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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Super Bowl Party to End All Super Bowl Parties

I can't stop remembering the glorious experience that was Super Bowl XLV. So many bright lights, so many bone-crunching moments, the screams, the popcorn, the explosions, the field goals. I wake up in the middle of the morning with terrible, half-formed dream images of shoulder pads smacking into faces and femurs snapping like old brittle plastic straws.

I put seventeen dollars on the game. Sadly, I lost it all. Betting on the Steelers, you suppose? Nay! I bet on the possibility that the Cowboys would rush the field and try to take back their stadium from the carpetbaggers. I know it's an unlikely scenario, but it would have paid out a thousand and six to one if it had happened. Sadly--some might say, tragically--that did not happen. Instead, we had a regular old football game, and the Packers stabbed their way to glory.

It's okay, though. I'm not upset anymore about the lost money. I had the time of my life at Ethel Pewpsley's Super Bowl party. Ethel is my cousin's step-grandmother twice removed. She lives at the other end of the cul-de-sac in the split level, ranch-style home with the tree stump out front that she carved into the shape of an exploding cow's head using only a chisel, bent spoon and some hydrochloric acid.

It was a phenomenal party. Tony was there, Frank, John Mustard, Ardmore Annis, Jason Perry. There might have been a couple of those rascally Ghirardelli twins. I glimpsed Tony Dow, Jerry Mathers and quite possibly a Gary Coleman look-alike in a red wig and sunglasses (I didn't get a good look at him. He spent most of the evening hiding behind the divan, eating chips). Also, a very small chimpanzee was set loose in the den and kicked a bunch of people with his stumpy chimp feet.

Ethel had a flat screen TV in every single room of the house, the bathrooms, the garage, out in the backyard, in the alcove behind the copper statue of Larry David, and every single set was tuned to the game (except the alcove TV which was showing old episodes of Lancelot Link Secret Chimp. I assume that was for the chimp in the den, but he was too busy kicking people in the head/neck).

The buffet was spread out on card tables in the hallway. Oh, the food. Thank you, food. I recall the gravies, the heaping hot platters of boiled and buttered peas, the vast aluminum trays full of smoked meats and gristles, the ginormous pyrex dishes filled with multi-layered casseroles and various bean dips, the fried items wrapped in tin foil, the baked stuff hidden under Tupperware lids, the savory substances that sizzled when you thought about them. I recall piling my plate high with taters steeped in seven fluids, vegetable medleys soaked in brine and sea foam. I enjoyed a delicate chalice of bacon squeezings and lime. I ate until I forgot my own name.

And, of course, we watched the game. In between sessions of bloated belly aches, I saw the Packers do the impossible: succeed. They spiked footballs into the face parts of the other team, danced over people like vapors swirling up from subway grates. They flew on wings like pegasuseses. It was a glorious evening.

In the end, however, the danged chimpanzee sent us all to the local clinic, where they treated our various bruises, scrapes, broken bones, chipped teeth and toenail slashes. Next year, let's not invite the chimpanzee.

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