Craig Ain't Got No Drawers On

May 01, 2006

The best office/work related party that I've ever been to -- and one of the 10-15 best parties of any kind that I've been to -- was an APPRO Users' Conference party at the House of Blues in New Orleans. This was probably somewhere around 6-8 years ago, but I think anyone who was there will confirm that it was a mighty powerful throwdown.

We come back from the conference every year with stories about co-workers. There's no way I'm going to start writing them down, but you might be surprised to know that I usually have the sense at these things to not be among the very drunkest ones around. There's only so much room in people's memories for stories, and you can get pretty wild and still not make the cut. That's my strategy.

Before someone throws this into the comments, I'll confess that I showed my wiener on Bourbon Street for $20 bucks one time. But I have a small wiener, and I'm not exaggerating to say that absolutely no one noticed at all.

I can only think of one other thing that I did which was bad enough that people remembered the next day. It was a good number of years ago too, so I won't mention it, in hopes that it's forgotten by now.

Anyway, the House of Blues thing featured copious amounts of alcohol. At the time, it was the most alcohol ever consumed at a private party at the House of Blues in New Orleans. Also, Marva Wright, who was great.

The highlight of her performance was when she decided to pick on Craig, who was the president of the company. Craig was an uptight guy in those days (and perhaps he still is). He was uptight at work, and seemed to get even more stressed in crowds of heavily-drinking employees and customers. He usually made himself scarce pretty early in the party.

But Marva caught him before he left, and came up with the lyric, "Craig ain't got no drawers on." Just so you can imagine it correctly in your mind, she pronounces "drawers" as "draws" and "on" as "own." She got the band playing a quick beat and chanted it over and over. I know it's hard to picture the sound:

"Craig ain't' got no draws own, Craig ain't' got no draws own, Craig ain't' got no drawuhs own ."

Craig was completely unable to appreciate some fun at his expense. I didn't see him myself, but the story is that he got flustered and high-tailed it.

The correct move, should you ever find yourself in Craig's situation, is to make your way to the stage, climb up with Marva, and drop your pants. This might prove Marva right or might prove her wrong, but either way, you become the hero rather than the butt of the joke.

There are a couple of reasons that this story has come up in conversation lately. First is that this year's conference is next week. For the first time, it is being taken out of New Orleans to Las Vegas this year.

This is the point where I should complain about taking all of the tourise money that the conference brings in out of our local city, just at the time when they are recovering, and need our conference most. It really is a shame.

On the other hand, I start to get itchy when it's been a year since I was last in Las Vegas. I try to go every 8-12 months, just to make sure I don't get to that point. I had reservations last August, just as the hurricane came in and closed the airport, and my method of departure with it. So I'm about 4 months past my one-year since Vegas maximum, and I'm overwhelmingly pleased that my airfare is taken care of.

There are several things that should conspire to keep this year's group pretty tame. First, the distance between here and Vegas is going to keep most of the young, wild set at home. It's mostly management types -- and our management types are probably younger and wilder than at most companies -- but they aren't the ones about whom you tell stories for years to come.

Las Vegas isn't New Orleans. They are my two favorite places on Earth to go out, but they are very different. Vegas doesn't have a row of bars on the strip like New Orleans bars: places where you can walk in, drink from a dirty test tube, and listen to a live band for free. And then the exact same type of pace with a different band next door. No, the bars are separated by thousands of yards of casinos. You won't be wandering from one to another looking for an impromptu group of comrades. That will take a lot of wind out of the sails.

Most of the party-hard bars in the casinos are the high energy, loud music from a DJ type of place, and they usually have relatively steep cover charges. They also sometimes have lines to get in.

Another problem is that the gambling is a distraction from the drinking. Yes, it's free at the tables, but you can't put 50 people at the same blackjack table.

Finally, there are just too many other things to do in Vegas. After a day of sessions in New Orleans, you can eat great food and get a drink. That's pretty much it. But if you're a novice to Vegas, you're going to want to see the pretend pirates fight at Treasure Island, the white tigers at Mirage, the water-light-music thing in front of Bellagio, etc.

The work conference ends on Wednesday, at which time Mrs. theskinnyonbenny and a group of buddies show up to close out the week with me. I should have plenty of stories and pictures to post from this trip.

The other thing that has reminded us of Marva Wright is that she's playing a free outside concert in Baton Rouge after work on Friday, May 19. I checked her web site, and I see that the "ain't' got no draws own" song is standard fare, so naturally, I'm very much looking forward to this show.

I'll make sure to take a picture or two at this show also. If I'm really feeling industrious, I'll even try to record a snippet of my favorite song to post for you.