Monday, April 24, 2006

What is it about drama that brings out the booze?

Ed Abbey wrote last week about his experiences of being involved in a high school drama and someone spiking the punch. It got me thinking about my experience involving drama and alcohol. I was never involved with drama in High School. I made my only on-stage debute during my year in Virginia City, Nevada. The Silver State, at least back then, had a program in which they brought the arts into the rural counties. In our case, a drama teacher was in the community to both teach in school as well as to do community productions. There were several of us whose roles in the play were only in the first and third act. So during our last performance, we decided to skip out and hit another party that was going a block away. I was told that the director wasn’t too happy with us when he found out. Below is an excerpt from an unpublished essay I wrote about the Virginia City experience:

I don't remember whose idea it was to skip out in the middle of the play’s first act and head for the Flapper Party at the Silver Stope. In a block, from the school on D Street to the bars up on C, the three of us migrated from Grover's Corner, a small town in New Hampshire, to the lower East Side. As Joe Stoddard, a turn-of-the-century undertaker, I wore a black frock coat with a string bow-tie. Penny and Christy, the two women I escorted, wore calico farm dresses. We didn't exactly look like Flappers, but then New Englander's don't have time for nonsense. And we weren't the only ones dressed inappropriately. In the crowd, sporting his usual double-knit leisure suit was Murry Mack pounding the rag-time blues on the piano. The Stope was filled with patrons that Saturday night, most of whom had seen the play earlier and thought it was wonderful that we'd come up during our break and sample a cup of their bathtub gin. Someone produced a camera and immortalized us behind the tub with cups raised, toasting the Mucker's production of "Our Town."

By the way, we all make it back for the final scene where we buried Emily Gibbs a third and final time. And for the curious, bathtub gin is as bad as it sounds.


  1. Reminds me of the time I took a swig of some homemade moonshine. I didn't think it tastely nearly as good as the name sounded.

  2. I'm not sure what was in this--it really wasn't gin, but some kind of spiked red punch.

  3. kEwL! Sounds like my kinda fun!! :)

  4. oooh i do miss a bit of sloe gin from cornwall. yum

    it does work both ways though... get a bit of booze in you and everything gets dramatic!

    loved the post below too about julie andrews, she a favourite here too. more so as its impossible to sing any of her songs without 'doing' the voice!

    i abhor the death sentence. and the reason it will never make sense to kids is that they haven't forsaken reason or morals yet. they still posses a basic decency. we should listen to children a lot more.

    and yes it gets snowy and very very nippy here. we deserve decent ale!

  5. It sounds like one of those experiences that make for good talk when recalling memories with friends.

  6. Karen, it's always the things you do quickly, without thinking that seems to be the most fun.

    Keda, I don't really know what sloe gin... I've heard it talked about, and in my mind have always thought it was the antithesis of fast gin, but suppose I just don't my gin as I tend to stay away from colorless drinks (like the color of a bourbon or scotch or a stout or porter

    Tim, you're right, except that I've lost contact with those involved in this event. I do know that Murray Mack died a few years later and some of the bars held "Murray Mack" look alike contest in which folks would wear old double-knit polyster leisure suits... I suppose it kind of created a demand from them in the thrift stores. He was a weird guy, but boy could he pay the piano.

  7. Sounds like great times which make for wonderful memories. Great post as always Sage.

  8. Ok I've gotten confused somewhere...I thought you grew up in SC. Got off track somewhere. Great memories :)
    Hmmm, my word verification is amjesus weird!

  9. Sounds like the halo and wings should've been on my South Park character.

    'Amjesus'? Not weird. Downright spooky.

  10. V--great times are always a surprise!

    Daydreamer and for the rest of the world: I GREW UP IN NORTH CAROLINA (SC is the lessor of the Carolinas). This took place in Nevada--I've lived in a number of states. As for your word verificiation, it sounds blasphemous. Don't stand next to any lightning rods for the next few days.

    Murf--have you done a South Park caracture for yourself yet? I'll lend you the wings and halo. I'm beginning to believe my halo has dropped a bit and has become a noose.

  11. I did. While I didn't see the wings and halo choices when I created my own, I did forget to give myself breasts. Your halo is firmly in place still.

  12. sloe gin thankfully is nothing like gin. its more like a kind of sweet honey/fruity mead.

  13. Hi Sage,
    and thank you for dropping by my deserted poetry blog. Life has been hard on the finance and I had to put on a different kind of head. I haven't written anything in months, But I promise I will.

  14. Ok Murf, I've put the pic in my profile and will see what kind of reaction I get

    Keda, I'll have to give sloe gin a try sometime

    Seawyf, great to see you back, it's been a long time, I've missed your descriptive poetry. I enjoyed your book of poems, "Shards"

  15. Oh Sage that's so awesome. That just cracks me's so *you* :) Murf did an awesome job there. Now where's mine???? :)