Wednesday, May 18, 2005

poke her knight...

It starts as usual with a friendly lynching from a tree. This is how we begin everything in Arkansas. I don't have all the answers. I just follow tradition. Tuesday nights have recently become poker nights at the Baribeau Ranch, and since I am a member of the infamous A.I.M. (Architecture Intern Mafia, a.k.a. Architects who Instant Message...alot) I feel obligated to attend. Not that it is a huge strain on my schedule or anything. I pretty much show up for anything that starts with a hanging, even on week nights. This particular one needed help from a professional, so obviously I offered my skills with a rope.

The other Chris is not a professional.

After many failed attempts at setting the loop on a branch, the other Chris reluctantly bestowed upon me the responsibility of getting this party started, to use the parlance of our time. No big deal though, seeing as how I've hung plenty of people, this one should be a breeze. I successfully set the loop on the third attempt. I then gently placed the noose around Lance's neck. He volunteered, I swear. He was that dedicated to this thing.

They all wanted this thing to happen so badly.

The onlookers began to get excited. I started to wonder if this mob would get to witness the lynching they so deserved to see? After all, they had traveled for several quarters of a mile to attend. The tree looked weak, but we had faith in it. We couldn't let the kids down.

They call this 'failure'.

As soon as it began, this party came to a crashing halt...literally. We had just finished kicking the stump from beneath our victim's feet when the branch gave way under the intense weight. It smashed to the ground suddenly, nearly killing a dog in the process. Lance sat there staring at the debris in disbelief. Meanwhile, the crowd quietly filed into the house to partake in some serious food and libations. They needed something to take their mind off of the sadness, something tasty, something dead, something covered in cheese and placed between two buns. That pretty much narrowed it down to hamburgers. Pretty much.

From the left: Hope, Knitting, Boredom, and a Wal-Mart Flush.

After the royal stuffing of our faces, we decided to continue with the poker night, despite the fact that it was no longer official from lack of pre-game execution. Unfortunately, what little enthusiasm that still existed from the burgers was quickly lost in a simple game of cards. There was something in the air, an emotion, which had taken over the room. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but I'm thinking it had to do with the fact that one person had quit the poker game in exchange for two knitting needles and some thread. It was complete and utter boredom. I had seen it once before, when some friends and I attempted to play Trivial Pursuit: The Accounting Edition.

Raise? On a queen and an eight? They must be joking.

I tried to spice up the night by obviously cheating everyone out of several hands. I discovered that a translucent glass table and a tiny digital camera with the right exposure settings can be a healthy combination for a successful card game. I was quickly outed and there was a slight ruckus for several seconds, but the hum-drum mood came back with the quickness.

It was getting late, and I had work in the morning. I decided the only way to do my duty as a card carrying member of A.I.M. was to leave with style. I had to do something that would light a fire under these people's asses, even if it were after my departure. But all I could think of was to leave my empty beer bottle on the table along with a nice little mustard stain. Also, I took a dump in the grill. I'm sorry Chris.