The Poker Game Series (Part 3)
This is Part 3 of The Poker Game Series, if you need to get caught up on Parts 1 or 2 see the links below
Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
In the Dark
So I was still in the dark about what had gone on the night before, but knew that it was something pretty fucking serious. The owner of our company drove over 4 hours to come chew us out, and my buddies were still inside talking with him. Everyone else didn’t want to be sitting around while some of our coworkers were probably about to get fired, so we all shuffled outside. After a few cigarettes our crew chief suggested we all go have an early lunch (it was still early enough for breakfast in my book) which seemed like a better idea than hanging around the office with an angry owner on a rampage. About 7 or so of us walked the block and a half up the street to the only good Mexican food place in town and sat down at a table. Things were a little awkward for me since I was the only young guy not involved with whatever the “incident” was and I could sense that the older guys at the table with me were still wondering how I had stayed out of trouble. Usually I would have been right there in the middle of it.
Our crew chief started talking about what had gone on but as usual kept his attitude “intentionally vague.” Then he looked right at me and said, “so, were you there at the pool last night when the incident occurred?” I replied honestly that I had gotten too drunk to make it to the pool and had passed out in my room. His response did not bode well for my buddies still at the office, “well, passing out at that moment may have been one of the best things you could do for your job on this crew. Be glad that you didn’t make it to the pool.” At this point I really started wondering what the fuck could have gone down at the pool and why my buddies were in such deep shit about it, but didn’t want to press for more details. We all ordered our food from the fat Mexican woman that some of my coworkers seem to really enjoy hitting on despite her lack of understanding of the English language and her capacity to fuck up even the simplest orders. I drank my iced tea, ate my tacos, and tried to ignore the hangover and stress that were making me sweat more than usual this Friday morning.
Things didn’t look good when we came around the corner of the block headed towards the office and I could see that my buddies trucks were all gone. The owners truck was still there, of course. Time to get back to pretending to work, so I headed back inside to my desk and tried to keep my head down. After a few minutes of tinkering with label templates I texted two of my friends to ask what the fuck had gone down. They both replied “head back to the hotel and we’ll tell you.” I couldn’t exactly ditch out right in front of the owner so I made a point of printing some labels on the printer in the other side of the office to scope things out. Our crew chief and owner were wrapping up their conversation and shortly after I got back to my desk they both left. As you can imagine, five minutes after that every person in the office was packing their bag to head home for the weekend. I was the second to last person to leave and hauled ass over to the hotel hoping to catch my buddies before they left. Seeing Brad and James’ trucks in the parking lot with the doors open it was obvious that they were loading up everything from their hotel rooms. At the time I remember thinking that blows, everyone left on the crew will be either old, lame, and/or creepy. I parked, ran up the stairs, and walked into Brad’s room while he was packing up a suitcase. He looked at me and said, “sit down, let’s talk about last night,” as he stuck his head into the hall to yell at James to come over from his room next door.
The Story Revealed
***Here’s what happened, allegedly***
So as you know, we all got pretty fucked up playing poker before heading to the beer joint. At 2am when they closed we headed back to the hotel with the intention of partying at the pool for a while. I went to my room to put on my swimsuit and passed out, despite my buddies coming upstairs to bang on my door. James, Brad, Charlie, and Chrissy packed a cooler with some beers and went down to the pool. Since it was the middle of summertime it was more like a hot tub than a pool and due to the ever-present wind, the bottom of the pool was usually covered with sand. Turn on some tunes, crack open some beers, and who gives a fuck it’s going to be a good time. Two other guys from another crew joined my friends and apparently the drinking stepped up to another level. Since the cooler was right next to the pool there was no reason to get out, everyone was just tossing their empties towards one end of the pool to float around. One can only imagine that after drinking that much, no one would want to put their head under the water as nobody was getting out to take a piss. All kinds of trouble could come from trying to haul their drunk asses out of the pool, walk across the wet cement, and into the bathroom with the slipperiness tile you can imagine, just to take a piss. We’ll just say it was a kiddy pool.
After about an hour and a half of drinking mixed with a little bullshitting, some kids came outside the hotel and sat at one of the picnic tables on the patio by the pool. According to my buddies, these two teenagers started very loudly talking shit about how drunk everyone in the pool was. One can only imagine my buddies response, “fuck off you little shits!” Or something like that. Things started escalating from there as the teens tried to put on a tough guy act and pull the “why don’t you get out and make me!” routine. This is the point I think I would have gotten pretty pissed, so I’m glad that I hadn’t been there. James and Brad got out of the pool and started walking towards the punks on the picnic table, who promptly ran off around the corner into the parking lot, talking shit the whole time. My buddies all got a good laugh and got back in the pool for one more beer. The kids apparently hadn’t gotten enough so they came back a few minutes later. That’s when shit got real. This time it was Chrissy that got out of the pool to scare the kids off, and those teens made it abundantly clear that they weren’t scared of a woman. In fact they were so fearless that they got up in her face and told her “fuck off you skank whore!” Yeah. Chrissy almost slapped one of them, but decided it would be better to tell them it was past their bedtime and they should get the fuck back inside before they got their asses kicked. To everyone’s surprise, they actually did go inside flipping the bird as they went.
…was that it?
Two or three minutes later, as Chrissy was pulling beer cans out of the pool to throw in the trash (everyone had decided the party was about over at this point), a rather large and pissed off Mexican woman came barging out of the hotel. She marched right up to Chrissy, got in her face, poked her in the chest and demanded to know “WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TELLING MY KIDS WHAT TO DO?!” I love parents that always stand up for their kids, especially when you think that at 3:30am your kids could somehow be innocently minding their own business outside the hotel. Chrissy tried to keep her cool for the first minute or two according to everyone that was watching from the pool, too dumbfounded to say anything. Then she lost it. “Your kids called me a skank whore, and what kind of parent are you letting them run around this late at night? They’re some disrespectful punks!” Momma Bear did not like her cubs being spoken about in that manner, so she retaliated with an ever classy line, “well by the looks of you being out here in that skimpy bathing suit with all these men, you ARE a skank whore!” For the second time in a half hour, Chrissy wanted to slap someone. She didn’t, likely stemming from the fact that this woman outweighed her by a good 100lbs. More screaming back and forth about who was the bitch whore ensued before the woman headed back inside the hotel. Everyone thought the altercation was over. It wasn’t.
As the last of the beer cans surfaced from the pool, Papa Bear mozied on out the door of the hotel towards the pool. He was still wearing his coveralls and boots, caked with mud as he obviously worked for one of the frack companies in the area. This guy was easily 6’2 and over 300lbs, so we’re talking about a big GRIZZLY bear. James interjected into Brad’s telling of the story to add “seriously this guy could’ve ripped my arms off with his bare hands, I couldn’t even see his neck.” Everyone still in the pool stood still, blankly staring at him for a minute until he spoke. “Why the hell did my wife just wake me up and tell me that you people were talking shit to her out here?” Brad tried to take the lead explaining the situation, but after about two minutes of the back and forth that started the whole situation, Papa Bear had heard enough. “Ya’ll just mind your own business and don’t let this happen again, because I won’t be nice if I have to come talk to you again, alright?” Sounded like a good deal, everyone thought they had gotten off the hook. Papa Bear went back inside. Everyone else finished fishing the beers from the pool and headed to their rooms to pass out, once the rush of adrenaline had worn off. None of them knew what had happened after they went to bed (they assumed something bad had gone down since we all had been called into work that morning) until they got called out by the owner and ordered to stay at the office while the rest of us left. Our company owner filled them in on how he became aware of the situation.
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Apparently after her husband had come back to the room, Momma Bear decided that he hadn’t been tough enough on my buddies in the pool so she decided to handle it herself. She marched her fat ass down to the lobby of the hotel and woke up the manager who always slept on a cot in the back room of the front office. After she raised hell for a few minutes, the manager (who barely spoke English, I think he was from Pakistan and I couldn’t ever figure out how to pronounce his name) concluded that the only way to get this Mother Fracker out of his face was to say he would tell the owner of our company what had gone on at the pool. He intended to deal with this at a normal hour, not 4am, if he intended to do anything about it at all. That still wasn’t good enough, Momma Bear demanded that he call the owner of our company right then while she stood there watching. This Pakistani man gave in to her, looked up the phone number, and reluctantly dialed. He woke the owner of our company up, apologized profusely in his broken English, and tried to explain what the angry woman was yelling at him about. Needless to say, he was pissed. Whether he heard and relayed any of the truth about the situation, none of us can be sure, but I’m guessing Momma Bear wasn’t too worried about facts while she let her blood boil over. After he got off the phone with the hotel manager, the owner called our crew chief and told him to get everyone to the office in the morning. He got in his truck and started driving South to give us a piece of his mind.
In the “meeting” that my buddies had after we had all gotten dismissed from the office, two of them were notified that they would be relocated to another crew in a different town, starting Monday. That’s why they were packing everything from their hotel rooms when I got back from the office. The other two crew members got sternly reprimanded and told that their one strike was gone, but they weren’t getting fired. Attendance at the office was extraordinarily high the next few weeks because everyone was still on edge. The owner of our company made a random appearance once a week, and would sometimes show up to the office for an hour or so before leaving before most of our crew had even gotten out of bed. I was always glad to be present when he showed up and spent a lot more time looking busy at my desk. So once I heard everything that had gone down, I can’t help but agree with my crew chief that it was damn lucky I passed out that night. Not that it helped when the project closed down two months later, because all of us were out of work anyways.