Monday, September 28, 2015

Anaheim Part IV, The VIP Party

Just like a snake eating its own tail, the conversation with Val went around and around and kept getting more and more frustrating, and both of us were getting more and more short with one another.

“Well, exactly how many are you talking about?” Val asked

“I can fill the place if you want.”

“How many do you think that would be?”

“What’s your capacity?”

“Just tell me how many people you are thinking about bringing.”

“Look,” I finally said, “I’m at the convention center with tens of thousands of people. All of them want to have a drink or two. I’m planning on inviting them all. Will that be okay with you?”

I guess my determination was fueled by a degree of hubris. It was about 2:00 in the afternoon and my goal was to fill up McFaddens with people. The end result would be that I get to drink for free. Which, I think, is a good result.

There were several people with whom I was working at this particular conference. Two of them were good looking twenty-something-year-old girls. Kelly and Amy. I explained to them what was going on and they agreed to go from booth to booth in the convention hall and invite as many people as they could. I thought it was a fantastic idea. Off they went.

We wrapped up our day at the conference at about 5:00 P.M. and I headed straight to my hotel to change clothes and then straight to McFaddens to start drinking before anyone else got there.

I started at the bar with a couple of Guinness and then moved to the patio with a Captain and Coke and a fresh pack of smokes. I sat there by myself for another half hour or so. I was relaxed and happy. I was sort of wondering which drinker I would decide to be for the evening.

We all know those really shitty drunks who get mean and end up starting stupid arguments or, worse, they end up punching someone in the face. On the other hand, we also know the guy who wants to get super introspective and ends up hugging everyone and telling everyone how much he loves them. There’s also the guy who embarrasses you by turning into the cheesy ultra-ladies-man with non-stop pick up lines and the never-take-no-for-an-answer attitude. Finally, there’s the guy who’s shit doesn’t stink and wants everyone to know how much cash he makes and how important he is.

With me, I always plan on having a good time, but I have to decide if I will lead or say “fuck it, let the spirits guide me.” Honestly I prefer the latter. It’s fun to just not give a shit to the point where John Taffer might walk in, kick me and my friends out of the place and then turn to the owner announcing loudly “YOUR BAR HAS BEEN RESCUED! MY JOB HERE IS DONE!” But sometimes a cruise director is necessary. So who would I be?

Then the place started filling up.

I saw a group of about ten people who I know pretty well and called them over. We moved some chairs and tables and all sat together in a large circle.

Meanwhile there were several dozen other people sitting on the patio and about 30 people inside. If this night could be compared to the night before, this was clearly a bigger and better money-maker for the owners of the bar.

We all sat and talked and drank and laughed. Someone asked the waitress about a Moscow Mule and then someone else asked “What’s the difference between a Moscow Mule and a regular Mule?”

Then some quick witted drunk replied “They are exactly the same, but one has heroine shoved up its ass.”

For some reason, this was the funniest thing that any of us had ever heard. We were finally drunk.

Over the next few hours, the place got busier and busier, and by ten o’clock the place was packed. I was proud of myself.

I realized that I never did introduce myself to the waitress as the guy who won the “VIP Party”, and thought it might be a good time. So I asked for Val, but was told that she wasn’t in. I then explained our agreement and the waitress looked puzzled. Then, she ran off to talk to a manager and came back and said “how many of these people are with you?”

“All of them.”

“But there’s over a hundred people here,” she said.

“Yep. They are here because I invited them.”

She disappeared again and returned with a guy who introduced himself as the owner.

I’ll spare you the finer points of our conversation and just sum it up by saying that the mother-fucking guy tried reneging on our deal.

He actually lied through his teeth and told me that the crowd was average size. BULLSHIT! There were ten people in the place the night before and there were about 150 in the place at that very moment. What a piece of shit.

In the end, he agreed to give every single person a free shot – as long as everyone drank the same thing, and I would drink for free and the ten people with whom I was sitting would receive a discount.

We all had Kamikaze shots and I had a few more drinks.

As I was leaving, the owner came over to talk to me again. He tried making small-talk and I wasn’t having any of it.

“Hey, you know that this place is busier than you ever seen on a Wednesday night,” I said. “All of these people are here to drink…”

“Well,” he interrupted, “we want to attract the locals.”

“What? You're located a block from the Convention Center. All of these people are businessmen and women, and all of them have expense accounts. They are the low-hanging fruit and you don’t give a shit about them?”

One of the photo's from the McFadden's
website showing an empty bar.
I was getting nowhere with him. So I told him that his website sucked. Well, it's nicely designed, but all of the pictures were poorly chosen; they were attractive shots of the bar, but none of them showed any people having a good time. Then I gave him a few other pointers about how to run his business and he placated me by telling me I made good points.

Looking back on it, I was just a drunk guy being a know-it-all, but I still think I was right.

We ended our conversation by him giving me a couple of free drink coupons for his bar in Las Vegas – which is located next to Mandalay Bay. I wondered if that idiot doesn’t give a shit about the tourists and only wants to attract Las Vegas locals too.

I still had one more night in Anaheim…


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