Friday, November 24, 2006

Some Party

My husband called home last week and said he'd been invited to a party at the Captain Cook Hotel by another attorney who does a lot of work for them, was I up for a free meal at a fancy restaurant followed by dancing and entertainment? Ummm . . . let me think . . . YES!

It was a black tie affair, though in Anchorage that merely means no jeans (and even that rule can be fudged if your Carharts are in the wash) but it was about as fancy a deal as you're going to get around this little town. Six hundred people with the Association of General Contractors' (AGC) annual conference, tickets sold out in four hours. In Alaska oil--and by association construction--rules the world meaning the guest list was a Who's Who of the state. Are you getting the picture that this was no shabby event? At any rate, the dinner was tasty and we were having a great time.

So the emcee got up to start the entertainment portion of the evening and it was the typical awards mixed with a few goofy skits about various projects and businesses but here's where my story takes a turn for the Twilight Zone:

The emcee announced, "And now ladies and gentlemen I have to set up for the next part of the evening but while I'm gone five of my ex-girlfriends are going to entertain you."

I'm thinking, "Great, I really don't need to see the foreman in drag." How wrong I was.

The lights were already dim but the revolving colored floodlights began dancing over the room, throwing pink and blue and yellow patterns around the walls when ontothe stage strutted five exotic dancers. Yes, you read that right.

The music started thumping out a pulsating beat and I watched men around me become mesmerized by the gyrating motions of the five nubile bodies as they demonstrated their evident flexibility. My husband about choked on his halibut and I could hear forks dropping around the room as the girls continued their little routine--the only thing missing was the poles. There were large boxes on either end of the stage and some of the dancers jumped up on each box and continued her moves for those whose myopia may have made them unable to see what was happening on the stage.

Reading my detailed description might give you the impression that I too was glued to the scene but actually it was really embarrassing. My husband and I began a deep and earnest look-into-my-eyes conversation designed to appear as if we were so engrossed in each other's words we couldn't bear to look away--no matter how enthralling the entertainment might be. But there's only so much one can do and we had about run out of ways to look casual when it mercifully stopped.

Whew! Talk about uncomfortable. But wouldn't you know that ding-a-ling brought "his ex-girlfriends" back out two more times? I mean there's only so many times you can walk out to call the sitter, use the bathroom, check the hair, etc.

Perhaps the only person squirming more than we were was the poor woman who'd invited us. She knows my husband is Captain Family Man--he's so squeaky clean he makes Boy Scouts look bad--so where does she bring her client and his wife? The Christmas Strip Fest. Yahoo! She kept apologizing about how it hadn't been like that last year, she was surprised herself, etc.

We ended up leaving early anyway but I couldn't help chuckling about how surely someone's head would roll over the faux pas. Forget the traditional Santa showing up and passing out candy, who on the committee thought that what the party really needed were some of them good ol-fashioned girlies? Nothing says Christmas like strategically placed jingle bells.

Although the construction industry is typically male-dominant, everyone I could see had a guest with them which made for equal numbers among the sexes so besides the men who might be offended I imagined their wives wouldn't be happy about being taken to a strip club--especially after what they must have paid for their tickets. Sure enough, the next day we got a letter from the presidents--past and present--of AGC profusely apologizing for the choice of entertainment and vowing they'd sooner buy a Prius and move to Portland than ever subject us to such again. Made me smile.

Oh and I forgot to mention that before the dancing started they held a drawing for the fancy floral centerpiece and toy front-end loader on each table and I won! I never win anything--so the moral of my story is that even if you're in a den of sin and iniquity don't leave too early because you may go home with some cool stuff to show for it. Merry Christmas!


Erica Douglas said...

What a night!

Inkling said...

Oh my goodness! What a story. It was gratifying to hear that heads did roll, apparently anyway. And I have to say that you must have one fine husband, full of just the right character traits to keep his eyes on what (who) matters most to him. What a night!

Anonymous said...

i wish my husband would get shmoozed so we can enjoy xmas parties. even if it is impossible with a toddler, the offer would be nice!

Chilihead2 said...

Seriously? I have to ask myself, "Who would really be a stripper in Alaska? Wouldn't they freeze their bells off?"

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm surprised they weren't raffling off pasties or thongs...

Bec said...

I had to laugh! There was a big hoo-haa here recently when it turned out someone had booked a burlesque dancer for a government-funded science convention dinner.

All those scientists attempting to save the world, I guess someone thought it would be a great idea to have a woman (and not a very attractive one either, judging by the pics) clad only in balloons and feathers instead of an after-dinner speaker!!

Just dumb. Political correctness may well have gone too far, but things like this remind you why it appeared in the first place!!!

well done on scoring something worthwhile from the night...

Cagey (Kelli Oliver George) said...

Very cool! I adore hoity-toity affairs that require me to get dolled up. Fortunately, my husband is in a business where sometimes it is required.

SuperP. said...

You have got to be kidding!

I wouldn't have been able to help it. I would have found the organizer of this 'do' and given him my own song and dance.


Nice that your husband matched your attempt to ignore the situation.


Anonymous said...

That must have been a shock. Did you get any pictures? Just kidding.

Heth said...

"a den of sin and iniquity"
Hahahaha Bummer. Sounds embarassing! I'm glad you won a prize though.

Ballpoint Wren said...

Wah! That's good for a story, at least, at your next black-tie affair--which will probably be completely boring in comparison!

Anonymous said...

What, how sexist. Where were the male dancers!

Neil said...

2nd time in a week that your blog appeared in the ADN. Must be doing something right! :)

Anonymous said...

Amazing. Does Life imitate Art or what?
The AGC banquet sounds close to the scene in the satirical comedy, Borat, where Borat and his companion charge nude into the annual banquet of the Mortgage Bankers association in a fancy hotel in Texas. All fiction, I thought, until this.

Blaming all on the emcee isn't quite fair: anticipation of what that audience expected had to be part of the planning process of the event. However, failure is an orphan and so the scapegoat's head must roll. Few will claim credit for THAT bright idea, especially top leadership. Too bad.

Debbie said...

oh, the Captain Cook hotel! damn. my sole memory of that joint (while in training for Princess for the interior summer cruise train, ho-boy) is having to go to the bathroom to wash my hands and then go back into the conference room and hold them under the black lights to determine whether they had been properly cleansed.

also, Portland/Prius? that bad, eh? funny.

and I think your evening sounds successful, overall. you won something! maybe you can bonk yourself in the head with the toy whenever the memory of the ex-girlfriends creeps in. :)

owlhaven said...



Damselfly said...


"Nothing says Christmas like strategically placed jingle bells."

"The moral of my story is that even if you're in a den of sin and iniquity don't leave too early because you may go home with some cool stuff to show for it."

You are too funny!

jean said...

How did I miss this. I thought it was hilarious till they said "they'd sooner buy a Prius"! As a proud Prius owner I'm insulted yet I will admit that I did laugh even harder. So do you think you'll ever go to another AGC party?