Yesterday, we had one of the many “send offs” we’ve been having at work lately. A “send off,” for those of you who don’t know, is when somebody announces they are “leaving” (note that RIFs, layoffs, forced resignation, contract expiration, firing, etc. counts here) and we decide that, despite the fact we’re all going to be miserable, since now we have to do his job too, we go for lunch. We went for lunch/happy hour yesterday at Cool River.
Cool River is some sort of a chi chi pool bar high-tech hovel that’s become quite popular in North Austin as of late. I don’t know why. They have a big humidor there. It’s actually one of those “walk in” types, where you can don a “smoking jacket,” sit and pretend you do nothing but smoke cigars all day. Most folks in high-tech Austin don’t smoke. They wear ratty clothing, they’re married and their wives won’t let them near the house with a smelly cigar. I don’t know why they seem to exhibit this strange preference for going to places, pretending to be something they’re not, and then coming back feeling refreshed, but that’s what they do. Who am I to buck this trend? Besides, it’s right down the street and the beer is cold.
So, yesterday, we’re all sitting in Cool River at Marty’s “send off,” feeling quite like riffraff, eating chi chi h’ourdourves, pretending to fit in with the scenery, when Marty decides that it would be cool to arm wrestle. It wasn’t just cool, it was outright funny.
It started out innocently enough. He arm wrestled with Sumon, who lost handily. It was no big thing. Then the fun and indoor sports rang up. Paul sat down. We moved the wine glass, the beer bottles, and the little plates. It wasn’t too long before Paul and Marty were off like the races.
For what seemed like five minutes, neither arm moved an inch. Both faces turned RED. Both men started to grunt strange noises, the likes of which I’m sure the chi chi Cool River-ians have never heard before. Everybody started to watch, and those who were watching from the beginning started to laugh. By the end of it, we didn’t even care or remember who won, it was just one of those so funny, guess you had to be there, moments we will remember. Both men were grunting, turning red, struggling, but neither arm moved an inch.
Back where I come from, we have a name for folks who arm wrestle this this. We call them: “lefty.” I bet they’re both hurting today. I’ll be sure and needle them each next time I run into them in the hallway, by the water cooler, or just somehow. It’s just too good an opportunity to pass up. Besides, I have an advantage, I’m already a lefty and so I can’t arm wrestle but I have a built-in excuse.
Until next time…