Friday, August 22, 2008

CJunk Oldies: Hobbnobbing IV-An Inconvenient Knob

My personal limo slipped through the cool Tennessee evening. The soft glow of Nashville burned gently behind me as my driver expertly guided the large vehicle through the city suburbs. Ahead I could just make out my final destination. It was a home, larger than most, and indeed, the biggest in the neighborhood. All along its lengthy drive tall lamp posts pierced the blanketing darkness with splashes of light. The home itself stood in near daylight, bathed in countless lights that dazzled that eyes. Around its base a gaggle of limo’s identical to my own sat dispersed here and there. Normally, I preferred to travel by less conspicuous means, but the host had insisted, and sometimes one must comply to the insistent needs of blogging, and go where it guides.

I stepped out onto the cobblestone drive and embraced the sharp cool air. It was certainly unseasonably cold for Nashville this time of year, and it reminded me of home. Unconsciously I straightened my tux and strode confidently toward the entrance. The outward confidence I displayed was nothing more than a bluff, a cheap trick I had learned over years of doing this sort of thing. Inside I dreaded the prospect of an evening at this particular shindig. Still, my blog readers demanded, and I would certainly try to deliver.

My train of thought was suddenly cut short by the distressed cry of Steven Page, lead singer of the alternative rock band Barenaked Ladies. Turning sharply, I only just had time to see the source of his distress. Barreling across the front lawn was a new model Lexus RX 400h hybrid SUV. It careened through a rock garden and then plowed into the patio where the Ladies stood in a gaggle. I raced to the scene and, with the help of Ed Norton and Will Ferrell, pulled the casualties from the wreckage. Luckily the damage was minimal. Jim Creeggan received a minor concussion and Kevin Hearn a broken finger. The rest of the band had only cuts and bruises. The driver of the vehicle, Billy Joel, seemed unfazed by the whole episode, and stumbled into the crowd in search of a drink.

With the patio incident finally sorted out, I headed into the foyer, and was immediately accosted by Brad Pitt. Although I had more than once in the past faked epileptic seizures to avoid talking to Brad, he was at this point well aware that I did not have epilepsy, and the facade had indeed grown thin. I would have to bite the bullet on this one and speak to the fellow.

“Hey, if it isn’t the Bradster! What’s going on Brad-o-ramma? Enjoying the fundraiser Brad-meister?”

“I sure am Junker. But as you know, it is not, ultimately, about having a good time. We must all do our part.”

“Sure, sure. So is Jennifer with you tonight?”

“Ah, Jennifer Aniston and I got divorced two years ago J…..”

“Really? You’d think they would have mentioned that in the news. So who’s the lucky lady accompanying you tonight?”

“My wife, of course! Angelina…..”

“Jolie?” I cut him off in mid sentence, the slightest hint of fear in my voice. “You didn’t bring the kids along, did you?” I asked, my voice trembling faintly. A previous experience with Jolie’s numerous little trans-Asiatic tykes had left me emotionally scared and prone to nightmares.

“No….” Brad said looking at me oddly.

“Ah great, great. Say, I've been meaning to get something off of my chest. You remember the time I hooked you up with that big gig Troy? Well I feel just awful about that. I really do, I mean that sincerely. Now, Hollywood hasn’t exactly been pumping out a lot of ... what I would call, “watch-able” movies lately ... but that one in particular, wow ... I mean, an artist, of your standing, involved with that kind of drivel. That whole tired ancient Greek thing, with super short man skirts, endless dialogue, the useless plot that went on and on ... I guess, what I’m getting at here, is that I sincerely apologize for getting you a starring role in what was probably the worst movie of the year ... if not the decade. I can't imagine the financial hit you must have taken on that one.”

“J, I made plenty of money on that one, and I’m quite proud of Troy!”

“Troy, is that what I said? What I meant, obviously, was that Ocean’s Eleven thing.”

“J! I….you’re……what!?”

“Anyway, I do apologize again, and I think I see Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton about to get in a cat fight, so I’d best go and break it up. Best of luck with Ocean’s Seventeen.”

With that I graciously slipped away, thanking my father, Paul, for the polished social skills he'd given me; the ones that aided me in shrewdly avoiding a great many social blunders. Strolling through the crowd I recognized more than a few familiar faces. In a corner I spotted Cameron Diaz and Charlize Theron talking quietly to each other. It always scared me a little when my ex’s got together to share info, still there wasn’t much I could do about it, so I moved along, eager to avoid a scene. Stopping for a few seconds at the bar to grab a martini, I took note of David Suzuki in conversation with Laurie David. I caught only bits of the conversation, something about the inaccuracy of internet polling.

Lounging on a couch near the back of the room, I noticed old ‘Slick Willie’ slithering up to a nearly unconscious Liza Minnelli. These sort of scenes involving Bill always left disturbing mental images in my mind, and often expelled the contents of my normally iron strong stomach. Fearing a surge of dry heaves, I quickly moved on. On a small stage originally intended for the Barenaked Ladies, Neil Young was providing the evening's impromptu entertainment. At one point Howard Dean jokingly joined Neil on stage and the resulting cacophony sent me sprinting to another room. There I found myself standing squarely in front of the inseparable duo, Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore.

“Ah! J ... you’re appearance could not have been more timely.” Noam said. “Mickael and myself are in the throws of a most spirited debate, and have reached something of an deadlock. In the spirit of the evening, our topic of discussion is of course global warming, its far reaching effects, and its numerous causes. Now, personally, I believe the primary cause of global warming can be traced directly to rampant capitalism while Mickael here places the blame more squarely on the evil neo-con George W. Bush and his military-industrial complex which exercises its might violently across the globe. What have you to say on this matter J?”

“Well, I’m not sure about the neo-cons, but I did recently read some interesting information on global warming that paints a slightly different picture. Have you two gentleman explored any resources on global warming outside of the IPCC?”

“Well now, why on earth would we consult anything but UN approved documents? Have you lost your…..wait. Ah J, hahahahahaha, you droll fellow you! I have said it before and I will say it again, ‘I like thy wit well Junker’. One does guffaw when J is around. Your witty comedic musings are clever as always J. Isn’t that right Mickael?”

“Sure.” Muffled Michael through a mouthful of caviar and toast.At that point I gracefully dismissed myself from the debate. I spotted the host of the evening, and decided, reluctantly, to make an appearance before him before my mental constitution gave way and I had to retreat.

"Hey Al, great party. I’m having a ball.” I said, opening the conversation and putting on a cheerful act that could have earned me an Oscar.

“Hello J, glad you could make it.” Droned Al Gore, reminding me very much of an automaton from a 50’s sci-fi film. “I hope you enjoyed your flight down in my personal jet. I like to treat my guests properly, and of course, the flights emissions are cancelled out by eco-credits.”

“Of course, of course. Say, my invite said most of the party was going to be held outdoors. Too bad about the cold weather ... kind of weird for March in Nashville eh?”

“Well, as you obviously know from watching my award winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, this cold weather is just another blatant sign of global warming.”

“Riiiigggght. Speaking of that, did you catch the latest news about that seemingly inexplicable global warming taking place on Mars?”

“Well, as you obviously know from watching my award winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, that global warming taking place on Mars is just another blatant sign of global warming.”

“Ah-huh. And what’s your take on the recently published data regarding historic temperatures on earth that seem to suggest that we are actually in a cool period, historically?”

“Well, as you obviously know from watching my award winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, that is just another blatant sign of global warming.”

"Yep. Say Al, did you catch the Giants game last night?"

“Well, as you obviously know from watching my award winning documentary film, An Inconvenient Truth, that is just another blatant sign of global warming.”

“Sure, sure. Well, it was good talking to you Al. Great little shindig you’ve got here."

With that I practically ran from the room and headed for the exit. These fetes always left me physically and mentally drained, although this time around the effects were particularly pronounced. With blurred vision and what felt like an inner-ear infection, I stumbled to my limo and started my journey home. A slight dusting of crystal snowflakes fell carelessly from the sky, and I was reminded of home once again. This whole blogging gig is going to kill me one day, I thought to myself. Still, I was satisfied, with yet another post ready to roll.

Previous Shindigs

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