Ideas, idle gossip and occasionally important odds ’n’ ends
THE Exit Zero team experienced a disappointment this past Friday after arriving late to Congress Hall’s tree-lighting ceremony. According to our own trustworthy rag, the ceremony ran until 10pm and culminated in the tree-lighting. It seems that “culminating” lends itself to varying interpretations, because guests were already pouring out the front doors when we arrived at 9pm. We scuttled our way through the crowd of exiting parents and children beneath the red-and-green illuminated pillars, past the impromptu bar in the lobby and out into the courtyard where the immense pine was alight with countless bulbs.
We were fortunate enough to catch some of the free cookies and quickly hopped in line at the Winter Wonderland bar. There we had hot chocolate with vanilla vodka or peppermint schnapps and grabbed handfuls of mini marshmallows from the toppings selection. We strolled the lawn with drinks in hand, visiting the various vending stalls and found the Flying Fish’s frozen owner, Sue Lotozo, peddling her finger-less “texting” gloves.
The evening produced positive reviews of the very Terry O’ke choir – a group compromising many Terry O’ke regulars like Chris South, Frank Scott and even Terry O’Brien – that led holiday sing-a-longs. Exit Zero delivery man Rico Hemenway was overjoyed. “I had a solo tonight!” Rico proudly stated, “No, I didn’t sing – I played the woodblock!”
HERE’S the bad news… there are only three more issues of Exit Zero this year before our six-week winter slumber (during which time we work harder than Santas’ freakin’ elves, but we don’t need to go into that right now). Now, the good news… you get to look forward to THE big event of Cape May’s winter calendar. We are referring to the SEVENTH Annual Exit Zero Burns Supper, held at the Ugly Mug on Thursday, January 27.
This event has become a sell-out gig every year, which we’re very pleased about because: 1. Proceeds go to Cape May Stage’s Preservation Fund, which was set up to maintain the theater company’s beautiful building on Lafayette Street; and 2. Sell-out gigs are much more fun.
For those readers who don’t have a clue what we’re going on about (and surely you are in the minority by now), the event celebrates Scotland’s most famous poet, Rabbie Burns, who wrote, among many other things, “Auld Lang Syne.” And the reason we celebrate him is because EZ’s publisher is Scottish, which might strike you as a tenuous reason for having such an event, but just go with it. The event features Scottish singalongs, poetry recitals, and bagpipes played by the men of the Irish Pipe Brigade. Those burly men doing laps around the bar while pumping out such classics as “Amazing Grace” and “Scotland the Brave” is enough to give a grown man goosebumps (and does every time).
The Burns Supper also features, at its heart, that most controversial and misunderstood food: the haggis. Or, as it’s known in Scotland, the haggis. Many Americans still refuse to sample this fine food, which is such a shame, because, trust us, it is no longer made up of all sorts of offal (deliberate usage) things wrapped in a sheep’s stomach – it’s simply choice meat mixed with oatmeal and spices. In other words, delicious. Now don’t be a wuss and try some. For those who simply won’t, there will be fish ‘n’ chips.
Tickets for the event are STILL $30 (just as they were at the inaugural event, in 2005). Trust us, you need to reserve them in advance because tickets will almost certainly not be available at the door. To buy them, you can either call us at (609) 770-8479 or buy them from our website at www.exitzero.us. You can also mail us a check (see our address on the inside back page) or stop by the office.
Either way, be there. And there’s a bonus this time around: the Mug has installed nifty wooden booths, which have added to the capacity and which also allow for a more intimate experience.
IF YOU drove your car into the side of an orange-red (official color ‘Sunburst’) parked on Second Avenue, at the junction of Goldbeaten Alley after the Christmas parade, now is the chance to clear your conscience – surely it must be heavy. If you call Jack at the EZ office, he promises you won’t be cited for leaving the scene of an accident. He’d just like your insurance to pick up the tab, the way it’s supposed to work. It’s probably no more than a few hundred dollars worth of damage.