AN ALL-STAR NEW YEAR’S PARTY
By Allen McGill
Julius was struggling to keep the stern demeanor that everyone expected of him, but the clever repartee emanating from the stage was about to trigger his laugh reflex.
“Oscar, sit down and behave yourself,” he called out, then turned away, arranging his toga and pretending not to notice the exaggerated look of indignation darted at him from the long-haired, bow-tied Edwardian gentleman standing in the spotlight.
“Watch yourself,” Oscar taunted. “Maybe you can give orders to your Egyptian queen, my dear, but don’t think you…” The rest of his words were drowned out by the burst of laughter from everyone in the ballroom, led in volume and duration by Julius himself.
The enormous room was filled to capacity with a clientele that had never been seen, and never would be seen, by anyone in the real world. The powers that be had decided that only the VIP room of the IHFS (International Historical Figure Society) would be spacious and luxurious enough to house such a mélange of “stellar” celebrities.
The seating arrangements had created problems that even a highest-power intellect would find exasperating. Space had booked up immediately, of course, as soon as the telepsychic message had been transmitted. Everyone who was anyone (and they were all someone) wanted to attend, to be seen. The Kennedy’s reserved a table, of course, as did the Borgias, the Mings, the Barrymores and the Hapsburgs…before a stop was put to private parties.
Centuries of relationships created endless seating problems: who to sit with whom, considering ex-spouses, lovers, descendents, monarchies, show people, whores, poofs, butches and classes. Calling-card shuffling was suggested and tried, until very early on sudden revelations came to light that rendered that idea impractical.
One table, for example, turned out to be peopled by all women, including Mae, Marilyn, Marie and Jayne, among others. Of course, Gertrude didn’t seem to mind, but she was outvoted by a great majority.
Oscar ended his introduction of Adam and Eve, at which time everyone began talking animatedly. A and E (as they were known to the in crowd) were not very interesting people. They had so little to talk about, except that they were everyone’s parents! And they’d been running that topic into the ground since the beginning of time, for God’s sake, boring everyone silly. They insisted on MC’ing every gathering, claiming it was their due. And who could say no?
Oscar yielded the spotlight to them, and returned to take his seat between Alexander and Rock. Many wondered who had arranged that little ménage-a-trois. However, it was certainly much better planning than the Adolph-Moses tablemate screw-up. Fortunately, that potential brouhaha ended before either sat down, Adolph swapping seats with Golda.
The evening progressed remarkably well, considering the egos present to such an overwhelming degree: Enrico sang, as did Judy, Pavlova danced, Socrates orated, Tiny uked and, as is said: “a good time was had by all.”
When the entertainment ended, the table-hopping began; incredibly beautiful, talented, learned, (once) wealthy, charismatic, influential, famous people strolled throughout the ballroom, charming, flirting, kissing and flattering everyone and anyone. And some edged off the sidelines into the ante-rooms, doing the same with others out of view.
Casanova, whom many were watching, being aware of his “earthier” antics, made a show of trying to simultaneously “date” Bette and Joan (of Mommy, Dearest notoriety) on the dance floor. It was later rumored that he did it on a dare but, aristocrat that he is, he denied it.
Garbo danced with Marlene to make Tyrone jealous, who simply turned around to dance with Marilyn, until Jack cut in, who wound up on the floor when Jackie cut in…with an uppercut. What a fun party.
Voltaire and Kublai stood off in a corner chatting, while Idi and Malcolm stayed aloof, looking suspicious of everyone.
Everything would have ended just fine, except that one nameless, inebriated person grabbed the mike and the spotlight to announce: “We’re going to have a contest. Whoever can convince the crowd that he or she is the most famous person in history, will be honored with the title:
Illustrious Eternal Being.”
Well, the buzz started low, accompanied by little movement. But booze (and whatever) had been having its effect and the buzz grew in volume, slowly, beginning in the center of the dance floor where Casanova had suddenly landed flat on his back, with Bette and Joan squaring off above him.
Shortly after, Lancelot belted Rocky, Abe shoved George, Lizzie jabbed Lucretia and the Stalin cold-cocked the Chairman. Then all hell broke loose: punches flew, hair was pulled, eyes poked and the screaming and yelling made the old days of nuclear war sound like a quiet celebration.
“HOLD IT, YOUSE GUYS!” a voice boomed throughout the room. The shock of someone actually yelling at this elite crowd startled each and every one into a stunned silence. “HEY, DIS IS A NOO YEAHS PARTY! YOUSE GUYS ARE ACTING LIKE A BUNCHA HOODS!” It was Bogie, putting on his best “mobster” accent.
The Godfather, standing next to him, wheezed, “Now, I want you to cut this crap out, you hear me? Or I’m going to be very upset with each and every one of you. I know who you are and where to find you. Capiche?”
Silence permeated the room for a full minute. Then, gradually, spaces began to appear as the guests quietly eased their way toward the exits, unspeaking and un-touching.
The party ended ever so much more calmly than any of the previous ones had. It just shows you that when you have a group of classy people at an affair, it pays to have a good bouncer handy. A well-behaved one, who knows how to handle people…like, diplomatically, ya know?