Sunday, February 10, 2008

Ingmar Bergman Was Never Called An Asshole

My college roommate came to visit this weekend. I promised her three things.
  1. I wouldn't mention her name in my blog.
  2. She wouldn't have to sing karaoke.
  3. We could go see the Swedish film that was playing at the International Film Festival.
Let's get number 1 right out of the way. My college roommate was born with red hair. Her mother decided to name her for a certain red-haired character from the comics. For the purposes of this blog, we shall call her Little Orphan Annie.
The comics in the New Yorker, being black pen-and-ink drawings, do not feature red-haired characters. But, as has already been keenly observed all over the internet, they can all be summed up with the caption "Christ, what an asshole."

We confirmed this phenomenon when Little Orphan Annie and her boyfriend arrived, bearing their airport reading - the two most recent issues of the New Yorker.

It turns out, most photos taken during karaoke can ALSO be similarly captioned.

"Christ, what an asshole!"

That's Little Orphan Annie's boyfriend, who until this weekend's visit was a karaoke virgin. They say you never forget your first time, and I think being deflowered Saturday night at The Hutch will indeed prove memorable.

But not as memorable as Sunday night. That was when the Swedish film played.

Not that we went. Because I persuaded Little Orphan Annie to forgo the film and come to True Stories instead. True Stories being the wickedly funny reading series organized by Courtenay Hameister in which talented Portlanders read stories too filthy for Courtenay's wickedly funny radio show.

I felt kind of bad about breaking the promise, so when we bumped into Marc Acito, one of the readers, before the show, I explained the situation and asked if he could work some reference to Swedish film into his story. Marc is a consummate performer (and also fastidious - a regular Liberace on two counts; three if you count that he was dining with his mother), so he actually got every writer who was reading to work a reference to Swedish film into their stories, on the spot. Courtenay even announced this at the beginning of the show.

That's the kind of moment when you think you are really impressing your out of town guests.

Then there's the moment five minutes later, when one of your out of town guests inexplicably turns sweaty and incoherent, momentarily loses consciousness, then pukes all over the place. The place being an extremely small venue in which you are sitting maybe ten feet from the stage. Upwind.

Break a promise to Little Orphan Annie, and Daddy Upchucks will get you.

So we missed most of the reading anyway. But not before disrupting the show for the rest of the audience, who probably thought our friend was drunk (which he wasn't). When the woman in the row in front of us turned around to glare in horror as we hustled him out of there, you could pretty much see her thought bubble. Christ, what an asshole.

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