Top Notch Productions

Sunday J and I gathered with the family at the bay house to pick up the dogs and have lunch before we hit the road home. I asked my brother, Vinnie, what he'd done the night before, to which he responded, "I went out." Of course. "Partied." Why not. "In the Presidential suite at the Ritz." What? WHAT? Vinnie explained that his friends, J.D. and Brendan, the elite founding members of Top Notch event planning in D.C., had gotten the soiree together. He'd been an innocent guest who'd just happened to join in the festivities and was not, he assured me, part of the Top Notch crew. The thing is, about these guys, Vin explained when I told him it sounded like they were actually pretty savvy, is that they're not really, um, established yet. Like they've thrown about two parties where they get a little classy, throw on some slacks, and give the ladies subtle hugs and a peck on the cheek at the door before delivering the goods: some Hypnotic and Hennessey. "Like they're mobsters?" I asked. "No," my brother explained. "Like they're rappers." There are differences. My dad asked if maybe they were drug dealers, in between bites of our brunch Sunday at Pirate's Cove in Galesville, where I forced my sibling to share his adventure with the entire table, Grandmom included, and Vinnie said, no, but they wouldn't mind doing that if, you know, it wasn't for the drugs. They just want to be cool guys. "Classic Fellas," said my dad and we all laughed, not because of his quick wit in naming them something as cute as "Classic Fellas" but because this is what Vinnie and his friends called themselves in high school. I'm not going to try and tell the story about the time the Fellas "fun punked" one of their buddies on a cross country trip this fateful summer several years ago - so much so that he ran away in the slums of New Orleans and caught a plane home without his belongings, including money and ID, because that story really requires a first-person telling. Especially the part where they captured the little sneak during his FIRST escape attempt in Las Vegas and stuffed him into the car while they played old Red Hot Chili Peppers as loudly as the stereo could go and told the guy, "Don't EVER, EVER try that again!!!" Oh those Classic Fellas! The thing is - it's that story, and others, like the time they acquired (stole) some lawn ornaments from around the D.C. area and "redecorated" their high school that make me think that if anyone is going to try and do something as insane as adopt the lifestyle of wealthy rappers when you're really just in your early twenties and actually pretty wholesome, good kids, and start a company called "Top Notch Productions" complete with business cards and establish yourselves by throwing parties in the Ritz, well, there really isn't anyone better for the job.