Let me take a minute and talk about why I have been somewhat lax in my blogging for the past few weeks. Every two years in the life of a software company there arrives a trade show so essential to the very survival of the company and the drinking habits of its employees that everything else has to be nudged aside in its favor. Such a show arrives in Chicago next month and in the words of the President of my company, it is "the trough from which we all feed from and would you guys fucking hurry up because feeding time is almost over". Hence the relatively meagre literary output emanating from this blog.
I usually get sent to this show along with everybody else in the company but this year they are leaving me here and I think I know why. It is because of The Incident. What happened was, the last time I was in Chicago for the show, there was one night when indiscriminate post-show partying took place accompanied by an overindulgence in the malted fermented beverages. The party who was guilty of forcing overindulgence upon the rest of the crowd was a colleague who was leaving Chicago the next day whereas the rest of us would continue to hold the fort through the rest of the show.
And so the next morning when I woke up in my motel room at 7:00 am, I was shocked to discover that I continued to be in the exact same state of acute inebriation that had existed as I fell asleep, and this was not really suprising since I had fallen asleep a mere three hours earlier. Painfully, I brushed my teeth, showered and appeared downstairs for roll-call. The president of my company accosted me with a smile.
"Good morning gawker", he said, because it turns out gawker is also my real-life monicker. I really hate the word monicker. "How many company t-shirts do you own?" he asked.
I was puzzled. Was my shirt unironed? Was it dirty? From my perspective of apparel hygiene I thought it looked pretty good. Nevertheless, I said I had two of them.
"Would you like to have two more?" he asked.
"Sure", I said. Hey, whoever turns down free t-shirts is either obscenely rich or passionately nudist and I was neither.
"But there's one thing you need to do for me", continued the president.
Ah, there was a catch, I knew it. I wondered if it involved murder, sodomy or contact with animals. "What's that", I asked.
"You will have to shave", replied the president.
Navigating slowly through the foggy blur of intoxication in my mind was a gradual comprehension that the conversation I was currently participating in was less about free t-shirts and more about my unshaven chin and its possibly adverse impact on the software demonstrations I would soon be making.
"Er...do you want me to go back upstairs and shave?" I asked, thinking correctly that it was probably a smart thing to say.
"Yes, that would be great, thank you", said the president. He didn't specify when I would be receiving my new company t-shirts but I didn't press him on it. I ran upstairs if you can call crawling up a staircase "running". I shaved. And then I demo-ed the software for the next nine hours, gulping five gallons of water every five minutes. Somehow I got through the day in one piece. It was great.
But I won't be going to Chicago this year. It is sad because I will miss Chicago food and the monstrous portions of meat they serve in restaurants up there. They put you and the food inside a cage and then it's a duel to the death and whoever wins gets to devour the other. Have you ever been inside the stomach of a deep-dish pizza? It's not very pleasant.
Ah I should have shaved, goddamnit I really should have shaved.