It's All Goodnow……

The Cheeto Incident – (a work of fiction)

I am going to tell a COMPLETELY FICTICIOUS story.  This story is by no means a reflection of any real event that may have taken place in my office. Today. Between 1:07 pm and 1:50 pm.

Please feel free to pass along any thoughts you have on it.  I like the idea of the story, but it needs work.

The Cheeto Incident

The main character in this story, Ondrew, is sitting in a conference room.  His company hosts sessions called “Lunch and Learns”, but due to recent corporate cutbacks they no longer serve lunch.  It has been proposed that the sessions be renamed “Hungry for knowledge”, but the executive team feels that title to be in “bad taste”.   Ondrew is listening to a presentation on legislation pertaining to the annuitization of participant directed assets coming out of a retirement plan. 

Words can not capture the excitement that filled the conference room.

Ondrew sits at the large table scribbling notes to himself.  Get rich quick schemes mostly.  Hoping that one of them will finally be his ticket out of the cubicle.  Once in a while he will look up and scratch his chin as if to look interested.  He thinks he sells it well.

Today’s get rich quick schemes include a website that helps edit best man speeches for appropriate(ness) and  a tour guide company that will explore Lower Manhattan.  Either way, he is glad to be immersed in his own thoughts.  His mind far, far away from annuities.

As the meeting has been in session for 7 minutes a large figure walks into the room.  His name is……Jack.  Jack is a dinosaur.  Aged near retirement, his hair is grey, his posture a bit slouched.  He could be an advertisement for a Men’s Big and Tall store.  He is not fat, but he is large.  Think Brontosauras.

Jack has had an………..interesting career at XYZ insurance company located at 200 Park Ave in Manhattan.  He pretty much hit the jackpot and married the CEO’s daughter years ago.  The man is what some might call untouchable.  (Sitting on Jack’s desk is a birthday card that reads “To my Son-In-Law for his Birthday”)  There is more than one story that involves a company dinner and this man drinking to the point of excess.  Lengendary stories.   Stories that would have the mere mortal employee standing in the breadlines.  This guy….this guy runs the lottery business for an insurance company.  He literally……..hit the jackpot.

Jack moves into the room.  No notebook.  No pen.  No print out of the deck that was distributed before hand.  He mopes in slowly, grabs a piece of paper on the table (a paper that has nothing to do with the presentation.  It looked like it was on Dental insurance) and throws it down.  Jack is disinterested.  He does not want to be there.

Five minutes after his grand entrance Jack has had enough.  He gets up and walks out.  Of course, Jack reports to no one.  He can come and go as he pleases.  If the topic were something he cared about he might have stayed.

Five minutes later he re-enters the room.  With a Coke. And a PLATE of Cheetos.  There is nowhere on the floor that he could have gotten this many Cheetos.  It is mind boggling to every person in the room where he came up with this mountain of cheesy snacks.  Everyone in the room exchanges glances as if to say, “Where the fuck did this come from.”

Jack sits back down and eats his massive pile of food and sips his Coke.  Like an only child, he does not offer to share.

At one point Jack does not like what the gentleman running the meeting has to say.  He throws a handful of Cheetos at him.  He then laughs.  It is, in fact, quite funny.  You don’t see that everyday.  It is what we all want to do……….just act out in the middle of a boring meeting.  Throw your papers in the air and scream.  But Jack has a golden ticket/get out of jail free/bullet proof vest. 

All the while Ondrew is sitting at the table, dreaming of being somewhere else.  Dreaming that he never has to work for someone like Jack. Dreaming that one day he might be able to throw his Cheetos in the air without reprecussion.

Wedding Weekend

I went to a wedding this weekend.  One of my college roommates and fraternity brother.  He is by all accounts one of the best guys I know.  It was an honor to be in his wedding party. 

A few notes from the weekend.

1. Rehersal dinner was hosted at Grotto’s Pizza.  Grotto’s (for those of you who did not go to the University of Delaware) is the local dive bar where you can buy 23 oz Bud Lights for $2.25.   It also happens to be the spot where the bride and groom met (I think they did at least)  Either way, I thought it was a fitting spot for the rehersal.  In essence, going back to where their relationship started. 

2. On Friday night I did a little Priceline Negotiator (I just sang the Priceline commercial in my head)  and got a room for $50 at the Quality Inn.  Not so much quality at this inn.  A few notes about the “Quality” Inn:

a) as we were on our way to the room a gentleman wearing a tank top, Nascar hat, and white jean shorts asked me where he could get some pizza (I was carrying a pizza box).  I told him to go to Grotto’s.  He then said, “Shows what kind of a man you are if you like Grotto’s pizza!”   I just laughed and hoped that he didn’t have a shotgun in the back of his pick up truck.

b) there was a sign in the room listing the prices of all of the items in the room due to their “popularity with guests” ie. people stole so much out of the rooms that they had to let them know what their credit cards would be charged for stealing the ironing board ($30)

c) The TV didn’t have an antenna, but it should have.

d) My feet got a nice bath due to the drain being clogged. Just nasty. 

3. The 3 of the 4 groomsmen all got ready at the groom’s house where we had a few beers and shot of Gentleman Jack.  (the forth showed up to the church 10 minutes before the ceremony started because he had to stop at Burger King on his way there.  He walks in a says to me “Hey, do you have a mint or some gum?  My breath smells like onions”  You stay classy.)

4. Speaking of classy……….We tailgated in the parking lot of the chuch while waiting for people to arrive.  

5. It was so windy out that the church steeple was swaying.  Wood chips were falling from the roof and landing on us while the ceremony was taking place.  (I think that’s good luck, right?)

6. We went to the reception in the coolest party van ever.  Much better than a limo. 

7. The reception was held at a country club.  We had to drive golf carts to get to a creek where we took pictures.  Golf carts + drinking = awesome.

8.  As the wedding party was being introduced I demanded the wedding coordinator get me a glass of scotch to drink/hold as I walked into the room.   I would pay good money for a video of me walking into the room with ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” playing while holding that glass of scotch.  It was money.

9. Don’t drink and give best man speeches. 

10. After beer number 875 I started dancing.   I was a dancing machine.  If you Youtube “white guy with no rhythm dancing”  I pop up.  And if I don’t………I should.

11. My date was smoking hot.

12. (on a more serious note)  About 3 months ago a very good friend of mine was hospitalized because his blood pressure was so high that it could have killed him.  He was in the hospital for 2 weeks and he did not have insurance.   

He and his wife were at the wedding.   I started chatting with his wife for a minute about how my friend is doing and she mentioned that they recently got the hospital bill.  It was tens and tens and tens of thousands of dollars.  Again, no insurance.  And then she said to me, “I think of it like this.  We just bought a REALLY expensive car and we are going to keep it in the garage.  But instead of having a car my husband is alive and nothing else matters.”

She goes in the “Friend’s wives that I like” category.

 —————

I think sometimes people don’t enjoy their wedding because they want everything to be perfect.  These two just had fun.   They didn’t stress out about anything. They drank, danced, and enjoyed the company of their friends and family.  I can’t speak for them, but from my viewpoint it looked like they had the perfect wedding. 

Congrats Andy and Kristine.  Enjoy St. Lucia.