Cafe 227

Thursday, July 13, 2006

E-vite Etiquette: Redux

That e-vite post generated a lively discussion indeed. Everyone's unequivocal support - with the exception of Aye.list, who wins the Christopher Hitchens Contrarian of the Week award (your autographed copy of The Missionary Position is en route) - is very much appreciated. Of all the feedback I received, I thought Conor's mini-psychoanalysis of AJ summed up the situation perfectly:

"What I find most upsetting, as I always would, is A.J.'s chronic need to feel important. He invited 60 folks to your party because he wants to be associated with it in the minds of those he invites, whether they ultimately attend or not. As I recall, this same rhymes-with-mouchebag tried to take credit as author of your humorous party FAQ e-mail last fall. [Ed. Note: Emphasis added. We'll get back to this in a bit.]

Back to my point though. The subtext of each of his faux-'live and let live' e-mails is 'I am cool. I am important. I matter. See?':


'A friend of mine wrote an article for the NYTimes about Evites that mentioned me.'

'Should be good, I'll try to make it.'

'Understand where I'm coming from...I get a lot of evites. Many people send me evites all the time with the intent to have me send it around to good folks. Very often, people even ask me to so that they get a better turnout of good folks even asking me to reply 'yes' to an evite even if I can't make it. I've even been approached to promote events and such as well through evite, have never done it. Those are much, much bigger lists of acquaintences. I sent your soiree to close friends . . .'

To paraphrase Madame Thatcher, being important is like being a lady; if you have to tell people you are, you aren't.

Also, a man who I count among my most admired once wrote,

'Half of the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm. But the harm does not interest them.'

JS, you do not have enough time on Earth to waste time with a trifling nobody like this. Find a new basketball team and respect yourself.


Now, I never do anything without a reason. And while I found Conor's comment to be well-articulated and spot-on, I wouldn't have reposted it if it didn't give me an excuse to post the "humorous party FAQ e-mail" from our adult-themed party last fall. Many people found it hilarious, and even I was able to swallow my humility for a few days to bask in the glow of my comedic achievement. Enjoy... (and yes, AJ Hawk did tell the 30 or so people whom he invited that he was the author...):

We've been receiving a lot of inquiries about the Pornland on U Street party this Saturday. Accordingly, we'd like to take this time to address some of your questions and concerns so that you're fully prepared to enjoy yourself at Café 227 this weekend. If any of the questions or answers below are unclear, please click on the hyperlinks within the text for more information. If you cannot access the hyperlinks, it's probably time to trade in that Commodore 64 for something a little more contemporary - and you should probably upgrade to Gmail while you're at it.

Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQs")

Q: Is this, like, a swinger party? I mean, are there going to be people engaging in lewd acts in full view of everyone? This sounds shady.

A: No, this is NOT a swinger party. This is a regular house party with drinking, dancing, and general merriment. There may be people engaging in lewd acts, but nothing more explicit than what you would witness at, say, Third Edition on a typical Saturday night.

Q: I hate Third Edition, and I haven't been there since I was 19.

A: Okay, Stetson's. Whatever.

Q: So, then, what exactly makes it a "porno" party?

A: Well, first of all, there will be video entertainment (apropos of the theme, of course) projected onto our living room wall. But nothing too raunchy, as we wouldn't want to offend anyone's sensibilities (think Japanese Anime). Second, there will be adult-themed decorations and beverages. And third, many of the hosts and guests will be in costume. That said, I can assure you that it will NOT resemble this party at all.

Q: So wait, do I have to dress-up like a porn-star?

A: You don't have to dress up, but you wouldn't be out of place if you did. I mean, if your best friend Prudence McPuritan wants to come in her nun habit, no one's going to hate on her. But then again, if she's feeling a bit plucky and she wants dust off the old fishnets for the night, she'd fit right in. Similarly, if your friend Johnny Shades wants to grow a porn 'stache and wear a wife-beater for the occasion, he'd be right at home.

Q: This still sounds shady as hell. Is this why you guys are all single?

A: Umm, well… let's just move on…

Q: Is a party like this even legal?

A: Probably not in Virginia. But in DC, not only is it completely legal, it's also unofficially sponsored by the Georgetown Law Center. As you may or may not know, law students are especially repressed and bromidic, so they rely on "forced fun" events such as this to unwind before settling into a lifetime of utter banality.

Q: Okay, so I've decided to come (against my better judgment). Is it at your house or some bar I've never heard of? I mean, where the heck is "Café 227"?

A: Café 227 IS our house. Since our address is [#][#]227 [REDACTED] Street NW, we've nicknamed our house "Café 227".

Q: I'm confused. Since your address is [#][#]227 [REDACTED] Street, shouldn't it be "Café [#][#]227"? You guys are not only shady, but illiterate as well.

A: Actually, it's an homage to the vastly underrated '80s sitcom "227", which was arguably the pinnacle of artistic achievement arising out of the situational comedy genre in the 1980s. If you don't remember this show, you're probably too young to come to our party anyway. I think Saturdays are "18-and-over" nights at Platinum, so you should try that.

Q: Is there parking around Café 227?

A: Trust us, you're not going to be in any condition to drive home after the party, even with DC's new relaxed DUI laws. We suggest taking the Metro - we're literally one block away from the U Street/Cardozo stop on the green line, and if you're in costume, you'll fit right in with all the other vagrants who ride the green line on Saturday night. If you live in Northern Virginia and are consequently opposed to mass transit, we suggest you take a cab.

Q: Who Mike Jones?


Q: Do I have to pay for the honor of attending this party? And should I bring any alcohol?

A: Pornland on U Street will be entirely financed by your gracious hosts and hostesses, so it's completely free of charge to you. In addition, you are under no obligation to bring any alcohol. (Frankly, we'll be too drunk to remember who brings what.) If you do choose to bring alcohol, however, we will certainly be grateful. It's worth considering that the party will last as long as the drink supply does, so it may behoove you to bring a gift for the bar.

Q: Okay then, I've decided to bring some alcohol as a token of my gratitude. How do you feel about a nice Pinot Grigio?

A: Whoa, slow down. If you DO decide to bring something, for heaven's sake do NOT bring wine. It's clearly not that kind of party. We would appreciate something more, um, hardcore - think Vodka , Jack, malt liquor, Mad Dog 20/20, or even Cisco if you happen to be up on Georgia Avenue before the party.

Q: I'd LOVE to come to your party (really, I would), but Gwen Stefani's playing that night at the Patriot Center and I just have to go see her. Maybe next time.

A: Are we in junior high? You're kidding, right? Look, we may not have Gwen Stefani, but we've got FunkDC's Kidgusto and Moose. Those two are bananas. [B-A-N-A-N-A-S]
very own

Q: I'd LOVE to come to your party (really, I would), but my family's in town and I have to spend time with them. Maybe next time.

A: Okay, that's just lame. What are you going to do with your family on a Saturday night in DC? Wait, let me guess - go to dinner at Lauriol Plaza, right? What are you, some sort of left-wing radical? Look, Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Dennis can get crappy Mexican food back home in Boise. But this will probably be their only opportunity to attend a porno-themed party. So bring them.

Q: Seriously, is there a worse starting or reserve QB in the league right now than Tommy Maddox

A: Well, I think a case can be made for Vinny Testaverde's exhumed corpse , but no.

Well, that seems to be all the questions you guys have for now. If you haven't done so already, please respond to the e-vite when you get a chance – it'll help us determine how much alcohol to buy, and we all know how important that is. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday.


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