Another travel week. A group of eight “friendlies” at my business conference had congealed on my hotel patio Monday evening for bourbon, beer and bullshit.
It was a mixed crew – people i’ve encountered in various working venues. A few known “fun” folks, and one relative unknown – call sign Sven since he was born in Sweden… a very bright, appropriately snarky engineer from my old organization.
This kind of impromptu party doesn’t always work, and since i really didn’t know Sven, i was taking moderate social risk of offending him, or annoying the “known” collective.
We sat and talked smack. We commiserated about the annoyance of this particular annual “group grope” event – an apparently necessary evil we must all endure, and make the best of… We started telling tales of the ridiculous, stupid people tricks and, of course, drunken debauchery from prior travels.
Alcohol may have been a factor.
JG shared a story from his days as a young military officer – attempting to look sharp in his uniform, he wore his sock garters through the airport metal detector, setting off a body search that scarred him for life.
After being accused of being a cougar, i defended myself, saying “i don’t date younger men, since they still have dreams and want to “do” something with their lives! Who cares about your dreams, kid? Shut up, and put the ball gag back on…”
KT, while heading inside to the bathroom, managed to walk into a screen door – which led to endless abuse about how much wine she really had that evening.
We continued our rants and tales, and Sven was hanging tough. He seemed to be enjoying himself, and was pretty relaxed. He was the first to leave, however, as he had to give a presentation in the morning.
As he was saying his goodbyes, i challenged him – “I’ll buy you dinner if you can work the words ‘screen door’, ‘sock garters’ and ‘ball gag’ into your briefing tomorrow! OK, ‘ball gag’ might be tough, so just the words ‘ball’ and ‘gag’ will suffice. But you’ll get bonus points if you can keep them adjacent – a really nice meal!”
Looking a bit shell-shocked, he thanked us for a lovely evening and went off across the lawn to his room. We weren’t sure if he took it seriously, but all agreed that he seemed to have a good time.
His was the third presentation this morning. Somewhere at the beginning he said something about “…follow the bouncing ball…” as he played the laser pointer across the screen, showing a process chart. It was there, but we still weren’t sure he was playing.
The group of us from the night before were scattered across the meeting room, and generally not paying much attention, until we heard Sven say “….now, try not to gag on this process chart.” We perked up. Exchanged looks across the room. It was on. He was definitely playing…
The next two would be tough. “We hope to make these old technologies as obsolete as sock garters.” Nice. Subtle. Direct.
As he wrapped up his presentation, he said “That would be like walking head first into a screen door” – bonus for directly ragging on KT for her misfire from the previous evening .
Since we were back on the patio Tuesday evening, we had to lay out new challenges for Wednesday presentations. GS got “weasel”, KT got “bondage” and LD got “domination”. And because i hate the word “moist” that was a bonus word for anyone.
GS stated up front he was going to “weasel out” of presenting one of the compulsory charts. KT talked about “bondage” required to hold materials together, tossed in a “domination” and a “weasel” for good measure. But LD was the overall champ.
Not only did she nail “bondage”, “domination”, and “weasel”, she closed her presentation with “And my eyes get a little moist when I think about this being my last meeting”. The piece de resistance, however was when she looked at the Senior Dinosaur, in charge of the event, and said “Bob, I never want to let you down…”.
Yes. She got in the lyrics* If you dont’ know what “Rick Rolled” is, there’s a good description here. It’s pretty much a dead internet meme, though, having peaked a few years back. This, however, makes it even more annoying when you do it to someone. My most favorite one – the Oregon state congress, in a bi-partisan show of collaboration – managed to Rick Roll during a legislative session. Video highlights here. Magic.