It Happened to Me

Happy Easter, everybody!

And a special Easter greeting to all the padres out there, like AKMA;

the story behind this holiday is truly what their work is all about. I

raise a Reese’s peanut butter egg on a flaming sword to all of you!

Since it’s fitting with the holiday, let’s look again at one of the most unintentionally funny juxtaposition of signs:

Perhaps Atkins died for them.

The deVilla family tradition is Easter Mass followed by brunch at the Boulevard Club, where my sister is a member. (I like to kid her every now and again by reminding her that The Official Preppy Handbook was a satire, not refernce material for living.)

“Look, Muffy, a book for us.” Required reading back in the ’80’s.

This one was particularly special, as it marked another occasion of Dad

being out and about (he’s getting more adept with his prosthetic leg and

walker) and the first Easter brunch with my nephew Nicholas James

deVilla-Choi, good-natured Zen master (like his uncle) and newest

member of the family.

The dress code for Easter brunch at the “Bullie” is not unlike the

codes of behaviour for online communities: unwritten and subtly

enforced. The tried-and-true combination for men is still blazer, shirt

and dress khakis (bonus points if the blazer has gold buttons and the

shirt is white with blue oxford stripes). I opted for slightly dressier

this year, a look I call “the hip salaryman“: black dress pants, dark blazer, deep blue shirt and a blue-and-gold paisley tie given to me by Boss Ross.

Aside number one:

Ross, noting my love for ties, gave me a set of his old and

no-longer-worn neckwear, figuring I’d pick the ones I liked and leave

the rest with Goodwill. Many of them are quite workable, but one stands

out: the one with images of Buckwheat from The Little Rascals. Probably

bought during Eddie “Buh-wheat sez ‘O-tay!'” Murphy’s reign on Saturday

Night Live, it’s probably impolitic for anyone who isn’t black to wear

it these days. I’ve only seen Ross in a tie once, so it’s hard to

imagine him in one, never mind this one.

Before Macaulay Culkin, there was Buckwheat.

If you think you can pull off wearing the Buckwheat tie without committing a faux pas (perhaps you’re a black stand-up comic), drop me a line explaining why you’re qualified and I’ll send it to you.

Aside number two:

Looking up a decent link for “salaryman” in The Urban Dictionary led me to its only entry for the term:

an essentially useless, often inebriated japanese man, characterized by

gray suit, blank expression, an inability to think for himself.

not to be confused with office lady, effectively the polar opposite

of the salaryman, characterized by inability to be paid any more than

half the amount of a salaryman and by copious pinch marks on backside.

Meee-ow! I think that’s the undercurrent of bitterness that runs through a number of people who go to Japan and teach English.

There’s always someone who breaks the dress code, and this year was no

exception. At the table just behind ours sat a woman, probably in her

late forties, who wore a gauzy sun bonnet almost large enough to

function as a tent or parachute (she kept it on for the duration), a

white jacket that showed enough cleavage for anyone near her to perform

a breast cancer check and a white mini-skirt that would’ve been more

suitable at a night club. I have a very strong hunch that she was at

last night’s playoff game. flashing her breasts at the Toronto Maple

Leafs as a reward for their victory.

Music for brunch was provided by a lounge musician who played the lead

part on grand piano and used an electronic keyboard with auto-rhythm

backup to handle the backing chords, bassline and drums. He played

music in a muzak-ish vein, and at one point I noted his “hey, how ya

doin'” piano bar treatment of the Moody Blues’ Nights in White Satin. What really caught my attention was a familir ditty that I slowly realized was a bossa nova treatment of The Police’s Every Breath You Take.

“You know you’re getting old,” I said to my sister, “when the music of your youth gets played this way.”

The club is very good about accomodating kids at Easter. There’s a

special buffet just for kids (I taught my two-year-old nephew Aidan the

word “buffet” while carrying him in, and he said “BUFF-FAY! BUFF-FAY!

BUFF-FAY!” non-stop for the next half hour) complete with pizza rolls,

chicken fingers and french fries. Someone in an Easter Bunny costume

wanders from table to table giving gift bags to kids. Someone else came

with a giant rack of uninflated balloons and a large canister of

compressed air and made elaborate balloon animals and toys for all the

kids. In a sunny room just off to the side of the dining room, there’s

a supervised arts and crafts area where kids can make Easter baskets

and bunny hats.

Aidan, who last year had no fear of the Easter Bunny, covered his eyes with his forearm until the giant rodent went away.

Later, while I was helping Aidan make a bunny hat in the arts and

crafts room, the lounge pianist — on break — wandered in to look at

what the kids were up to. As he approached Aidan and me, Aidan took my

hand and put it over his eyes until he went away.

“Nothing wrong with a healthy aversion to lounge acts,” I told Aidan afterwards, giving him a pat on the head.

What’s an Easter entry without a little religious conspiracy nuttery? By way of the blog TexasBestGrok, here’s Hypocrites on Parade,

a multi-part Flash “expose” on the evil Catholic Church. It’s kind of

like Jack Chick’s anti-Catholic rants, but hipper and funnier, and reminds me of why I like the sound of tinfoil hats crinkling so much.

Last but not least, The Redhead

sent my parents an Easter bouquet, which arrived at their house

yesterday. If life were like a videogame, you’d see the text “+100”

rising from Mom and Dad. Redhead, as they put it in the mangled English

of Japanese videogames, “A WINNER IS YOU!”

2 replies on “Happy Easter, everybody!”

Actually, John, I credited you with finding “Hypocrites on Parade”, which you wrote about in your pre blog.

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