Thursday, December 13, 2012

Parranda 94 - A Gringo's Second Christmas in Puerto Rico...

T'was the night before Christmas, and I'd been to the store -
"Parranda" was coming and I had to prepare.
I knew all my friends would be coming tonight,
And this year - I was doing it right.
I'd slept all day and ate rather hearty,
Getting ready for the all night party.
I showered, shaved and dressed kind of fancy
Anticipating the singing and dancing.

I bought cheese and jamón, chips and dips,
Bacardi with fruit punch and cokes to mix.
Dulces and postres would also be served,
And cañita and beer for those who preferred.
I went to the kitchen to prepare all the food
(This year the party was going to be good).
I cut and arranged everything different ways
and covered it all on serving trays.

I began working a little past 8,
But I knew that parrandas don't start until late.
By 9:30 I had everything done,
And sat down anticipating the "full night of fun".
At 10:45 I heard two car doors slam
And ran to the window, convinced it was them.
But it was only my neighbors returning home,
And I started to wonder what time they would come.

At 12:45 I prepared my first drink,
Then cleaned up the dishes I'd left in the sink.
I was sure that soon the parranda would come,
And I left the lights on so they'd know I was home.
At 1:30 I turned on my VCR
And sat down in the chair with the cañita jar.
I'd watch a movie to pass the time,
And drink some cañita and coke with lime.

By 3AM I was getting tired,
But I knew at that hour - Asopao was required.
I staggered to the kitchen to get everything ready,
(I was really quite drunk and my legs weren't too steady).
I got out the recipe and started to read
But it was in Spanish - unfortunately for me.
So I cooked it the way I'd been taught by a friend,
Hoping "gringo" soup would be alright with them.

I fell asleep in the chair around 5,
Passed out drunk waiting for them to arrive.
Later that morning I moved to the bed
After taking some aspirin for my aching head.
My clothes were a mess and my mouth tasted bad,
And I went back to sleep a little sad.

But on Christmas day - at least I ate good.
My refrigerator was full of uneaten food.
I guess each parranda is never the same.....
This year I was ready - and nobody came!

 G. Clark

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