Beer cans, biplanes and the intricacies of networking

Last night was my once a month, sometimes excruciatingly tiresome, obligatory networking cocktail-y work thing. This month’s outdoor event was okay — made fun primarily because my best guy friend in town (we’ll call him News Guy — I love him to bits) showed up. His timing couldn’t have been better. I needed someone to tell me if I had BBQ ribs stuck in my teeth. I did not.

So, I’m standing there, talking to News Guy and someone else we’ll call Manorexic, and this crazy woman comes up to me, addressing me by my first name, which she’s clearly just learned from my NAME TAG. She has her 14ish-year-old son in tow. They are obsessed with the Bud Light in my hand. That I’m so obviously DRINKING.

Turns out her elderly father makes model biplanes out of Bud Light cans. I learned it takes 18 cans to make one airplane. I also learned her father doesn’t drink, which poses a dilemma. Because the money he earns from the sale of these planes — apparently there’s a market for things of this nature — goes to his grandson’s music lessons. Which, I’m thinking to myself, ‘Oh, PLEASE let them be COUNTRY music lessons, or I’ll be crushed.’ The irony of the whole story is lost without the Country.

I told her when I was done, the can was hers. She thanked me, and she and her son — the music lesson grandson — backed away a good … three feet. Waiting. Watching. Chicken Hawks to my field mouse.

I tried to ignore my Beer Can Stalkers. It must have been around this time that conversation turned to seafood and my intense dislike of all things fishy. I distinctly remember saying I didn’t think I’d make a very good lesbian.

Note to self: In work-related social situations, best to remember the difference between INSIDE voice and OUTSIDE voice. Probably a good rule of thumb in any situation.

I almost forgot all about them.

Half an hour later, as the party was winding down, we moved to a completely different location. The Chicken Hawks chased me down, planted themselves in front of me and just stood there. Smiling. Holding a bag of cans. Not really a TRUE bag — more like a plastic toilet paper wrapper fashioned into a bag. Which only paints a better picture.

“Take your time. No rush!” Mama Stalker said, standing WAY too close, popping the Personal Space Bubble.

Rather than go off on the woman, News Guy took a step back and looked away. I stood there like an idiot, trying to chug the remainder of my Bud Light. I suggested she check out the trash for more cans.

She remained. Inside my Personal Space Bubble. Smiling.

I was so annoyed and freaked out I finally handed her my half full beer telling her I’d get another. “Are you sure?” she said, taking the can. Still smiling. Still completely socially inept.

The thing was, it wasn’t like she was some random person crashing the event. She had a name tag. She was invited. Apparently the nuances of “networking” had her confused.

Perhaps she’ll leave the beer can fetish at home next month. I shall be drinking wine.

27 Comments

Filed under Piece of Insanity

27 responses to “Beer cans, biplanes and the intricacies of networking

  1. I make these garden decor things out of wine bottles, so um, when you’re done could you just, you know, hand it over. Please.
    I’ll just be waiting over here. Whenever you’re done. No hurry.

    Still waiting.

    Done yet?

  2. I knew there was a reason I adored you, you don’t like fish! *lol* Imagine me, living in Maine, and I can’t stand lobster or anything else they dredge up from the depths of the ocean.

    You are a far better person than I. My “personal space bubble” is off limits and I’d have told her so, in no uncertain terms. Of course, it could just be my PMS talking right now.

  3. That would totally creep me out. First, bringing a kid to a business networking thing-ie (love the technical term for that), and then, having the absolute cohones to stand in your airspace and wait for you to finish a beer.

    Then, my mind travelled to some craft where beer can sections are crocheted together with acrylic yarn.

    Then, my head blew up from the tack-bomb craftiness.

  4. I’m kind of hoping the kid is learning, say, the banjo. Or the steel guitar.

  5. all I know is my personal space bubble gets bigger every day.

  6. pavlovskitty

    I’ve seen those biplanes. My ex’s redneck uncle had one dangling from the ceiling.

  7. Is she married? I’d really like to introduce her to one of my brothers.

    He’s the type who’d go to a funeral to get free food.

  8. Great sign when you want to be left alone.

  9. Lex the mom

    What a great story – I needed some laughs today – so thank you & your beer can stalkers (though I would have been a little creeped out, too. I can almost envision them in their desperation – three feet from the can of glory..). I hope you only had one Bud light, but went on to bigger, better drinks to quell the inner hysteria.

  10. Are you sure she was “collecting cans”….maybe it was all an elaborate ploy to get some of your DNA for later use. I’d watch out for those types. Their shifty. Plus, all I could think of when I read this was those beer commercials “We salute you…Mr. Airplane out of beer can maker!”

  11. Hon, thanks again for the cans! I’m sending you one of these. . .http://www.stitchymcyarnpants.com/tincan/beercan.html

  12. How is the old man?? Elbow pads?? Bet he’ll never wear that jacket again. ;)

  13. Perhaps The Old Man will, next time, be working on a project involving wine glasses. Uh oh. Me thinks you should simply never drink anything. Ever. Again.

    What a strange experience. God bless you for being so good natured about it.

  14. OMG BEER CAN STALKERS. Too funny. I actually saw one of those planes and a boat made out of dr. pepper can’s at um…er…a donut shop last Sunday. LOL.

  15. That is one of the most bizarre stories I’ve heard in a while. What the heck is wrong with people?

  16. omg, i cannot tolerate the socially inept. unless you’ve been diagnosed with some sort of mental disability, there is no f-ing excuse. idiots.

    oh, and BUD LIGHT CANS?! why not something a little less… i dunno… common? ugh.

  17. Seems like that woman has a screw loose. Actually she probably has several loose, totally crazy.

  18. “Hello. I make art out of beer cans; could you please hand yours over?” Seriously? That’s the most insane pick up line I’ve ever heard at a party — and she wasn’t even trying to pick you up (or at least, she’d been warned by your OUTSIDE voice not to). Bizarre.

  19. How incredibly obnoxious. I wouldn’t have been able to resist a little playing around with the poor woman. “Oh, I hate to see beer go to waste. Since I can’t chug, I’ll only be able to give you this can if you down it in one go. No? Okay then, try me in an hour and see how much I’ve got left then. For now, though, you need to get out of my hula hoop. I tend to get a little weirded out when people are in my hula hoop.”

  20. That is just so odd I–I don’t really know what to say other then I am going to get a bud light–want one?

  21. It All Started — Sweet. I’ll take one. To go with my garden gnome.

    Auds — Fish haters unite! Seriously, I’ve TRIED just about everything from the ocean. And the rivers. I’ve really TRIED to like it. I just can’t. Especially things like shrimp, which just look like bugs.

    Standing Still — Beer can sections and crocheted acrylic yarn? How did you know what my purse looked like?

    Steph — All we need is the theme from Deliverance.

    That Girl — You and me both. I’d perish in China.

    pavlovskitty — For real? There’s more than ONE guy that does this?

    PJM — Don’t come to my bangalow house, ok, understand? I hate all of you. EXCELLENT.

    Lex the Mom — Stuck with the Bud Light. I’m a cheap date.

    Kristin — They NEED some DNA outside their immediate gene pool to dilute the inbreeding, apparently.

    threeundertwo — Holy hell, I’m MAKING that for my brother for Christmas. Awesome.

    QB — He missed you and your pimps.

    Flickrlovr — It was more that I was at a complete loss for words … strange, for SURE.

    JACKIE — WHA?? Who ARE these people and what’s in their drinking water?

    Shannon — They are clueless.

    matteroffactmommy — Totally clueless.

    Cutie Booty Cakes — Again, clueless.

    MommyTime — Yeeee. Shudder at the thought …

    Mamasphere — Where are you when I need you?

    KD — Or two — it’s Friday night, Baybee! (And I think I’ve mentioned I’m a cheap date.)

  22. Awesome. This one was so funny I just read it aloud to my husband. It kept him entertained while he made us salsa for cocktail hour. (Sangria and Mexican food tonight, woo-hoo!)

  23. I would have licked the can all over before handing it her. How annoying. People really buy those?!

  24. Definitely go with wine next time.

    You dislike all fish? Wow, that blows my coastal mine! Of course, I thought the same way. Then I had quality fish and, my oh my!, what a difference. Good fish shouldn’t taste fishy. If it does, it’s old and not freshly caught.

  25. Okay, to be fair, I guess the same could apply to lesbians.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  26. HAHAHA It would have been better if they were Amish/Menenite Beer Can Stalkers. Then you could have asked if they know your little house on the prairie neighbors.

  27. another co-worker

    Dude, you forgot to mention that she had a giant MULLET. I like to call it a FE-MULLET. It’s huge. And she brings her children to those parties every month which are clearly not for children AND she feeds them from the appetizer table (I mean DINNER sized plates).

    In retrospect, I remember seeing her eyeing your beer can and I probably should have made a beeline for her and pointed out the trash can overflowing with beer cans. I’m sorry. I’m a bad friend.

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