Leading up to the long Thanksgiving weekend (remember, here two days is a long weekend), there’d been a lot of talk by folks who have been here before about how Thanksgiving is the first time people really do let loose here. Judging by the lack of excitement on Friday night, when Sarah and I were pretty sure it would start, I wasn’t too hopeful for Saturday’s dinner and post-dinner “extravaganzas.”
Let’s start at the beginning though. Friday night is the night I work in the station store for the hour it is open (6 Pm to 7 Pm). The crew is me and my friend from home, Matt. For those of you who know Matt, you can imagine the one-upmanship that is going on behind the counter. Pretty girls, old, grizzled tradesmen, they all get it equally (though differently) from both of us and it’s almost like a mini pre-func in there. Well, this last Friday was gonna be a huge day and we actually had to stay open half an hour late because of the line out the door. When it was all said and done, we sold close to $3000 worth of goods, most of it made up of the new shipment of alcohol that came in that day.
You’d think some of it would have been drunk and parties would have raged that night.
By the time 8 rolled around, I was good and ready to leave the station and head out to summer camp where folks were drinking in the lounge and watching Dazed and Confused. A good enough time, I thought, considering the main theme in that movie is the first day of summer circa 1978. That should get us appropriately riled. The movie ended, the whiskey was passed around and then someone put in an episode of The Simpsons.
Uh-huh, I thought. No way, no how is this gonna get a party started. Sarah (my fellow troublemaker here) and I considered our options and decided some music was needed. IPod came out and more people showed up. Still though, no dancing, no kissing. What gives? Personally, I think it was the light. In a place with 24 hour sunlight, it’s hard for people to get used to the time of day and definitely hard for them to feel comfortable cutting loose and being crazy, even when drunk.
When the swing shift carps showed up for their weekly Safety Meeting (why they have it in there is beyond me), I gave up and went to bed.
Saturday at the station was quiet. A normal lazy Sunday-type day. I got to brunch late after a long and wonderful phone call with ‘Lex and no one was around. Some of the guys from the night before were watching Pulp Fiction and I figured that I could do worse with a Saturday afternoon. It really was nice to laze about on a Saturday and to know that the next day was a day off to. Gosh, we all should always have two days off… Oh, wait, in the real world, you do. What the fuck AM I doing here anyway?
As the afternoon dragged, I went home for my twice-weekly shower and to change for dinner. When I got back to the New Station, I was suddenly thrust into an uncomfortable work party with everyone looking spic and span, glowing from their showers, painted with makeup and wearing oddly clean clothes. Apparently, one of the people I’ve known since Denver didn’t even recognize me when I walked by.
Great. This is gonna get us all to cut loose? Hardly.
After an uncomfortable half hour in the hallway where the Apps were served, we all filed into dinner to see a Galley transformed. Christmas lights and candles on the tables. Tablecloths and even music playing. The sun was actually blocked out and man was it nice. We all sat, the free wine started to flow and things started to look up.
The meal was really amazing. Fresh, roasted veggies, the obligatory cranberry sauce, marshmallow sweet potatoes, stuffing and three kinds of turkey (roasted, smoked and deep fried). Three pies for dessert and did I mention the free wine?
When we were hustled out after an hour or so so that third seating could have their meal, a lot of us went down to the B1 Lounge to start the party. This lounge is where the games live and the more drunk of us soon, and inadvisably, picked up the Ping Pong paddles for some full-contact Ping-Pong. A poker game got going in another corner and then car bombs were drunk (take a Guinness, pour it into a glass. Poor a shot of Baileys, drop the shot glass into the Guinness. Chug). More Whiskey, an IPod and Tequila. There was still no real dancing (Tim doesn’t count, though he’s fun to watch. So is Jason.) but people were getting more and more loose and plenty of gossip fodder was around for Sarah and I to chew on. Who would R end up with? E or C? Could we do anything for S? Dam! J was looking hot and seems that a few people are noticing THAT.
Of course, the chance to see a Turkey shaved into someone’s chest hair was pretty worthy.
But after awhile, it got old not dancing and we left, in search of something more. What’s this? The Galley has changed again. The tables were pushed back, the music was pumping and a full-on dance party was raging! At last, things were taking off. It seemed the Tequila, the wine, the whiskey, the beer, the whatever had taken hold through the layers of Turkey and stuffing and we had found the party.
Of course, this being the south pole and not a place where people are meant to party, the sound system eventually started to crap out and the music was cutting in and out. I thought that this might kill the buzz all too soon and was trying to find a way to keep the music going when word started to spread.
“We’re going down to the skanky bar. There’s dancing down there.”
Sure enough, a walk down the unheated Beer Can (five stories) to the subterranean (and yes, heated) old gym/new smoking bar found us an honest to god rager. Without windows to let in the evil, evil sun (sorry Seattleites, but contrary to what you think, there is such a thing as too much sun, even in November), the poker in the corner had a seedy feel to it and the dancing in the center had a sexy feel to it. The couches were full of cuddling and kissing and the bar area replete with flirting, not to mention an actual new couple or two. Thank god. At last. A real party I could happily write home about and describe personal debaucheries from. Jesus. A week or two more without this and I’d’a gone nuts.
I woke up this morning still a bit tipsy I think, and dam that felt good. I’m sick of waking up alone, knowing Alexis is 9,500 miles away, but at least last night we both had a lot of fun, celebrating, in our respective places. We weren’t together physically, but I felt her close all night long.
Now it’s Sunday and brunch is calling. I’ve got to get a few pictures together for you all now though, because after eating, Misty and I are crashing the B1 Lounge movie room and watching the first three episodes of Star Wars all afternoon…. Ah weekends, how I miss thee.
Here are a bunch more pictures.
Happy Thanksgiving all!