Last week I got my invite to the Lawn Street Block Party in Cambridge and, perhaps against my better judgment, The Dulcinea and I went east on Saturday afternoon for the festivities. It was going to be bad enough hanging around with some blue-faced drunken Finns, but the odds were that she'd encounter members of the Garbage Scow (my old bowling team) as well as The Flying Zupan Brothers
. We parked on South Street in front of Kias' bachelor estate. I wandered in and nearly tripped over a 12-pack of Mountain Creek that was on the floor of the rear foyer, i.e. – mudroom. The house was empty so we traipsed down the block to Lawn Street. Orange cones blocked off the street and there was a smattering of folks at picnic tables.
I knew things were going well when Kias greeted me with my given name. He immediately hustled us over to a table and began concocting a couple South Street mojitos. Now, if you think there's something odd about a Finn from small town Wisconsin toying with Cuban cocktails, you'd be right. What he ended up making involved rum, mint-laced pomegranate juice, and club soda. The mint and juice failed to mask the potent rum in the drink but it was quite tasty and refreshing.
We found a seat and chatted it up. Kias and I worked at The Towers together and he was one of the handful of people that taught me to cook. Indeed, his first lesson was "Lay down that greeze, there boy!". Many Towers residents owe him for their Freshman 25 and I owe him for trying to start me on fire with flammable grease remover. At a nearby picnic table, we found Karl in media res
of an APBA baseball game.
Plus there was a neighbor's hound wandering about looking for someone to scratch behind his ears.
The Dulcinea witnessed quite a parade as a couple more Finns showed up as well as Scow members and Zupans. We chatted with Karl for a bit and then Chet showed up followed by Zeke and Pam.
Soon enough a croquet game started. It was, of course, for money and had the added rule that you had to make your shot with one hand and have your drink in the other. Now, here's Ruby demonstrating the correct method:
And here's Kias demonstrating the incorrect method of play and being chastised for it:
Never one to go with the crowd, Dumb Donald did his own thing:
As I covered the match, The Dulcinea inveigled Chet into helping her with her algebra homework. Once the game was over, D2 expressed a sentiment with which I agreed: this WIBA cockrock fest had to go. The DJ announced that, after a break, they'd play Slaughter. This proved to the be straw that broke the camel's back and D2 lead a bloodless coup which found the dial moving way to the left and landing on WORT and Rockin' John. This got Kias and Shane(?) dancing in the street.
It wasn't long before Kias and The Dulcinea were doing The Twist.
We left at some point after it had gotten dark. While I was sweaty and sticky, The Dulcinea was sweaty, sticky, and reeked of Finnish pheromones as Kias is the kind of guy who loves to hug his dance partners. Hopefully this will become an annual thing. If so, I am going to lobby for better beer as Leine's Honey Weiss just doesn't cut it.