Summer Hummer 2014 Update #3 – POOL PARTY!
It’s been a week, just today unpacked my suitcase.
So many moments! It was a GREAT Summer Hummer this year! Best one in years.
The famous Summer Hummer Pool Party – the funnest, the funniest, the best-attended, I can remember.
An entire afternoon laughing, and I mean bent-over-in-agony type laughing, at the EXTREME silliness of Royston on the mic combined with Louis (Victor and Ken Mercer beside him) in the DJ booth.
And the crowd! This year there was just something special about the crowd. Sometimes the vibe just works, who knows why – this year the huge crowd (everybody came out to the pool party this year) seemed to want to laugh, be silly, to jump in and participate in everything.
And the kids! Cutest bunch of little kids! Running around everywhere, singing, laughing, hoola hooping, limbo, splashing, eating – their energy was contagious.
But Royston! Omgawd. So dang hilarious. Hawaiian flower-print bathing trunks and tank top, drink in one hand, mic in the other, letting it fly.
“That was so amazing I started to talk into my drink. And drink from my mic.” (he’s demonstrating – we can’t hear a word he’s saying, though, because he’s talking into his fruity orange cocktail, the straw going up his nose)
“REALLY? That was you throwing down the gauntlet? (as he growls menacingly, bares his teeth, makes a Hulk face, then hurls a hoola hoop at the ground like a girl)”
“What was that? Are you actually a dancer? That was the most ungraceful limbo I’ve ever seen.”
They say comedy is most funny when the comedian is himself having fun. Royston was clearly cracking himself up all afternoon, Louis was cracking himself up, too, with a series of TV theme songs each custom-tailored at lightning speed to every quip flying out of Royston’s crazy mind. So it was funny, really, really funny.
The Hoola Hoop contest! There are some bad-ass hoola champions in Boston! “Walk backwards, twirl on one foot, arms in and out of the hoop, jump up and down” – one by one contestants dropped out.
And then in comes last year’s Queen, Kirsten Obermiller, a professional hoola champion (who knew there was such a thing?) – to face challenger Steve Wilder throwing down the gauntlet (a hoola hoop) with enough cocky hubris to put Kanye West to shame.
The Limbo contest! There are some bad-ass limbo champions in Boston, too! And we’re talking cut-throat competition up here in Boston (or “heeya” as they say up theya.) Fierce. Just look at their faces.
And the singing! Summer Hummer tradition is karaoke “with a twist.”
The singer puts on headphones to better hear the song. But just when he gets really into it – belting loud across the pool and up into the windows above - at just the right moment – Louis cuts the speakers so the only sound echoing over the pool is the wiggly off-key squawking of the poor guy with the headphones – mangling lyrics, sudden fits of yelling – making a total laughingstock of himself. To the delight of the rest of us. It’s funny every year. Even knowing the joke, it’s funny every time.
Ben Morris puts on the headphones. Reluctantly. Ben appears to know all the words to every song ever written so can’t be made fun of.
Angel puts on the headphones. He’s a pretty good singer. Who knew!
Tatiana puts on the headphones.
Uh oh. Who can predict what’s in her mind.
She’s got the headphones on and she’s joking with the row of beautiful little girls who staring up at her in delight.
She’s singing to them, playing with them, when suddenly, without warning, she puts the headphones on Royston and in a flash springs into the air and dives – OVER THE HEADS OF THE WATCHING CROWD – into the pool. In her clothes and shoes!
It happened so fast, so without warning or buildup. She’s airborne - a huge splash – and there’s Tatiana, her triumphant “Ta Daaaa!” – way out in the middle of the pool.
Brought the house down. You could feel the surrounding walls of the hotel shaking with laughter. The trees were convulsed, bent over laughing, the sky was laughing, the little kids were lined up at the edge of the pool staring at her with wide eyes, astonished. Every person at the pool was doubled over laughing.
It took ten minutes for the place to calm down.
Tatiana is something else.
So! A new tradition has been born at Summer Hummer! To add to Hurricane Jack and Jills, Novice Feedback Seminars, and weddings. It’s called “Who’s Going To Jump Into The Pool.” hahahahahaha
This new tradition was cemented in place when moments later Gary Jobst lifted Royston – mic, wires, earphones and all – people scrambling to save the electronics – and with Royston in his arms plunged into the water making a huge cannonball splash – you can imagine.
It was late in the afternoon by now – deep golden sunlight low in the sky, reflecting off the windows of the hotel where other guests were pressed looking down on our shenanigans. Darkness settling into the shady spots where the sun could no longer reach, everyone giddy from hours and hours of laughing.
So the last song was sung, this year instead of Miss American Pie the perfectly bittersweet, perfectly sappy singalong, “Sweet Caroline.”
Funny how you can get choked up at these moments; if you let your guard down it’ll catch you unawares; and you think how good to be alive, laughing like this, dancing, this sunset, the children, the friends. This is a good day.