Off The Recordby Mike Farragher
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I took the family on a vacation about a month ago, so now the credit card bills are coming in.
I’m looking here at two line items, each for $32, which have been billed as in-flight food and entertainment from United Airlines.
I first met Honor Molloy at a salon sponsored by the Irish American Writers and Artists, a foundation that counts both of us as members. She was still in the process of cobbling together a fictional account of her life that would later become Smarty Girl: Dublin Savage, a novel that eventually saw the light of day earlier this year.
On this particular evening, writers at all levels of experience and pedigree gathered to expose one another to their embryonic words by reading them aloud for feedback. Since many writers are introverted and introspective, you can imagine how tedious listening to them in succession can sometimes be.
I guess that’s why Molloy struck me as such a breath of fresh air. When she opened her mouth, the air seemed to disappear from the room as she leaned into the words and brought them to life from the page with a shameless theatricality. If you weren’t in the room, you lost out, plain and simple.
Take today, for example. We seem to have an ongoing disagreement on the definition of a house party. Her vision is a small and strategically picked exclusive guest list that will produce the perfect chemical reaction of spirited conversation over a succulent meal that allows her to try all those Food Network recipes she’s been stockpiling with my girls.
My house party is more Animal House, and if John Belushi and Martha Stewart had a baby, it would produce a host like me. The bigger the better I always say, and there is nowhere bigger than a Costco warehouse. When you can’t turn the hat trick of turning loaves into fishes, this is the go-to place when you have to feed the masses. Dreams of frilly Food Network fare are mothballed in favor of feeding crowds with pillow-sized bags of chips, sleeves of frozen burgers the size of manhole covers, and tubs of brownie bites that will play well with a belly full of Guinness at the end of the night.