The Fundraiser

Another great function over and done with.  We went, we saw, we conquered. 

My day started out a little rough, I was due to be at a Toastmasters function around 7:30 AM and that’s tough to do when you’re clock says 7:37 when you open your eyes!  Blood pressure up, curse words flying and feet moving.  What a way to get your blood pumping.  As you know, I don’t sleep when I’m supposed to, instead my body eventually gives up and I sleep when I shouldn’t.  I made it shortly after 8:00 AM with agendas in hand and got through officer training and my introduction of a speaker.

Whew, now it’s on to the fundraiser and making sure silent auction items are displayed and organized for optimal viewing, meat and cheese trays are sliced and put together, buns are cut and the raffle prizes are ready to go.

As usual, very few things go off without a hitch.  The first issue was “will the meatballs be done on time?”  Probably not, let’s move the food to 6:30.  No problem, people were still filing in and nobody was starving to death.

Second issue, “will the microphone be hooked up by the band in time for us to draw for the first raffle prizes at 6:00PM”?  Absolutely not, no way, no how.  The food tables were in the way of where the sound board was supposed to be.  Figure it out, I’m sure this isn’t the first time you’ve run into a little hitch in your giddy-up while setting up the sound. 45 minute delay, not a show stopper though, people were at least eating.  Then it’s decided, we’re going to start the drawings anyway.

“What? Start the drawings? Without a microphone? In a bar that holds a couple hundred people?”  Those were my first questions as the MC, legitimate I thought.  Ok, so we improvised.  We worked it like a volunteer group would work a sand-bagging effort, I shouted the number, someone shouted it again and someone shouted it at the front of the bar.  At this rate, my voice wasn’t going to last long and we were never going to give away the hundreds of prizes we had.  Good thing it was only about 10 minutes or I would have had to throw in the towel early.

A microphone in hand, food in my belly and prizes to give away, there was no stopping me now.  We did well giving away 15 to 20 raffle prizes every hour during the band’s breaks.  Getting everyone to pay attention, even when you have a microphone, is another challenge but one that we won’t fix any time soon.  People talking to others they haven’t seen for a while and there’s drinking involved.  Other than that, issues were over.

Between drawings was the best part of the night for me.  Myself and a few others stayed close to the band where the tickets were housed.  I was home base for those selling tickets so staying put was a necessity and a pleasure.  I had front row seats to the dancers!  For someone like me this is like Christmas.

This particular bar, in this particular part of town is always a prime spot for people watching.  One of the reasons I work there is because it’s an ego boost for me.  I feel so good about myself when I leave there, almost like the state fair only on a smaller scale.  If there’s any ‘normal’ regulars reading this, I’m not talking about you. 

The dancing starts toward the end of the first set.  You’ve all seen the one who starts it, long hair, combed with a pork chop yesterday, out there by herself, flailing around like she might be having a seizure.  I thought at first it was some sort of rain dance but after a few songs I realized that’s just how she dances.  No wonder she was dancing alone, a partner would have been beaten and bruised with the swinging arms and flipping hair.

She’s like the grand master of the parade, once she goes by, the parade can start.  Well, the parade started, Parade of the Mutants that is.  The couple who hasn’t danced for years, him with only one leg that bends sort of to the music and her with no legs or arms that bend.  Then you have the couple who were teenagers in the 80’s, still dancing the same way and they think they know the words to the song, raising their arms when they think the chorus starts and they’re about 15 seconds too early.  It doesn’t bother them though, they just keep going.

You’ll then see the princess, you know her, she’s dancing by herself but her boyfriend/husband is watching from the sidelines.  This weird little mating ritual goes on through several songs and maybe even a couple of sets.  It gets more and more  x-rated as the evening goes on.  She has of course gathered more than her husband as a crowd, some poking fun, some admirers. 

And finally, there’s THAT GUY, there he is, in his 60’s and he’s finally had enough to drink to ask all the ‘pretty girls’ to dance.  He moves, not necessarily at the appropriate times, but he moves.  He’s a toucher and almost looks like a predator on the dance floor shuffling after his latest victim, I mean dance partner.  He will provide entertainment until the band stops.  Sometimes, he will continue once the jukebox starts if you’re lucky, he’s shed his sweatshirt and his hat to get down to serious business.  The bartenders are watching close in case an ambulance is needed.

After the dancers start the night goes fast.  Raffles, laughs, people watching, ego boosting and more laughs.  Before I know it the night wraps up.  Exhausted, pleased with the outcome and feeling good about myself because I’m still upright, I have all my teeth and I’m going home wearing all my clothes.  What a great night.