Sunday, July 10, 2005
I went out Friday evening with Miss Jane and Wang Chi in search of The Holy Grail. Although the night began with the search for Monty Python's Holy Grail we also found ourselves searching for Miss Jane's Holy Grail.
Our friend, Miss Jane (one of her many pseudonyms) was having a hard time getting into the party mood. She e-mailed me shortly before 5:00 p.m. saying she had a headache and didn't know if she would be joining us. I convinced her that a couple of cocktails and clever conversation with me and Mr. Chi would fix her right up. The quest for Miss Jane's Holy Grail of Fun had begun.
We started out at a little pub on Crockett Street but her mood didn't improve when the bar allegedly ran out of the wine she had been drinking. After a brief discussion, we decided that rather than Miss Jane changing beverages, we would leave in search of another bar. As we stood to leave, we heard a huge commotion behind us. We turned and noticed about six people at the bar yelling at something toward the door. We turned around and looked back toward the door (no one was behind us) then back toward the bar where now about ten people were yelling in our general direction. It turned out they were yelling at us. They had found more of Miss Jane's wine. After unintentionally creating such a scene, we decided to stay there until it was time to walk to the movie.
As we were on the way to the movie, Miss Jane again tried to bail on us. We convinced her that although our scintillating conversation and a couple of glasses of wine hadn't improved her mood, surely some Monty Python antics would do the trick. We walked to the newly and beautifully refurbished Jefferson Theater to watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The theater was about two-thirds filled with a large and enthusiastic crowd. Some were even in costume. All around us, we could hear people quoting from the movie and I couldn't wait to see the movie on the big screen with a theater full of people who also loved the movie. Did you know there are Monty Python action figures? And, that you can actually buy helmets and tunics and swords? Neither did I.
Finally, the lights went down, everyone cheered and the credits began to roll. However, it soon became evident that there was a sound problem. I don't know anything about movie sound but it seemed that the track with the music was fine while the track with the dialogue was scratchy and barely audible. It was heartbreaking to watch the video and not be able to also experience the hilarious dialogue. The disappointment of the crowd was palpable.
The projectionist ran the movie up to the point of the French Taunter and finally gave up. With many heartfelt apologies, someone got on stage and told us the distributor had sent the Jefferson a 'trick print' of the film and they would try to get a good copy and reschedule the screening. As you might guess this didn't help Miss Jane's mood. She blamed herself and the little black cloud that had followed her around all day.
We headed back to Crockett Street once again convincing Miss Jane to give us just one more chance. There was to be a street party with one of my favorite Baton Rouge bands, Cam Pyle, playing. Surely, surely that would do the trick. When we got back to Crockett Street, there was no stage set up and we eventually found out that the street party had been canceled because of rain earlier in the day and because of the threat of rain that had been forecast for that night (which never occurred).
Our last, last chance to find Miss Jane's Holy Grail of Fun would happen in TEN where the consumption of a Sugar Baby martini or two would surely do the trick. (Zina, I finally got the ingredients for the Sugar Baby: Bailey's, Vanilla Vodka, Kahlua, Buttershots and cream with caramel drizzled across the top.) While my Sugar Baby was yummy as usual, Miss Jane declared hers 'not foamy enough.' I fear that her little black cloud had grown to her own personal Hurricane Dennis at that point and there was no way out for her other than mandatory evacuation.
Miss Jane finally broke free from our death grip of the promise of better times just around the next corner and left Wang and I in TEN. We moved on to the Star Bar where we happened to run into my son and his wife and his sister-in-law and her boyfriend. Eventually, we went to get a hamburger at the biker bar where we ran into my sister and her husband then went back to the Star Bar to finish out the evening. I love Crockett Street.
Finding fun for me is less of a search for an elusive Holy Grail and more like just reaching for one of those plastic Mardi Gras cups that fill up kitchen cabinets all over south Louisiana and southeast Texas. They're always within reach and there's plenty for everyone. You just have to open your eyes, know where to look and reach out and grab it.