Friday, May 2, 2008

Jonno's Birthday Party

April 12th

Jonnos Birthday Party

In the morning I went with Suse to what could be considered a salvage store. However, it hardly lived up to its name, as there was nary a speck of dust among the cleanly-removed doors, windows, mantles and other older house bits. The front door was in need of a handle. Up until now, it had taken some dexterity to use the key in the deadbolt to pull the front door of 34 Parsons Street closed. Suse choose a clean, lined brass handle that fit below the deadbolt as if it had been attached since the house was built. There is nothing more satisfying than a neatly completed home improvement task. This was sadly my last task I got to do at the house.

In the afternoon, Jonno, rower that he is, decided that for his birthday he would take half his rowing friends and half his non-rowing friends and throw them in the same boats down on the banks of the muddy Yarra - the river that runs right though the heart of the skyscrapered downtown. As a competitor and medalist in two U23 World Rowing championships, Jonno has several unisuits (in Aussie, 'zooties') from several countries, and the ten of us in the two coxed quad wherries looked like a rowing United Nations as the rowers taught the non-rowers how to handle the oars. Most of the rowers in the boats had at one time or another coached rowing, and the general consensus among them was that these non-rowers actually did a pretty good job. In addition, the high caliber of trash-talking between boats was something to behold. Our last effort was a 500 meter race in which three crabs were caught, one seat was lost, and the three seat in Jonno's boat removed his oars because he felt they would go faster without his efforts. Let's just say that everyone left the water a winner.

In the evening I found myself back at the Leviton with the Usual Suspects. At this point me, the random Yank had been seen on the Melbourne social circuit for the past four out of five weekends, and the faces of those around me were no longer strangers. Frank and Prue were there as well with the good news that they had figured out that Amelia’s ailment was a hernia, and she was scheduled for surgery early that next week. Naturally she was still pretty gutted that she had to miss her big brother's 30th.

It being mostly a couple’s night, the men felt no need to go to the dance floor; however, the women did. The DJ that came with the rented space seemed like he would be more comfortable if the cliental had been barely legal and eager for the latest techno mix. It was clear he was insulted when I told him to play “Sweet Home Alabama” and or other classic hits, and he continued to pay me lip service until I started to just pass my requests through Suse. She felt my music choice was spot on, and since she and Jonno held the purse strings, his will was broken and “Sweet Home Alabama” played to everyone's but his delight. I managed to find the only single girl at the party.

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