mia_mcdavid (mia_mcdavid) wrote in colgaffneyis,

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The White Bear Event

This is the second year that colgaffneyis has provided ornament to a Scottish-themed party in White Bear Lake.  I thought I would post the details of what we did so that those who come after have some idea of how to work it.  Our hosts were RM and his wife EM, and his general factotum JB.  A preteen girl in a tiara was presumably a daughter of the house.

In the event, this party is a company party; RM is in something with loss prevention and disaster evaluation, and seems to make his living from blowing things up to analyze the blast patterns.  Woot!  And they pay him for this.  A lot of engineers, chemists, and other techs work with him.

The property includes a long driveway, with a mansion on the left and, on the right and separated by a sort of moat, a park-like area with a huge and lovely fire pit, and benches, also plenty wood.  Bring a lighter.

We went up to the front door of the house (many stairs; not wheelchair-friendly) and announced ourselves.  We brought one of the large troopers and set it up as a fly, mostly for backdrop and windbreak, as the night was clear and lovely, and we started up the fire.  

What we did not know is that the bar is on the ground floor and is reached by a door around the back of the house; our greeting and orientation was minimal to non-existent, but we were in fact welcome to partake at said bar.

Eventually it became time for the speechifying and outdoor ceremonies.  The pipe band formed up in front of the house; when they struck up we all took up our pikes and marched across the bridge.  One of us slipped back later to kick apart the roaring bonfire as it would not be attended while we were in at dinner.

RM spoke about the events of the past year for his company; he also mentioned absent friends and a bell was tolled for several submarines lost in combat.  Taps was played.

After this everyone filed in to dinner.  We racked our pikes and filed in as well.  Choices were beef or turkey, with side dishes; there was a vegetarian lasagna for vegetarians.  They ran out of red wine, which I thought was odd.

Desserts were cookies, bars, and what looked like a carrot cake; there was a disappointing lack of whipped cream.

The bar had many of the standard good scotches of an older era.  Good beer was ready to hand.

Our dinner was interrupted when we had to sprint back across the moat and rescue our swords from a posse of high-spirited young people.  They had rebuilt the fire; fine if they wanted to be responsible for it, but we couldn't let them play unsupervised with our steel.

After dinner we got drinks and moseyed back to the fire; we hung out until about 11:00 when RM came to settle up.  Last year we had been contracted for $250, so we started discussions on that basis.  He was feeling expansive so he gave us $300.

After that we doused the fire and headed home.  An easy, pleasant show.  He wants us back next year; there was some loose talk about bringing a mortar or maybe a musket.  We tore down the next day.


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