Having participated in many installation ceremonies in the Knights of Columbus, both as one being installed and one doing the installing, there are parts that I could recite from memory. For a while I believed that the entire ceremony was a relic of the past. It once may have provided entertainment, but today it is simply a drawn out affair that could be dispensed with and no one would much mind.
Today, I recognize that while it may not have all the glitz of the latest Hollywood blockbuster, it might be the first time in a long while that the men being installed are being made out to be a big deal. For 364 days a year he is getting pushed around at work, toiling away at a job and taking abuse from his boss. On this one night, however, he gets recognized and singled out in front of his friends and family as a leader and a man of consequence. It gave me a new perspective on the entire ceremony.
There is a line in the ceremony about how each individual excels at one thing more than his fellow man. I’m not sure how true this is as I can’t think of anything I can do that plenty of other people can’t do as well, and probably better, but after last night I think I might be on to something.
I went for the first time to Howl at the Moon, a piano bar I’ve been meaning to check out for some time. It was a lot of fun, and as the night went on the number of musicians grew. In addition to the two grands, there was a set of drums, a bass, and a guitar. The musicians were jumping back and forth between each of them effortlessly, so after a song or two at the keyboard they would move to the drums, and so on. It was quite impressive, and very clear what their special talent is.
I had, shall we say, a very good time, in no small part due to the bottle of Jameson that I smuggled into the bar. Now I’m not a big texter to begin with, and I’m also not known as a drunk dialer, but for some reason when the band started playing a song from The Lion King I felt the need to tell my sister that I wanted to hear it at her wedding. Seven months from now.
What followed was largely a series of unintelligible letters and not even I can decipher what I was trying to convey in some of them. For example, at one point she asked me where I was. “Awesomeew,” I responded. Things went downhill from there.
The last text I got from her read: “God your in trouble… Sober up,” and presently we come to the one capacity in which I excel to a greater extent than my fellow man. Even though my liver was working overtime, I still recognized that my baby sister had used the wrong homophone and I set about to correct her. In response I told her that the word she was looking for was “you’re,” not “your.” Of course, in explaining it I said “you ate” and not “you are,” but I’m pretty sure she got the message.
Apropos of last night, there is something that I have long known that I was better at than the majority of people. It certainly isn’t a skill, and I don’t think I would even go so far as to call it a talent. It is, perhaps, best described as a favorable genetic trait. Nature didn’t give me good looks, or considerable intelligence, or great athletic ability. What I did get, however, is immunity from the hangover.
Two of the friends with whom I went out last night were both far less intoxicated than I and were kind enough to offer me their couch as I was in no condition to get behind the wheel. This morning I was up and out the door before they were even awake. I had a full day ahead of me and though I was tired this morning, there was no headache, no nausea, and none of the other classic symptoms of a hangover.
Now I’ll grant you that knowing which witch is which while three sheets to the wind is not as impressive as being able to play nearly any song on command and from memory, but still, it’s something. Perhaps the writers of the installation ceremony knew what they were talking about after all.