There are phrases I honestly never imagined I would utter in my lifetime. Phrases such as "I'm off to slay a thousand babies and put their heads on pikes 'round town!" Or, "I really think that I prefer the Nazis over the Jews. They had snappier uniforms." I'd never say that. And finally, I never ever thought I would say, "This weekend, I'm going to a pie fight."
But that phrase came out of my mouth this weekend for the first time ever, and probably not for the last.
There is another family we know through Rebel, and this is the third year they've done this. They gather friends and family at their house, and fill 7" paper plates with whipped cream and then proceed to "pie" each other.
Well, why the hell not? Really. When it comes down to it, why not?
When the dad told me this is one of their late in the summer fun activities, I cursed myself for not thinking it up myself, and then insisted we be invited to the next one. A few weeks ago, a facebook invitation flew my way and my heart soared! Yes! Here we go!
When I told Doug, he looked at me dubiously. Doug thinks, honestly (and he may be right) that I'm losing my mind. But I told him that there was a giant wok for stir frying foods and we could bring beer, and his sense of panic seemed to subside. I thought he'd beg off, but he came with... as long as he didn't have to have pie thrown at him.
Well, that's no fun. But if you insist on not having pie thrown at you... then so be it.
The thunderstorm followed us to their front door, and we figured that it would be better to just do the pie fight in the pouring rain than to wait until it gave up. The Dad of the house laid the ground rules, and then Geoff read a spoof of Henry V's "St. Crispin's Day" speech which the dad reworked just for him. Geoff told me that he wanted to do the speech, and the dad thought it would be better if it were funnied up.
This is how it turned out:
"This day is called the feast of Crispian Cream:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home with hair and sanity intact,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian Cream.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil pie his neighbours,
And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian Cream Day:'
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say 'These wounds I had on Crispian's Cream day.'
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he'll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Keri the queen, Geiger and Magnant,
Scott and Staples, Kingsley and Yoffe,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispian Cream shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the summer,
But we in it shall be remember'd;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For she or he to-day that throws his pie with me
Shall be my sister and brother; be he ne'er so vile and pasted with cream,
This day shall gentle his complexion and fertilize the roots of her hair:
And gentlemen and ladies in New England now a couch potato,
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their lives cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin Cream's day!"
Geoff read the speech, having memorized the real one he did a great job with the emotions of this one. When he called out the names, the dad of the house and I put our fists in the air and looked at the crowd of 30 people and were like "Yes! That's US!" and they started to cheer and laugh.
We all cheered like mad and ran to the back yard to start the fray.
Here is what we looked like before and after. Photos all by Doug, who didn't want to have pie thrown at him, so he played photographer. The flickr set is here if you want to go see the vicious pie-throwing action.
Am I having some sort of mid-life crisis? Some sort of existential crisis?
You will see, if you go through the photos, that the dad of the house and I are the only two adults (well, not so... his sister participated and she's only a couple years younger than he is...) with no sense.
I think that there is something happening in my brain that is looking for something more fun and creative and insane and amazing on a daily basis. Or at least on a once in a while basis. The typical day-in/day-out crud that I feel myself mired in has resulted in me longing for something more creative, expressive and entertaining. It doesn't have to be meaningful, or earth-shattering. Just ... fun.
Throwing pies at teenagers, my own and some that I don't even know, brought me a great deal of joy for about 20 minutes yesterday. Hearing my son read his rousing speech? Amazing. Watching my daughter chase people with whipped cream on a plate and receive a spattering to the face before she could hit her mark? Also amazing. Sitting around watching the garage band of the house play while eating stir fry out of a giant industrial wok and hanging out with new friends... well. That was icing on the cake of the day.
All told, it was a really fun event. And I'm already looking forward to next year.
We haven't been to church nearly all summer. Next weekend we won't get there because Jess needs to be in Lynn at 11:30 for her Rebel performance. Doug and Geoff could go, but I'll need to leave here to take her there.
And the weekend after is Labor Day weekend already, so the summer rushed past us with amazing speed.
This morning, church was nice. Since we haven't been for quite a while I expected a lot of "oh! Where have you been?!" comments but we only got one. I think most people understand that summer is a busy time. Church was half empty, so I think we aren't the only people who haven't been.
After the service, Geoff approached our pastor and reminded him that when we first started attending that Rob (the pastor) promised two things. First, that Geoff could ring the church bell. Second, that he'd show us the bell tower. Since it was winter when we started, we couldn't quite go up due to the ice and snow. Today, though, was a picture perfect day, an amazing day, it was THE day to go up if we were going to go.
We trudged up the narrow stairs to a 3'x3' opening that I was afraid I wouldn't fit through (due to my girth, ya know) and as I stood on the bottom step and looked up at Geoff going through the hole, I honestly started to panic. There are no walls up there, no windows. Just sky. And I didn't see the 3 foot high railing that went around the platform... I just saw Geoff leaping out the hole and into what I could only assume was ... sky.
Jess got up after me and assured me that there was a railing, and I heard her encourage Geoff to use caution. I got up next and was relieved to see that he couldn't just accidentally spill out to the streets of Newburyport below... and then I saw the view.
I mean, honestly. Woah. Holy... wow.
There is a Paul Revere bell from 1802 up there, and not much else. A six-sided platform that offers 360 degree views of all of Newburyport, Salisbury, Amesbury, Newbury, all the way to Rockport and Halibut Point, Seabrook NH, and ... amazingness.
Because I don't have a camera, and Jess isn't always thinking and didn't have hers with her, we don't have a visual record of the day. You just have to take my word for it.
The pastor of the church, Rob, takes people up there all the time. Tour groups from all over the country come all week long and the church has office hours where you can just show up and go up. You can also go to the basement where the crypt of the church founder is.
But to be honest, THIS is the thing to go see. I can't wait to go up again. Perhaps in the fall, when the leaves are all ablaze and amazing.
In September, they are doing historical tours of the North Shore, and if you're thinking of something interesting to do... just let me know and I'll tell you where to head and who to ask for. And you can tell'em I sent you.
Anyway. I guess that's about it. In less than one week, the Romeo and Juliet North Shore Extravaganza Awesomeness Tour 2008 begins. I secured a date for Beverly, so we'll be on the Beverly Common at 1pm on Friday, August 22nd. The dates are on the website. Be sure to try and come to a show. It'll make you happy.