Porkapalooza 2012, by all accounts, was a rousing success. I have waited until today to post about it so as to be sure we did not give anyone food poisoning. Prudy, our porcine professional, had to back out as head chef at the last minute this year, so the men took over.
On Saturday before New Year’s, people began showing up at our house to help us get ready for the party. Next year, I need to be more prepared to feed people during the two or three days before the actual party. On the Sunday night before the party on Monday, between my visiting relatives and our porky platoon of helpers, we had about 20 people here. I had four pounds of ground beef and some taco seasoning, so it was definitely a loaves and fishes miracle at Casa Flamingo that night.
Because I wasn’t completely prepared for so many helpers, I had a hard time assigning jobs to people who wanted to help, so next year, I’m going to have more shovel-ready jobs that people can just pick up and run with. As it was, once the men all got together, they started coming up with more ideas than they could actually accomplish — building a trailer to hook up to the lawn mower to carry people and their stuff from the lot next door where they had to park, a giant light pole, a stage for the band, etc. As a reality check, at 10 a.m. on Monday morning, the day of the party, I provided the men with a visual of the unfinished items that needed to be completed that day before the party started at 6:30. The dry-erase board I used is about 3.5 feet by 6 feet, so I like to think it made an impression when I walked it outside and leaned it against a hay bale. I said, “I don’t want to micro-manage you fellows, but . . . here’s a list of all the things that need to be finished by 6:00.”
I’m not sure if this list actually helped them — but it definitely helped me feel better as I passed it throughout the day because every time they completed something, one of them would walk by and swipe his hand through the item so I would know it had been completed.
Item number 7 on the list is hard to see in the photo, but it says, “Finish pork-a-potty.” High on my list of priorities heading into the holidays this year was fixing the toilet that everyone normally uses when we have a party. It’s a bit sensitive, so during most of the party last year I hovered around that door — when I heard a flush and then a gurgle, I could discretely swoop in and plunge if I needed to. I really didn’t want to have to spend the entire party this year hanging out by the bathroom so I asked Flamingo Joe to fix the toilet.
Flamingo Joe is very good with toilets — it’s one of his spiritual gifts. But when he went underneath the house to give the pipe from that toilet more of a slope to the septic tank, he realized that in order to fix it, he’d have to open up the ceiling in my office, which sits directly beneath that bathroom.
So he came up with an alternate plan.
And it would sit on our front porch.
I think it is a testament to how far I have come in learning to submit to my husband with complete trust that I shrugged and said, “okay,” when he proposed building a complete bathroom on our front porch. I think I’ll get an extra star for that in heaven one day.
Flamingo Joe picked up a matching toilet and sink from the Habitat for Humanity Store and then used part of an old desk for a vanity. He and Jamie cut a piece of leftover linoleum from one of Jamie’s construction jobs to cover the wood deck — they were concerned for the band members who would be standing directly below the bathroom.
The live band was actually another new addition to the party this year. Flamingo Joe resolved a few years ago to teach himself how to play the bass guitar. A few months ago, he started practicing with Jamie, who plays drums, and Jamie’s friend Glen, who plays electric guitar, down in the man cave.
It took several weeks to convince Glen that they should play for Porkapalooza, but I knew he was warming to the idea when he and Jamie started bringing in speakers, a sound board, and amps to the man cave on their Sunday practices. I knew we were heading for live music for the piggy party at the point they started pricing fog machines.
Dez was super-excited to finally have a band to sing in front of and that’s how The Princess and The Porkbellies came to have top billing at Porkapalooza. The men are talking about playing three or four sets next year instead of one, but have told me that I can only call them The Porkbellies one night a year.
On the night of the party, we had over 100 people show up, so I was patting myself on the back for asking our neighbor for permission to park guests on his empty lot next door, even though it required someone standing over there parking people for a couple of hours (thank you to my visiting family for handling that!).
The pig turned out pretty well — though the men have already started planning improvements for next year.
Of the 100 guests, we had about 20 diehards who stayed by the bonfire all the way to midnight to ring in the New Year.
Now that Porkapalooza 2012 is in the books, Flamingo Joe is insisting that we commence monthly planning meetings this month so that we can actually implement some of the ideas we have for next year.
I’m sure he’s right and that we really should get a jump on next year.
But I’m afraid to ask whether the Pork-A-Potty is just going to stay there on the front porch all year . . .?