Two things were certain tonight: death and taxes.
Actually, it was a tax relief party at Nacho Mama's Boulevard Bar and Grill, an offshoot of Nacho Mama's in Carytown.
Owner Raoul was hosting the party, meaning that bass-heavy dance music was pumping when Pru and I walked in and endless pictures were taken throughout the evening.
When I questioned having to smile for the phone yet again, Raoul lectured me about the importance of self-promotion. No doubt his, not mine.
The tequila menu was more limited than I would have expected for a Mexican place, but I cut my tequila teeth on 1800 and I'd take it over overpriced Patron any day, which I did. Twice.
A DJ was playing full-on 21st century disco, meaning club versions of songs as unlikely as Stevie Nicks' "Stand Back." Hysterical.
Just to prove he knew a little disco history, the DJ even played a thumping version of "MacArthur Park," although not Donna Summer's, but easily one of the sappiest and stupidest songs ever written.
Someone left the cake out in the rain? Who does that? Who writes that?
Despite the pouring rain and falling temperatures outside, people kept arriving (including several Carytown business owners), to celebrate and the bar got really loud while I took advantage of a tax relief deal on flautas.
While enjoying a nicely spiced chicken version Pru told me about a fabulous website she'd found for cute, inexpensive clothes, a company that unexpectedly, she found, also carried rubber lingerie.
This was relevant mainly because, oddly enough, a co-worker had e-mailed her today asking if she knew anything about buying a vinyl bustier. She knew enough to school him on the use of corn starch with vinyl clothing and directed him to her new favorite website.
I'm lucky to have such knowledgeable friends.
With the pool visible through the wall of bar windows, everyone was raving about what a terrific place that's going to be once summer arrives and the pool is open.
Margaritas and scantily clad people, an easy way to go from 0 to 60 in no time flat.
Eventually we had to leave the still-expanding party to make an 8:00 curtain at Richmond Triangle Players. I've been spending a whole lot of time in Scott's Addition lately.
Waiting for the play to begin, I learned a new term when Pru told me about the stash of books she'd scored at the recent main library sale (36 books, $35). I'd skipped the sale because I haven't finished reading the last stack I'd gotten at the library's book giveaway (13 books, $0).
She and a co-worker (not vinyl guy, though) have a long-standing tradition of taking the afternoon off to go to the book sale and then to lunch at Chez Foushee.
In fact, that was the last time I'd seen her, as I was leaving Foushee with a friend after lunch and they'd been arriving.
These two are such accounting nerds that they actually keep colored spreadsheets, with listings for TBR ("to be read," the term I learned), what they've read and what they're looking for in terms of books for others.
They're so hardcore they also don't hesitate to buy a hardcover version of a book they already own in paperback. Okay, I can understand that one.
It's the optimism of that term - to be read - that I was so taken with. If I ever started my own list of TBR, I fear it would consume me. And, honestly, in some cases, I don't even know something needs to be read until I stumble upon it. One of those thirteen books I'd picked up, "Last Train to Memphis," would never have been on my list and I wound up positively enthralled with it.
And while we're on the subject of readers, it's a good thing Pru and I fell into that category because Henley/Shakes' production of "Wittenberg" presumed a literate audience and tossed out erudite witticisms and insider jokes like nobody's business.
It all hinged on that old saw, reason versus faith. Yes, that.
The play revolved around Hamlet and his senior year at Wittenberg University (before his father dies and he ascends the throne), Dr. Faustus, a devilishly provocative teacher of philosophy and Martin Luther, a theology professor who's seriously questioning the church. The fourth character is called the "eternal feminine" and plays every female role.
How brilliant is that assemblage of characters?
There's a local dive called The Bunghole, where Faustus plays some "light lute" and sings "The Seeker" and entreats the crowd to "take care of your bar wenches."
Meanwhile, Martin Luther is aghast at the church's selling of indulgences as "get out of jail free" passes for sinners, using drink to self-medicate as he questions his faith. "Seventy three books in the bible! Know how many mention alcohol? 72!"
One of the most hilarious scene is a tennis match between Hamlet and the unseen Laertes, playing for Paris University. Wearing a white doublet tennis ensemble for the ages, Hamlet lobs the imaginary ball and jabs at his foe with physical grace and biting wit.
One scene began under low light with one character on his knees and the other sitting in a chair beside him, although the motion of his head was not immediately identifiable for what was happening. A few seconds in and someone in the last row said loudly, "Oh!" alerting everyone to the on-stage oral action.
Hello, we were at Richmond Triangle Players.
Laughs continued when Faustus nails up Martin Luther's doctrine, thereby starting the Protestant reformation and pissing off Luther who hadn't planned to share it. He adjusts.
Once Hamlet gets word that his father has died, he has to return to Denmark (and we know where that's going) and Faustus tells him to question everything. "I don't want to end up hearing about the tragedy of Hamlet," he warns. Oops.
Faustus is taking a sabbatical to go "underground" and Hamlet counters by telling him to think before acting so his life doesn't become a cautionary tale. As if.
Our night of intellectual theater ended back at the Bung Hole with Faustus singing "Que Sera, Sera" and the eternal feminine chiming in with "Let it Be."
The beauty of the play was that everybody in the room already knew how the three stories were going to end up right from the start. We knew because we're readers.
Which may or may not explain my favorite quote from the play. The world is a book. Those who do not travel read only a page.
Absolutely true. But the only thing harder to make than a TBR list would be a TBV list.
Besides, I've got no faith in my ability to make a spreadsheet and no reason to try. Que sera, sera, no?