Sunday, January 02, 2005

I learned a while back that I am capable of two kinds of New Years Eves: trying to party and having it go horribly awry, or having a quiet evening that makes me feel somewhat like a loser but without downright sucking. This year we ended up doing something in between; Tim's mom was going to a party in White River Junction, Vermont, and we were invited. As an extra surprise, Kristan flew up that afternoon too. The party was seriously on the geriatric side, except for one UVM nursing student who stayed very close to her parents all night.

The upsides were quality food and booze, an interesting game of Apples to Apples (which should be mandatory for gatherings of 10 or more that involve party games), and the Kibbutzing Nazi. The Kibbutzing Nazi was the hostess, this 60-something woman in a jogging suit who seemed to have taken more bennies than a 1970s linebacker. "Hyper" does not begin to tell her story. She was way, WAY into this game called Sequence, which is apparently a New Year's tradition at her house. The thing is, she didn't actually play--she merely ran around exhorting everyone else to play (at their peril, I assume, though no one tested her), and strictly enforcing her "no kibbutzing" rule at the penalty of losing a card for each member of your team. Now, my family plays board games and at times takes them semi-seriously, but when it crosses the line into enforcing military discipline at the expense of conversation, the board game is probably a bad idea.

At the end of the night, the Kibbutzing Nazi told The Story--Tim, Kristan and I will long remember The Story. Here's The Story in a nutshell--the KN, her husband, and Ken (Tim's mom's boyfriend) were skiing, and Ken put his pole into some loose powder and fell into a snowbank from which it took 20 minutes to extricate him. When the situation was under control, Mr. KN skiied away, leaving KN and Ken. KN then asked Ken what he did, and he said, "Well, I went like this" accompanied with putting his pole into the snowbank, and he promptly fell right back in and it took 20 more minutes to get him out a second time.

On its own kind of a funny story, but the humor was in the telling. The KN made Ken tell the story, and then halfway through she took it over, culminating with the line, "And he went like this (gesture), and fell over again." The thing was, over the next 5 minutes, she repeated the punch line at least (no exaggeration) a dozen times. The laughter was increasingly awkward and then uproarious again once we stopped laughing at the line and started laughing at the ridiculousness of the KN. All the way back to Tim's--a 2-hour drive across New Hampshire at 1:30 in the morning--it would be quiet for a while, and then someone would say "And he went like this," and we would all crack up again for another 5 minutes.

I'm really sorry if this didn't translate into text; trust me, it was freakin' hysterical in person.

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