Billy Joel, I ain’t. Not even Tiny Tim! Or “Uptown Girl” meets Miss Vicki and hilarity ensues.

Ah, the infamous kitchen parties with which I was to become intimately familiar and soon. Like now!?

I meet Gerard over at Red’s, of course and where else?, and we go over to his house and have a beer before we head to the kitchen party and start to get serious about this. If there is ever an Olympic event for partying, the gold and silver medals go to Australians and Newfoundlanders – and not necessarily in that order.

A kitchen party is a rather organic happening. They spring up quickly, not like a flash mob though, and everyone goes. It is a most democratic event. You come, you bring food and/or drink, you talk, joke, tell outrageous stories, sing, dance maybe, and have a hell of a good time. They start sometime in the evening, there is no official start time, just as there is no official or expected finish time. They’ve been know to go to 6 or 7 in the morning! That is a lot of food, drink, socializing, etc. This will be perfect material for my book. I’ll be photographing all night!

We arrive and a drink is promptly inserted into my unsuspecting but not unwilling hand. Toasts are made. Let’s get this party started!

What I did not know, or what my trusty “guide books” failed to tell me of, is that if one is attending a kitchen party, then they have the responsibility of singing a song, telling a story or jokes, playing a musical instrument, or performing any such sort of entertainment of which they are capable – inebriated or not! Inebriated generally makes for a much more lively performance, or so it seems.

I’m not Billy Joel by a long shot. (

I don’t really sing. Not even in the shower. I don’t play an instrument unless you count the stereo. I did not know these folks well enough to tell some of the jokes I might, though I suspect they would have appreciated some of them very much. From my previous trip to Newfoundland, I had picked up some CD’s of local music and had miraculously learned a few of the songs! “Do you know ‘Rant and Roar’? ” I ask. They respond, “y’mean the ‘Ryans and the Pittman’s?’ ” “Yes! That’s it” We both launch into the song, not really performing together, style is not as important as enthusiasm here, and we finish – both with appreciation: me for getting through it; them for me not singing any longer.

I’m not even Tiny Tim, but probably closer to him. (

As the night wore on, some of the party’ers were asking if I was able to understand Gerard’s speaking. I told them yes, I was, pretty much able to. I did mention Jimmy, the suspicious drinker at Red’s, and I could understand almost nothing he said. This brought on tons of laughs as someone responded to me: “That’s OK. No one understands Jimmy!” And here I thought it was just me.

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