“What do you mean its a dinner but you don’t sit down till dessert? So what you really mean is its hoursdevors and then cake. Maybe we should eat before we go.”
These words before the event proved what my wife always thought, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. This has never stopped me from talking, and once we arrived at the event, no one stopped us from eating. We ate a lot.
We were the guests of Miss Amanda who was the guest of the March of Dimes. They invited her because she is kind of a big deal. Her husband is a big deal in his own right, but since he is off on an aircraft carrier saving lives he was appropriately ignored. Why she is a big deal is a story for another time but for this story we will stick with the event itself.
I have decided I like swanky events held in museums.
Perhaps it is the architecture, maybe the implied importance, but probably I just find it amusing to be in the presence of amazing things with a bunch of people who are completely ignoring those amazing things. That night the giant flying shark was trumped by Root beer glazed ribs. Root beer glazed ribs trumps most things.
There was also macaroni and cheese with chunks of crab, lox on sesame seed macaroons, and pork cheeks in some sort of magic sauce. Positioned between displays of rocks and taxidermy stood chefs and bartenders giving out samples of what they do best. Eating is what I do best so I was well placed.
This was a charity auction, not just a dinner, so after we all swanked and ate, we were shown to our tables. What happened after we sat down was unlike anything I had ever seen before and something I would have never considered till sitting there that night.
The auctioneer had henchmen.
It makes perfect sense having seen it, but while seeing it, it was all I could watch. Henchmen might be the wrong word, assistants, hype men, support staff, whatever they were called was drowned out by what they do, which then drowned out the cause for which they were raising funds. Fascinating.
The man up front was the human version of Sesame Street’s Guy Smiley. His jaw was chiseled, his part was lasered, and his voice projected pure cheese through peroxide teeth. As he stood at the podium talking fast and canning jokes, two more of him appeared standing among the tables. The man up front spoke, and spoke quickly, while the other two were silent. Silent but not sedentary.
As numbered paddles raised to signal bids these two young men ran around pumping fists in air, clapping, pointing, and above all else, smiling. They wore fitted black suits with white shirts, the cuffs of which showed just a little too much below the coat sleeve, making them all the more visible as they pumped in the air, swung around to point toward a bid, or waived in the air causing the crowd to cheer. Which we did.
Occasionally the cuffs would disappear as the voice up front would slow, quiet just a little, and talk of premature birth, childhood disease, and the tragedy of death come early. The voice sounded as if it were masking tears. So sincere. So important. Till a paddle moved the bid for a vacation package up to $7,000 and the voice exploded with energy, rapid fire numbers, and calls for applause.
Amazing. It would be more amazing if the people in this man’s life ever took him completely seriously. He may be sincere, I’m sure he can be, and no matter how much I could ever doubt him, there is no arguing he was a professional. He was the ringmaster of this circus and he had two dancing bears sporting perfect hair. Well, perfect hair if perfect hair is defined by being completely fixed and immobile without being the least bit shiny. I found that the most amazing part of the whole night.
Did you catch the pun?
Waiting for the valet to bring the car around I realized I had eaten far too much. Over to my left was henchman number two with the well sculpted facial hair. There was nothing like a smile on his face or flashing cuff while he checked his watch impatiently.