So it was my good friend Cyrus’ birthday yesterday, and we arranged a bit of a surprise party for him. We started out at a nice little place in Yorkville called Hemingway’s – decent food, nice place to sit and talk, and really cute wait staff (always a good thing). After Hemingway’s we headed off to a place just off the University of Toronto campus called The Madison (or Madison’s, whatever). The Madison was, for me, a total nightmare. Really. The second floor, which is where the group wanted to go, is a piano bar. A piano bar where singing along is encouraged. It’s a piano bar where the average age of the crowd is 21. I felt like the bloody chaperone in the place. And to make it all worse yet, it’s a piano bar (with piano bar music) where the piano player/singer is only tolerable at best. I’m sure that in the deepest depths of inebriation the place is great, but I’m not what you’d call a drinker, so I wasn’t ever likely to reach the point where I’d actually enjoy the music. We got in there, and the first thing I heard him play was some crappy old tune by John Denver, followed by Simon and Garfunkel (okay, I don’t mind Simon and Garfunkel, but it’s really not Saturday Night Party Music) some other song I can’t remember and then Sweet Home Alabama. I hate that damn song. I hate it even more when the performer makes mistakes playing it. As far as I’m concerned, being forced to listen to that song is like being stabbed. Hearing it played badly is like being shot. I was begging Paula to kill me, or at least present me with some form of escape. Fortunately for me, that sentiment was shared by Paula, Sandy and Cy, so we booked out of there as fast as our feet could carry us and made our way to Funhaus where the music and crowd was much more to our liking. It was really great to spend an evening with Cyrus, Paula and Sandy. The four of us hadn’t been out together at a club in something like five or six years. I’m looking forward to doing something like this again soon.