Oh The SIGHTS WE SHALL SEE.......In our nightmares

I do believe that I have mentioned previously that I live in the South. I was one of the fortunate souls in Birmingham that got to spend a night away from home due to snow. The story in my case, is NOT the snow, but the evening spent in the company of strangers.

Some stranger than others.

I am fortunate that I work with my 4 best friends and while being stuck at work OVER NIGHT is just about as bad as you can imagine, but 3 of my 4 best friends stuck with me. I also happen to work with some really great people, many that I feel lucky enough to call friend, some that are acquaintances, and apparently some folks that like to get their freak on when they are trapped at work with veritable strangers.

The gist of the story is that the forecast for our area was that we were to get a dusting of snow. Let me just preface this with the fact that in Alabama, if someone says snow, it is cause for panic and mayhem. The fact that we were caught so completely unaware is testament to the faith we have in our weather folk. The problem is they are not used to forecasting for winter weather. It is rare that we have an extended period of time in which it is cold enough for the ground to actually get to freezing temperatures, and even more rare that it would coincide with snow. It just so happens this previous Tuesday we had just such a perfect equation of FAIL that we made national news. I am sure if you watch the news at all, you saw the road I work on featured, looking like a very popular TV program that is currently on.

Ever the stalwart Yankee, I did make an ATTEMPT at an end run for home, however, it was too late. The inch of snow that accumulated in an hour stuck hard to the frozen ground. Southerners being unused to driving in this mess went slow, which is good, but bad in the fact that the snow melted under the tires and then immediately refroze to the ground creating a perfect sheet of ice FOR MILES. I got less than two miles from the office and turned back around and got my behind back to work. 3 hours. That trip took THREE HOURS. I had the silly idea that I would gather my faithful companions and we would journey to the one friend's home that is closest to the office and ride out the frigid temps in comfortable beds and good company. At least that is the lie I kept telling myself. What happened was something entirely different.

Once I got back to my desk I looked at the FB feeds of friends and co-workers to see photos of absolute chaos. What became apparent was there would be no getting out of the office. People that live in the same neighborhood where we planned to take refuge took up to 8 hours to get home and most had to leave their cars quite a bit from their houses and walk the rest of the way to their homes. It was decided that the building would be kept open. Our management team went out to a local store and got food for us that they did NOT have to get and made sure we were warm and fed. The rest of the evening entertainment would be up to us, and the in the morning a decision would be made, based on the weather and road conditions, to determine how we would get out of the office and get home to our families. Calls were made to loved ones. Parents ensuring their children were safe and in turn making sure the children were assured that their parents were safe.

We gathered to eat and then some folks went off to watch movies, some went back to work. And some of us gathered to pass the time together since sleeping was probably not going to be a good experience. The group that ended up gathered in my friends' office, by and large I would consider to be friends. The BF group and I have traveled together and we spend a good bit of time outside of work in each other's company so the 4 of us hanging together was a given. The rest of the friends with us were a gathering of people that we all work with daily and have more than an acquaintance with, but have never really spent an evening together outside of work, and it turned out to be quite a good bit of fun in spite of the circumstances.


Then there was this one fellow, that shall henceforth in the annals of my memory be referred to as Cha-Cha. Since we were gathered, and it was after work hours, we had music and some adult beverages (that some brave souls walked to Target by my u-turn to obtain), and Cha-Cha came to share in our merriment and beverage supply. Cha-Cha is THAT GUY. The one guy that makes everyone just slightly uncomfortable, the one that doesn't fit in with the rest of the group, but by golly, with a HUGE ego and alcohol we are going to FORCE our way in. How do I know this? Because after a couple of drinks our new friend JUMPED UP when a song with a certain rhythm came on and proceeded to cha cha cha with his behind right in one of our friends' face. And I don't mean shuffle stepping through the moves, I am talking full on, DWTS over exaggeration of movement that the pros use to teach the "stars" how to move through a dance. The first time we were all stunned and all appropriately told him how interesting that was and then attempted to move along all praying for the ever necessary brain bleach to remove that image if at all possible.

Notice I say first time. I say that because this continued throughout the night, every time a song that apparently had that specific Latin beat for him to gyrate to, up he jumped and flailed.We tried engaging him in conversation to try to divert his single minded determination, so perhaps he would sit down and speak with us instead of throwing his ass and hands around the room. No.

Don't get me wrong, I actually like ballroom dancing and hats off to anyone who can do it. But when you do one repeated set of moves over and over again, each time waving your ass in the face of a complete stranger.... I gotta ask, what did Cha-Cha think when we offered to go gather our pennies to give to him?

I think the tipping point for all of us was when he kept on talking, or perhaps interjecting is the better term, since after an hour we were all numb and wishing he had a mute button. He kept rambling that people assumed, that wherever he went and danced, that he was an instructor, and that he wins every competition he is in, and how when he was in his 40's he was so cut from working out that even men were telling him how great his body was. Anyone who knows me knows my face shows just about every thought that goes through my ever processing brain. This proved to be greatly challenging for me to control all night.

During this process of endurance people came and went to various parts of the building. I don't know if it was just bed time or the company, and the chances of that exact group of people getting together in that formation again are pretty damn slim so I may never know. But now I have a new FRIEND that I don't really want or need and he has a new nickname. Cha-Cha. And we are all far more educated as to the size of this man's ego. It, in point of fact, knows no limit.


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