Date: Mon, 19 Sep 1994 18:17:45 -0400
From: Myles Callum <MCALLUM@DELPHI.COM>
Subject: EROTIC INTERLUDE (Dinner Was Fun, Too)
To: Multiple recipients of list WORDS-L <WORDS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
EROTIC INTERLUDE (Dinner Was Fun, Too)

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Dinner in New York: Sunday, Sept. 18, 1994
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What, again?! We just <did> this, like, three weeks ago. But yes, it was time to do it again, because Gilbert Smith, aka Gib, aka ggs, aka Giggles, had come to town. And once again Emily Horning, that most estimable Finder of Good Joints and Arranger of Great Dinner Meets, came through like a champ and conjured up another terrific spot -- the Khyber Pass, an Afghani restaurant in New York's East Village (34 St. Mark's Place, between 2nd and 3rd). Where, if you choose, you can actually sit on these puffy, sybaritic pillows, folding your legs on the floor and inadvertently brushing against who knows whose cute little knees and toesies... I say, if you choose. But more on that later.

And yes, this dinner was <much> more dishy. Wooo, the things my tender ears heard about some of you guys! Holy cow. I mean, serious, deep-rooted personality things, not to mention, you know, the weirdo, kinky stuff? Stay-Tuned City!

But hey, I'm sure you want to hear about the <restaurant>. Well, first, New York was simply throbbing with humanity last night, a gorgeous, cool September evening to be out strolling around. And everyone <was> out, all 73 million of them, and each and every one was 22 years old. It was all you could do to maneuver down a sidewalk. New York on weekend nights takes on a different character than its brisk and suited daytime middle-aged look. It turns young.

The Khyber Pass is in a narrow, busy, tree-lined block, lined with other restaurants, a few brownstones, tiny stalls selling junky jewelry and funky caps. Across the street from Khyber Pass is some sort of community center that Gilbert had heard was a drug rehab center. The people hanging out on the steps looked appropriately like clients.

Fortunately, very few of these 73 million people were inside the Khyber Pass, whose entrance you can miss by taking one extra step. Emily had set the time at "6:30-ish." And when I arrived at about 6:50 -- I had decided to be indecently prompt this time -- once again, they were all there. You sweet people do NOT know how these things work in New York.

But there they were, snuggled around a choice table at the window, sitting on these rather <suggestive>-looking pillows: Emily, Marie, Tom, and, I'm glad to say, Rashmi, who managed to train up from Philly even with her right arm still in a cast (colorfully illustrated, profusely autographed) from elbow to hand. And, of course, the guest of honor. Senor Gilbert Smith.

But alas, this pillow-sitting deal did not last long. I wasn't there more than a minute when I realized that with all these inviting <pillows> around, I simply wouldn't be able to restrain my lustful thoughts. Yeah, dream on. More to the point, my poor arthritic knees were crying out for relief from the unnatural bent position they now found themselves in; and Marie, I think, was feeling a bit squeezed too. We moved to a regular table and were happier.

The Khyber Pass is smaller than the creole place we were in last time, and quieter. Not fancy, but it does have a certain afghani aura. It's one room separated down the center by a few square divider columns, so it feels like two rooms. A few big-leaved plants, some rug-type wall hangings, a couple of nondescript paintings, thick Persians on the floors under the tables, sturdy glass panes over the tables, brick walls. This time you could hear what was said. Sort of an ideal place for this talky, lively group.

THE DRINKS

Rolling Rock beer seemed to be the beverage of choice, though I don't think all of us had it. I know I did.

THE FOOD

Emily had a great-looking Herb Salad -- chopped fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and scallions, topped with fresh herbs, with yogurt house dressing.

Entree: Three of us opted for the lamb Barg (shish-kebab): tender pieces of lamb, marinated with saffron and other spices; served with white basmati rice & grilled tomatoes. Excellent.

I noticed however that this shish-kebab was served sans skewers. They must have known it was Words-L. (We bring our own.)

THE CAST

Emily, looking very blonde and cheerful. Seemed happier and less preoccupied than the last time, when she was probably thinking about moving. (Or maybe she was just having the same problem I was, not hearing everyone.) Anyway, move completed; loves her new place. Marina and everything; sounds great.

Rashmi, darkly lovely and chipper despite cast. I thought she was a grad student or something and only now discover that she teaches electrical engineering at Drexel. More deep bench. How do I fit in with such persons? One tries to be unobtrusive. On the other hand, she plays frisbee. I understand frisbee.

Marie, tall, blonde, very pretty, with a world-class smile. (Actually, everyone in this group has a killer smile.) Librarian, taking a course. Also in a happy mood. Been quiet on the list lately. Should talk more, she's animated and funny.

Tom, also tall, also smiling. Audio-visual technician at Columbia Law Library. From Iowa, as is his wife; we'll have to get her to one of these dinners. Tom was more talkative tonight.

Gilbert the Smith. At last we meet; and to think he came all the way to New York just to see <me>. And, as an afterthought, to celebrate a granddaughter's second birthday. Handsome, charming, distinguished-looking gentleman, with trimmed white beard and hair. The hair is also white but somehow looks boyish. (Guys with hair piss me off, but guys with boyish hair -- have you no shame?) Bayla said he looks like William Tecumseh Sherman. I looked up Sherman; there is an amazing resemblance. How come he gets to look like the Cump when I get to look like Charles Kuralt with bad knees? Sheeeeit. But that's <just the kind of guy he is>.

Gilbert has many good stories, but the best is about a rather astounding stroke of good fortune that -- well, he'll tell you himself when he gets to it. This will be a memorable WHTM, I guarantee. It was great to meet Gib. He still had to go back to Brooklyn before leaving, but was thinking of driving home that very night because he likes driving at night on I-95, when it's relatively quiet and a lot emptier. I do too.

This dinner lasted about 3 hours, a good hour longer than the last one. I think it's because we could all hear what was going on.

THE GOOD STUFF

I don't know how much I can say without being, you know, indiscreet. The story of Emily and the crocheted handcuffs, for instance, may require a more Rabelaisian scribe than I, and that's without even mentioning her acrobatic friend the Chippendale dancer.

Gilbert had eyebrow-raising tales of various depraved antics at the Goatroast; he mentioned someone whose initials I forget who liked to be "corrected" rather, uh, enthusiastically, by a dark-haired woman brandishing a velvet-covered paddle; not for ping-pong, I understand.

The story about "Judith S." and a certain extraordinarily talented primate was simply too shocking for a list this public.

There was some discussion of this newbie, Robbie Pagan McCallum, and his inexplicable obsession with snakes. Obviously some twisted Freudian phallic thing.

And you don't want to know what Rashmi can do with an oscilloscope and signal tracer; forget it! (You've heard of the Venus Butterfly? You remember Sherilyn Fenn and the cherry stem on Twin Peaks? That was Girl Scout stuff compared to R.M., whose ancestors are rumored to have modeled for the Kama Sutra.)

However, there are certain delectable details I am at liberty to reveal -- whoops, there's the doorbell. Shucks. I must remember to finish this part sometime. And if not, I'm sure Karsten will remind me. Heh heh, Karsten. Now <there>'s a tale ...

Myles

P.S. Oh, you wanted the truth? We had a delightful evening: excellent food, terrific company, lotta laughs, not a skewer in sight. Thanks again to Emily for arranging it.