Sunday, January 09, 2005

My Opinion Is Worth Fifty An Hour, I Will Setup Paypal Soon And Will Be Expecting Some Money

So, a few days ago I was at the Big & Tall, buying myself a few new pairs of pants. Workplace garbage, dresscode changed, my occasional forays into donning black, grey, or if I was feeling especially rockstaresque, navy blue slacks is no longer allowed. Strictly khaki once I past through the hallowed doors, otherwise I get on the receiving end of all manner of bullshit. I only own one pair of khaki's, and I'll wear them a few times without washing, but they smell something horrible. I was walking into the Big & Tall to buy a few pairs of the cheapest tan pants they have, when a disturbingly attractive young female with a clipboard stopped me. She asked me if I played online poker. I said I did. It is a lie. I do not. I have been ignoring poker's recent increased popularity, but I thought talking to the girl with the clipboard would be good for me. She asked me where I played., I said. You mean, she asked, eye's twinkling. Yes, I answered. I play poker at party I play constantly. Yes, I play for money (what kind of asshole plays poker, for no money?). In truth, I don't play and I am sure as shit not going to start, because I just don't fucking care. I read a recent article, where a writer compared poker to chess, in the sheer mental power and numerous subtleties required to successfully become a good player. Let me say this, anyone that compares poker to chess is a nitwit. Chess is a mental bullet train, poker is one of those old fashioned self propelled train carts Buster Keaton used. To analogize, I have reading numerous articles on pornography, where the writer will make the dubious claim (backed with no empirical evidence) that it is often couples purchasing pornography nowadays. Sure, whatever makes you sleep at night. I often see couples frequenting grim industrial parks, with fresh new copies of 'Extreme Anal Atrocities Vol. 38, The Dirtiest' in their hands, and smiles on their faces. In fact, at the last wedding I attended, the couple was registered at 'Ray's Adult Video Palace', and my copy of 'All Of My Holes, Special 4 Hour VHS Edition', was very much appreciated, as were the containers of Amyl Nitrate, handcuffs, and 'Stick It In My Ass' I gave to my Parents for Christmas. It's the new thing, in fact, at swank dinner parties nowadays, after the salmon is polished off and they are into the third bottle of wine, a copy of 'Massive Cocks And Huge Tits, Volume 23' is slipped into the DVD player and discussed over a genteel post dinner coffee. As for all the lonely men with poor posture that will never look anyone in the eye? They are at home playing poker online. Anyway, yeah, online Poker is loser's racket, and all that old game, respected gambling tradition jive is bullshit that I refuse to indulge in, even if many of the players could easily get beaten in tic tac toe by a mentally handicapped toddler, and someone with more then one marble rattling in his skullbox could clean up. So she asked me how often I played poker. Five times a week, I smiled. She smiled and made notations on her clipboard, and asked me if I would be willing to attend a focus group on Thursday night, one hundred dollars for two hours of my time. Yes, I would.

I had to call a number the next day and got directions, and thankfully the session started late enough where I would have no problem making it. I arrived fifteen minutes early with a book in a florescent lit, expensive looking advertising agency. They had Quiznos out for us. For those of you who currently live in a Country whose main export is not homonogization, you might not be familiar with the Quiznos chain. To stand out amongst other lackluster sandwich franchises, their novelty is toasting the bun, thinking that the browned edges will distract you from the mediocrity of their disgusting, semi-edible food. So, a tray of cold Quiznos was sitting out, untoasted. It was horrible, but I ate a few various halves anyway, and they all tasted the same. I looked at the other middle aged dipshits also attending the focus group, and immediately regretted my decision. Everyone except me had some article of Sports Team Affiliation on. They were talking amongst themselves. Not a single thing interesting or worthwhile was exchanged. They complained about their wives, made snide comments about the Female Secretary when she wasn't around, and talked as if they were authorities in all things. Eventually our Moderator, some blonde dipshit, came out and invited us into the conference room, which had a projection screen on one side and a mirror on the other. He explained that their were people behind the mirror observing our conversation. We had to introduce ourselves and explain how often we played video poker, and weather we did it for money or not. I repeated my earlier lie. Their were eight of us, and three had never played for money, but still play often. The Moderator, who was very good at his job, shifted to the topics he wanted to discuss with ease, and never registered the disgust he must have felt at listening to these idiot's opinions. Once they began talking about 'Security' of various poker websites, I nearly drowned in the deluge of bullshit. Everyone was a frightened little girl about the prospect of Identity theft, thinking that there are actually people out there who would be reduced to stealing these asshole's identities. Everyone tried to bend the conversational protocol into a story about someone they knew who, through no fault of their own, got involved in a giant Orwellian nightmare of Identity theft, like a grim Noir film. First off, the initial story was neither interesting nor informative, so why did everyone have to chime in with their own? How do these people function? The conversation in general made me want to start stabbing everyone in the room, you can tell these schlubs are in menial positions where nobody in their right mind would ever listen to their opinion if they didn't have too, so they took a chance at having people who were soliciting their opinion and ran with it, talking about themselves, try to appear witty, and remind people of past accomplishments and current possessions. The Moderator was able to keep it moving along nicely. When The Moderator asked us if we desire a 'Premium Poker Site' a dickhead actually said: I spend an extra one hundred dollars for my NFL Jerseys, because I know it is the same ones the players have been wearing, THAT'S PREMIUM. Banging his hand on the table to empathize his point. I asked the guy next to me, if buying used NFL jerseys was like buying soiled schoolgirl panties for the middle age closet homo set, and he just stared at me. Said jersey purchaser was the biggest cynic/asshole in the room, which is rare for a room that contains myself, and complained about everything, and when the site was revealed, where various Professional Poker Players are somehow affiliated, and will offer advice, and the asshole went into a five minute tirade about how little these Professional Poker Players are actually going to help you, they are just going to take their money offered for their image. Well, no shit. I asked him, You just mentioned buying NFL Jerseys, but you go into a hissy fit when it is revealed that Poker Players are going to be affiliated, what's the fucking difference? Everyone looked at me, and the Moderator explained (too patiently) that we were not supposed to ask each other questions. They ended up showing us various poker site designs and asking us how we rated them according to various criteria, and I had to listen to morons try to explain how one aesthetic design seemed 'more secure' then others. I eventually zoned out completely by staring at the ceiling, until directly addressed, which eventually stopped happening all together. Loudmouth cynic whose opinions were all uniformly negative about the design, the concepts, and anything having to do with what the Moderator asked was eventually asked to leave the room, and I saw him walking by himself outside to his dismal little car. Eventually, thankfully, the forum finished and I walked outside at and the remaining sandwich halves and got my envelope with one hundred dollars. A few of the guys were asking each other if they wanted to go out for drinks, much merriment involving avoiding wives was exchanged, and they all took off to some local sports bar. Nobody invited me, but I wouldn't have gone. I already spent my hundred dollars, on booze.

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