Posted by Mel
I won’t be throwing a Super Bowl party this year. But that’s no a big deal, since I never throw a Super Bowl party–or attend one, either. I’ve never had an interest in football, and I know nothing about it — though I am impressed by some of the technical features of the game as broadcast on TV. For one thing, how is it possible to put electronic markings on the field that the players can walk in front of?
There is sort of a festive air on Super Bowl Sunday even in Los Angeles, a city that has been without an NFL team since the Rams moved to St. Louis. Last year our next-door neighbor put an enormous TV set in his backyard and invited a crowd to watch and cheer and drink. The excitement was tremendous, and a good time was had by all — all in his back yard, anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if he did it again this year.
I am not against parties, but I prefer them with a theme other than football. For example, Laurie and Hazel will soon be giving a birthday party with an Alice in Wonderland theme for our friend Laurel. Laurie says she will try to think of a punch we can call Treacle and Ink (“Then fill up the glasses with treacle and ink,/Or anything else that is pleasant to drink”). We will certainly have mushroom soup (“one side will make you grow larger, and the other side will make you grow smaller”), among other Wonderland delights.
One year the theme of Laurel’s birthday was Mad Scientists, and many people came in costume. As far as I was concerned, the winner was a bearded guy wearing a Hawaiian shirt and carrying a coconut with wires trailing out of it. Glen was normally clean-shaven, so I knew it was part of the costume. Turns out he was masquerading as the evil Professor from the “Mirror, Mirror” episode of Gilligan’s Island. (If you don’t know why that is hilarious, find a friend who is a fan of the original Star Trek and ask him or her about the Mirror Universe.)
I also go to science fiction conventions, which are sort of like big multi-day parties. At these events fans, writers, gamers, and movie people get together to advertise, discuss, and otherwise get involved with stories that may include hobbits and unicorns at one end of the scale, and spaceships and giant robots at the other. Many members show up in costume and drink strange concoctions like blog. I know that these days a blog is a piece of personal writing, but before the Internet allowed everyone to be his own publisher, blog was generally a heady mix of alcoholic beverages — never the same twice.
Many years ago I met Laurie at one of these conventions, and she was kind enough to invite me a party she and her friends were hosting in their hotel room. Food at these events generally consists of chips, soft drinks, and canned dip. But being more interested in Laurie than in what she might feed me, I went. I learned that Laurie’s idea of party food was similar to what Ratty liked to serve in Wind in the Willows. As I recall, there were breads, crackers, cheeses, pickles, meats, spreads, and a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non. This was my introduction to the wonders of Laurie’s entertaining.
Guys who go to football games and parties sometimes paint themselves blue or wear triangles of cheese on their heads. At a minimum they may wear the colors of their favorite team. And yet many of them make fun of people who wear Star Trek uniforms. I don’t see the difference myself. Why does it have to be either/or? You are a fan of the activity that makes you happy.
On Sunday, I’ll probably watch an old Star Trek episode or go to Disneyland instead of watching the Super Bowl. But please don’t hold that against me. I won’t hold football against you.