The Pabstismal Fount
The Leaven of Social Grace
Rejoice, friends. Memorial Day has come and gone and now there’s none to begrudge the wearing of white. Your Pabstist was blessed to have out-of-towners in last week and it made for quite a romp of days. If this weather doesn’t suit you, then there’s no helping you.
The ladies love of my close friends were in town, one to celebrate her beau’s birthday, the other to celebrate the birth of days – or, the fullness of worldly becoming, which deserves praise all days for always.
I had earned a morning’s languor after the weekend’s Memorial excesses, but it wasn’t meant to be. Midyear budget reports were due by end-of-day, and I glumly complied. Muckmuckmuck. Atop all this, my heart was heavy with a specific worry and I sought out the sagest man I know, Dre (The Guru), whom you would know as the general manager at the Red Derby. I laid my concern at his feet and sought direction. He said something I hope I never forget: “Lukas, listen. People are people, man, and they’re gonna do just exactly what you think they’re gonna do. I guarantee it: think on a situation and figure out what’s most likely to happen, and what ends up happening is just precisely what you fucking thought would happen. Don’t make that face, though. There’s no harm in it, baby. Nobody knows shit until at least forty(!), there ain’t nothing even like wisdom in your twenties, and what passes for discretion among thirty-somethings is just gunshyness resulting from the fuck-ups they all just got done doing in their twenties. My advice? You do your thing, let others do their thing, and you’ll be the last to know when you finally come to know anything. It ain’t complicated.” Reeling, I replied, “—-.“ “Here,” he finished by saying, “drink this.” As I nodded we drank to eight more years of only-semi-penitent rowdiness. “There’s nothing like whiskey on a hot day, right?” And I’ll be damned if he wasn’t right about that, too. As I walked out, 50 cases of Stroh’s rolled in, each destined to fuel the folly of a new generation of guiltless sinners.
Thursday I was brought along to a photo opening at the Katzen Center. ECO is a collection of photo essays (whatever that means) documenting/capturing the social and environmental impact of what passes for developmental progress. There were plenty of nice photos, though not all of the ‘essays’ hung together as they were meant or claimed to. The curious thing about photo essays is that they still require a blurb, whereas a textual essay does just fine if not better without an image to illustrate it.* Sometimes it appeared as if an exhibit’s textual thumbnail was stretched to encompass the photos, and at other times photos were included to justify the theoretical claims of the mini-festo. The best photographic ‘statements’ require no explanation, it’s safe to say, and even documentary photos need only the sparest bit of contextual information to situate them adequately. Photography is journalistic, for the most part, commercial for most of the rest, and only rarely is it ever art. Whatever its grand goals, exhibitions like ECO drive this point home more forcefully than any other.
*Perhaps a terminological shift is in order?
On Friday, we celebrated my friend’s birthday in the style to which we’ve grown accustomed, namely, we saddled up the horse and rode north to that bastion of American Ugliness, Red Lobster. The Langosto Rosso, as we’ve come to call it, is one of the few establishments in the area where we can behave just as foolishly as we’d like with the fewest possible consequences. Smirk if you like, but until you know the pleasures of the Mudslide you should hold your piece (#haters).
Addendum: I should have included this two weeks ago, but it slipped my mind. Speed dating (as administered by Miss Green) is fun, largely because it’s not a whole lot like dating. I met 13 fresh faces, caught up with two familiar ones, and all in the span of 80 minutes. Curiously – or appropriately, as you wish – I never touched on the same topic twice. Here I spoke of my job, there of my homeland. Here I spoke of my education, there of the scope of my travels. I spoke on and heard about novels, crossword puzzles, horseback riding, the NBA playoffs, and cinema. I endured an astrological discourse. All in all, it put me more in mind of an old-fashioned southern dinner party, where strangers were encouraged (nay, forced) to entertain one another, than of a meat market. As a bonus, I met an earnest young man by the name of Johnny Grave. Andrew Bucket was a treat. Who doesn’t enjoy listening to Gavin Holland? Also, a drunk young woman asked me if I would love her. “I don’t see why not,” I replied, “but let’s hear if that’s a good idea.” Fortunately, she was easily distracted.
Saturday began with brunch, ended with a rollicking late-night sing-along, and was bridged by the glorious Seersucker Social at Hillwood. As usual, the women took most of the day, as the fair sex tends to fare better with the naturalization of older things. Most of the boys appeared to be wearing costumes, which is a shame. How many ill-matched accessories did I behold? Pardon me, but I have to speak on this: Don’t wear winter wingtips with linen or cotton, friends. Don’t forget to clip the strings which bind your jacket slits. Don’t wear a porkpie hat unless you’re in period costume. Don’t wear period costume unless you’re part of the show. Acknowledge that seersucker is a material, not a pattern. Don’t hold a pipe in your teeth when speaking in company. Don’t raise your voice at a lawn party, or during the daylight hours, generally. Ladies, remember that there are two kinds of attention. Don’t mistake the fact that people are dressing differently for an occasion to assimilate that occasion to a Carnival. It’s a social, it’s not Halloween or Mardi Gras, i.e., it’s not an excuse to bare your midriff or to tie your too-short dress or skirt to your heels by means of knee-high stockings, regardless of how outlandish you imagine your headwear to be. It should be borne in mind that the word, “ridiculous,” means, literally, “worthy of ridicule.”
All crotchetiness aside, the weather was simply perfect and the turnout was outstanding. Spontaneous conversation circles sprouted and spread like Georgia kudzoo; beauty and gentle manners won the day. The Saturday Saints took full hearts and flush faces back to the Bloomingdale haunt for rock and roll, PBR, and side-stitching bouts of laughter.
Sunday was spent basking in the afterglow of the previous day’s excellence, and our indolence gave meaning to the Sabbath. It was not without its delights, however. The Bloomingdale farmer’s market is in full swing and I couldn’t be happier. Fresh eggs, goat chorizo, local tomme, and a novel strain of kale swelled our bellies and gave fire to our blistering of the Post and Times puzzles. The seasonal pendulum is officially in summer’s heaving arc, and I, for one, intend to hold on for dearest life.
Until . . .
___LBS; JtP; DD.