Archikulture Digest

The Big Gay Birthday Party

The Big Gay Birthday Party

March 3, 2010

Restaurant Row, Orlando FL</strong>

One of the weirder aspects of this gig is knowing way more drag queens by first name than might be healthy. Tonight my wife and I found ourselves on the back deck of a high-end restaurant on Sand Lake Road with some of the regulars from the Orlando Fringe Festival, as well as few suspect looking people I never saw before. The occasion was the 30th birthday party of Douglas McGeoch, better known as Didi Panache, side kick to the notorious Wayburn Sassy (Chaffee). So many people get all wrapped up about 30, but it’s really no more significant that Y2K or getting that first AARP invite.

So how flaming was this semi-public event? I’ve seen worse. While the phrase “Shut UP, girlfriend!” occurred more often than necessary, the first major crisis caught me off guard. An urgent cry went up for “Black Napkins.” Assuming this was a new type of drink, I asked what it contained. But the opposite side of the table really DID want black napkins: the white ones, while linen emit small fibers that clash with the all black shirts and slacks. I had no idea any one group of men could actually worry about this sartorial detail.

Black napkins arrived, the dozen and a half guests ordered drinks, the sun set and planets appeared in the clear, pollen soaked night sky. Gifts were offered to the guest of honor, but as his parents had yet to arrive, he held off on opening them as secretive status updates were passed on to one of today’s many social networking sites. Eventual food was ordered, gifts were opened, and the pitch of the evening rose as a stiff breeze blew in from the east, evaporating the gin from martinis faster than they could be drunk.

This being a theater crowd, war stories filled the conversation and a local producer dished the dirt on a current high profile production. Alcohol flowed and that sort of “really good party” conversational buzz filled the air, and soon it was fireworks time. Whether planned accidental, dessert was accompanied by fireworks from Universal Studios and Disney and the topic of the table drifted to off-color Orca jokes. Soon it was time for the mandatory red-eyed group photo, the table sang a final chorus of “Easter Parade” with some alternate lyrics, and we all drifted back to our separate worlds. And all those white fuzzy fibers that everyone worried about? I had ‘em on my jeans, and they wiped right off as easy as Saltine crumbs.

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