September 27, 1976
New York, New York
I am glad to see that you have read This Side of Paradise. It's an excellent book. I've read it three times so far. The only book that is better is the Great Gatsby. I've read it four times so far. It is a never-ending source of inspiration from the great mind of Scott. After reading a Fitzgeral novel one can muster the dignity to appreciate the finer things in life, like going to country clubs. Speaking of which, we had the Firm outing last Monday at "one-of-those-New York" country clubs. While everyone else was playing Nerd-the-Toad by playing softball with the partners, Viscount Sawchman and I were buzzing around in a golf cart à la Shah of Pough!, playing golf and polo at whatever hole we wished. We played the 18th hole three times in order to return to the bar for our refills of bourbon and water in milkshake glasses (we insisted on no woosie glasses). We did several outrageous things that day. But more on that some other time. A better story is yet to come.
A Better Story: The Viscount and I went to the Shah of Pough!'s wedding in Baltimore last weekend. The entire weekend was like a return to the Hunt Cup. All the faces were basically the same. Late Friday afternoon the Viscount and I stopped off for dinner at Cottage Club, then proceeded on the road to Baltimore.
We arrived in Baltimore around 11:00 p.m. for a party at Stiles' house (you obviously could not have forgotten Stiles?) for a black tie dance party. The booze was flowing very freely. And so was everyone else. It was very enjoyable. Saint Harry and King Carter threw the Shah in the pool. Have you ever seen the Shah of Pough! pissed off?
Saturday was a bloody mary brunch at Beth Jones' house. I was actually quite the gentleman there. Count Quikdrip was only slightly obnoxious in the house, but was more liberal outdoors. He likened Robby Pyne to Broderick Crawford in his car. However, Pyne countered that wearing red fishnet underwear would be nothing new for the Count.
Later that afternoon, we were in beautiful downtown Baltimore at the Lord Baltimore Hotel, where several in the wedding party were staying. It was a nice little cocktail party. The general discussion centered around "Two Beer Boot" Kelso crawling around on his hands and knees in his boxer shorts in the hotel lobby at 4:30 that morning, looking for his contact lenses. I told you it was a good party.
The wedding was very nice, simple, and large. The reception was at a Baltimore country club and the booze, the food and the music (and consequently the funds to pay for them) flowed very freely. Needless to say, all of us took this opportunity to get completely out of line all over again. The band played danceable music, so I had the opportunity to get to know some of Baltimore's finest society maidens. On two separate occasions, two of the young ladies whispered into my ear while I was dancing with them, "I'm glad to hear that you're not engaged." It was a real scream.
And so on as the Shah and his lovely bride Meg made their grand exit, there was a mad dash for the cars to get to Stiles' house (totally unexpected by him, we decided to have a full-blown party going on before he could get home to lock the doors). The Viscount abruptly dragged me away from some nice conversation piece I had become interested in and rushed Count Quikdrip and me to my car. We just threw whatever scotch was remaining in our cocktail glasses down our throats and tossed the empty glasses in the car. It was tough maneuvering with so many cars there, so Sawchman directed me safely and quickly across the putting green (they'll never forget us at that club). While blazing up to the Beltway, the Viscount was hanging his head out of the window, screaming like a dog for me to cut through the red lights at each intersection. Meanwhile, Quikdrip was in the back seat screaming, "Wail at me, baby!" like Frank Sinatra and leaning over the front seat to yell, "Put the hammer down!" at frequent opportunities. We were the first ones there.
Sawchie and I decided to set the mood for the party by getting into swimming trunks. The remainder of the booze from the previous night disappeared into about thirty stomachs; Stiles was a gracious host, considering the circumstances. Towards about two a.m., about a dozen hard core partiers were still there. Saint Harry began to recite Howard Cosell's introduction to Sinatra's "Main Event." Meanwhile, Count Quikdrip, who earlier had forgotten that the wedding was black tie and had, along with Archdeacon Shepley, rented a tacky polyester tuxedo at the last minute from, as he related, "some rag merchant who gouged us royally," was testing the indestructibility of his double-knit fabric tuxedo by extinguishing cigarette butts on his lapels and holding lit butts to his sleeve until it would start to smoulder.
Around 2:30, the Viscount and I finally went in the pool. Saint Harry tore off his tails and his shoes and dove in, otherwise fully dressed. The Shah's cousin, King Carter, changed and joined the swim, as did some girl who was hot after Saint Harry. Shortly thereafter, Saint Harry got out of the pool and went into the house. He re-emerged a few moments later, dragging a much protesting Count Quikdrip by the collar, and threw him into the pool. So much for his rented tuxedo. I don't know who brought it back to the rental agency the next day. I just wish I was there when they did. What a scream!
So these are the details of the last weekend. As you can tell, we all have become quite mature since graduation from Princeton. No more of this silly college stuff of jumping off of Woodrow Wilson School fountains and other such foolishness. We all have reputations to look out for now. I just wish that you were there last weekend to add a bit to the festivities and to keep us all in line.
Give my best to your family and write when you get a chance. I'm always running out of time. Yesterday it was clean socks.
Yours in Mertonia,,