn't help but remark on it, adding that perhaps we should be smoking cigars and drinking whiskey.
I couldn't hear much of what the women were talking about as Scott regaled us with the story of his recent trip to Comicon to promote the horror novel he'd written semi-pseudonymously. That wasn't very interesting, but the stuff he said about Stephen King was amusing. Evidently Scott had been friends with Stephen King's son and not even known it, so when the son (whose name is not Martin Luther) kindly asked Scott to sign a copy of one his novels for his dad, who is a "big fan," Scott found himself asking, "Okay, so what is your dad's name?" To which Stephen King's son replied, "Stephen." Not knowing any better, Scott wrote it as "Steven." Later Scott got to know Stephen King as well and even got him to plurb the new horror novel with this ringing endorsement: "Best novel in the last thirty years." Unfortunately, Stephen King always blurbs books that way, and so his praise is much debased.
Later in the conversation the subject matter turned briefly to sports, specifically baseball, and I experienced a low-level panic because I had absolutely nothing whatsoever to contribute. Had I been asked what I thought about any of that, I wouldn't have been able to articulate anything. That is how little I know about baseball. Mercifully, the conversation soon turned to Mitt Romney's prospects for defeating Barack Hussein-in-the-Membrane Obama. We all seemed convinced Mitt was going to go down in flames, but I don't think I was as confident of this as the others were.
Unfortunately for me, for the entirety of the dinner party my mind was in another place. I had some work I needed to do before a trip into Manhattan, and sitting around shooting the shit didn't seem like the best use of my time. I was surprised how long our dinner guests lingered after they'd drunk their last glasses of wine. But then after ducking out for a after-dark visit to my brownhouse, I found everybody standing at the doorway saying their goodbyes.
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