This adventure is more than an adventure; it is now a legend in Southern California. The story has been passed down for the past two years and is in some circles regarded simply as myth. I am here to tell you that the story is true.
In July of 2004 I was in Anaheim, California visiting friends who had gathered for Anime Expo. As the day’s festivities were winding down, our party found themselves at the bar of the Hilton.
But that’s not where this story begins. As the legend has been passed on to me from Kevin, who really is the central focus of this story.
As we, the anime fans, were enjoying our time at our convention, the Princess House girls were also having their convention in other parts of the same hotel. Princess House, is kind of like Avon and Pampered Chef combined. It has something to do with selling house wares to housewives from housewives. Why these people can’t just go to Target like the rest of us I don’t know?
Now you have a little background let’s delve into the psychology of the situation. You first have the Anme fans. Currently on the fringe of pop culture but connected, mobile and young. Fortunately many of these people were too young for the hotel bar, so that leave the adults and the princess house girls here tonight.
The Princess house girls are a bunch of women, mostly homemakers, who are under the impression that selling items for a large company is on a par with running your own business. Congratulations, you’re in sales. But this sales job has a perk, a convention in July in Southern California. Now think about this, you have a hotel full of women away from their husbands, children and easy access to much alcohol. This is where Kevin comes in.
Kevin really is a great guy… could use a pair of dark socks, but otherwise a pleasure to be around. At some point during this weekend he meets a princess house girl. From his recollection, she makes the first move and approaches him. Oh, Kevin is the type of guy who subscribes to the philosophy “The older the berry the sweeter the wine.” He really likes soccer moms too! Unfortunately for Kevin he had to be somewhere before he could get to know this object of his affection.
Back to the bar. Really, I’m going somewhere with all this. As we have congregated at the hotel bar and everybody is happy, drinking and enjoying the company of each other, Kevin shows up and almost ignores us because who should he see, but the jewel of his eye… well for tonight at least. Kevin leaves us, walks over to her table and buys this woman… oh I don’t know her name, but let’s call her “Beth” (I’d say that the names have been changed to protect the guilty, but I really do forget the women’s names, and therefore don’t know if I’m changing them, or just recalling buried memories).
Meanwhile I’m goofing off with all my friends at the bar and somebody notices that Kevin has not one, but two of the Princess House girls over there.
“Man, somebody should go over there and help him out”
“Andy, go over there and talk to the other girl!”
“Why me?… fine, here, hold my camera”
And a legend is born!
I de-nerdify quickly, and use button up my over shirt so as to look less like a sci-fi nerd and more like a guy just chilling in So.Cal.
Casually I walk over, “Kevin, how you doing?” I say while holding out my hand.
Kevin shakes my hand but gets a look of nervousness not knowing what I’m up to. “Hi, Andy, um… you don’t need to be here right now.”
I give him a nod and a wink and sit in the chair next to the other woman. Let’s call her “Michelle”
And as Steve tells it when he passes on the legend it, “From a cold start Andy goes over there and just starts talking to this girl.”
Now a little background. I typically fly solo. No wingman; and it’s very difficult to break into a conversation of 3-5 females. Therefore when there is one, and Kevin is already working his mojo with her friend, I am free to do my thing.
So we continue the small talk routine for a while and the bar closes. Fortunately there’s an after-party on the pool level with the Princess House girls. Kevin and I get invited to join.
This totally changes the dynamics of the situation. Now, instead of just one girl I’ve got an audience of about 15 people, not just women. Now the men were probably gay. Let’s face it in a business marketed towards single women they’re more likely to have gay salespeople. Why? Well these homemakers are probably already married and know better than to trust a strait man!
But the most important detail that came of our migration to the pool area was that now Kevin and Beth are seated several yards away at a secluded little table by themselves. But I decide to stick around a little longer. I’ve got an audience, and a table full of liquor, so I start playing the role of bartender and dirty joke teller… Ask me about the couple flying to Dallas sometime.
I entertain, I get people drunk and I’ve got Kevin alone with some chick he just met this week.
After the party gets going pretty well I sneak out and into the shadows. My work here is done.
So I head up to the girls’ hotel room to get my camera and give them the skinny on what all went down to this point. I was congratulated on my efforts and being a real guy tonight.
You see I left for a few reasons. First off I thought there was a girl from my convention I had a chance with and didn’t want to trade a bird in the hand for two in the bush… turns out I was empty-handed all along. Secondly she was married or separated or something and I had some amount of moral objection to following through with this.
The next morning Kevin is harassed for his exploits (not that he would ever incriminate himself with the details of whatever else went on, but I invite you to use your imagination and feel free to include any farm animals, circus freaks, or road high-rise construction equipment in your fantasy).
Now you’re probably saying, legend? What legend? Yeah impressive somewhat that you can cold start a conversation with a strange woman; a nice thin to do for your friend, but not quite legendary.
But there is a final part to this story. One which I will probably not be done justice in writing as the oral tradition demands. But I will do it anyway.
Kevin tells the story the next morning at breakfast. After I had left, an unknown amount of time had passed and Michelle comes over to Kevin and Beth’s table.
“Where did Andy go?”
And that is the legend of Kevin, the Princess House girls and Andy the wingman.