A couple of Friday’s back happened to be the 15th year of employment with me and my company. Quite a feat for a gal with what we shall call ever so slight commitment issues. Feeling magnanimous and all, I decided to invite the entire company to a shin dig to help me celebrate at a near by hotel. I liked to call it a Thank You to my fellow employees. The company called it a holiday luncheon or something silly like that. Either way, we all showed up, we all had a good time and yes, somehow I ended up the life of about a 350+ person party.
Lunch was subpar. I do not know why these events serve holiday food, knowing that a) you’ve just been eating this in every form possible the previous week and b)will be eating it again in a matter of weeks; but there it was with it’s Foie, Grautin, Creamed, and Whipped surnamed entrees all looking surreptitiously like Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one.
After lunch I did wonder what was in store, because we still had well over an hour or so before we were set to leave. And then I saw the sign: Kevin Vine; Mentalist, Comedian and Magician.Oh great. Some half-ass comedian who couldn’t make it in the entertainment world, so corporations get stuck with them for 50 cents on the dollar. Someone who knew nothing about the company who would make some half hearted stabs at company culture and probably bring the president up so we could all politely chuckle.
I hate corporate gigs like this.
He started off and I was immediately impressed. Didn’t try overkill, just did a few magic tricks that I still don’t get how he got them done. Then came the next big act, and that’s too convoluted, but let’s say there were were too many different players, too many different ways to do the numbers, and still had a sealed envelope with a six month old lottery ticket with the exact numbers, and a 100 bill with the same serial numbers. He had people’s attention by now.
Next he did a little hypnotist theory to see who can go under quick and who cant. I know about this, because I was practically raised hypnotized. Not only did my mother believe in it, and see a hypnotist every Tuesday out in the Valley for months when I was about seven, (thankfully it’s how I got to know my Aunt Mary & Uncle Pete, who really I don’t think I would have otherwise) she studied self-hypnotism and forms of healing energies. Not the chakra, or blue crystal forms and definitely not shit like boiling bunnies and casting spells. Mostly a lot good begets good, etc. A lot of it has stuck with me, which included the openness for hypnotism.
So when this guy now asks an audience of nearly 300 of us to hold our fingers xx points apart and when he snaps his fingers we will not be able to stop them from closing I was delighted to see my fingers quaver closer and closer together. Boom end of experiment.
Right, like I’m going to have a build up like that for a ending like that?
Have I mentioned I have gotten very comfortable to wearing my glasses vs my contacts lately? Plus I get a lot of compliments on them. I decided to wear them that day.
The Mentalist- Hypnotist, whatever they call themselves asks for a participant from the audience. When that happens you’ll usually find me, IN the back, AVOIDING being chosen. I love being the center of attention, but small centers. Never big ones. Fortunately that worked. The gal he asked, he asks her “Do you need to wear reading glasses?” “Yes” I hear her reply. “Do you have those glasses on you?” I don’t hear hear her response, but it must have been a no, because he lets her know it won’t work. He’s scanning the room, and I get this precognitive moment and I’m screaming NOOOOO in really slow motion inside my head when our eyes meet and I see him zero in my direction. “You! Perfect, you’re already wearing glasses!” And he heads straight for my table.
Now here is a pretty predicament. I can cower. I can cringe. I can pretend I don’t understand English, but I’ve been working these people for 15 years, so someone is going to take notice. So as he is happily asking awaying; what’s my name? Have I any problems reading? Have we met each other before? Boom! There I am. Front and center on the stage facing all my fellow employees on my actual anniversary.
Two things go thru my head. One is, that I’m wearing a realitively short skirt and the President of the company is right below me, so clamp those knees shut! Two, do not have an anxiety attack. Merely thinking about having an anxiety attack in an anxiety ridden situation like this could push more over the edge, but there was a part of me that was thrilled to see what he was going to do with me. So if anything curiosity actually SAVED this cat.
We bantered. He explained light hypnotism vs going deep. Said he didn’t have time for deep. (Light you can hear and recall everything but still be placed under suggestion, deep is usually for heavy shows where people bark like dogs, or in the medical field to delve deeper than the psyche will permit) Promised not to embarrass me, etc.
The first thing he did was make it impossible for a full grown man to be able to pull my hand off my head. Simple enough. Guy couldn’t do it. No embarrassment to me, we are golden.
The second one, and I can hear this recall? Is my new found inability to read. He shows me a card. Asks me to show it to the audience. Then asks me to read it. No problem, I read it fine. He snaps his fingers, and asks me to repeat the steps. The audience can see the card is fine, but I cant. The letters are moving, and are greyed out and they don’t make a word and when he insists it says something, I have to say into the microphone “Mnfrpbdbit”. The audience explodes with laughter. He does this a couple more times, each time with the same reaction. Finally he snaps his fingers and sure enough NOW I can read those exact same cards.
He thanks me for being such a good sport, and I realize, hey that wasn’t so bad and head back to my seat. They finish off with a raffle, gift cards for all, and I find myself a minor celebrity. Not to bad a gig they threw a gal for her fifteenth if you ask me.
Now following this, and I mean immediately was the Friendship ONLY Date with The Italian, which I finally agreed to and turned into the most interesting of situations.
To be continued.