Chantilly Goat

25 Feb 2008


Once again your humble servant found himself traversing Northern Virginia's Lee-Jackson Memorial Highway in search of adventure. My good friend Kumar(*) may no longer haunt the area, but noteworthy events have transpired once again in Chantilly. The event, this time, was a 1st birthday party for a good friend's baby.

A few interesting observations: Having been involved with this family for so long now (at least 15 years), one would think that I should be able to speak Hindi by now. However, I cannot. OTOH, I can piece a few things together from time to time. For example, when my wife's friend described her dog as bilingual, I was able to pretend I was the dog and remark, "Meh Hindi orr Engrazi samash-ta hoon" (which I'm sure I've botched the spelling AND pronunciation of, but which transliterates to "I Hindi and English Understanding Am"). Our Indian friends get a real kick out of our rudimentary attempts at Hindi.(**)

Anyway, when we attend these parties, my wife usually borrows a sari. (All of the men wear suits, so it's no big deal for me.) After all of these years, though, I recently realized one important aspect of the whole sari ensemble. You ever notice how Indian women wear numerous bangles? Did you know that the order of the bangles is important? I had no idea. It seems, though, that they should be worn with symmetry. In other words, the women don't just throw 20-odd bangles on each arm and then run off to the party. There's order within the chaos, it turns out ... You learn something new every day, huh?

Now, the party was to begin at 6:00 p.m. My wife and her friends wanted to arrive "early," so naturally they left around 7:00 p.m. (In case you're confused, I'm making the assertion here that one hour late to an Indian party is actually considered early !) I hung back with the guys until around 9:15 p.m. We arrived pretty much on-time. I'm still not entirely sure what the exact lag is between any given local time and "Indian time." But, I think I'm getting better.

Finally, another old family friend was back in town this time. Let's just call him "U." U's a great guy, all around. However, for the first time ever, I received a lecture from him. He was absolutely hammered, though, so I'm not sure how serious he was. Turned out he wasn't thrilled with my weight loss. Last time he saw me (a few years back), I was probably 235. Suddenly, I'm 180 and he was concerned ...

It was nearly impossible to communicate at the party (at a banquet hall in Chantilly), with the DJ spinning impractically loud Punjabi music. In fact, if one were to have any hope of communicating with someone sitting nearby, one needed to shout directly into the other person's ear. Mostly, this was painfully (literally) ineffective.

So, U. lectured me within this cacophonous environment. Completely drunk, he yelled the following lecture into my left ear (taking a deep breath in between words to make sure he had ample volume): "PATRICK! ... YOUR! WIFE! SHE! IS! MY! SISTER! I! LOVE! YOU! AS! MY! BROTHER! IN! LAW! ... LAST! YEAR! YOU! LOOK! GOOD! ... THIS! YEAR! NOT! SO! GOOD! ... "

Skipping ahead past the part about my "new diet" being good in the short term but harmful in the long run, he got to the point (still yelling directly into my ear, mind you): "PATRICK! YOU! MUST! EAT! ... GOAT!"

Although I can't quite pin it down, there's something marvelously absurd about having another man yell the word "goat" into my left ear. Don't make the interpretive mistake of believing he was being figurative; this wasn't some well-intended statement of concern over a low level of red meat in my diet. In fact, he specifically felt that "goat" was my salvation. And his. (He'd finished three large plates of goat curry prior to the speech.)

I smiled and politely yelled back to him that we should talk later.

Meanwhile, the man sitting on my right side as being accosted by a young woman who wanted him to dance with her. Since I know this man very well, too, I knew there was no chance he'd join her out there. So, when she looked at me and yelled, "WHY! WON'T! HE! DANCE! WITH! ME!?," I simply screamed, "THIS! MAN! IS! A! YOGI! ... HE! CANNOT! DANCE!" -- at which the yogi enthusiastically nodded at me and then screamed to her: "SEE?!"

Other than that, it was a typical Saturday.

(*) See also: "This Feeding of the Birds," "Patrick & Kumar Abducted by Aliens," and "How to Pick Up Women Using Chicken Tikka."

(**) Although I've had a little more fun with Sinhalese.

Original Comments

Below, are the original comments on this post. Additional comments may be made via Facebook, below.

On February 26, 2008, katrocket wrote:

Wow! That was one heck of a party for a 1-year old! My folks would never let me have a DJ. Thank goodness for the cash bar.

The bangle trivia was very interesting. BSUWG is fun AND educational!tgeov

On February 26, 2008, GETkristiLOVE wrote:

A few more cocktails, and I would have danced with that girl and eaten goat.

On February 26, 2008, Leonesse wrote:

Loosely worn scarves and fuzzy animals. They sure know how to party!

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