I know. You think you’re going to get a lesson in plastering, don’t you. HA, fooled ya. This is the time honored story of plaster, telephones, blueprints, business meetings, and………well, let me start from the beginning. Now this is embarrassing to me, but it’s a “when I was younger” tale, so I can live through it once again. Lessons taught and lessons learned~~
Many years ago, I was working for our Power Co., and in fact worked for them for 25 years. This particular year, I was in the engineering dept. and a new, huge, state of the art hospital was being built in my area. I was named as the liaison for the company and was scheduled to attend a meeting at one of our hotels. The architect, the builders, and myself were to come together as a meeting of the minds to make sure everything was in order and ready to go.
Enter the architect: GQ suit, impeccable in every way, and the perfect manners. He orders a Scotch.
Enter the builders: Khaki pants, polo shirts, tasseled loafers, and perfect tans. They ordered beer or bourbon.
Enter JennyD: Perfect suit and shoes, makeup fresh, hand stretched out for a handshake and smiling: Orders water.
A huge table was brought in and the blueprints were laid out. Each of us strolled from one end to the other, making notes, noting questions, and concentrating hard for about 20 minutes. As we were ready to discuss our thoughts, the waiter came back in and asked if we’d like anything else. The architect asks for another Scotch, the builders asked for another beer or whiskey, and I asked for another water. They all paused and the the architect says, “Jenny, why don’t you try their Brandy Alexander. They are known for them. Please, try it; I’m sure you’ll love it; it’s on me.” Well, what could I say? I said thank you and ordered one. The drinks arrive and I take a sip ------Ohhhh, heaven! I said, “This is like nothing I’ve ever tasted before; why it’s like ice cream and you can’t even taste any liquor! Mistake #1.
Twenty minutes later, the waiter is back and yes, all those guys ordered again. The waiter gets to me and I didn’t even hesitate. I said, “Oh, I’d love one of those Brandy Alexanders again”. Mistake #2.
Five minutes go by and I noticed that I was no longer sipping, I was gulping, and boy, was that thing ever GOOD! I stepped out into the hall, flagged down the waiter, and ordered another. Mistake #3.
I might pause here to mention I hadn’t eaten all day. Ugh. Major mistake, but who knew?
Back to the room I weave and all of a sudden had to pee. I got the guys’ attention and said I’d be right back. I wonder to this day if the sentence came out like that because all they did was stare.
I started down the hall, passed the desk clerk, and realized I had no idea where the restroom was. Opps, had to back up to ask. The bad thing was, I didn’t turn around to ask, I literally just backed up – walked backwards for about 20 steps.
With directions, I made it down the long corridor, took a right, and made it to the 3rd door. Lord knows it was a true miracle. There was the blessed stall in front of me. I went in, sat down and sighed. All of a sudden the room switched positions; what? I was falling off the john. Then I could have sworn the walls moved. At that moment I knew for certain I was plastered, snookered, polluted to the gills. I stood up and thought, ‘I have GOT to get out of here’. Problem was I couldn’t get out. I couldn’t work that little sliding lock for love nor money. I was stuck in the stall! I tried and tried with no luck and finally thought, ‘Ok, I’ll crawl under and out’. And that’s what I did. As I slithered under that little door and then looked up, I saw a woman standing at the sink looking at me like I was totally crazy! At least I remembered to wash my hands and then mumbled something to her about bad locks and don’t use that stall.
I started out the door and then came to an abrupt halt. Which way was it? Right? Left? Straight and then right? Oh noooo. Ok, I’ll just start walking. Or weaving. It was definitely more of a weave. Alright, I admit, I bumped into the wall a few times, too. I swear I was in a maze. I took more turns than I could count. I knew it didn’t take that many on the way to the john, but I knew eventually I’d have to end up back at the desk, right? Well, sort of.
Time marched on. More twists and turns. Once I even ended up outside in the back of the building. But finally, I thought I saw the desk clerk and I’ve never been so happy to see another human. I knew I was almost back to the meeting. But wait.
It was the desk alright, but the clerk somehow seemed to be gone and I couldn’t remember which room was for the meeting. ‘Ok’, I thought, ‘I’ll sit down and wait. Someone will find me’. Now the problem with that was, I was the only person sitting on a sofa smack dab in the middle of the room and facing the door to the street. This area had a number of, ummm, how can I put this, ladies of the night. The next thing I knew, this gentleman comes in, walks right over to me, leans in and whispers, “How much, you pretty thing?” Huh? ME? Oh good lordddddddd. I told him he had the wrong person and he mercifully left. I realized I needed to look like I was busy rather than just sitting there dangling a leg. I saw in the corner of the room a pay telephone – you know the kind, with the telephone book on the shelf. I thought, ‘This is perfect. I’ll take the phone book over to the sofa and pretend to be looking up something, and THEN someone will find me’. I grabbed hold of the book and turned in one swift motion and RIPPED the entire book out of the wall! Who knew the book was chained??? And worse, there was this tiny sign saying Just Painted, and here I’ve left a hole the size of New York in the wall. I was in a panic. I tore out at least a hundred pages of the phone book and stuffed them into the wall hole and hoped no one would notice. Right. Well, a drunk never thinks.
I sat back down on the sofa and now had the phone book, or what was left of it, with me. I tried to look very studious as I opened it and scanned the pages. It seemed forever. Then a tap on my shoulder. I’m saved! I'm saved! It’s the architect! He looks at me, smiles a poor-pitiful-you smile, leans over, and turns the book right side up. Gawd. “Loved that Brandy Alexander?”, he asks so smoothly. “You were gone for an hour and we thought you went home”. I tried to look so innocent and un-drunk, and I looked up at him and said, “Well, you see, uh, uh, well, I lost my way, see, I have no sense of direction, uh…”, then I stopped because I knew it was only making things worse what with the book being upside down and now the desk clerk was at the phone booth and bellowing, “OMG, WHAT HAPPENED TO THE WALL???”
I never, EVER had another Brandy Alexander again. Truly, lessons taught and lessons learned ~~