The Fantastic Journey
Back to the '70s
by John Johnson
Reprinted from V7N1, June 1994
The holidays were upon us, and I decided to take TWA up on their offer of a free flight. I was leaving Los Alamos on Thursday, and Christmas was on Saturday. The airports were filled with holiday travelers, burdened with presents and waiting for delayed flights. It was to be expected that I would have the opportunity to get bumped and get another free travel voucher, and that's exactly what happened in St. Louis. I ran to the check-in counter and volunteered to fly standby. This meant, however, that Raman wouldn't be able to pick me up in Detroit-because, as everyone knows, Thursday night is a sacred night in the Pfaff household. What with Seinfeld, et. al., on the tube....
I arranged a rental car for drop-off in Petoskey, the lovely town on the shores of northern Lake Michigan. It was a tourist trap, for wealthy tourists, that barely had air service, and NEVER had cheap rental cars. I however sold my soul and got a rental (upgraded to a Taurus) for $50 one-way.
I was a bit insane, nothing unusual about that, as I drove through the blizzard singing to myself. I arrived at the Johnson Sr.'s house at about 1:00 AM and beat on the door like a drunken Indian. My parents found it very amusing, as an actual drunken Indian had done this years before.
Raman drove up Friday in the Blue Beast, the door wedge he likes to call the Subaru. It was on Friday that the real snow started. By Christmas morning we had another 3 feet of snow. We probably dusted a good 4 feet of snow off of the birdfeeders that weekend. And Raman was in no hurry to drive back to East Lansing. He said the cyclotron would wait.
Raman arrives in the blustery North.
The holiday proved to be very restful, and I avoided bumping into old High School friends. Raman left for East Lansing on Tuesday-he was going to take thesis data or something (that didn't end up working out.) Kathy (my baby sister) was kind enough to drive me to Pfaff's on Thursday so I could help set up for the big New Year's Eve party. This year's theme was the 70's, but it ended up being a disco extravaganza. After a bite to eat (they still don't have green chili in Michigan) at La Seniorita, Kathy began her return trip North.
The Party: Boy this was interesting. Raman and his roommie Carl Nelson (a.k.a. Spike) make it a point to spend more each year than the year before. Of course, I was there for the previous party too, even though I was sick for that one (I was Father Time, and passed out at Midnight.) This year was to be a tribute to the 1970's. We therefore felt the need to drive to a second hand (or third, or forth) store and buy actual clothes that someone wore (and hopefully washed) in that decade.
The polyester was hung with care, and we put it all on Raman's credit card. He of course took notes and billed me and Carl on Quicken when he returned home. We met a couple women from MSU while we were there. Seems disco parties were big because of some show on 9010203, or some other teen-angst soap opera that Raman watched. We felt that there should have been tighter security, so our theme didn't leak out. Maybe next year. Anyway, these women were pretty good looking, and we suggested some appropriate apparal for them. I think they trusted us because we looked like we actually were alive in the 70's. (I doubt they were out of their strollers when we were in High School.)
John Johnson or Travolta?
The party preperations included setting up the bar, fixing the food, and getting the IBM into the living room so Carl could run a bartender program. Carl was a good host, but this year he didn't mix drinks. We were busy showing off the polyester, so everyone helped themselves. This led to quite a bit of insobriaty however. This year I wasn't sick, but I drank a great deal, and disco'd until I dropped.
Just when I figured the party was over and I was ready to go to bed (couch), Carl decided we should all head to Deja Vu-the local strip joint. You see, Carl had just spent $50 talking to some girl on a 900 number. Of course, we thought it was funny to put it on the speaker phone, so we heard the whole thing. Spike is the only guy who can get rejected by a women paid to be seductive on the phone. He asked her what she was wearing and she said, "clothes". Not too seductive. He asked her to talk dirty, and she told him off. What a rip! So we piled in the car with the Bartley's (Dave and Cheryl were there to protect us, as we were still dressed like we just came off the Saturday Night Fever II set.) Deja Vu made us buy drinks, and we were watching the stage show when we realized that Spike was missing. Had he left? No. He was on his 3rd couch dance in a corner booth. Alas, it was a good thing that V wasn't here (his woman).
We closed the strip joint and went to bed. It was a long holiday and we did a little cleaning up Saturday. Then I flew back to New Mexico. It always seems that these trips take more out of me than a vacation should...
Last Updated 04/14/95.© 1996 PPSA