And Gutenberg Lived Here: Never Go To Something Named “Night Of Horrors”

Have there ever been moments in your life where you looked back on something

and thought

“Whatever was I thinking?”

Ours was a so-called “night of horrors”

put on by musicians and a writer I studied with several years ago,

who run a marvelous actors company here called

Kryptonite Radio Theater.

And kryptonite it is.

The company uses old-style looking microphones,

and an ancient sound effect table,

with everything from bicycle bells,

to coconuts for horses hooves,

to a cabbage with a knife in it

(to be twisted in murder scenes.)

And if you are laughing at the description,

that is the idea.

The actors wear bizarre hats-

a baby’s expanded lion hood for the Wizard of Oz,

a goose sitting on a head,

the legs dangling down,

for The Birds.

Last night’s was billed as a “Night of Horrors.”

In honor of Halloween, of course.

And since the company,

all English-speaking,

but mostly Brit,

two Americans,

a couple of Russians,

including the Kryptonite sisters,

a kind of Andrews sisters act,

and an awful lot of Germans,

most of whom studied English at the U,

and are now in sales, travel, etc.

So there we were,

long-time fans of the Kryptonite,

dressed in orange and black,

with six-inch orange-glow skeletons

as boutonniere,

climbing into our car,

picking up two other math friends,

who were given their skeletons,

and headed for the show,

only to discover,

there was a traffic jam on the way to the bridge-

the Gutenberg 05 football team played last night,

and the loyal fans come from hundreds of miles away,

and leave the same way.

The bridge was packed.

And moving at a rate of about one kilometer per twelve minutes,

due to,

unknown to us,

or anyone else, apparently,

weekend roadwork

that merged the three bumpy torn-up lanes into one.

On the other side,

the fight for parking spots,

about New York times ten,

on the best days,

reached new heights,

and we had to give up and head back.

Followed by a police search action-

drugs, alcohol, kidnapped kids, and terrorist searches

happen regularly on the weekends here.

The orange skeletons bursting into flame color in their high-intensity

flashlights didn’t help much.

I explained it had to do with theatre,

received a wary look,

and was waved on.

We were turned off at another checkpoint,

and headed down river to the next bridge,

where we ended in a traffic jam,

and a drug alcohol etc inspection.

(This time we saw it coming, and removed the skeletons.)

Once on the other side,

we decided on a Greek restaurant,

normally quiet,

even if full on the weekends,

where we were greeted by THREE

birthday parties,

all of them from different non-German nations,

and all loud, happy, and wonderful fun.

And since we weren’t kicked out by them, even though it was a private room…

So despite everything,

(including a competition of singing happy birthday-

who is loudest)

in keys

and harmonic arrangements I had never heard the likes of-

fourteen modulations per bar,

at each of the three tables,

it was loud, fun, joyful…

And in the end,

the only things scary about this “Night of Horrors”

was the fact that Harold ordered a small cold appetizer plate as his supper…

dead boiled baby octopi,

squid bits,

small fishes,

grotesquely pink fish-egg salad,

with an olive in the middle

so it looked like a large bloodshot eyeball…

Can’t wait till next year.

Happy Halloween y’all!

copyright 2016

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