I used to live a life that was punctuated by evenings at the ballet or shows in London’s West End. I enjoyed afternoon tea at Brown’s and spent many a day absorbing the beauty housed in the National Gallery. That was my life. And I loved it. LOVED it.
Last night was a new low in my re-integration into life in suburban NJ. (It’s been six years since we moved here, but I am slow to embrace change) We spent two hours standing in line with the kids waiting for bouncy castles and kiddie rides on the Boardwalk. We then spent an hour watching, listening, gazing in absolute wonderment at the strangeness of the “Turtlesinger”, a woman who has combined her two great loves of opera and reptiles into an hour long show. I do not make this stuff up. I actually spent my New Year’s Eve watching a nail biter of a race between four turtles and listening to her sing an ode to “Spike, my Spike”. He was the best birthday gift she ever received.
We then sat through a musical extravaganza, whose crowning glory was a song called “I NEED a man”. Ladies, I can assure you that you will not get a man by shouting that on stage. A feminist review it was not.
And the piece de resistance? “Julius Squeezer”, a ten foot albino python. He was not part of the musical review, but was the hit of Jungle John’s show. Jungle John being the fellow who has a world record in holding ten madagascar cockroaches in his mouth at one time. I know it’s true because he showed us. With a live cockroach.
I can tell you by the end of the evening I was seriously regretting the fact that I didn’t insist on that glass of wine or three at dinner. However, after consuming them with a healthy dose of champagne upon our return, I was able to look at it a little more circumspectly. I might never get those four hours back, but it was great fun to see the kids enjoying the weird and wacky entertainment that NJ has to offer. Who needs the ballet when we can watch ladies in leggings ask Santa to put a man under the tree? Who needs the genius of Van Gogh, when we can see a real live crazy person put a cockroach in their mouth? And for goodness sake, why visit the ruins of Rome when “Julius Squeezer” will come to you?
If New Year’s Eve was any indication, we are in a for a wild and weird 2010. How did you ring in the New Year?
PS I do have photographic proof. I’ll be posting them when we return home so you can get the full experience.