Soon after I moved back to St. Louis, Gatermann and I came up with a weird ritual for Friday and/or Saturday nights. Come Feb. 1999, I started writing my first book, which was a full-time job on top of the full-time job I already had, so my brain was usually totally fried after a week of troubleshooting Macintoshes for 40 hours and spelunking in Windows configuration files and writing about my findings for another 35-50 hours.
Sometimes our buddy Tim Coleman was involved too; it just depended on whether he had to work on a given night.
First, we’d go rent a movie, almost always an old Peter Sellers movie. Tom can keep the Pink Panther series straight; being oh-so dark and cynical, my faves are, of course, Dr. Strangelove, the classic comedy on nuclear war, and Being There, which is a very cynical take on what it takes to succeed in Washington. If you haven’t seen it, I’ve already given away too much.
Once we had a movie or two, we’d stop off at the local QT for some lovely beverages. You can get a 64-ouncer of whatever soft drink you want for about a buck, which is what we usually do. Note: A full 64 ounces of root beer does really bad things to you. You feel it in the morning. I know you’re going to go try it now, and you’ll be cursing me afterward. You’re welcome.
The first night we did this, Tim complained about women always using the facilities. I’d never paid any attention. But that triggered another part of the ritual. Being five-nine and about 140 pounds, I don’t have a whole lot of room to put 64 ounces of anything, especially when those 64 ounces are consumed within about a two-and-a-half-hour time frame. So, when I stood up about 45 minutes into the first movie to go recycle, Tom yelled, “Dave’s a woman.” When I came back, Tim got up. Tom yelled, “Tim’s a woman.” Without looking back, Tim made a one-finger gesture at Tom over his shoulder and kept walking. Tom enjoys inciting those.
We’ve seen every Peter Sellers movie available on VHS and we’ve tried every flavor at QT, so we don’t do this all that much anymore.
I bring this up because earlier this week, I received a flyer from Skillpath Seminars. The title of the seminar: Conflict Management and Resolution for Women. The guy who delivers the mail personally walked over to my cube and handed it to me with a smirk. Since I get about four brochures a day for various seminars, I normally put them in my round file without even looking at them, but I glanced at this.
“Dwayne got one too. We had a good time sorting the mail this morning,” he said.
Yep. Either someone told Skillpath about our little ritual, or some procedure was performed this past week that I’m going to be very unhappy about when I find out about it.