Other than my wife Becky, I didn’t know anyone at the dinner party. Becky had become friends with Ann through the Rotary Club and invited Becky for dinner. The dinner party consisted on Ann, her husband Doyle Murphy, their friends John and Dianne Coleman who brought their college-aged son Abe, and Steve and Kim Miller, who were visiting from a small town in Washington.
The party started normally. We dined on brisket and creamed spinach and had chocolate mousse for desert. While drinking coffee and tea, Steve picked up an acoustic guitar. Although I did not recognize the song Steve played, I recognized the voice. Steve Miller was in fact that Steve Miller, of The Steve Miller Band fame.
Ann Miller started egging Steve on. “Play something that everyone knows,” Ann needled while pouring refills of decaf.
“I like to play some of my newer stuff while playing my acoustic,” Steve replied.
“Oh c’mon,” Ann urged. “Just one?”
“Ok,” Steve conceded and started playing his 1973 smash hit, The Joker.
While he was playing, I turned to the Abe and asked, “Want a joint?”
“Are you crazy?” Abe asked. “My parents are here.”
I lit up a joint, took a couple of puffs and passed it to Abe. He rejected it, as did Kim Miller. When I passed it to Steve, he said, “Sorry bud. I can’t do that. The doctor says it messes with my circulation.”
Doyle Miller, who had been quiet most of the evening, curtly asked Becky and me to leave, which was fine, because I was pissed.
Steve Miller is a liar. He’s not a midnight toker. I also don’t think people call him the Space Cowboy, the Gangster of Love, or Maurice. If they do, it’s only because of the song.