A story of Alcohol, Leadership, Agility, Inclusive Team Building, and Love

The last few weeks I have been meeting up from friends from a past software company I worked at a few years ago.  This was one of the greatest high performing teams I have ever been a part of.  We worked hard and played hard. We made mistakes, we learned, and we delivered. Meeting up with them and this being St. Patrick’s Day reminds me of one of my favourite times in my life.

A few years ago, our team just hit a major milestone that took a lot of late nights and weekend work to meet…so we were going out to celebrate.  The team arranged a night out and made sure that we were going to a wheelchair accessible venue to make sure I could join.  Being new to Toronto I found this incredibly heartwarming.  I told my wife that I was going out after work for a dinner and a couple drinks and I shouldn’t be too late (so I thought at the time)…especially given this was a Thursday night.

high performing.jpg

We celebrated like the world was ending.  Drink after drink.  We laughed, we bonded, and we drank.  We were discussing future features and functionality…and drank some more.  When I was having trouble holding shot glasses, my team would quickly help.  At 10:35pm I simply texted my wife, “I’m drunk”. 13 shots of Sake will do that.


My team members escorted me home.  They first tried to role in the wrong condo.  I tried to tell them that it wasn’t my condo, but not until they saw the upset resident who was not too happy that they were trying to roll in a drunken disabled stranger into his house at 1:40am on a work night that they finally believed me.  He was not nearly as upset as my wife was when they finally rolled me into my condo.

At 1:45am I rolled into the condo.  My wife met us at the door.  To say she was not too happy would be an understatement.  People she never met was rolling her husband home on a weeknight.

She was not angry at me because I was drinking all night with my colleagues, she was upset because she was scared that her disabled husband was drunk and lost in our new huge city of Toronto.  Her inconsiderate husband neglected to keep her up to date about his whereabouts.  Her husband has learned a lesson and was incredibly apologetic for weeks after.  In a related note, I emailed apple about programming the iPhone Siri to better interpret drunken slur voice commands. 


I said, “ Hey honey, meet my friends…”  I learned that introducing my friends to my wife at 1:45am is not the best time to do this. 

I fell asleep with the look of death starring at me only to wake up with the same look of death.  

Filled with Adrenaline at 6am I had my helper throw me on my exercise bike.  Five minutes in I realized I was still intoxicated.  So I jumped off.  As my helper was doing my morning routine he could not help to laugh.  He has never seen me drunk/hungover before.  There was a coelation between his laughter and how angry my wife was getting.  I said, “Hey Chuckles, keep it down.  I want to feel like George Jettson and go through the production line of shave, shower, and dress as autonomous as possible”. Soon as my wife left for work with only a few hours of sleep, I cancelled my morning meetings and handed my helper the tv remote.  I said I will pay you for a few extra hours if you let me take a nap before heading to work.

I rolled into work about 11:45am. Although I was freshly showered and dressed I could still smell last night’s alcohol.  It turns out that we must have spilled on the armrest of my char when we were doing toasts the night before.  Only me and one other person from the team made it into work that day.  I rolled to him to ask him how much I owed him for the wheelchair cab home.  He said that there were no wheelchair cabs available so the team flagged down a delivery truck and they lifted me and the power-chair into it to be driven home.

I emailed my wife to share this new piece of information and she said, “This is sending like the Hangover movie”

That night we were meeting her family to go out for her birthday dinner at a nice Italian restaurant.  I emailed her to ask her if she could get off work early to help me into bed so we could go for a nap before dinner out.  I will paraphrase her response to keep this blog post PG and say her response was a ‘no’.  It never ceases to surprise me that in my head at the time it sounded like a logical request.

I left work early, bought her birthday gift, and went out for dinner.  However, I was in bed by 8pm.

Important concepts:

  • Leadership - I empowered the teams to make decisions and produce a way home for me.
  • Agility - Transparency - I should have been more transparent with my wife on my whereabouts and well being
  • Agility - Definition of Done for a night out drinking needs to include washing the power-chair of alcohol spills
  • Team Building - Creating an exercise in which you bring home a teammate that has drank too much is effective
  • Equality - A husband with Cerebral Palsy can be just as much of a jerk than a husband without a disability

Our old team met up a couple weeks ago to do dinner as one of them was moving back home to the Philippines.  I told them that my wife had one request, “Please don’t come home drunk at 1:45am again with strangers”.  They replied with, “We have already met her, so we are no longer strangers” 😃  I was home by 9:30pm.

 You will always remember those teams you have been a part of that were incredibly effective.  They share things in common - they do amazing work, they challenge each other, and they have each other’s back.

I’m happy to say my wife and myself will be celebrating 14 years of marriage this September.

Disabled Etiquette?

Yesterday I was in a meeting at work talking about 508 compliance. During the talk I was struggling to think of what the current politically correct term for physically disabled as I was pretty confident it was not 'gimp' or 'crip'. In my research for the new politically correct term, I came across this ridiculous article:

Mobility: http://www.disabilityliving.ca/people-with-disabilities-mobility-disability-communication/

Here is what they list as 'disabled 'etiquette:

1. Do not lean on someone’s wheelchair – remember, “Wheelchairs are an extension of personal space.”

Funny, so disabled guys don't mind a stripper on their lap but touching their wheelchair is off limits?

2. Do not help someone (for example, help maneuver a wheelchair) until you have first asked; do not just assume he or she needs your help.

Disabled etiquette calls for people to receive permission to help? Should we not be happy that someone wants to help?

3. “Don’t patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head. Reserve this sign of affection for children.”

So it's not ok to rub a disabled person but it's ok to be a pedophile? In my example for #1, disabled guys never minded being rubbed at a strip club.

4. If you are speaking to someone in a wheelchair for a considerable amount of time, get down on his or her eye level – this will help both of you avoid a sore neck later.

Able bodied people should drop to their knees for us? One word - "Giggity!"

5. If someone using a wheelchair asks you for directions, think ahead of any obstacles that may present themselves (weather, distance, hills, curbs, etc).

Maybe we should ask that the person providing directions lay a trail of breadcrumbs for the disabled person to follow... Really? Should we not be happy that they are providing directions? It's hard for non-disabled people to recognize the obstacles until they have spent a decent amount of time around a disabled person.

6. “Treat adults as adults. Call a person by his or her first name only when you extend this familiarity to everyone present.”

What? I don't even understand this one. When my friends introduce me to others as an idiot it's well deserved. I work hard at it.

7. Did you know that some individuals having a mobility-related disability use their arms to balance themselves? Keep this in mind when considering physical contact.

If your not sure...see if they are wearing shoes on their hands first.

8. Don’t set your personal belongings on the desktop attached to someone’s wheelchair.

If you have a desktop attached to your chair and don't demonstrate your upset when someone places items on you...your not a disabled person...your a book shelf.

9. “Keep the ramps and wheelchair-accessible doors to your building unlocked and unblocked.”

Is this etiquette or something that should just be done?

10. When possible, place things within the reach of the individual having the mobility-related disability.

Finnally, one etiquette statement I can appreciate. It took years for my wife to remember to leave the remote in my reach. I can't help to think this was done on purpose to avoid watching sports.

I'm not saying society is perfect in their attitudes toward people with disabilities. However, I don't believe we need our own etiquette category any more than any other minority.

Life is short. We can spend our time being upset that their are ignorant people out their or we can invest the time in appreciating all the great people out there that see us as no different.

This is an unfair and awesome world...Embrace it.

Until next time...


The Rolling Business Traveler

A number of my Facebook friends wanted the story behind my statuses on Friday...so here it is... I recently flew to Minnesota for work.  It was really beneficial to have face to face strategic talks with my colleagues.  It also gave me the opportunity to spend time with my new boss as he works remotely most of the time.

I have flown on numerous occasions in the post 9/11 era with my power wheelchair for both business & pleasure.  For the most part everything usually runs smoothly...except this time.

I was at the airport in Minnesota eager to fly back home.  Usually when I go through security they wave a wand over me, give me a quick pat down, take a quick look around my chair and send me on my way.  However, this time was way different.  The security dude walked over to me and asked if I was ready.  I acknowledged - yes. He began rubbing me all over...which even made me feel dirty. He pulled me forward and started feeling my butt.  I now have a greater understanding of how Kermit the Frog felt each time Jim Henson put his hand inside him.  If the security dude kept his hand there any longer he would have had me singing, "The Rainbow Connection".

He started patting my crotch area.  Being away from my wife all week this dude was a few rubs away from popping the cork. He then asked me to take off my belt.  I told him that I couldn't but my helper would be able to.  Since my helper was already 'cleared' from security he's not allowed to touch me until I'm clear.  Since the security dude already had gotten to know me intimately I agreed to let him do it.  After the waist check and a mirror ran under my chair I was good to go.  Surprisingly he never gave me his number after that.

After checking in for the flight I learn that the flight has been delayed 2 hours.  I was tempted to go back to security to see what I get on the second date.

After all this I finally get to board the plane.  In two + hours I would get to see my wife.

After landing in Toronto I waited 40 minutes for the airport staff to bring a chair up for me to exit the plane.  The lady said that they were still looking for my power wheelchair.  After 30 more minutes she asked me if I could just come back tomorrow for it.  Ok, I'll put off being disabled until it's convenient for you to locate my power chair.  Shortly after the comment my chair arrived all in pieces.  Luckily my helper put it all back together again.  However, it had a lot of excessive scratches on it.  I began driving it and the right tire was making a noise.

I decided to make a claim.  The customer service guy said that they do not grant claims for superficial damages like excessive scratches.

Now, my power chair does not define me, but it is a part of me.  I'm in it from 7:30am - 5pm and present to colleagues and customers from my chair.  So when my chair is banged up it takes away from my normal good looking appearance.  No one would go to work everyday with torn cloths or present in a torn suit...so how is this superficial?  After I explained this to the customer support dude he became embarrassed.  He approved the claim now I have to organize getting it fixed with their supplier.

At the end of the day it took me 12 hours to fly back home which should have taken 4 hours.  My wife was waiting for me with open arms.  While in Minnesota I spent a total of 8 hours waiting for 15 minute wheelchair cab rides from the hotel to the Minnesota office.  Despite this I love what I do.  I would not trade it for anything.

Until next time...

The One...

Dating is never easy.  After a number of years of being in relationships ranging from weeks to years, and women at both extremes; either sexually adventurous women that wanted to add a 'crip' to their checklist or women that needed to feel needed so bad, they acted like a personal support worker as opposed to a soul mate.  So I decided to give online dating a try. My profile was pretty straightforward, 30 something professional with Cerebral Palsy…  I figured being open would discard people that could not accept someone with CP.  When we eventually met I could not say, “Funniest thing happened right before you came…I came down with the Palsy”.

I immediately filtered out any profile without a picture or had a ‘glamour shot’ picture. I quickly came to discover that Glamour Shots was fool’s gold.  I came across the profile that would change the rest of my life…I came across the one that someday would become my wife.

We began chatting on the phone everyday for a month.  Her 3rd question out of the gate was “Can you have sex?”…I like the way she was thinking from the start!  As you all know from my previous post of Davey Day, all is good under the hood.  As a side, it’s funny how many people ask my wife if we can have sex.  Her response always is “Do you think I would have married him if he couldn’t?”  To think I thought it was my charm & wit that hooked her…

We shared a lot of intimate & heart-warming conversations about ourselves.  After a month we planned our first date.  In excitement we moved our date up a day, as we really wanted to see each other in person.

We planned to have her pick me up at my mom’s place.  To provide a little background, I was staying at my mother’s place at the time because there was 2 months in between the closing of my 1st house until I got possession of my 2nd house.

We finally saw each other face to face.  This amazing lady is real.  After a brief chat and introducing her to my mom…we were on our way.  Like other first dates I had to give her a crash course in ‘Davey 101’.  This included how to walk Davey, fold his chair to put it into the car etc.  I wined and dined her by taking her to Kelsey’s.  That’s right…I’m frugal!  As she was helping me back into the car I decided to plant a first kiss as we were standing (I knew at my mom’s there would be no ‘alone’ time).  Either she was going to kiss me back or let me fall to the ground.  Luckily for me she didn’t think she could pick me back up.  After the date we confirmed plans to get together the following night.

The following day we called each other as we always did over the past month.  This time however, she was crying.  She said that me having a disability would be too much for her to accept, that she needed someone who was more independent and could take care of her.  This was difficult for me to hear.  I reminded her that I already have lived on my own for 10 years where she had never left her nest at home.  I thought it was totally unfair for her to judge me about independence.  She expressed interest to ‘still be friends’.  My response was ‘I already have a surplus as friends so if we were not going to progress beyond friendship then I wish her well in her search for her special someone’.  Despite being calm and cool on the phone I was broken up inside.    I had a number of relationships before but she was different…she was already in my heart.  Despite my feelings of anger, sadness, and emptiness I had to put my clown face on to shield my mom from my pain.  I knew while growing up that my mom would be devastated when she would see me frustrated and angry when my disability would negatively impact me from life’s pleasures.

Two days went by without speaking.  Then she called.  She said I was already in her heart and would love to see me again.  The prince, on a power chair as opposed to a horse, rode off with his princess.

Me and The One...

Neither of us is perfect…but we are perfect for each other.

Until next time…

Another segment of - Disabled People Can be Bastards

This week was a pretty emotional draining week for me.  Tuesday was the anniversary of my dad's passing, combined with our neighbor growing up, a close family friend passing away this week.  I could not attend her funeral but I wanted to write this blog about one of my most cherished memories of Anna. In the summer of 1983 I was recovering from one of my many surgeries.  I had full length casts on both of my legs for the whole summer.  My parents borrowed a hospital bed and had me situated in the living room.  Being in the living room allowed me to watch TV and look out the picture window to see what was happening in the world.  Remember, there was no cable or internet then, so entertainment was limited when you could not play outside.

My parents arranged to have Anna (the close family friend) take care of me during the day while they were at work.  Anna was 50-ish at the time.  She was a regular church going lady.  She originally thought that she would take this opportunity to teach me the bible while looking after me.  She gave up after 3 days when I would not accept Joseph had nothing to do with Mary's pregnancy. To her credit, 3 days is still the record of someone trying to teach me the bible.

During that summer my father rigged a switch to the doorbell so I could signal if I needed something.

The next day Anna was down in the basement folding laundry when I needed help.  I hit the switch that triggered the doorbell.  She ran up the whole flight of stairs (25-30), ran past the living room to the other end of the house to answer the door.  Nobody told her about my father's recent doorbell innovation.

This day was about to get a lot more entertaining!

She came back to the living room frustrated that she did not answer the door in time before this supposed visitor left.  She said, 'David when you get older you will find it harder to run as fast as you used too'.  Being disabled, I already had pretty good insight into not being able to run fast.

I waited until she made her way to the basement to resume laundry before ringing the doorbell again.  Again, she ran up the whole flight of stairs, past the living room to the other end of the house to answer the door.  This time I'm laughing so hard that I'm about to wet the bed...especially since the original reason why I clicked the switch was to get help with going to the washroom.

She came back to the living room out of breath.  Anna said, "I bet it's that little bugger across the road that keeps ringing the doorbell and running away".  I think she suspected him because he was riding his bike in his driveway at the time. I replied, "Could be."

Three times a charm!

Anna goes back down to the basement to try and finish the laundry and I ring the doorbell again.  She flies up the stairs cursing. I didn't know that the lord's surname was 'Dammit'.   This time she proceeded to walk out the door, across the street, and 'disciplined' the kid across the road.

Anna came back into the house to find me in tears from me laughing so hard.  She noticed the switch under my pillow and clicked it.  When she heard the doorbell her face was red with anger.  However, she did not do anything...I was surprised.

The next day when she was helping me to the washroom she had a suspicious grin. Long story short, she had placed my urinal bottle in my dad's beer fridge that morning.  It was FREEZING! I still consider myself lucky to this day that I did not get frost bite.

I always found it so ironic that such a religious lady would carry out such an act of revenge.  Isn't revenge a sin?

Until next time...

A Christmas Story

It's that time of the year again when we celebrate the holidays.  It's funny how the holidays remind us of special memories from our childhood.  Playing, school pageants, and Santa. Playing in the snow was not as exciting for me as it was other kids.  Snow and disabled people don't make a great combination.  Still to this day I'm still puzzled how R2D2, the galactic cripple,  moved with such ease around the planet Hoth. My mom would spend an hour bundling me up in a snow suit and put mittens on my hands to go outside to play.  You have all seen my hands, putting mittens on me is as challenging as solving a Rubik's Cube.

Let me take a moment to list the many ways that I could play in the snow:

  1. Make snow angels

That's it. 1 hour to dress. 2 hours of play.  A lot of dumb ass snow angles in the front yard.

When I was young I attended a school with just disabled people.  Like regular schools, they too would have an annual Christmas show.  The major difference was that most of the cast was non-verbal.  It was difficult to tell whether they were singing jingle bells, frosty the snowman, or silent night...it all sounded the same!  Being that I was in the front my back was soaked from their spit.  Their Christmas play was more like an nativity set with Joseph wearing a hockey helmet, given that no one could actually move around on stage.

I remember one time that my mom brought me to sit on Santa's knee so I could tell him what I wanted for Christmas.  Sitting on his knee, Santa asks, "David, Do you want Santa to bring you a new pair of legs for Christmas?"

First off, why is Santa talking in 3rd person?

Second, isn't Santa supposed to listen to what I want instead of drawing attention to me being disabled?

Me and Santa

Third, why do I smell Scotch?

I replied, "The Millennium Falcon, page 345 in the Christmas wish book, with batteries!"

Christmas Eve always brought great excitement...Santa was coming to bring presents!  Would I get the Millennium Falcon or the 'Race 'n Chase' race track?   I remember trying to pretend to be sleeping one Christmas Eve as 'Santa' was attempting to put together (what I would come to find out) a race track.  The cusses of "God D***t, Stupid piece of sh!t," filled the air.  I remember thinking to myself, "Santa has quite a potty mouth for a jolly man".

Me and my race track

We all have special childhood memories of Christmas.  As adults we get to relive the magic of Christmas through little ones.  Instead of receiving - we give.  We give memories for the next generation.

Have a great Christmas everyone!

Until next time...

The Dating Game

Everyone wants to love...and to be loved.  Everyone wants intimacy.  Everyone wants someone to grow old with.  Finding this person is the end game of many trials and errors.  This game is called dating.  It comes with optimism, discovery, anxiety, awkwardness, and self realization.  Dating is a challenge to everyone...especially for me.  This game  started for me in high school and continued to my early 30's. The most common question people have about someone with a disability is if they can have sex.  Let's put it this way, I didn't go through my vasectomy for a good time.  However, this question was always in the back of the mind of  everyone I dated.  Over time I wanted to have my opening line be, "Hi, I'm Dave...and I can do it".  I can disappoint a lady just as well as my walking peeps can.

I didn't start dating until later in high school.  I had to wait until girls got their driver's license.  I realize that dating a disabled guy might not be considered cool, but having my mom drive would have made it worse.  My mom's singing along to her 8-track of Glen Campbell singing 'Rhinestone Cowboy' would not have set the right mood for the date.

Caveman used clubs to begin their courtship.  Our generation used mixed tapes.  I know I'm going to get heckled about admitting this...but I'm sure I wasn't alone in doing this in high school.  When looks are not your selling point, nothing sealed the deal like spending hours making a mixed tape that included  'In your Eyes' and 'Somebody' for that special lady.  If you were smart, you used your dual tape deck to make multiple copies of this love potion in case that week's attempt didn't workout.

When preparing for a date I would think ahead to what I might say.  Obviously she isn't going to be interested with my boring self...so I have to portray what I would be like if I was interesting.   I guess telling her that I scored 4 touchdowns in the high school championship would be a stretch...

In addition to this I would have to manage how much I drank during the day.  No,  not 'liquid courage' but ANY fluid.  I would quit drinking anything at 2pm for a 6pm date.  I didn't want to take the chance that the restaurant washroom wasn't accessible, and asking her to help me might be considered a perverted request.  Gigity!  Alternatively, wetting my pants would not likely lead to a second date (unless I was lucky enough to connect with her freshly after a really bad relationship).

I did not use my wheelchair on dates too often.  Since I'm able to walk with assistance, I would have my date walk me.  Something I discovered while dating, and verified over my 5 years of marriage,  that women do not wear practical shoes out.  Walking me is usually easy...unless you are wearing 4 inch heels.   It was like being walked  along a tight rope.  Having my date walk me assured that at least we would hold hands during our date.  Who's got game?  Davey's got game. Plus, I got to make sure she didn't have 'man hands'.

In an attempt to be independent I would always order chicken fingers so I would not have to ask her to cut my meat up.  Chicken fingers is one of the last socially acceptable thing to pick up and eat with your fingers.  The fact that chicken fingers were on the menu tells you the type of places I would bring my dates too.  Shut up, I'm frugal.

We have all been exposed to being on a date where the other person will talk your ear off over the most uninteresting things imaginable.  When this happened to me, she would say, "You are such a great listener".  Not really...I just can't walk away.  Falling out of the booth and crawling away might have given her the hint.

Even though dating was excruciating, I would not change anything  After a long time playing this game, I finally won my soul mate.

Until next time...

Davey Day

A friend at work today was telling me about his upcoming vasectomy, so I thought I would share my experience from a chair side perspective. My wife and I decided to not have kids. I will share my thoughts and feeling about our decision in a future post as it is a deeper topic than this one. I think being a parent is the most important job in the world and I have the highest admiration to you parents out there.

This story begins when we go to the Doctor for our 'conciliation' where he explains the procedure. The doctor explains that he will give me a local sedative and freeze the area so I will be awake for the whole procedure. Having Cerebral Palsy - I'm spastic. This means I startle very easily. I explain to the doctor that I jump at the slightest tap on the shoulder let alone a razor blade approaching my goods. He tries to comfort me by saying that the sedative will make me feel all loopy and we will be talking to each other all the way through it. "It's like drinking and talking with your buddies", he explains.  I had three major problems with his explanation:

1. When I drink with my buddies we don't 'snip' each other.

2. We're not on talking terms - dude, you're snipping my berries

3. You shouldn't be talking to me - keep your eye on the prize

The day finally comes and I'm scheduled to be the first patient.  I like to handle these things head on and get it over with.  It did feel weird to be the only one in the waiting room.  I was rolled in on a bed to the operating room.  The nurse says, "Mr. Dame can you please jump up on the table".  My anxiety hits the roof...obviously she did not read my chart.  I politely asked her to read my chart.  She reads the chart and is embarrassed.  Given that my professional occupation revolves around reducing high risk and performing validation checks, I ask her to review what was to happen...one can't be too careful.

After the procedure my wife rolls me out in my wheelchair.  The fear that was in the eyes of the men in the waiting room was priceless.  Since we know that 'Disabled people can be bastards' , it should be no surprise that I announced to everyone that  I walked in there that morning.

On the way out the nurse hands us a container.  She tells us that we have to bring a 'sample' to the lab for testing in six weeks to make sure the operation was a success.  The hugest smile appeared on my face as I looked at my wife, holding up my hands and shrugging my shoulders.  For once in my life having gimpy hands was going to work in my favour - I was going to be the 'self-serve' gas pump.  My wife blushes.  The nurse cautions that the sample needs to be tested within the hour of 'procurement'

Six weeks later ...Saturday morning (forever known as Davey Day) arrives.  My wife gets everything ready as she only has less than an hour to race the sample to the lab for testing.  Unfortunately we could not get a police escort from our home to the lab so time was precious.  She 'procures' the sample and races out the door.  Having a new appreciation for what cows go through on a daily basis...I felt the need for a nap.  My wife returns home and she brings me to the barber to get my haircut.  This was a real old school barber so he used a straight razor, tonic the whole works.  This was followed by a nice afternoon walk and an awesome dinner and nice wine.  I don't know what a day at the spa is like...but this had to be pretty close.

Until next time...

Disabled people can be bastards

To help provide insight to the dark side of disabled people I thought I would share a story of a practical joke that me and my disabled friend 'pulled' on a helper (PSW) that we both shared. This helper had been working with my friend for a lot of years. This helper only had been working for me for six weeks when we played this practical joke on him. As you will read, he is quite gullible. I wish I could take the credit for thinking of this, but it was my disabled buddy who thought of it.

I scheduled this helper to accompany me on an off-site management meeting for the company I was working for at the time.

While working with my buddy this helper says, "I'm going out of town with Dave for a few days."

My buddy replies, "Did Dave tell you what he needs for his 'bedtime' routine?"

The helper replied, "No".

My buddy proceeds to tell him that because my spasticity is so bad that the only way I can relax to fall a sleep is to be 'massaged in his private place' at night. After a bit of back & forth words between them, my buddy has him believing the story.

That day my buddy called me at work and told me what he had done. He encourages me to play along...I was just hoping I could do it with a straight face.

The next day this helper was working with me and brings up the conversation that he had with my buddy. I cut him off before he could finish and said, "Look, this isn't a rose garden for me either and rather not talk about it"...the truth is that I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face if the conversation went on any longer.

The day before the trip this helper asked my buddy if he had any last minute advice. My buddy told him, "If I was you, I would bring condoms. If Dave is a 'quick trigger' you really don't want to clean that up"

My buddy calls to give me the update of their conversation. I decided to share this story with my wife, giving her another opportunity for her to shake her head in disbelief at me. To my surprise, she played along. When my wife filled my suitcase she packed condoms. I feel lucky to have found a woman that has a gimp fetish AND a twisted sense of humour!

When we got to the hotel the helper opened my suitcase to find the condoms...I still remember his look of fear as he noticed them.

Like every company offsite there is the usual team building exercise at a bar in the evening. My helper was taking every advantage of the free liquor to prepare him for what he thought he would be doing later. Near the end of the night I told him that I was tired and ready to check in for the night. My helper downed 3 drinks and proceeded to push my chair back to the hotel. I NEVER recall being pushed so slow in my life. It was like the final walk of a death row prisoner about to go in the electric chair. All we needed was the Imperial March theme from star wars playing in the background to set the tone better.

Before I continue on with the end of the story I think it's important to pay tribute to this helper's dedication to his job. This dude was about to 'churn my butter' out of commitment toward his job. The military would love to get this blind loyalty to duty!

We got back to the hotel, put my pajamas on, and asked for instructions for the rest of the routine. I said there is one thing before you start...can you sing "I'm a little tea pot"?

At that moment he realized we were 'pulling' his leg. He said, "You crips are warped bastards"...and to all a good night.

Until next time...