Twister, ribald fun, circa 1966
Twister (game) scene in Twister (movie)
It's been a few days, okay, a lot of days since we've updated things around here. A bunch of reasons why but none too important, negative or lasting.
The club had its Holiday party combining Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia; and, our favorite, Baktun celebrations. The club strives to be multi-cultural.
Christmas seems to be the most popular in our neighborhood, although, based on seniority, Saturnalia should be. The Romans also celebrated Natalis Invicti, or the Birthday of the Invinciable Sun (the god Sol), on Dec 25. Apparently, the early Christians, already having the day off from their gig at the Colosseum, thought it might be a good time to slide in a holiday of their own.
Back to windsurfing and our party, it's the first time in a long time that we've had it at Chris Voith's special lair, the old PDK control tower. More than forty windsurfers, kiteboarders and unfortunate non-participants who happen to be married or related to us in some shape or manner came to celebrate.
We ate lots of food. If you ever need to cater a party, call it a pot-luck windsurfing party and you'll end up with great food. Those who had gone sailing/windsurfing/sailboarding/windboarding/windsailing/parasailing/kitesailing that day regaled us of tales of the best day in a long time (winds had been 25 to 40 mph). David Wade brought some entertaining videos and slide shows of local windsurfing.
Then the White Elephant Gift Exchange commenced, ably emcee'd and adjudicated by Gene Mathis. And, in our opinion, this is where things went wrong. Mind you, this is just one man's opinion and experience but, since we're writing this (and we are terminally egocentric), we feel as though it was a feeling shared by many.
The White Elephant Gift Exchange (it goes by many names in different social groups) is a way to share and distribute gifts among a group. Where it may differ from Secret Santas, Secret Sols, Secret Maya Claus, et al, is that some of the gifts are to be treasured and appreciated while others are regifts or items you might find difficult to give to someone you actually like. The finer nuances aren't important. If you do have questions, contact Gene through your local chapter of the White Elephant Gift Society. By turns determined by picking numbers from a hat, each chooses a gift from the table or one already chosen by someone else. If your gift is taken, you grab another one only from the table. However, if there's less than two minutes remaining and your number is odd and it's a weekday ... heck, we're making this last part up.
We were eleventh to choose. If you are towards the front of the line, you hope you choose something kind of, sort of nice. Anything real nice will invariably grabbed from you by a later "chooser" and, if you get a dog of gift (not, a gift of a dog), you are stuck with it.
We played our hand a bit on the aggressive side and took a windsurfing Santa from Randy Falkenberg. Randy never recovered as he went back to the table and selected a gift bag that ended up containing a Whoopee Cushion or something similar.
Our play backfired when windsurfing Santa was quickly taken, sending us back to the table. This time, we scored a long sleeve T from the last regatta. Again, if you get something nice, it's never safe until the last person chooses or maybe just the person after you. We lost the shirt.
Meanwhile, Jr., webguy's son who's been learning to waterstart for twelve of his twenty years, went. Jr. headed like a laser beam to a specific bag. This bag contained the expresso set that we'd patiently tucked away from last year's party to pass along. This was like double word score in Scrabble: not only a regift, but a regift from the previous White Elephant. (If it was originally your set, it's in a good home. It left our house with the Mother-in-Law who just fell in love with it.)
Yes, Jr. chose the very gift he'd helped carry upstairs an hour before.
Back to our tale of woe, upon losing our shirt (nice play on words, eh?), we chose a gift that contained a Silly Straw (pretty cool); the DVD, The Love Guru, which is possibly Mike Myer's worst movie ever; and Twister.
Twister? That's really, really cool. We love that game. You love that game, We all love that game. What adolescent or young adult didn't like playing that game? As Wikipedia says:
Wait. Twister didn't come in a small box. This box is the size of a DVD, the DVD for the movie Twister. Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!
On the big screen (we saw the movie when we were just making our first planing jibes), it's a one and half hour ode to a tornado with humans playing bit parts. On the little screen, it's a couple of actors (Paxton and Hunt) who play characters without sense enough to run from the tornado that's hurling tanker trucks, cows, little girls and their dogs at them. What a let down - no windsurfing Santa or neat regatta T.
The exchange ended with those with used sneakers and oddly shaped candles vainly trying to persuade, with the urgency of a Casbah vendor, those who'd scored a nice wine to trade with them. But, we saw few transactions as the dust settled. We helped clean up and went home. Another year, same expresso set.
We, like you, are already looking forward to next year's party. If you come, we'd suggest that you have a working DVD player at home. You never know what gift you'll end up with.