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February 17, 2005 - 9:48 am

SAMANTHA HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

We went to see an Elvis impersonator over the weekend.

Elvis and his band were the entertainment portion of a silent auction benefit for the Dekalb History Center held at the Old Courthouse in downtown Decatur. The Old Courthouse is a Greek revival building with such cool deco/modern-influenced interiors that John said he kept expecting Batman to come crashing through one of the huge arched windows at any minute. He didnít, of course, but the show was still pretty excitingÖeven though Batman just came in the regular door like everyone else.

Heís shorter than Iíd imagined heíd be.

We were invited by some friends/patrons of ours, who are sort of local celebrities. Charlie and Silvia Harrison are so much fun and do so much good for the neighborhood. They're huge Elvis fans, and they both dye their hair with the same formula Elvis used. A bunch of the Candlers were there, too, celebrating one of their birthdays, so seeing Elvis sing ďHappy BirthdayĒ to Dick was kind of a brush with local history in itself.

Elvis was great. He was the Las Vegas Comeback Elvis Ė you know, after the homegrown-sexy Elvis, but before the bacon-and-donuts Elvis. Someone told me he had won some national Elvis contest or something, and I could totally see that because his voice was right on. I also hear his backup singer does a fabulous Marilyn Monroe impression, which is amazing considering sheís a dwarf. Kidding. She was beautiful, blonde, and tall. Well, taller than Batman, anyway.

Nicole and Melanie went too, and I think Nicole may end up on a date with Elvis. Iím not sure, but I think he was hitting on her. I mean, he came over to our table and knelt down on one knee next to her, crooning and gazing into her eyes. Is that still considered flirting amongst the kids these days? They really were a fun band, and they play more than just Elvis songs, so we decided right then and there to have them play at our huge combined 40th birthday party (even though it is a REALLY long way away, by the way. Heíll probably be the fat Elvis by the time we all turn 40, thatís how long itíll be. Yeah.)

Later, we stopped by the U-Joint after picking up Erik and his similarly named friend, Samantha the Lesser, for a night cap. Fortunately I was sober enough to opt for water at this point, which was a pretty good decision, considering the bothersome hangover I had anyway on Saturday morning. Apparently my liver has been rendered useless by years of exploitation. Itís become somewhat unpredictable of late, so I never know whether Iíll have a big hangover from two glasses of wine or be all right after a night of seeing double. My liverís out to get me, thatís what itís doing. Itís trying to get back at me for 20 years of hard labor. Bastard. I should cook it up and eat it with some fava beans and a nice Chianti just to show it whoís boss.

And speaking of pickled livers, my friend Kristie had a dinner party Saturday night for three of her bridesmaids. She is insane and I love her to death. Kristie and I share a common lack of respect for our own personal safety, and I could easily fill this here diary with tales of our shenanigans of old. We went to high school together and then stayed in touch after she moved around with her parents, went to college, then moved here and there after college. She settled (I use the term loosely) in Atlanta around the end of 2000, I think, and when she met Johnís and my (then) business partner, it was practically love at first sight. Now theyíre engaged, and Iím returning the favor of being her brideís maid Ė or brideís matron as the case may be for me now. Dear god, Iím a matron. I think I want to die now, me in my bunched up, flesh colored stockings and my orthopedic shoes and Soviet block hairdo. Kristie has great style, so Iím sure her brideís maid dresses will be gorgeous. Oh, except Iím not a brideís maid, am I? Iím a brideís MATRON Ė so a lovely, brown, woolen house frock will do for the MATRON, please.

Anyway, Kristie made Thai food, and it was GREAT once the smell of wet dog cooked out of the fish sauce. Have you ever cooked with that stuff? Man, Iím telling you, to be so vile going into the wok it sure comes out great in the spring roll. If I remember correctly, Kristie had three martinis and a glass of wine in the time I had one martini. And she still stirred a mean fry. We ended up with the music blaring, dancing like white girls on her front porch in Grant Park. And of course I had a hangover the next day because of my passive/agressive liver.

I know I shouldnít drink so much, but, hey, Batman has his cape, Marilyn had her Phenobarbital, Elvis had his cape, his Phenobarbital, and his burritos, and Iíve got my wine and my friends, who are the absolute best, by the way.

So, in the words of the King himself: Uh, thank you. Thank you very much.

~Samantha

recommended:
reading -Domestic Goddesses by Edith Vonnegut
viewing - All About Eve
listening -"Heartbreak Hotel" by Elvis Presley

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