For the second year in a row Hank and I donated a poker night at the annual auction that raises funds for Daisy's school. Last year the people who "won" the event spent $450 for the privilege and recouped their money by turning our house into a drunken dance party. It was unexpected, and hilarious, and we had a great time. It's not often that someone dances with a pineapple on their head at our house, so those moments are special to us.
This year the "winners" spent $600 for the honor of playing poker at our house, but unlike the previous year, we've actually socialized with this crowd before. We knew them well enough to know that a dance party wasn't going to break out in the middle of a poker hand, but we were also prepared to drive people home or give them a place to sleep for the night if need be.
So, last Friday we held the event. As with last year, Hank had made up a lovely cocktail menu, featuring drinks named after the poker hands. As with last year, the guests launched right into the drinks, with some folks knocking back more than one before a single hand was dealt.
(Note that I do not mean to be judgmental here about getting drunk. Unless you are one of those angry or weepy drunks, I am all for you getting drunk. However, maybe it's just the long-distance runner in me, but I do like to pace myself a bit. Drinking ain't a sprint, my friends.)
We host a fair number of poker games and we have a little routine for it. Part of the routine involves firing up an iTunes playlist that is filled with most of my favorite songs. Let's call that Mike Rock. Mike Rock consists of a lot of White Stripes, Raconteurs and then older stuff that sounds vaguely like White Stripes and Raconteurs. I do likes me some variety. Our guests typically enjoy a small percentage of the music and then sit there politely for the remainder that annoys them.
Turns out that the drunk people who paid hundreds of dollars to play poker at my house don't really abide by the same set of rules. One guy (we'll call him "Manhattan") heard about 3 notes of the first song and then strongly suggested that we make some Aerosmith appear pronto. Meanwhile, one of the women kept turning to us repeatedly through the evening to ask if we had any "woman rock". She was, apparently, pining for some Indigo Girls and took the opportunity to put on stuff like the Grateful Dead each time I left the room.
Now, I am all for the Grateful Dead as long as you supply me with the required drugs that are required to enjoy their 70 minute guitar solos. But poker night? When I'm the designated driver? Ugh.
We finally get to the cards and things are going ok, but we take a break at 9:00pm because that's when the Facebook landrush occurred and their vanity urls became available. So we busted out some computers at 9:00pm and everyone who cared signed up for their official Facebook username and url. Then we smoked cigars because that's the kind of Facebookin' bad-ass poker players we are.
By the time we got back to playing, our buddy Manhattan had gotten pretty stewed. He'd stare at me fiercely and say things like, "Ok, we can keep playing, but we're gonna need a lot more CUSSIN'!"
Being down with the cussin', I was happy to oblige. I cussed at Manhattan a few times.
Or he'd whip his head around and demand to know where we put his drink. The answer invariably was that he had already consumed it. At around midnight Manhattan decided that it was time to get up on the table and do some sort of jig. He toppled back off it almost immediately while the rest of frantically grabbed for our drinks. Turns out that maybe more of should have grabbed for him because 5 minutes later he demanded to know why he was bleeding.
"You fell off the table" we all answered. Thankfully it was a small wound.
Manhattan, in case you can't tell, was absolutely my favorite guest.
We drove the last person home at around 1:00am, and I look forward to seeing which PTA members get drunk at my house next year.
We do it all for the children.