Hank and I host a poker game for our friends every month or so. It's a pretty fun evening between the game-playing, the boozing, and the joking around. Although there's plenty of games based on mathematical constants, pot odds calculations, jokes about which players at the table are really Cylons, and other geek humor, it's a genuinely amusing crowd. Most of us may make our living by sitting on front of computers, but we're generally a pretty outgoing bunch.
And, of course, after about one drink, I launch into a litany of dick jokes. I'm classy that way.
Earlier this year, however, we had offered to host a poker night for the highest bidder at the annual fundraising auction for Daisy's school. It was bought for $450 by a group of parents, some of whom I had never met before. We held the game last night.
Logistics-wise, we were all set. We stocked the booze cabinet, snack trays, and even provided a few cigars. Hank produced a poker-themed cocktail menu and set herself up as bartender. I donned a white shirt and black vest and pronounced myself dealer for the evening. Really, the only thing that concerned me was making sure that everyone was going to have a good time.
Given that this was kind of a staid PTA-crowd, I realized the burden would fall upon me to goose the conversation and interject the humor. I contemplated whether ribald humor would be appreciated or offend. I doubted this group was a bunch of drinkers, so I couldn't count on booze to lubricate the laughing muscles. In the hours leading up to the event, I internally wrestled with how to bring these people out of their shells.
When the magic hour rolled around, the guests arrived and immediately launched into the cocktails. By the time I started dealing, about an hour later, some of them were already drunk. Hank was taking drink orders and pouring non-stop.
We finished the first tournament in a couple of hours. By that time the party was in full swing, and it was becoming apparent that this was not the staid crowd I had anticipated. It was at this point that one of the guests screamed "DANCE PARTY!" and cranked the music. Suddenly, for the first time since I was in my 20's, people started dancing in my living room.
There were men grinding on women, men grinding on men, one dude dancing with a pineapple on his head, and someone with unpleasant stubble who kept nuzzling me while I was trying to deal. The yelled-above-the-music conversation seemed to center around questions about my sex life with Hank. It occurred to me then, that my previous worries about offending these people with penis references were a tad unfounded. I was the quiet conservative one in this group.
I stood to the side at one point, with the one other quiet guy, watching the coordinated people dance. Suddenly, the other quiet guy got pulled onto the dancing fray, leaving me as the sole undancing dork. I made myself as busy as I could be, given that we were in a poker-break, but was finally forced the acknowledge the awkwardness of being the one person not dancing in a party I was hosting. So, I scooted onto the "dance floor" and did my usual awkward Mike jig.
Eventually we agreed to play another tournament. A couple people dropped out. One guy stood up abruptly to go stagger into the walls in our hallway. Another woman disappeared presumably to go puke in the bathroom. Their more-sober spouses took over their hands for them when they weren't busy dancing in the kitchen. I deftly managed to deal the tournament given that at any point in time, at least one person was wandering off to dance, drink, or just wander aimlessly.
When the last person left, at around 1:15am, after we scoured the house for any stragglers who may have passed out, I turned to Hank and said, "HOLY CRAP! WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!"
Is this what non computer programmers do on Friday nights? Jesus puking Christ, I had no idea.