Secret Pop

Oct 23, 2006

Magic Magic Magic
Friday night, I went to The Magic Castle to help my friends Kevin and Chris celebrate their birthdays. I am not a fan of magic. I find the melodrama and faggy hand gestures to be the height of overdoing it. I especially don't like the Vegas-y variety of comedy and magic that The Magic Castle seems to be famous for. (Incidentally, is it The Magic CASTLE or The MAGIC Castle?) The first time I ever went to The Magic Castle, I had only lived here for a month or two, and my office had our Christmas party there. I had dinner, and then left before the magic show. I had tickets to see Tenacious D, Naked Trucker, and Spinal Tap at the House of Blues that night. And that was far more magical a prospect.
I did actually like the Close-Up Room, where the show is more about sleight of hand, which I can truthfully appreciate very much. Our magician in the Close-Up Room was a lady named Suzanne, and she was really good. And not at all covered in glitter or self-tanner. I think sleight of hand and magic are very different things. Where one of them is a good and cool thing and the other is a thing that makes me want to punch my fist through a hat. And frankly, it really comes down more to the issue of whether or not you are really good at it or whether you have one of the two hairdos magicians are apparently allowed to have. The guy in the Parlor of Prestidigitation was not funny, not skillful, and not someone who is not a hunchback. I had had enough to drink that I was probably not a very gracious audience member. And a fat guy glared at me at one point because I was having a good time but not in synch with the rest of the group. I think we also annoyed the young lady whose bosom would have received a marriage proposal from Chris, had she not liked magic so much.
I also don't like being asked to participate in the show. I don't even like it when this happens at comedy shows. Or at restaurants with especially gregarious servers. I hate being put on the spot. And I'm always convinced I will do the wrong thing. So I was relieved to not be wrangled into doing anything to support the magic. I had warned Kevin before the event that there was no way I was going up on stage for anything. Especially not to be sawed in half. It also occurred to me that women are always more at risk at these events for the simple reason that women are considered less likely to be -- or worse to think they are -- funny. So you get a lady up on stage to hold your tablecloth, sprig of baby's breath, and bewitched hat stand and you can do your schtick uninterrupted. You get a dude up on stage, and there's a very good chance he will find himself a chance to do a one man interpretive scene from Top Gun. (Probably either the You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling part or the part where Goose dies.) So maybe I resent this tradition.
In the end, I had a nice enough time. A lot of whiskey helps. I also started out the evening with a Campari soda at dinner, and I haven't had one of those in years and years. It was nostalgic and good. And afterwards, Kevin and Chris and I went to the 101 Coffee Shop and argued about my Guitar Hero skills (though Chris has never played) and whether or not mac and cheese should be soupy. I'm a fan of the crispy/chewy variety. Chris prefers the soupy version. But everyone agreed on the onion rings. Although the boys ate theirs with mustard, while I ate mine with ranch. And I drove home quite certain I would never need to -- nor should I -- ever eat again.

Birthday Party

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