I generally don’t consider myself a social influencer, but I have noticed that I have an impact in situations – for the better, or for the worse. One particular situation was a dinner cruise with my girlfriend’s company party … I met off-season Santa Claus, a knife, and AMFs.
In the late 1990’s, I was working at the AAA Washington Express Travel Center in Bellevue. My girlfriend also worked at AAA Washington in the Membership Accounting Department.
Every year the Finance Department would host a departmental party, so she invited me to be her date. She let me know it would an evening cruise out of downtown Seattle. Argosy Cruises is a Seattle-based company offering a variety of services such as corporate dinner parties.
I suited up as Barney would from HIMYM [How I Met Your Mother], and picked up my girlfriend.
We boarded a 3-level cruise ship; one event per level for levels 1-2, and an observation deck. The AAA Washington party was the first level, and the other was above us.
Not long enough after departure, I saw something I hadn’t seen ever. Off season Santa in a gaudy looking sweater with a strikingly beautiful brunette in a white dress on his arm as they walked along the promenade deck.
The girlfriend caught on to my baffled look on my face, then turned to locate the source. And she quipped, “Oh, look. Santa is with a hooker nowadays!”
Real subtle, I groaned.
The director of finance was Dean (in fact I think he still is) He was essentially the boss of the party. One of the Argosy crew members approached him because they were ready to serve the cake but didn’t have a knife for some reason or another.
I volunteered to approach the other party upstairs.
[Moments later …]
I reappeared with a serrated edge knife and handed it over to the cake server. She looked confused, “This is a serrated edge knife.”
“Best I could do for honey, please make it work,” I grumbled my request.
We were each given two drink tickets for the evening. I decided that now would be a great time to redeem one.
What’s An AMF?
I made my way to the small bar. The person in front of me had a visually pleasing blue colored drink.
Bartender smiles, “What will it be, sir?”
“What’s the drink you just made for that guy? It looks like a Blue Hawaiian or Electric Iced Tea,” I ask.
A smirk crept across his face, “It’s called an AMF. Want one?”
I shrugged my shoulders, “I’ll take a flyer on it.”
He pours in vodka, gin, tequila, and rum. I thought, Geez, this is already gasoline in a 10 ounce plastic cup. Then he topped it all off with blue curaçao, sweet and sour mix, and a splash of 7-UP. My eyes increased with each added component. When he finished, I pressed on, “How many drink coupons is this?”
“Two, sir,” he answered.
“Fair enough,” I was my rebuttal. “What does AMF stand for?”
He slapped his hand down on my tickets on the bar, and barks, “Adios Muthaf**ker!”
I smiled, “LOVE IT!”
I happily trotted back to my chair. Dean, my girlfriend, and my teammates were instantly curious. I sipped on it, and damn was it good. I told them the story to settle them down. Dean leaned over, and whispered to me, “I have control of all the drink coupons. Please get a round for the entire table.” He passes me over enough drink coupons to take care of it.
I zoomed back to the bartender. I asked for a round of AMFs at the table, left the drink coupons, and requested the servers bring them over all at once.
[Minutes later …]
While sipping on my 3rd AMF of the evening, I noticed on the tables of the entire party had those little blue, deliciously DANGEROUS drinks.
To this day, I don’t remember too much more of the evening. I didn’t see Santa Claus and his hooker disembark, if the serrated knife was used to cut up the cake or if any other drink was ordered the rest of the cruise.
I do know that eventually we collectively drank the bar dry of the AMF ingredients. That, and, the accounting departments like to drink at parties.