Once More With Feeling (Really): Lent in Casablanca, Night 32

It seems sort of appropriate to mention this one particular Casablanca-viewing tonight. 

This is my 32nd Lenten post regarding Casablanca.  Obviously, I haven’t quite written every single night–I think I owe you and the Universe five or six more posts (as if anyone has missed them)–but I have watched Casablanca even on nights I didn’t write. 

Many moons ago, I went to a Special Resort ;-), where special people 😉 with special hobbies 😉 involving special grain products 😉 enjoyed special vacations ;-).

I hope I made that clear.  😉

Anyway, one night while at the quiet place–I mean that special resort ;-)–I was running our evening meeting.  I’d been elected leader of our, um, shuffleboard team 😉 , and we had morning and evening meetings, where we discussed a dozen or so 😉 special, er, coaching tips that helped us, um, shuffle less? 

So we were going around the room, discussing our various…well, shuffleboarding difficulties, when my phone vibrated.  It was little brother Marky texting me that Casablanca would air at 1045 that night on TCM.  In Casablanca, of course, almost all of the characters play shuffleboard really badly.

Probably because they were shitfaced, like our special little resort crew had been prior to our arrival. 

Drat! I broke code for a moment.

Anyway, it took a bit of subterfuge to wrest control of the big plasma screen tv away from this one certain individual, who insisted on watching horrible How to Cook Animals of Divorce Cases shows, or something of similar intellectual level.  We were saved by the fact that smoking was banned in the building, and s/he had to smoke frequently. (note: we all did, but we outnumbered him/her)

So, once s/he went outside, the rest of us switched over to Casablanca.  (His/her sage comment, upon his/her arrival back, was that “It looks old.” (I don’t think this moron had heard of WW2, honestly)).  S/he was unhappy that we’d changed the channel, however–again–we outnumbered him/her.   (S/he made a point of sighing his/her tits off until s/he finally went back to her room) 😉

Anyway, I digress.

I had never seen Casablanca like that before; none of us had.  We were all shocked by the amount of…bad shuffleboarding these people did.  All of them.  Constantly.  I guess you don’t notice something until you’re paying $900 a day to stop doing it. 

We were an unusually subdued lot that night.  We didn’t joke around as much as usual after the movie.  Contrary to what you might expect, we were usually quite loud and riotous, doubtless the equivalent of whistling past the graveyard. 

In one of our classes that day–or one of the days–they told us the sick truth, that after one year, statistically, we’d be lucky if three out of our 20 were still, er, “playing shuffleboard correctly, and not back spending all our time in the gutters.” 😉

I’m thrilled shitless that we surpassed expectations, that four of us made it a year (At least two are still going after nearly six years; I haven’t kept in touch with the other two)

In Casablanca, few scenes don’t show people drinking.  Indoors and out, night, day, it doesn’t matter.  Somebody’s always imbibing. 

I’m not sure why I felt compelled to take this particular tack tonight.  Maybe it’s that today is Palm Sunday, which is kind of like we were that night: filled with a sort of manic, panicked hope-against-hope that we’d be one of the rare exceptions.  It was a crowd-scene sort of feeling, scaredly happy.  The true peace we hoped to find would only come later, in quiet contemplation, in hours of…practicing positive shuffleboarding skills on our own. 

I am grateful for the past six years, of course.  Here, as I spend Lent in Casablanca, I’m really grateful for my brother’s text message, for my fellow shuffleboard students that night, and for a movie that somehow–despite the most ironic possible setting–instilled in us hope that we’d be one of the few to obtain exit visas, and not end up like “those poor devils,” “the usual suspects,” living the same colorless nightmare ad infinitum, forever stuck in the gutters.


6 Responses to “Once More With Feeling (Really): Lent in Casablanca, Night 32”

  1. I’m very glad you got your exit visa, Tom. We are all the better for it.


    • Thank you, Laurie. I’m kind of enjoying myself being here. ((Hugs)) Hope you solved the cupcake carrier conundrum. 🙂

  2. Giving up your shuffleboard crown took a lot of guts, my njard-frjeünd.

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