Tuesday, May 22, 2007

C-Blocked At The Cellar Bar

So... I'm at The Cellar Bar tonight, in the Bryant Park Hotel, attending a firm function on behalf of newbie law students who, one day, will be inducted into the lawyer fraternity. We're drinkin', we're laughin', we're having fun times. There's some music playing just low enough for us to engage in friendly conversation. After doing my duty with a few of the newbies, I start to take a look around. It's a good turnout for a Tuesday night. Dark, low light. Turning towards the bar, I notice that one of the bartenders is wearing this impossibly tight leather-cinched thingamabob stretching down from her chest down to her waist. I don't know what those things are called, but it looked positively medieval. You see them in those period movies from the 1700s. They're basically a body vise -- really good at pushing boobs up to stratospheric heights but really bad for female circulation. I had no idea how she could breathe through that thing. I literally could have done an "OK" sign around her waist. So, I noticed that.

Because I hadn't had any dinner and was starving, I began looking for a food source. That's when I noticed these attractive waitresses walking around with hors d'oeuvres trays. They were wearing the same boa constrictor uniform as the bartender and were serving crispy crabcakes, small hamburger sliders, miniature quesadillas, and some salmon and mango combo on a stick that I couldn't decipher. One of them in particular caught my eye. She was very tan, had dark brown eyes and a 1000 watt smile. Latin. Nicey. An hour or so into the evening, I was really starving and the food just wasn't coming around fast enough. So a colleague told Ms. Latin of my plight and urged her to bring out more food forthwith. Shooting me a very friendly smile, she said "I'm coming back out and you're next." I'm next! I'm next!

True to her word, she brought out some fried cheesy poofs, three of which I popped in my mouth and swallowed whole. Over the next 45 minutes, Ms. Latin kept the food coming, bringing out mini-burgers, quesadillas, and more cheesy poofs, which I devoured like a caveman. Not to worry, I washed the appetizer smorgasbord down with several Grey Goose and sodas. So grateful was I to Ms. Latin in fact, that on one trip out, I decided to start a little game. For every flavored shrimp and cheesy poof I removed from her tray, I would ask her a question that she would have to answer. Sounds like fun, no? In my buzzed condition, I certainly thought so. Not much in it for her though. I wouldn't even have thought to initiate such antics but for the fact that well, Ms. Latin was giving me the smileys. Maybe it was all in my head. Maybe she was giving the same smileys to every other dude in the place. Perhaps, but I don't think so. I'm fairly cynical about such things, and even I couldn't help but notice. The vodka definitely helped attune my vision. In any event, she agreed to play along with my silly game.

Question 1, accompanied by a piece of spicy shrimp on a plastic sword was, predictably, "Where are you from?" Answer: Colombia. Okay, Colombia. Never been there. Not much to go on. So I pondered. Then Question 2: "What part of Colombia are you from?" Yeah, real original. Quit your cringing, please. I was just getting warmed up. Answer: Cartagena. Okay again, not much to work with there. I saw that movie with Russell Crowe and Meg Ryan, what was it called? Oh yeah, Proof of Life. I don't think it was about Colombia, but it could have been. Can't really go anywhere with that. Drug trafficking and kidnapping don't exactly make the best cocktail conversation. Indeed, a true Colombian might take offense.

I was in the process of preparing Question 3, and by now, we're two more GG&S' into things, when she swung by again. All the Horz Durvrayz are beginning to look the same. For Question 3, I was going to ask Ms. Latin if she was single. I was getting too drunk, and it was time to cut to the chase. Problem was, I was surrounded by work colleagues who were themselves quite enamored of Ms. Latin and eager to chat her up as well. So, during a pause in their pathetic bombardment, I leaned in close to ask her Question 3, and here's what happened:

MARRIED COLLEAGUE J.: "Hey, do you like turtles?! Wanna see a turtle?!!" He holds up his cell phone, which yes, has a tiny picture of a real turtle on it. It's a picture or a screen saver or something. On his cell phone. "Yeah, this turtle was E-NORMOUS!" Chattus Interruptus.

MS. LATIN, being polite: "Really, wow... that's a very nice turtle. Very nice. Is it real?"

MARRIED COLLEAGUE J.: "Oh yeah, it's real alright. It was HUGE. Great turtle."

MS. LATIN: "It sure is."

And with that, Ms. Latin took her empty tray and departed to the back room.

Life comes down to a matter of moments, people. And when that moment passes, it's O-V-E-R. You're done. No second chances. I wouldn't have that good an opportunity to have talky-time with Ms. Latin the rest of the night. Ten minutes later, she came by and said "Have a good night guys." When she left, I gave Colleague J. the C-Block Death Stare.

Now, I love Colleague J. He's a great friend of mine and a really good guy. Wonderful man with a nice wife and incredibly cute kids. (Not to mention the fact that I know he's going to read this.) But man-oh-man-oh-shevitz did he C-Block me tonight. Cut me right off at the knees, did he. With a goddamn turtle on his cell phone. He couldn't shut up about the fucking turtle.

I am so sick and tired of being C-Blocked by my friends, particularly the married ones, who have no business even opening their mouth in situations like this. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me in my adult life. In fact, I could write a book on how many times Best Friend P. has C-Blocked me alone. We go back a long time, so there's a lot to work with. I recall one time at a party, Dear P. told an ex-girlfriend of mine he wanted to take her into the closet for ten minutes. What a pal. My friends are so damn loyal, they even try to C-Block me with my own girlfriends. How awesome is that? I was quite displeased upon hearing this bit of news from the ex, and I certainly let him know it in very assertive language. He denied it up and down, of course. (Lie, lie, and lie some more is the C-Blocker's motto when called out.) Bygones though. He's still here; she's long gone.

The C-Block can take several forms. Sometimes it's an Intentional C-Block a/k/a The I Don't Give A Fuck. Usually conducted by some stranger, a jerk you don't know very well, or someone you know really well, but who doesn't give two shits about your relationship. The reason for the Intentional C-Block is pretty universal, however: the chosen target is just too attractive, too significant, too worth it for whatever reason, to pass up. So let the best man win. The irony of the Intentional C-Block is usually it's so damn obvious that no one wins. Subtlety rules with the C-Block.

Which brings us to The Discreet C-Block a/k/a The Slip N' Slide. This one's the most insidious. You, the poor victim, have no idea what's happening until it's too late. You're standing by the bar, talking to a lovely. Before you know it, some putz has slowly, carefully, discreetly wedged his ass/elbow/arm/back/messenger bag between you and the lovely. Now he's got pole position (pun intended) and you're sucking a straw by yourself, staring at the striped pattern on the back of his untucked shirt. Game over.

And last, but not least, there's The Clueless C-Block a/k/a The Accidental. This type of C-Block is a pure mistake, an unfortunate confluence of circumstances. Negative serendipity. That's what we had tonight. Dear J. did not engage in any intentional wrongdoing. No sir, there was no mens rea on his part. No evil intent. He was simply feeling the turtle, and he wanted the world to know. Turtle Love got the best of him.

So, even though I am seriously tired of the C-Block and will take greater, ever more drastic measures to avoid it in the future, I can't be mad at Colleague J. He didn't do it on purpose. Besides, I really love turtles.


KatieG said...

Ummm, that would be a "corset" my friend...

And I found myself staring at these poor girls too....amazed at the ease with which they walked while surely having their lung capacity reduced by half its normal size, and holding those trays so effortlessly while surely the blood pressure was heightened to push through the tiny little capilaries in their arms...

Anonymous said...

Theres an old saying in Scotland 'If you're not fast your last!' Sounds like even the turtle was faster than you! Hard luck, sounds like you had yourself a serious case of Sliding Doors. What an excellent movie. R x

T. said...

@K - I wrote this when I was drunk and couldn't remember the damn word for the life of me. Thanks for the head's up though. Corset, yes.

@R - Now that is a proverb to live by. In my own defense though, it was a work situation, and one can't be too obvious about such things. Which is why I was home blogging by 11:00. Pathetic.

Sally Tomato said...

There's a whole world of cockblocking that I'm just not familiar with, being a female and all. Thanks for the insight! I had no idea it had so many levels.

Oh and great post for being drunk when you wrote it...

T. said...

S - you have no idea how bad it can get. At our most basic level, we are dogs chasing the Chuck Wagon. I'm starting to think I write better when I drink. Not a good sign.

K said...

ok.. Because my internet cafe time is going to run out very shortly.. I am going to skip over most of the cock blocking stuff except to say that - as a girl, it~s not really a cock block unless the other guy is actually making a move on the girl and she is forced into making a choice. Guy1?, Guy2?, or neither? IMO your situation last night wasn~t a true cockblock. J just distracted her with a silly question, but you still could have continued your coversation with Ms Latin Corsette, even pushing through the turtle remark, had you not thought you were defeated by the turtle.

I know I am not making a ton of sense typing this out at the moment. Have had too much Acai juice this morning and and am reading and typing fast in order to get to the beach soon.

Anyway, I am sure you get the jist.

Talk to you soon,

Oh.. and that was Equador in the movie with Meg and Russel. :)

Anonymous said...

From Mr J (the accidental c-blocker):
Mr. Blogger's accusations are pure nonsense. In order to state a claim for c-block, the waitress would have had to demonstrate something more than the polite tolerance that she gave Mr. B - he parked himself near the door of the kitchen and essentially blocked the waitress from serving the rest of the party. The only reason she spoke to him was because she was happy to let him clear her tray(he did, several times) so she did not have to fight through the rest of the crowd. I love Mr. B, but his stock is down in my book. If he had a real rap and could really think on his feet, he would have had no problem continuing a dialogue with despite my admittedly lame show and tell demonstration.

T. said...

Ms. K - The Cockblock has nothing to do with a woman's perspective, other than the fact that she, at least in hetero situations, is the Cockblocker's target. The Cockblock is all about male competition and getting the best pole position. And a Cockblock is still a Cockblock regardless of whether it succeeds or not. Indeed, a great deal of the time, the Cockblock fails miserably.

Sure, it's possible I could have pushed through the turtle debacle and given it another go, but as I said, it was a work situation, and truth be told, the turtle incident was so bizarre, so untimely, that it just threw me beyond all recovery.

Now, I know you're in Rio enjoying too much Acai and running to the beach while the rest of us are busy toiling for the man, so I'm going to let the rampant misspellings in your comment go. But I am definitely buying you a dictionary for Christmas.

P.S., it wasn't ECuador in Proof of Life, it was the fictional Republic of Tecala.

Now, vaya con dios, or however you say it in Portugese.

T. said...

Mr. J, I was prepared to forgive and forget, given my fondness for the turtle, but all bets are off now. Rather than take responsibility for your admitted "lame show and tell demonstration," you have now besmirched my rap.

R/K/J - Exactly when did the Cockblocking victim become the guilty party here? I'm shocked at your lack of sympathy.

J - I will deal with your egregious slander (or is it now libel?) personally.

k said...


one: I am on a lame, non US keyboard, with very limited time to read your block and comment, let alone go back and spell check. I have all of a 10 min session before I am booted. Thus, the misspellings. No dictionary needed- but thanks anyway.

two: Proof of life was filmed in Equador even if it was renamed for storyline purposes.


in my opinion, and it~s just my opinion; a cockblock is not truly a cockblock unless the other man is actively pursuing same said girl for dating/pick up purposes. If you fumble or stop your flirting just because a wingman, friend, or fellow worker says something silly or obnoxious then it´s called giving up. (Sorry T!!!! I love ya but that~s what i think. i am sure your other female blog devotees would say the same.)

i know you aren~t going to like my comment, but i will make it up to you when you see what I am bringing you back from Rio! Hope you are having a nice thursday. Now, I am off for to get some more acai juice ;) ...


Chad Smith said...

There's nothing that stirs my ire more than a flithy C-Blocker. Nice post; funny as hell.

T. said...

Thanks, Chad. Finally, someone who understands.

paulie d from wormtown said...


Nice use of the second person in this piece.

P from Wormtown

Anonymous said...

V, intentional c-block rules! Google "it's turtles all the way down!", Tower, King.