Monday, September 28, 2015

Anaheim Part III, Start Drinking

I spent Tuesday at the Anaheim Convention Center in a series of boring meetings with boring people who do very boring things. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over.

Finally there was nothing left that I had to do and no one around to answer to. So, I sat out on foot to find a good bar.

I usually like hotel bars. It doesn’t matter if I’m out of town or not. I just like them. I think they’re interesting places to interact with people and to watch other people behave very badly. I guess there’s something about hotel bars that makes adults do things that they wouldn’t -or can't - normally do at home. Maybe it’s because they are out of town and getting loaded, and they know that everyone else at the bar is probably out of town and loaded. So it’s a fairly decent recipe for sex with a stranger or other things that they aren’t allowed to do at home.

Whatever the case, this is amusing to me. And, who knows, I might decide I want to do shit that I can’t get away with at home. If so, a hotel bar is the perfect place to make that decision. Right?

The hotel where I was staying didn’t have a bar. But I was across the street from Disneyland and a block from the Convention Center, so I figured there had to be a hotel bar somewhere close by. Sure enough there were at least 25 hotels in any direction, but not one of them had a bar.

Fuck that.

So I started walking. Finally, I found a cool Irish bar with giant sliding doors that opened to a patio in the front. I guess they kept the doors open when the weather was nice, which pretty much means that they're always open.

It surprised me that there were only about ten people in the entire place. Weird. The place is so close to the Convention Center, where hundreds of thousands of business people come every week. Why is this place so dead?

I picked a nice spot at the bar and ordered a Guinness and made small talk with the bartender.

"Where is everyone?"

"We just opened last month and nobody knows we're here yet," she replied.

I looked up at the T.V. The only thing on was a Hockey game. Hmmm. I fiddled with my phone.

"What's the name of this place?" I asked.

"McFaddens," she answered.

I quickly googled "mcfaddens" and immediately found that this one is the second location. The first one is in Las Vegas. "Oh, here's your website," I said to the bartender. "Nice looking site."

She nodded and smiled and I continued to check out their site. I saw that they were pretty dialed in to social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram... Then I noticed that they have a weekly contest where customers tweet about their experience at McFaddens and then management picks the best one and that person wins a "VIP Party."

I had no idea what their idea of a VIP Party was, but I was bound and determined to win the fucking thing. I figured, hey, this tweet-about-us-bullshit is a ploy to get attention. It's a pretty good marketing gimmick. And it probably has a better return-on-investment than buying radio airtime or advertising in the local paper or visitor's guides. And, I figured I have a solid chance of winning the thing because I have about 15,000 followers on my twitter account. So I ordered a second Guinness and started working on a good tweet.

I couldn't come up with anything.

So I ordered another Guinness. Then I ordered another Guinness.

And then I took a picture of my beer and typed the caption "Dinner at @McFaddens_OC". It wasn't very original, but it's all I could come up with.

Then I switched to Captain and Coke. I drained that pretty quick and started looking around for the bartender so I could order another one. she was nowhere to be found. Probably on a smoke break.

So I tweeted "I'm guest bartending for a few minutes at @McFaddens_OC while the bartender is on a smoke break. I hope I don't get caught."

And then I tweeted "@McFaddens_OC is the only bar open in Anaheim. So I'm drinking here. I should probably apologize to them in advance."

The bartender finally came back and I lost interest in Twitter and I continued drinking until the place closed at 2:00 A.M.

The next afternoon, I was working at the conference when I received a Direct Message through my Twitter account. I won the fucking VIP Party.

So I exchanged several DMs with a promotions manager named Val before she finally asked me to call her directly

I turns out that the party was for me and ten of my friends. I was going to get free drinks all night and my friends were going to get half-off prices during the same time period. And we would also all get some free shots throughout the night. The only problem was that this was supposed to take place on Saturday night. I was planning to leave on Friday.

I told her that I was in town for a conference and that I wouldn't be there on Saturday. "I figure," I began my argument, "that Saturdays are usually busier than Wednesdays. Right? How about if I bring a whole bunch of people and just pack the place tonight?"

How many people are we talking about?" Val asked.

"How many do you want?"


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