I'll explain about the flying saucer later in this column, but first I want to thank all of our members for being so generous with the food at this New Year's 'Dead End Canal Yacht Club' party. Someone brought a Lobster Bake. I suspect it was 'Tim the Restorer' because he's an expert at digging those wiggling creatures out of their glass-sided 'Lobster Game' home. He's even on YouTube.
Swedish Meatballs made with grape jelly sauce, Shrimp everything, platters of fried chicken, Onion ring topped green bean casseroles and oodles of homemade cookies should have been sufficient to ward off a hangover, but feedback from our members says it didn't help. Still it was delicious!
Let me digress to the early part of New Year's Day when guys my age have certain traditions to fulfill. A boat ride is necessary to get the celebration going in the right direction followed by a waterfront lunch. That was the beginning, and we ate at Matanzas just because we wanted too. I love Chef Dave's 'real hot wing sauce' that he formulated just for me! We abstained from the drink because it was going to be a very long day and none of our designated drivers were available.
We went back home and fell asleep in front of the television set because the bowl games weren't that interesting, especially to me and Mrs. boatguy who were at the Chumps Bowl, oops I meant the Champs Bowl Thursday in Orlando. It was a zoo, so we were still recovering, and a nap was perfectly timed. Sometimes I think babies are a whole lot smarter than we give them credit.
New Year's Party Phase TWO! Setting up the clubhouse for the crowd took about an hour and even though there was cold beer on tap and a full set-up bar, we were honor bound not to nibble. So we went back on the boats and inspected the restaurant preparations for the upcoming parties.
It appeared that every waterfront pub was ready and awaiting the revelers. We helped a couple of places to start early. We were astounded at the deals the restaurants offered: free champagne, free entertainment and special pricing on their regular menu. 'Run-aground Ralph and Cap'n Crunch' opted out of our party in favor of the restaurants because of the deals. They came in later to drink for free, and I raised the roof but everyone was too happy to care.
Our party was a huge success. There were more kids and grandkids all over the place. Our ice cream maker froze up because they couldn't keep up with the demand. (I thought a freezing ice cream maker was a good thing but it isn't). There were cross-canal water balloon combat battles, and Cap'n Crunch broke 'Michigan Millie's' patio set with his potato gun. We had to take it away from him or someone was going to get hurt by those real potatoes which are harder than rocks when fired by a compressed air gun.
The food was extraordinary this year, as I already mentioned. One of the most unusual hors d'oeuvres were the peanut butter and jelly pastry puffs that had been featured on one of the food channels. I've always liked the original PB&J sandwiches so most of the younger attendees and I crowded in to try them. The recipe called for frozen PB&J tiny balls to be placed onto pastry dough and wrapped up, then baked. A cooling off period is mandatory because the interior was molten right out of the oven.
I've never had 'champagne in a box' before but 'Boston Bob' introduced us to it. It was all right but I prefer to see the cork go flying into some unsuspecting bystander's eye. Just kidding, anyway the booze was paid for by the 'cussing fund.' I probably paid for several bottles of 'Old Overshoe Bourbon' all by myself at a quarter a pop for inappropriate language. I never had to pony up the $10 fine for cussing within earshot of kids, though.
Since this is an election year, the by-laws mandate a pretty hefty penalty for discussing politics in the clubhouse or at a gathering that could be construed to be an official function. 'Cleveland Jack' and 'Tim the Restorer' have lobbied against instituting these mandatory fines because they love arguing politics. We've re-ordered weighted, yellow penalty flags from Dan Signs and fully expect to wear those out before the election.
Now, back to the flying saucers. Towards the end of the celebration, around 9:30 p.m., our officially designated, designated driver took several of us out to watch the fireworks display around Bowditch. We spent a whole half hour patrolling the area. One of our members remembered that a boat fire was there, but we were way too far into our cups to remember anything properly, so we went home.
As we idled down the canal, a very strange-lighted object, circular in shape, shooting fire from around its saucer shaped body flew across the canal. "Oh my gosh," shouted 'Tim the Restorer,' "it must be the no politics aliens!"
"Get me to the dock," shouted Ralph. "Where's my camera, get me to a dock," shouted Erie Earl. Our fears of imminent invasion from Mars were dissuaded by the object going back and forth and forth and back. We were temporarily convinced it was a 'close encounter of the fifth kind' but it was just a high-tech Frisbee. Thank goodness and have a Happy New Year!
If you haven't e-mailed for the Russian Christmas party location yet, it's probably too late to be included but you can still try, boatguiEd@aol.com