"I CAN'T STAY here any longer," my sister whispered as she plotted her escape to the door.
Puzzled, I wondered if she wasn't feeling well.
"It's constant. They're in; they're out. He yells; the other one snorts. One is a dork, so the other is a pervert. Doors slam, and refrigerator magnets fall to the floor." Her voice was shaking. "And who is that kid with his head in your freezer?"
My sister has no children. She is an aunt. A good aunt, but one with limited understanding of the male teen. A house with teen-age boys is an experience best lived every day. Continuous exposure numbs the senses.
"It smells funny here," she continued. "Some bizarre chemical reaction created when Old Spice Fresh Scent deodorant meets Polo Sport after shave and ."
She paused and sniffed the air. "And sweat. Lots of sweat."
She ducked as a lacrosse ball whizzed by her head.
"I told him not to do that, Mom," the youngest son reported while the ball was still airborne. "He does it all the time when you're at work."
"Liar," retorted his brother, "you're the one who broke the ."
His voice trailed off. Silence settled over the room as they bolted to other rooms.
Whatever he broke, the joy of silence was worth the price.
Glen Burnie resident and salesman Rob Lorentson spends two nights every year as a producer, and those nights are this weekend. He'll be putting on the Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School's annual fund-raiser, "Manhattan After Dark."
The 14th annual entertainment extravaganza provides a taste of New York with dinner, dancing and comedy. The doors open at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with shows at 7 p.m.
Lorentson has helped coordinate the event for six years. He started when his son Jesse was enrolled at Slade and continues as a volunteer for his daughter Meaghan.
"This year we have about 430 volunteers," says Lorentson. "Volunteers do everything from cooking and serving in the restaurant, greeting guests and running the activities in the different rooms."
Slade's cafeteria is transformed into the "Road Runner Cafe," featuring prime rib, crab cakes and Southwestern fare. Lighter fare can be found at the "Cafe Viennese," with specialty coffees and desserts. And the "42nd Street Deli" serves ham and turkey sandwiches.
On the other side of the cafeteria, "Murph the Music Man" spins tunes from the '50s and '60s. In the auditorium, country music fans can enjoy the twang of the guitar when Marie Rose and the Blue Horizon entertain Friday and Morgan Creek Saturday.
Between sets, the stage is cleared and a Top 40 band performs. Krystal Klear is scheduled for Friday and Who Struck John Saturday.
Stand-up comic Andre Brown is back by popular demand for four performances each evening. Because of the popularity of his act, guests are encouraged to reserve seating upon arriving.
Visitors can test their luck in the "Big Apple Casino" or make a bid at the silent auction.
"We have some great items for the auction -- get-away nights, restaurant gift certificates, a garage door opener, gift baskets," says Lorentson. One of his personal favorites is the Odenton Basket, a compilation of gift certificates and passes from businesses in the neighboring community.
Karaoke returns, allowing singers of all talent levels a chance to be discovered while singing one of 4,000 musical selections.
"Early in the evening you find people who can really sing. Later -- after they've had a few drinks -- you get the people who think they can sing," says Lorentson.
Admission is $10 Friday and $12 Saturday. Proceeds will benefit the school's general fund. Lorentson is hoping the school will net about $25,000.
Slade is at 120 Dorsey Road.
Tables are available for a flea market from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Mariner Health Center, 7355 Furnace Branch Road.
Information: Marge Dixon, 410-766-3460.
Pub Date: 4/23/97