Gentle Reader, you may remember me mentioning that the last grand gala of the F.P.A. was La Fête Sanguinaire. It had been scheduled for the winter solstice, but due to the untimely death of my father on the first of November – right in the crush of planning and set construction* – we were forced to delay La Fête, for obvious and good reasons. However, we still had a number of guests anxious for some sort of evening out, and so we decided to host a Vamp-In, at one of the local hometown bars.
Now, Gig Harbor has a very peculiar atmosphere – it’s somewhere between frat-boy and socialite, and can’t decide precisely what it wants to be. The Hy-Iu-Hee-Hee, which has been standing in the Harbor for absolute ages, caters to both crowds; it’s a local institution, and a popular nightspot, being one of the few businesses in town that stays open after five.
Though popular with the old guard – the well-known, highly-respected families that have populated the Harbor for many years† – it is also popular with the barely-twenty-ones, as until nine p.m., their still-underage friends can join them for a taste of bar atmosphere, with the pool table and darts. In short, it is populated by dude-bros of all ages. Observe:
Well, on the date in question, we decided that this would be the perfect venue to appear at, dressed as children of the night. You may question the wisdom of our decision – I certainly did – but what’s life without a little risk? Further, we were to travel to the Rocky Horror Picture Show afterward, and could always use that as our excuse. No matter! We appeared, at the bar; Miss K had allowed me to spend three hours turning fifteen sheer burgundy curtains into a bustle-gown for her‡, and I appeared like this:
Snuff is classy, folks. Stay in school.
At any rate, there we were – the two dozen of us who had made it to the replacement event. We were ostentatious, we drawled incomprehensibly in our false accents, we said “I do not drink… Vine” approximately seven hundred times, and were generally obnoxious – to the surprising delight of everyone in the bar. Apparently, rather than rushing for their anticipated pitchforks and torches, the townsfolk appreciate an unexpected touch of whimsy here and there. Who knew?
* I am almost entirely certain that I’ve mentioned this part before – when the coroner came, he was very confused, and had some questions to ask me about the coffin I was building in the back yard. Timing is everything, kids.
†The sort of family that includes my Uncle R and the sort of family that Maman came from§.
‡No pictures of this gown survive, or so I am forced to assume, because an angry Miss K is a fearsome thing.
§The sort of family that tells people when they have “married down” in fact.