This weekend I was blessed with the excellent company, loving support and criminal-level over-encouragement and downright foolishness of my friends and family for our third big book-release bash. This one was a little late, due to the summer season – Bonshoon and Are You My Corpulent Brood Matriarch? have both been out for some time, but whatever. We had to celebrate.
I mean, we didn’t have to … but I guess it happened. Three-and-a-spin-off down, five to go. I really should consider not overdoing it at the next party, but you know what? Vuta made it to this one. That was why things went bad. I blame Vuta.
The evening started out nicely, and I was blessed with the gift of an Edpool plushie – about which I have not boasted anywhere near enough yet so here is a picture.
Special thanks to Zack for the plushie, and Virva for the hat and braid. I’m considering swapping the swords for pens, but maybe later. Also pictured, my Skull Bone and Pig Society stubby holder. Still got it.
Edpool now stands on the bookshelf behind me, in between the publications of my good friend Lucas Thorn and beneath my own shelf, as if to say “come on, champ. You can take him.”
So then it started getting chilly, and we headed into the relative warmth of Bar Äijä’s to continue the celebration in earnest.
And you might think, from this picture, that Bar Äijä’s is some sort of bar for midgets or hobbits … well anyway, Toop and Walder were there.
The presence of a highly suspicious glittery pink wig added a certain something to the event. And Kristiina turned up as NightMary, which was brilliant.
I feel bad that the rest of us didn’t get dressed up for the occasion, although many would argue that the pink wig and my usual get-up of suspenders and silly T-shirt were enough. But still, an excellent effort.
She also won the Load of Bonsh Quiz and went home with the fabulous prize. And also with Heikki, who some might argue is a fabulous prize in and of himself. But I digress.
She also wigged up for a photo.
Food was duly served, and greatly enjoyed. Zack and Virva provided beef noodles and mashed potato, and instructions on how to eat them. In retrospect, I should probably have eaten more. Kristiina and Heikki brought cakes, anoppi brought macaroni salad, and Mrs. Hatboy provided pie. Mmm, pie.
From left: Pia, Sara, Kristiina, Heikki, dreameling, Zack, Saila, Hatboy, Bella, Chris and anoppi, enjoying the ambience.
It was a reasonably child-friendly event until later on in the evening, and I was extremely fortunate that Mrs. Hatboy was heroic enough to look after Wump and Toop for me, and get them into bed and everything. I do remember mixing a few drinks for them, though – Walder too.
dreameling and Mr. Fahrenheit also took turns entertaining and reading to Wump and Toop, I noticed. I think Saila also read Are You My Corpulent Brood Matriarch? to Wump, which earned her extra points because she didn’t have her glasses on at the time.
Wump was dressed as a gingerbread girl, which was actually sort of thematic and appropriate if you want to think about how creepy gingerbread people are. And she was pretty dubious about the crowd. And rightly so.
The evening progressed, as far as I could tell from behind the bar, more or less in the espected manner.
Mr. Fahrenheit entertained the kids, while dreameling … looks like he had a little snooze. Good for him.
He was very entertaining.
I get a strange Red Dwarf vibe from this, which is also quite appropriate given the general plot of Bonshoon and the whole celebration. Well played.
I think I have to award Photo of the Night to The Pas, with his shot of Nina Karasjärvi going for the beer. Okay, I can’t approve of the fact that it’s a Foster’s … so some points off for that. But it was a good shot. Sadly, every time I tried on my patented Uncle Hatboy charm and tried to have a chat with her, Nina got very upset. She’s an excellent judge of character, if not beer. Still, marvellous to see.
Think of the children.
I’m not sure who gets Best on Ground, it’s probably a four-way tie between the last four standing – specifically Vuta, Juho, The Pas and Bella. I will probably have to award myself Pissiest Pants on Ground, although at least this time I don’t think I actively broke anything. Just myself, a little bit.
The wig started making the rounds of the bar, and was very popular.
Baarimikko Hatboy had a go.
And Hanna had a go.
And Juho rocked it.
At some point I think I was told to take a break from bartending. It may have been around the Jolly Roger Mk. II, which was a dramatic improvement on the Mk. I but still not great. The Mk. III was the best of all but it was mostly due to the fact that we were leaving out the actual main ingredients and just putting in Baileys. The first one was a terrible, terrible thing because I put Sprite in it, and that didn’t react well to the coffee cream. Still, we live and learn. And it most certainly had alcohol in it.
The Dunnkirk, a slight twist on a discovery by Zack, was also popular despite the deep-seated emotional difficulties many patrons had with mixing red wine with tequila. Which, now I come to type those actual words, is probably a good thing to have deep-seated emotional difficulty with. Still, it was apparently good and I can only congratulate myself on not having seven of them. or even one. Far as I know.
So anyway, Heikki and The Pas took over, and it’s actually worth mentioning that The Pas managed to make a decent drink. Which was more than I did for him, but let’s tell this in order.
Heikki made a nice blue pint, as is traditional. Juho ended up with it, but he was generous enough to share it around.
Nothing like a bit of the blue stuff.
As I was saying, the next morning I was accused of having made a horrible, horrible drink for The Pas, which had been mostly hot sauce and chilli liqueur. I denied this scurrilous charge, but later photographic evidence proved that I was indeed guilty.
Sorry Pas. I should also probably make more of an effort to clean this straw, or throw it away entirely. Which is sad, because it’s been through so many good times and bad.
I can only hope that deep regret and loss of memory make up for my unkindness and the suffering it caused. I also wrote dedications in at least five books for The Pas, who had decided to do his Christmas shopping at Bar Äijä’s. I don’t remember writing them, and when I looked in the morning I could barely read what I had written but the dedications bore a close resemblance to Homer’s love-postcard to Marge – which, now that I look at the screencap, seemed to have been posted the year I was born.
A very, very close resemblance.
So I’m very sorry about that too. At least one of them was a copy of Are You My Corpulent Brood Matriarch?, too, and was addressed to some presumably young and innocent family member or friend’s kid. Oh well, call it an amusing collector’s item from that time the author got utterly shitfaced and couldn’t even hold a pen anymore.
What else? The night went on, and I think it was just me, Vuta, Bella, The Pas and Juho by the time the suff hammer came down from the shelf.
Holy crap I look studious. And yet I couldn’t even hold a pen.
Catapulting was duly performed.
The only thing I don’t regret is that I can’t remember this happening.
And yes, I think we all had a go. Except for Juho, who was just too sensible and didn’t want things in his nose that didn’t belong there.
With that, I guess Bella and Vuta walked home, Juho slept on the couch-bed, and The Pas slept on my office floor. That’s Bar Äijä’s hospitality for you.