Sunday, May 01, 2016

Even better. Birds, the snort and Boaty. McBoatface.

Photo credit: Keith Paul Medelis
We were at the Pearl Theater watching “Stupid Fucking Bird.” One of the actors approached the front of the stage. He pulled a photo from his fake actor wallet, held it up and said that he had named his child “Malechov.” It was a dramatic moment.

Totally out of context, someone behind us giggled. And it ended in a giant snort. One of those snorts that is much louder than it actually is.

Tom, myself and everybody else in the entire audience tried not to laugh. So did the actor on stage. He had to pause and compose himself.

Suddenly my evening was better. Even better than it would have been. 

And trust me, it was a pretty good evening already despite the pissing rain. First, it was Friday, possibly the best day of the week. Second, on the way to 42nd street, someone randomly walking in front of us said something into her iPhone about sailing.

Yes! The perfect opportunity for Tom and I to simultaneously shriek “Boaty McBoatface" and totally crack ourselves up. It was damn near perfect.

Then on Saturday - same scenario. I went uptown to the Swedish Cottage for the Valborg party. I expected a massive bonfire. This is what Valborg is all about - "fire and something that has to do with witches.” I have asked approximately 40 Swedes -- they all explain Valborg this same way; and I have chosen, for many years, not pursue my inquiry further.

In hindsight, it probably was not realistic to expect a huge conflagration in the middle of central park. Nonetheless, the whole area was abuzz. There was supposed to be a “special musical guest” coming and everyone speculated it might be the one, the only, Håkan Hellström.  

I had no idea who the hell Håkan Hellström even was until two days ago when he showed up in town for a sold out show. Suddenly every post on my Facebook feed became Håkan wearing John Lennon’s black and white New York City t-shirt and/or endlessly repeating something about "getting up on stage and just having some fun." Every Swede in a 100 mile radius has been bug eyed for a week.

Meanwhile, back at the Valborg party, the Swedish Church had arranged a little outdoor choral entertainment. The ensemble huddled together on a small mound of fresh mulch. Somber colors, sensible shoes, a least one pair of pantyhose and some sort of forest flute. Clutching our beer and our hotdogs, we all crept nearer and nearer, wondering about the "special musical guest" and hoping against hope for Håkan to hop out of the shrubbery with a definite plan to accelerate the tempo. 


He never did. But it was exciting to consider. And my afternoon was even better. Even better than it would have been.
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