The Night They Invented Champagne

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The night they invented champagne

It’s plain as it can be

They thought of you and me

The night they invented champagne

They absolutely knew

That all we’d want to do

Is fly to the sky on champagne

And shout to everyone in sight

That since the world began

No woman or a man

Has ever been as happy as we are tonight.

 

“Basil. The next time I decide I want pie at midnight, you’re getting it.” Zoe said to her fiancé as she returned to their bedroom with a slice of pumpkin and a stricken expression.

“What is wrong, dearest?”

“Apparently, Mom and Ed polished off the champagne from our engagement party.”

“Is that unusual? Is it not tradition that one must never leave a bottle unfinished.”

“Well, yes, that is the tradition, but typically you don’t do that and then get naked in the middle of the living room when you have guests in the house.”

“Your mother insisted just yesterday that we were not guests, but family.”

“Okay, but that was when she wanted me to set the table and you to help hang garland from all the arches.”

“I do not understand.”

“Let me put it this way… you know the song ‘I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus?'” Zoe waited for partner to nod. Then she continued. “Well, Mom wasn’t tickling Ed underneath his beard. She was… let’s just say I got a full-frontal view of Ed’s wedding tackle and I’m suddenly grateful to be committed to a man who doesn’t age.”

“Was there something about seeing your stepfather’s genitals that alarmed you, dearest?”

“Snow,” she answered, shuddering. “It was like… his… nether… hair was like barbarian snow at the bottom of his… oh, god, I can’t believe I’m even talking about this. You asked if I was alarmed? More like scarred for life!”

Basil had always found humor a bit difficult to navigate. It was such a subjective condition. What made someone laugh might offend another. Still, his partner’s flustered state made him chuckle, at first, and then laugh outright.

“It’s not funny!” Zoe protested.

“Dearest, you are judging your parents unfairly. While it is true that their behavior is a bit questionable while we are in the house, if they truly imbibed as much champagne as you implied it is likely that they simply got caught in the moment.” He gave her a few seconds to process. “And I might remind you that just last week you used the color of my skin to inspire a song while we were… similarly engaged. Or must I refresh your memory with a chorus of ‘Silver Balls?'”

Zoe stared at Basil for a long moment. Then she burst out laughing. “I’m sorry,” she said, “I just… I never expected to be the one who caught my mother in a compromising position. It’s more normal for a parent to walk in on their child.”

“Dearest,” Basil said in a reproachful tone. “As you have frequently observed, very little about our relationship is ‘normal.'”

“There you go being right again,” Zoe grumbled good-naturedly. “Well, at least I got pie.”

“Indeed.”

Much later that evening, Zoe nudged her partner. “Basil, promise me something?”

“Tell me.”

“Even if you decide to write an aging subroutine someday, swear to me you will never allow yourself to have a saggy old-man ass.”

For the second time that night, Basil was amused, but he managed to stifle the laughter, and all he said was, “I promise to try.”

We’ll fly to the sky on champagne

And shout to everyone in sight

That since the world began

No woman or a man

Has ever been as happy as we are tonight.

 

“The Night They Invented Champagne” is from the musical Gigi, and was written by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

 

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 The Night They Invented Champagne by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.