Dik's Ravings

Dik Saalfeld '80
Washington correspondent
Fall 2007

Tom Sporney recently threw a birthday party for his wife, Jerri, at their home in Maryland. Invitation was by email and men's room graffiti. Karaoke and booze were the dominant themes, but food and games played a role. Ralph Olivier needed about 14 beers before his artistic side took over in the body painting competition, which he ultimately won by painting a scene from the Battle of Hastings on the birthday girl. I'll never look at hills and woods the same way. We tried to point out that the paintee was the only one required to be naked, but you can't tell Ralph anything when he's annihilated on Genny Cream Ale and two-year-old scotch. Ralph's wife, Carol, disappeared when he was almost done with his masterpiece; she left her mobie phone behind, and when I hit "redial" I got Lufthansa.

Kelley, my wife, is a psychiatrist; I saw her talking to Tom for awhile. When she came back to our table, she said "don't turn your back on him. Also, why aren't his eyes pointing in the same direction?" Gin laced with Sterno will do that to a man. Been there. I offered to rub Jerri down with paint remover, as I was afraid Ralph's store-brand house paint would do something terrible to her, but she seemed to be enjoying the fumes and she fought me off bravely. She's a slippery rascal. Kelley and I left just as the cops arrived, and I warned them to go in with guns drawn, because a crazy naked chick is running around with a candelabra, and she's probably flammable.

Ed Catto hasn't invited me to any of his weddings so far, but I'm not one to stand on ceremony, so I crashed the last one. He married the luscious Kathe Day, his girlfriend from our days rooming together twenty-some years ago. You sometimes read about these deals in Dear Ann Landers and the like, where old sweeties hook up again after living separate lives. It seems the intervening years make the lovebirds forget the bizarre character flaws that drove them apart. Anyway, the twist in this situation is that while Ed shows every minute of those decades on his face and body, his new bride looks as babely as she did all those years ago, when she would calmly point out what squalor Ed and I lived in, and how at some point we really should pay the rent and maybe think of getting rid of that thing in the icebox that looks like a sneaker, but is, maybe, cole slaw. Or a taco.

Brothers in attendance at Ed's nuptials were - if I forget to list you you're the only one who cares - Mark Martin, Bill Page, Mike Greenberg, Elliott Dee, Hans Rempel, Ed Conti, Paul Linskey, Jim Joseph and myself. The wedding was in Sage Chapel, and the reception was on the shores of beautiful Owasco Lake, in Auburn. The preacherman was a buddy of Ed's from work, who became a minister through the arduous spiritual process of sending twenty bucks to a church he found on the Internet. Yup, for the price of a case of beer you, too, can become a man of God, without doing any heavy theological lifting or even knowing more than about two or three of the Apostles. (I can usually name them all, but sometimes I forget Bashful.)

Steve Crump is one of the new Class of '82 correspondents for the Cornell Alumni Magazine. Steve writes the funniest Christmas letters in North America, but I warned him that I knew from experience that the magazine employs actual editors who tend to put the kibosh on tales of reckless endangerment, drunken bacchanalia, and wanton disregard for social norms and private property. Reminiscences about that trip to Beebe Lake in the fire truck? Ixnay. Or the party where Scrod made the cat food pizza but nobody noticed because Dave Carlson was passing around a bottle of ether? Bzzzzzt!

Speaking of Scrod, during intramural football games he would get into his three point stance - remember, he was a big boy - and slowly reveal to opposing lineman that he had a mouth full of earthworms. (In the Army they call this "Psyops," for "Psychological Operations." Scrod called it "breakfast.") Then he would knock the poor fools into Tioga County. Scrod would check himself over after every game to see if the teeth or blood on his shirt belonged to him (no).

On the Dik front, I continue to live my life of quiet desperation, but at least I'm not you.