For the Americans, a shandy is this rather delightful concoction of a pint glass half filled with beer, half filled with lemonade. Its ordered and consumed mostly by drivers who just want a damn beer but can’t because they are responsible tearing around on these country roads that pass for national highways.
I had planned to make a stolen recipe for dinner on Sunday night but since the Editors Escapade got in the way of that, I made it tonight instead. When I was home at Christmas, Ron took me for dinner at my favorite tapas restaurant, Hola, for my favorite dish, Beer Marinated Chicken, and a general catch up. It was a glorious evening and not soley due to the chicken. While there, I tried to coax the recipe out of the staff, but no dice. I guess I didn’t look Irish enough to convince the chef I lived in Dublin and therefore presented no threat to his signature dish. We were able to convince the waitress to confirm or deny individual ingredients for us. So I have a fair idea of what goes into it and when I opened the fridge the other day, I realized I had exactly those ingredients in the house. So I marinated the chicken in Heineken and went to see the Editors.
Tonight, I came home and cooked the chicken, after Flatmate Suzie asked if we were going to have the Beer Chicken Shandy in the fridge. Which made me laugh. We chatted while I threw together dinner and then I asked her to put on some dinner music.
Something with some energy, since we’re both lacking.
Welcome to the jungle
We got fun and games
Hee…. She put on Guns n Roses! The inner metalhead in me was thrilled. This is one of the things I love so much about living with her; it’s always surprising. So I served the Chicken Shandy, with broccoli and rice and a nice little merlot and we sat down to dinner, just the two of us.
I know I’m really close to the recipe. As we ate, as I tend to do when stealing a recipe, I was working out the disparities and how to overcome them. I’ve got a good idea how I’ll approach it next time and I’m reasonably confident that I’ll have perfected it in another 2 or 3 tries. I still go back to Café Hola when in Dallas, never fear.
So there we were, listening to G-n-R, eating a healthy dinner for once, looking out at the pink clouds in the blue sky and I started telling her that I pitched a GnR song for my junior prom. For some reason, still unclear to me, the entire class got together behind my back, nominated and elected me to be the Prom Person In Charge. No contest, no discussion, it was just given to me and they all followed along with whatever I said. (which might be why I’m so disappointed in my work life; they spoiled me first time out)
For themes, we generally pick a song, current at the time, and then spend months of money and effort transforming the venue into an alternate universe. I remember touring them the day before when I was a child. We would all parade thru gym, very careful not to touch anything, gaping at how the gym was no longer our gym. My first, and most memorable one was being led thru a dark tunnel and hearing spooky music. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time and it scared me, since I was generally scared of the dark anyway, but our gym was always light soaked and the darkness spooked me. And that was before I stared noticing the writing. Graffiti on the walls of general desperation; the overwhelming feeling that people had died in this tunnel. As we emerged, we were in the ocean. Seaweed, starfish, coral, water all simulated in paper mache. It was a riot of blues and greens and bright oranges. As I turned around to see everything my little fantasy starved eyes could take in, I saw the tunnel. It was a 15’ tall paper mache whale and the entry to the sea. I was hooked. (no pun intended) from that day I dreamt of nothing but being able to go to prom, being able to decorate for prom, being part of it all.
So when I got the chance some 10 years later, my imagination kicked into overdrive. I nominated concepts instead of songs, but they were all related. My classmates listened patiently to each one but the winner was clear from the beginning. I nominated the following:
1- Home Sweet Home by Poison. We would make an entire house of oversized furniture, upside down so we were dancing on the ceiling. Got sqauashed before I even finished the pitch.
2- Heaven by Bryan Adams. Obviously the winner. It’s romantic, it’s fluffy, it was meant to be. At least I got my fog machine.
3- Welcome to the Jungle by Guns-n-Roses. The entire gym would be transformed into a jungle complete with King and Queen Kong thrones, vines, treehouses, and servants in loin cloths. Sadly, the only reason this didn’t win was because I was the only metalhead in my class and it wasn’t a rock ballad.
That was the first time in my life I cursed people for not having enough artistic vision. The sentiment is following me to this day…
As I recounted this to Flatmate Suzie, she was on my side. I have to give it to the girl, she’s got vision. And then I wondered aloud if either of us would ever find a relationship with a man nearly as intimate as the one we share. Through the entire story, she was picking her teeth and I was clearing my sinuses. We’re so sophisticated…
Now we’re watching Twin Peaks while eating candy bars. It’s like reliving my childhood tonight. I keep shouting out ‘oh that’s so-and-so’ and ‘I forgot about…’ as if they were my friends in high school. Wonder what version of me I’ll be tomorrow?