My uncle Joe celebrated his sixtieth birthday with a really great and original theme party. I haven't had that much fun in a really long time.
The invitations were browned and aged maps. Each one had been individually made for each guest. On mine a red line marked a path from my house to my uncle's. The date and time were written at the bottom of the map.
Saturday came and I went to my uncle's house, or what appeared to be. There was a line of garden torches in the front garden leading to the doorway. An olive drab tent had been set up on the front lawn. It was decorated like an archeologist's base with antiques from the 1940's-- roll top desk, oil lamps, magnifying glass, and an old fashioned typewriter.
Uncle Joe answered the door dressed as Indiana Jones--whip and all. The decorations inside were even more spectacular. Every few metres or so there was an Aztec mask or Indian artwork, even a couple of spears. Large rented speakers were hidden everywhere in the house so the Indiana Jones soundtrack could be heard in every room.
The living room was decorated like Obi Wan's bar in "The Temple of Doom". There was no shortage of wine, beer and alcohol. Lots of guests were wearing forties style evening wear. They looked great. My mother was wearing a beautiful red beaded dress and her hair and make-up were amazing. When I told her I could have picked up a costume if I had known, she ushered me to the spare bedroom where there was a costume woman with several trunks full of clothes to choose from. I picked out a dress and changed in the bathroom. A stylist did my hair while a make-up artist applied my make-up. I felt so glamorous. It was like walking onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie.
Dinner was served at tables Uncle Joe set up on the patio. They were all clad in crisp white linens and set with beautiful china and elegant silverware. The first course was soup or salad and a choice of chicken, or steak for the main course.
A fake reporter dressed in a forties style suit went from table to table, asking the guests crazy questions. He had a cameraman and they were recording the entire evening. I took some pictures myself.
There was entertainment after dinner. A cabaret style backdrop had been set up behind a rented stage and ten showgirls danced on it while a Kate Capshaw look-alike sang "Anything Goes" like Willie Scott did in "Temple of Doom". Willie sang to my uncle, even sitting in his lap, though Aunt June didn't find it as funny as we did. Hundreds of balloons fell from the top of the set at the end of the number.
I took some pictures of Uncle Joe playing around with his bullwhip until June made him stop before he hurt himself.
A week later, everyone received the video tape from the party. It had been edited to look like an old news reel. I could just imagine the look on June's face every time she watched the tape of Joe playing with that bullwhip.