Ours was the only Newport Ball pre-party dedicated to a charitable cause. We began with a grand auction where everyone had to bring something of significant value to be for auctioned. Within minutes it became clear this had not been thought through clearly. People had bought an assortment of goods. Eric Sillman had bought some goats, Toto Narayan had bought jute sacks laden with cinnamon sticks, Antonio Wallace had bought geese feathers, Rick Moore had bought barrels of crude oil, Dmitri Ponomarev had bought compressed gas, and Wei Liou had bought spare parts for a Toyota Camry, to name but a few. The problems were immediately obvious – how in Gods name does a buyer transport a small flock of goats past the Newport licensing laws ? Needless to say the goats remained unsold.
“I ain’t f****** take them back home”, said Eric. Needless to say there was silence as goats don’t talk back. Or so we thought. “Bastard,” said a little goat in the corner.
“Whoaa!” exclaimed Doug Raymond in shock. “Did I just.. was that really… it can’t be…,” he stammered.
A talking goat that understood how to apply the medieval Latin word bastardus to modern day coarse American slang was something special indeed. We did what we were trained to do as a close-knit, integrated section. “Ra ra!” shouted Greg Fairbanks in his customary response to anything not in his tank manual. “Cook it!,” screamed the Lads as they combined their ultra-hard attitude with Jamaican cuisine. “No wait, lets… castrate it!” retorted the Lads, now in full poetic flow. “Castration is for wimps, why don’t we just bugge…” started the Lads again but they were interrupted midway through their verse.
“That’s not a real goat, you idiots,” said Meggan Friedman. “It’s a god damn animatronics goat.” Everyone stared at the goat in some disbelief. The goat realized there would never be a better moment than this and so it started singing. “It’s the circle of life…”.
“Oh my god! Look!,” said Adam Diamond “it’s the goat from Disney’s Lion King musical, that’s what is it.”
In that moment we felt close, at one with each other, peaceful, rested, relaxed, as the dry ice whisked its way around our legs and made us feel we were sitting on clouds. “Hakuna Matata,” chirped DY Lin to get us all in the mood.
“Nice touch with the dry ice Onil”, said Kee Ng. Onil paused for a moment trying to remember. “Hey Guys!,” he said, “that’s not dry ice, it’s the compressed gas vaporizing as it mixes with the oxygen in the atmosphere.”
Although no one was crushed in the ensuing stampede, someone did manage to knock over the barrels of oil straight onto the beach. The slick rapidly snaked its way to the water. The call of nature was powerful and within minutes Wei had used drift wood, other beached items and his Camry spare parts to create a boom around the slick to limit its damage. But even from the beach where we stood one could see the water birds being coated in oil. Cindy Koch and several others, without care for their safety or tuxedos and dresses, waded into the oil-sludge covered water and started grabbing the birds from the oily slurry and throwing them back to the beach where Cassandra Hanley began to wash off the sludge from their wings with soapy water so that they could live.
“Hey, wait a minute,” said Cassandra. “These birds have no heads!,” she screamed. Others rushed to the scene. “Oh my God,” screamed Warren Tranquada, “some of these birds have no bodies!.”
“Hey Guys!,” said Onil, “that’s not birds, those things floating in the oil are the geese feathers that Antonio had bought.”
Miguel Lopez and Juan Carlos were slightly hurt in the ensuing stampede to get the hell out of the beach. As we reflected on how our close-knit section had stuck together through these amazing events, Lana Newishy held up the ten dollar bill that was the outcome of our auction. But an unforeseen gust of wind blew the bill off Lana’s soft fingers and carried it far away into the sky.
Rafad, a young indigenous boy scrimmaging for unexploded bombs from the ’67 war found the Ten dollar bill in the demilitarized zone in the Giza plateau. As he skipped happily home through the desert, he was stopped abruptly by a German military convoy. “Boy, come here! Tell me my little friend, have you seen the Ark ?,” said one of the convoy leaders with an evil eye as he patted his Luger.
Before Rafad could answer or bribe the convoy leader with his ten dollar bill, he was whisked off his feet by a marauding band of desert hooligans who charged through on camels and horses. “Al Ahara! Al Ahara!,” they screamed, “Tell me where the Jewel is ?”, they demanded.
Before Rafad could answer or offer to buy the Jewel for ten bucks, a small platoon of US special forces suddenly appeared from nowhere. “Where is the damn Gate son ?”, they demanded. “We have to seal the Gate before the sun god Ra tries to f*** with the US government, son.” Rafad looked at his ten dollar bill, and tore it up. “Curse the people who sent this my way,” he thought. “I don’t want this foreign nonsense,” he thought as he pondered changing his name to Bin Ladin.