Monday, January 26, 2015


Eventful weekend: Friday evening The Wife, The Kid and I saw Frankie Valli perform at the Celebrity Theatre.

Sort of worrisome to be at a pop concert in which the conversation in the line for the men's room leans heavily on prostate size and catheters. Still, it was a great show. Valli kicked off with the theme from Grease and went on to perform almost all of his standards, as well as some songs with which he's not usually associated; he did an excellent "Spanish Harlem," for instance. He was backed up by four talented young guys in early-vintage Four Seasons drag, and a first-rate band.

Possibly my favorite part of the evening: as we were filing out, a lady in, I'd guess, her early sixties told us that she had bought the 45 of "Rag Doll" for her sister as a birthday present with her baby-sitting money (35 cents per hour, she said), so she and her sisters were tearing up together while Valli did that number. As to the man himself, it's jarringly strange to hear that same angelic doo wop falsetto from back in the '60s, or something pretty close to it, coming out of that little 80-year-old guy. Strange and cool.

Then Saturday morning The Kid, who's working on a report on mambas for school, got to visit some of these magnificent creatures at the by-appointment-only Phoenix Herpetological Society, where Nate the Serpent Curator gave her fascinating mamba information, and she got these terrific pics of them:

While Nate was talking to her I noticed the handsome Ethiopian cobra in a lower cage stretching his mouth wide open. I asked him if this was a sign of aggression.

"No, that's just a yawn," said Nate. "He's getting ready to make my day interesting; I'm cleaning his cage today."

So there's something I learned during that visit: Cobras Can Yawn. Hope it wasn't the company.

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