Thursday, January 31, 2008

A BLACK TIE AFFAIR

last friday, my job required me to go to a black tie awards banquet. my boss had submitted a stained glass window that i designed and fabricated and it was chosen as a nominee. he was away on a business trip so it was up to me to attend in his place. long story short, i won an award in the "residential interior specialty" category.

here's the "long story short" part:
honestly, i wasn't really that eager to go to this thing. it was cool to be nominated but i've got some introverted tendencies. i don't mingle well. i didn't expect to know anyone there short of one of my co-workers, and thus, had a cloud of awkward uncomfortability looming over my noggin.

it was a pretty swanky event (a black tie required, uber-formal sort of thing). i got there at 6:30, right when i was suppose to. the following is the first 20 minutes after i arrived.

as i pulled in, i saw a line for valet parking. mandatory valet parking, mind you. a dude ran up to my window and handed me a ticket, told me to leave it running and to "just put it in park". i did as he said and headed inside. i walked into the lobby and announced my arrival. then, i heard someone asking for the owner of the green pontiac. it was then that i was informed that i'd locked my keys inside. my car was fortified, running and blocking traffic. without a spare key, i headed to the coat room for a coat hanger and coaxed the door man to procure me a flat head screw driver and proceeded to break into my own car in a tuxedo surrounded by a hundred middle aged, well dressed strangers at an uppity country club in the suburbs. fortunately for me, i'm very good at breaking into my car. i can hit the power lock in 90 seconds or less. unfortunately for me, everyone else who witnessed my skills or knew about the situation suddenly became suspicious of my talents at grand theft auto. people 30 years older than me whom i'd never met were cracking wise about my speedy problem resolution.

i immediately made a bee line for the open bar and then, to a snack table in the center of the room. an older woman came from behind the person i was talking to and reached into a basket of crackers. our eyes met for a second and as i smiled politely, the spaghetti strap of her dress fell off her right shoulder, exposing a pair of 50 year old breasts. this was the exchange: i look up, our eyes meet, dress falls off, i glance down, she glances down, we both turn away. i slowly exit, stage left. classy.

then, later, during the dinner portion of the evening, i went up to the bar again for a rum and coke. as i was waiting in line, a couple contractors i didn't know asked how i got so good at breaking into cars. they said it in a manner as to jokingly insinuate that i'd been a car thief. with a wink and a nudge. i assumed we were having a tongue in cheek conversation so i ran with it. i told a quick story about how i grew up in a poor part of south chicago and one summer, when my step dad was unjustly arrested for tax evasion in relation to his pager business, my four brothers and i boosted cars from the police impound to make his bail and settle his debt. i told this story with what i thought was a totally obvious sarcastic tone. i even mentioned a few of my fictitious brothers by name in the story.

"my oldest brother, jermaine, went to high school with a guy who runs a chop shop."
"marlon and jackie would keep lookout."
"tito could crack the steering column and cross the wires in seconds."
"my brother michael thought he was sooo bad."
"it was easy as abc."

by the end of the little made up anecdote, when i expected a chuckle, i was met with a straight face of astonishment. i falsely assumed that all the Jackson 5 references would've made it obvious but, since it was my turn to order, i just left it at that.

sarcarm is a curious thing. it either makes you a hilarious character with a creative wit, or a lying jerk, and it all comes down to gullability.

2 comments:

Monica said...

you got a chuckle

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with 50 year old breasts? ( looks down ) Oh, never mind.