Friday, July 07, 2006

And a Good Time Was Had by All

Well, Brothers & Sisters, that was a party. Such a party, in fact, that I've spent the last few days recovering from it. I know I know — I swore off after-parties after that post-auction bender the Staff and I went on in New York. But when you raise $138K in one afternoon (that's net, people) you want to go celebrate.

I'd like to thank everybody who came out — I don't have the figures in front of me, but the turnout was tremendous, well over 5000 people. With so many people anxious to participate, we ended up extending the fundraiser three additional hours. In fact, we had to plant twice as much money as we had originally earmarked for the looting — but that meant we earned twice as much, too.

Some strokes of genius I'd like to credit to the Staff:

(1) The staged reenactments of Thomas Beckett's assassination-by-stabbing in the chapel were a hit with audiences and critics alike. Big snaps to Dead Eye for working up the concept, and thanks to Jimmy Atahualpa for playing — in grand style — the role of the beleaguered Archbishop. Jimmy, your extended death performances were positively Shakespearean.

Many of you Harvard Square-frequenters probably know about the problems Jimmy's been having with the drugs and alcohol. Still, he really came through for us on Saturday afternoon. The kids just love Jimmy, and when Dead Eye got the idea to let the under-12s join in with the mock-stabbing, he bought right in to the program. Talk about a good sport! That extra bit of on-the-fly entrepreneurism — five bucks for a crack at this anti-royal SOB! — earned us probably five to ten thousand bucks on top of the admissions fees. And I don't doubt our Beckett sustained a few bumps and bruises from the enthusiastic kiddies.

(Jimmy, good buddy: you DO have something to offer the world — and don't you EVER forget it.)

(2) To the Sound Guy We Hired (I forget his name): nice work. The chanting and creaking, the ubiquitous sound of approaching footsteps really thrilled our looters, particularly in the dark corridors.

(3) Opie did the Steno shift for the afternoon. I know it wasn't easy following me through the crowd with the equipment, and I appreciate the yeoman's work.

(4) Frankie Big Cheese: the Gold Membership Plan was a brilliant idea. The airlines and car rental companies know their business — there is money to be made by offering tiers of service. In fact, it's downright amazing what people will pay for a little extra special treatment and a cardboard crown. Gold Members enjoyed off-street parking in the church lot, received discounts on pie, and were allowed one free shakedown of a fellow looter, so long as it took place inside the church.

(5) PePe, once again you went above and beyond the call of duty. Who knew you could gin up a Popemobile in Boston on such short notice? I'm not one for the limelight, but I rather enjoyed the impromptu parade. Thanks for the surprise, Brother. Much love, indeed.

We'll be compiling a mailing list from the entries in the guest book. I saw Burping Squid's name up front — were you there, buddy? Might have been nice to make your acquaintance, finally — you seem like a thinking man, when you're not being a shit.

Finally, I'd like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the counterdemonstration across the street. It's not easy to organize something like that on short notice, but we mustered a goodly-sized crowd to shout down all those no-fun sad-sacks who showed up to protest the event. Of course, it helped that half of the Enemy Demonstrators had duct tape over their mouths. (That's something I'll never get, people — this trend with the duct tape. You're doing half the work of the riot police for them.) But hey — whatever. Our crowd was nice and loud; it did its job and was largely well-behaved.

The upshot of it all is this: an afternoon of community outreach, tons of media coverage, and the running total in the World Domination Fund is now $316,495.31.

We're on a roll, baby!

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