M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, July 16, 2003  

New York Stories, Part Three

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Chao. Again, no relation to AB, as this one’s name is 25% made-up anyway.

This whole evening is an event in itself. Here’s the setup for the whole thing: IF you’ve never been to anything like this, you have no point of reference, but bear with me. Librarian Conference = hordes of ugly middle-aged people. (Side note: The “Special Libraries Association” Conference has far fewer ugly and middle-aged people than the “American Library Association” Conference, but for these purposes, the ugly factor still holds true.) [Present company and our friends excluded, of course –Trash]

The Thompson Corporation (who owns Dialog), decided to go all out on their “vendor party” and hold an exclusive by-invite-only event. When Trash got the invitation in PDF format, she sent it to everyone she knew. Nice, huh? [Well, I was worried about the obvious lack of cool were I not to stack the deck, so to speak.—Trash] So with our printed-out invitations, we hop in line and head for the 5th floor of the Hilton which Thompson has rented for the night. They also paid for full-on, buffet-style eats: Roast beef, pasta, veggies, desserts, and free wine and beer. To top the festivities off was the hiring of the world-famous Tommy James and the Shondells. That’s right, from back in the day, “Crimson and Clover,” “Hanky Panky,” etc. So we guess Thompson threw down some dollars for this event.

Here’s the event: The three cool cats walk in and scope the food, yup, it’s a decent spread. Head to the bar and grab some wine. Then, head into the band hall and check out Tommy James and the FSU orchestra (long story). Once we realize the band is the ACTUAL Tommy James, CorpKitten and Trash head to the dance floor where thousands of ugly people are gyrating and hobbling around in such a white manner that it’s painful. And yes, I’m serious about the THOUSANDS. It was absolutely horrific. After the twenty-minute version of “Mony Mony” complete with drum and guitar solos, Chao seriously laments the fact that proper hard liquor is not available. Trash turns to Chao and says, “This is payback for making us watch A.C.,” a noise-grind-core metal band who played when we were at the American Library Association Conference in San Francisco two years ago. Touche, Trash. You win. [Oh, whatever – this wasn’t even close. –Trash]

While Trash and CorpKitten are dancing, there are hordes of ugly librarians clapping and cheering them on, as they look like they were enjoying each other’s company very much. And what better place to come out than at a library conference, right? Exactly.

Trash, meanwhile, has gathered some of her librarian friends around her, as she often does, so the group has grown to about seven or eight at this point: Chao, rolling his eyes, and about seven librarians of varying degrees of hotness. Earlier in the day, CorpKitten had been invited to a fancy-schmancy vendor party thrown by SwetsBlackwell, a major player in the library field from London. A stop by their vendor booth got all three of us invites to the shindig. So of course, we invite all our new friends from the Dialog party to attend with us. [What? We can’t be social? –Trash]

Now this party is at the Tavern on the Green. THE restaurant in Central Park. It’s beyond “swank”; it’s nearing (insert favorite porn magazine title here) status. ?ber-expensive and super high-class setup. This is a place where Chao would normally not be allowed (Chao is hairy and wears metal t-shirts), but there is the matter of “the invitation.” Someone specifically asked him to be there. So the tipsy librarian crew rolls into the Tavern on the Green and heads for the SwetsBlackwell party.

SwetsBlackwell know how to throw a party. Free food and drinks. That’s all we ask, really. But this food was prime rib, and caviar (or cloves/capers – he, he, he), and pasta, and lobster, and desserts. The drinks are real drinks, not just wine: Jack, Seven, Captain, Tanqueray, Drambuie, etc. So, yeah, we help ourselves. We do very little hob-nobbing as our purpose there is more gastronomical in nature. Food and drink flow freely…for a while. Then they start shutting things down. The entire group is outraged. [At 10:30 PM!!! Who shuts down a party at 10:30 PM? Sacrilege! Drunky but Funky would NOT approve! –Trash]

So we leave the party we’re at and crash a private wedding reception. Yeah, that’s right, we walked out of the door to our banquet room and right into a wedding reception. You just can’t have enough free food and drink, right? So while standing between the buffet table and the bar, we act very non-suspiciously and move our bodies to the very-white beat of wedding music, until…the mother of the bride gets up from the head table and starts walking towards us. Yes, mother of the bride. Chao is ready to spring into action if there is a confrontation (or run, whatever the required response will be). However, when Mom gets to our group, she says, “Now Jenny wants all the guests to make sure they take a gift home with them, so don’t forget to pick up your gift.” And gestures to the tables full of small door prizes near the door. We assure her we won’t forget and somehow wait until she leaves to start laughing like idiots. Insanely insane close call.

As this party begins to wind down, the group realizes it will probably appear suspicious if there is a crowd of people standing near the bar that NO ONE seems to know. So, the only escape route just happens to be through another party. And yes, we see a bar out there. So we crash Party Number Two – a SALSA party. I don’t mean chips and dip either. I mean a bevy (or plethora, if you will) of Hispanic chaps and gals dancing energetically around a dance floor. And a bar. [Did we mention the bar? –Trash]

We stand near the edge of the dance floor for two minutes or so looking suspiciously Caucasian, when out of the blue, Rico Suave grabs Trash and pulls her out to the dance floor. Now, for the record, Trash doesn’t salsa, but Jack Daniels DOES! [Yes, Trash DOES Salsa. In fact, she can salsa very well, thank you. However, she generally does not salsa with drunken men that she meets at random in parties she has just crashed. –Trash] Thank you ladies and gentlemen, we are officially members of the salsa party at this point. So we all smile and laugh at her spinning like Whitey Ford and then head to the bar. Alas, a cash bar, so drinks are suddenly on us. But with the cost savings of the three previous parties, we feel we can cover the cost of a few hundred drinks for the night. Chao buys some drinks for the ladies and the ladies buy some drinks for Chao. Then we sit to help our heads not spin while watching other people spin.

We pick a far-away table and park it and begin the usual librarian talk and laugh because we’ve crashed two parties at the Tavern on the Green. Some time and a few drinks later, a table fills up with fifteen or so well-dressed people who are competing with us for most-alcohol-consumed. But their group has people falling over chairs and knocking each other to the ground, so it’s time for Team Dewey to step it up a notch. More drinks.

Just then, a handsome chap comes over to our table and starts the chit chat. He’s a young, Andy Richter-like bloke from London. Says what an attractive table of people we have sitting there and then turns to Chao and says, “But YOU have the face of an angel.” Apparently Chao’s gaydar is confused by foreign accents and mass quantities of alcohol. He then pulls up a chair next to Chao and starts the festivities. Chao is a heterosexual in ways you can’t even imagine; however, he is not above flirting with the same sex and even leading someone on. Cruel, no, but it keeps everyone from fist-fighting, right? So Chao is flirty, and “Andy” is also flirty by means of kissing Chao on the cheek, hugging him, rubbing his thigh, playing with hair, etc. All members of Team Reference keep whispering to Chao asking if he’s ok with all of this, and of course, Chao is having a great time! Ego through the roof. [Anyone else notice that Chao reserves “good-looking” status only for those librarians who are hitting on him? —Trash]

After about a half hour of touchy-feely, “Andy” turns to Chao and says, “You’re straight aren’t you.” The Salsa music stops, librarians gasp, water stops flowing, a record scratches to a stop. Chao replies, “… Uh, yeah… is that alright?” Everyone starts laughing again and then there is a pleasant conversation between Chao and “Andy” on how nice it was that Chao played along and wasn’t offended, and how much fun it was to play the whole game, especially when both parties know it won’t lead anywhere. A genuinely pleasant conversation (complete with more flirting and rubbing). Insert more drinks here.

At one point, “Andy” asks what we’re all doing here. And we mention we’re librarians at the Drunken—I mean Special Libraries Association. “Andy” is floored. He tells us he works for SwetsBlackwell and actually organized the party. Someone mentions that they subscribe to services provided by SwetsBlackwell and he yells over to the well-dressed table and screams loudly, “Oi! Oi! Hey, they’re CLIENTS of ours!!!!” Their table starts laughing and the party gets a lot more hopping now that there are fifteen other people for us to talk to.

During this time, Trash is continually dragged out to the dance floor and spun wildly. Even someone’s grandpa demands she dance with him (yes, he was at least 75 years old). Then he gets all pissy with her because of her lacking salsa skills and literally just turns and walks away from her on the dance floor. He was seen later dancing with someone who was salsa-literate. [Okay, yes, that part is true. He did leave and dance with someone else. And he was 75 if he was a day. But the other guys all thought that I was BRILLIANT at salsa dancing, and most asked me to dance multiple times. –Trash] After more drinks were consumed, the sculpted bushes and shrubs began to make their presence known. Yes, they were there all along, but we actually noticed them at this point. A 15 foot high King Kong bush loomed over the bar; we were sitting next to two 5 foot high swans; a host of other woodland creatures appeared as well shaped from the shrubs. Things get freaky after drink number thirty-four.

“Andy” introduces Chao to his friend from Lehman Brothers, Inc. (fancy schmancy financial company in downtown NYC), Kahn. Kahn has on a really nice pair of stylish glasses and is really well dressed. Chao comments on this fact and they head to the bar together. Kahn makes it known he is not gay, as does Chao. Drinks are purchased and conversation ensues:

K: So where are you from?
C: from a town west of Chicago.
K: How far west? Like Rock Island?
C: … uh yeah, that’s where I live.
K: Seriously? That’s crazy, I am from Macomb.
C: That’s bizarre isn’t it? What are the odds of that happening? Hey let’s get some more drinks for the ladies.
K: Cool.

Drink are bought and passed around, except for Trash who seems to get forgotten by all but Team Salsa. More spinning from Trash. CorpKitten is being talked up by handsome well-dressed guy who unfortunately spills that he is married (dumbass). And “Andy” starts flashing his tattoo. Librarians are known for the ink so the clothes start flying off. At one point, ”Andy’s” pants hit the floor accidentally and he’s a little embarrassed, but everyone is cracking up, so it’s all cool – Captain Morgan told me it was ok, I promise.

And the time comes for everyone to leave (about 2:30 a.m.). Trash, CorpKitten, and Chao head for the door and “Andy” follows them out. HE knows where a good time is at. The four head out to a main street and hail a cab. Those of you who are familiar with taxis, know they’re a pretty wide vehicle, right? Well apparently, “Andy” didn’t think there was enough room in the back for two hot, skinny ladies, one moderately sized Hessian, and one plump Brit to sit four across in the back. So “Andy” sits on Chao’s lap on the way home. “Andy” is still commenting on what he would do to Chao if he’d just come back to the hotel with him, all the while checking Chao’s pockets for change and checking the fit of Chao’s inseam. This is all happening as Trash and CorpKitten cower in the corner of their side of the cab snickering to themselves – loudly. [Not loudly—it’s just hard to snicker so quietly that you can’t hear it from 6 inches away. –Trash] “Andy” is dropped off at his hotel and we make sure he actually gets through the doors before we pull away and head back to our hotel.

Once we arrive at our hotel, we head for the door and all three librarians stop dead in their tracks. They all look at each other and silently realize they are not ready to call it a night (or morning). So they head to the nearest bar – The Pig n Whistle, An Irish Pub with a hot bartender. So they partake in a couple more beers/ciders—and by a couple I mean four or five each—and commence conversation reveling in Chao’s prowess with the same sex. Currently, CorpKitten has been up for nearly 15 hours!!! If any of you knew CorpKitten, you would find very quickly that her body physically cannot handle the change from one time zone to the next. She’s an Eastern Time Zone gal, and withers like an albino in Arizona when she has to come to the Central Time Zone where the normal people are. So apparently, when she remains in her own familiar time zone, she can stay awake for nearly a 20-hour stretch. She also goes to bed at about 8 p.m. every night (and yes, she will throw a fit when she reads this). This night, however, ends around 3:30 a.m., which is especially funny since CorpKitten has some sort of 8 a.m. workshop...

To be continued

posted by M. Giant 3:48 PM 0 comments


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