Once again, I overdid it with the food. I blame the serving spoons. The "zeets" was even better than last year. More cheese, less sauce, less healthy. Exactly how I like it. There was a surprise dish of BBQ beef brisket on the serving line, which was a tender and smoky treat. I could barely move after my third plate. I could also barely drink, but that didn't really stop me. There was less dancing this time around (my dancing partner, Mrs. Gastro, was unable to attend this year), but I did manage to lead a conga line. The initiative netted a Harry Potter train set, which means I will be taking up model trains in my spare time. Immediately following, the giant candy bar dance-off was set to the Electric Slide, and although I sure had the boogie, I was unsuccessful yet again*. I drowned my sorrows in another pitcher of Miller Lite and waited eagerly for the raffles. I put the lion's share of the family tickets in the most popular of the baskets (sorry Gene, no tickets in the "Chicks Dig Gene Finley" basket): a week at the shore, a golf package with greens fees for two courses, and a 42" flatscreen TV.
I have been known to win a flatscreen TV in my day (I won a 40" at a golf outing a few years back), so I figured I would be walking out the door with that. The chances of winning the other two, judging from the heft of the ticket bags, were slim to none. Through the haze brought on by 4 or 5 pitchers, I listened to foreign number combinations, and watched as all three baskets were claimed by others, along with everything else (including a gardening basket won by the Gastro-in-laws). But there's no reason to be a sore loser. I didn't go home empty handed, but even if I did, I had such a blast that it wouldn't have mattered. Gene and the rest of the Finleys, thanks for another great night. Buen provecho.
*Gene pulled me aside, however, and hooked me up with a box of Nestle Crunch.