Thursday, April 03, 2008

The boys and I headed out of town on Tuesday night for our semi-annual... uh... team-building exercise. As usual, this consisted primarily of gambling and drinking. Participating in activities that normally end marriages or cause interventions is the way we build a team. Old school, baby.

In no particular order, here were the most memorable moments

1) Cabela's

I had never heard of Cabela's before, but it is a national chain of ENORMOUS retail stores specializing in various flavors of hunting activities. There were entire aisles full of bullet components (apparently hunters re-use and refill their bullets. Environmental!), life-sized wildlife dioramas, and a bevy of customers unironically dressed like hunters who moseyed through the store in their dungarees and camouflage vests..

I wasn't sure whether I expected to see a sign by the register specifying a maximum or minimum number of weapons per purchase. All we were there for was to buy some AA batteries for our Wii remotes, but we kept that fact to ourselves.

2) Robots

A group of 7 computer programmers typically won't spend very much time dancing during their outings. However, whenever something good happened to my boss and my oldest coworker, like when they both won a big hand in blackjack, they'd bust out with their best Robot moves.

I don't know if you've ever seen programmers in their 40s and 50s performing the Robot, but I chuckled about it long after the booze wore off. I'm still chuckling.

3) The Mill

About 7 years ago I was gambling in my favorite casino, The Peppermill, when they identified me as a card counter. The director of casino operations approached me and informed me that I was officially banned from playing blackjack there FOR LIFE.

Aside from a trip back to play poker, I haven't stepped foot in the 'Mill since that day. For some reason, though, this trip felt like the time. I figured that it was unlikely that the Peppermill had employed face recognition software 7 years ago, so the only chance that I'd get caught would be if that one employee was still there, and still remembered me. I decided it was worth the risk or at least the blog post.

"I'll need a disguise," I announced to the boys. I grabbed Pablo's baseball cap and informed everyone that they should call me "Orlando".

My boss suggested that perhaps I'd be drawing attention to myself, so I gave Pablo his cap back and suggested that perhaps everyone should call me "Steve" instead. I made them all practice calling me Steve so that there would be no mishaps at the table.

As it turned out, our dealers were VERY interested in knowing our names. They often double-checked to make sure they knew all our names and when one dealer replaced another, they'd review the name list with the new dealer. This all worked great for about 20 minutes, when my boss slipped up and called me "Mike"

"Mike? I thought your name was Steve!" the dealer exclaimed.

"Oh, ha ha," I said very quickly thinking on my stool, "that's my other name."

As it turns out, either the Peppermill had forgotten all about me, or they just didn't give a crap about the guy who raked in another $15. Either way, I'M BACK, BABY! MIKE IS BACK AT THE MILL!



chess h said...

Now that you're back in at the casino, are there any pending career changes you're thinking about? :)

Mike said...

Like what? Pit boss? That might work. I'm surly enough.

Avery Gray said...

I'm happy for you, but still trying to picture you in a Cabela's.

Syntax error.

(BTW, the word verification is "wuvpc". Cute.)

Mike said...

I should have taken a picture of myself by the bullet paraphernalia.