Archive for the Weird Things at Parties Category

Avast, Me Hearties!

Posted in Pirate Holiday, Weird Things at Parties on December 23, 2009 by djscottshirley

If you want to have a proper party for International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you should invite some pirates.

Like Captain Morgan, for instance.

Okay, so perhaps he is the fictitious product of an Ad-man’s imagination. But he is a real enough character in modern culture, that grown men can actually earn a living making public appearances dressed as the Buccaneer of Booze.

DJ Scott with Captain Morgan, a wanna-be pirate, who is actually a paid model. His contract requires him to pose with his left leg raised for all pictures, to look like the logo picture. However, without a barrel to rest his foot on, he looks more like a dog at a fire hydrant.

Yes, if you contact the right people at the liquor distributor’s office, they will send Captain Morgan, or a reasonable facsimile, to your party. They will even go you one better: they will send his crew of Morganettes, models dressed as pirate wenches, to distribute free samples of Captain Morgan’s Rum products.

The Captain with some Morganettes. Note the raised leg.

Let’s get this party started!

Just a Typical Day at Work, With Barrel Rolls

Posted in DJ Stuff, Weird Things at Parties on December 22, 2009 by djscottshirley

It was a glorious sailing day on Eagle Mountain Lake, the kind of beautiful spring day that makes you feel great to be alive.

In addition to great sailing, we were treated to a free air show directly above us. There were numerous vintage airplanes, some formation flying, and even an aerobatic stunt plane doing spins, loops, and barrel rolls – and all of it right over the lake. We had a close-up view from the boat.

We were treated to a free Air Show

Our sailing day was cut short so that I could go and DJ for a party. The event was celebrating a young lady’s graduation from Nursing School, to be held in an airplane hanger at Hicks Airfield, not far from the Fort Worth Boat Club.

I arrived early and set up my DJ booth, speakers and a few simple lights, and played some background music as I began to equalize the sound system. As airplane hangars go, this was a rather nice one. It was new and spotlessly clean, with insulation that helped the acoustics, skylights, and wide overhead doors that allowed the entire front of the building to be open to the beautiful spring weather. It might be just a hangar, but it would sound great, and tonight’s gonna be a good night!

A few neighbors from surrounding hangars were there, talking about the Air Show that day, as we were at the airport where it had been based. One asked me if I had seen the show, and I told him yes, and that I especially enjoyed watching the stunt plane.

He told me that particular plane was owned by a retired Air Force pilot buddy, and that he kept it just a few hangars down from the party. He had flown with him several times, and said the thrill of doing loops, stalls, and barrel rolls was quite an experience.

“Man, I would love to do that!” I told him. I had done some flying in small planes, and have several pilot friends and clients (Southwest and American Airlines are old Party Machine customers), but I had never done aerobatic flight.

So he told me he would contact his friend to arrange for me to take a stunt flight. COOL! I would be looking forward to that. Scratch off one more item on my Bucket List.

The caterers and a few guests arrived as I settled in to planning my playlists, and I was looking forward to a fun spring party. I heard someone say “Let’s go!” and looked up to see the guy I had talked to about the stunt plane, waving me toward the front of the open hangar.

“Go where?” I asked him. “Flying,” was his quick answer, and I looked to see the stunt plane right in front of us, waiting with the engine running.

“You mean right NOW?” I asked. I didn’t want to seem ungrateful, but I had a job to do. I thought his offer to arrange a stunt flight was for some future day, but there he was, ready to fly! He assured me it would just take a few minutes, and the host encouraged me to go. So I programmed some “party primer” background music and set the sound on autopilot, and climbed aboard.

It was an old two-seater with sliding glass canopies where the co-pilot sits behind the pilot. The controls were duplicated in both seats, and the instruments were labeled in Chinese.

The pilot explained this was a training fighter built in China for the Korean War, among the last propeller fighters built, and they were popular in America as aerobatic planes. He ordered me to strap myself in tightly, as we would be flying upside down.

He warned me not to touch the stick, and asked if I ever got airsick. Before I could respond we were off! We were airborne in 30 seconds. We climbed and banked to the right, and headed toward the lake to our West. Soon we were above the Boat Club harbor, and I could see my beloved sailboat Vamos in her slip.

We started to climb as the pilot looked back to ask if I wanted to “go weightless.” I shouted “Yes,” and he slowed the plane and climbed at an awkward angle to make the wings stall. We were in that temporary state of negative G-force where you “lose your stomach” as we used to say when we were kids. He turned and asked if I felt sick at all, and I assured him I was good to go.

He returned the plane to normal flight level, accelerated, and then started into a roll. Our flight path was like a corkscrew, with the pilot in total control, but I was no longer sure which way was up! It was an amazing sensation.

As we leveled off, my host asked again if I felt sick at all, and I again said no. So he accelerated into a steep climb, and never stopped, going all the way upside-down and backwards into a complete loop, then another. The odd thing was that it didn’t feel like we were upside down, or even that we were going very fast, but I was glued into my seat by the G-force.

We leveled off again, and the pilot asked – again – about my stomach. I was fine, so he took us into a dive toward the lake. We saw a ski boat below with a skier in tow, who must have been going 40 miles per hour on the water, as we hit “plummeting speed” of around 185, or some similar Chinese number, approaching directly behind the boat. We were closing at an alarming rate. I prepared for heavy G-force when he pulled up, but it kept not happening. I wanted to shout, “Pull up!” but I couldn’t. I had visions of an emergency water landing as we got frighteningly close to the ski boat below.

When the pilot pulled out of the dive, I think my cheeks and ears were all the way down on my shoulders. I feel certain that we were not as close to the water as it appeared, but it was better than any amusement park thrill ride. I knew that the water skier had a pantsload after seeing us that close, and when the G’s released my face I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. When the pilot looked back, I proactively declared that my stomach was fine, but the ski boat guys were probably pretty nervous!

Another banked turn and we landed back at Hicks, and taxied a short distance to his hangar. We stopped, hopped out, and pushed the plane backwards into the hangar, jumped into a golf cart, and returned to the party.

Total elapsed time: 8 minutes 20 seconds.

As always, a great party ensued.

I love my job.

Hot Dog Man, A Most Unusual Party Guest

Posted in DJ Stuff, Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties on November 30, 2009 by djscottshirley

One of my favorite Party Machine clients is the Greer family, for whom I have done at least five weddings and various birthday, Christmas and retirement parties. At the last few events, there has always been a peculiar guest of honor, who I always called “Hot Dog Man.” It turns out that Hot Dog Man has both a name and a history, as does his owner, John Greer.

John and JoDee were married beside an airplane at the C R Smith Aviation Museum. John is a naval aviator, and he and the crew of his Navy reconnaissance plane were all in Navy Dress uniform, earning the event nickname of “the Top Gun wedding.” John proposed to JoDee while sky-diving, and the video was a big hit at their reception. Later they danced beneath laser beams shooting from the plane’s wings. And Mr Marbles, the Hot Dog Man, was right in the middle of it all.

Here is the full, un-edited story from John Greer, for your enjoyment.

JoDee and John Greer leave their wedding reception with Mr. Marbles.
JoDee seems thrilled to have Mr Marbles tag along.

The Adoption of Mr. Marbles, by John Greer

Prior to the fall of 2003, the history of Mr. Marbles is unknown. I can only offer assumptions of his past by the very means of which I acquired him. My postulation is that Mr. Marbles was heavily involved in food sales, specifically the kind made up of “lips and assholes” formed into a phallic shape we all know as the “hotdog”. While I was not on a mission that day to purchase such a thing, I found myself in a convenience store in the middle of Arizona (city unknown) in pursuit of recovery items from a fatiguing and costly weekend in Las Vegas. Only through these circumstances of chance and perhaps destiny, was Mr. Marbles acquired and officially adopted into my family.

BACKGROUND

In the fall of 2003, I was assigned to the VP-9 Golden Eagles carrying out operations as a Naval Flight Officer in the mighty P-3 Orion. Being stationed in Hawaii, the wardroom (fellow aviators) were always seeking out ways to return to the CONUS area and engage in festive events to connect socially with the citizens of America and at the same time conduct training to improve combat readiness. The particular event which allowed such an opportunity was a fellow aviator taking the nuptial vows in the city of Las Vegas.
Planning circumstances did not allow us fly direct into Vegas but instead, land in Point Magu, California. This dilemma necessitated the requirement for a road trip between the two cities which equated to a four hour transit. As professionals, we accepted the extra hurdle and committed ourselves to carry out the mission. The flight was uneventful and only after fulfilling the training objectives did we elect to land and begin the jovial weekend with the populace.
Long story short, the drive to Vegas was uneventful and the wedding was grand, festive, and offered us all an excuse to party the night away. The carousing continued throughout the weekend with the traditional Vegas activities where most of my time was spent at the craps table. By the way, you know it’s been a rough night when your ATM fees alone are over $70 dollars. Needless to say without doing the precise math, I took a hit. The night ended and after a brief nap, we all assembled with our designated driver to commence the return trip to Point Magu.

THE ENCOUNTER

The return trip was going as planned with the exception of some traffic and minor construction extending our transit time to our destination. Within the car, the symptoms from the weekend ranged from sated bladders, volatile bowels, headaches, and a few members suffering from nausea – some had all of the above. For me, a full bladder, chapped lips from the dry climate, and a distressed checking account were the extent of my ailments. The minor disorders we were all suffering from demanded a pit stop at a random convenience store in the middle of Arizona to negate the issues.
The van parked and we all staggered in to take care of our individual needs. Once in the store, my priorities were to relieve the bodily fluids, and make the necessary purchases to ease the rest of the journey. After coming out of the bathroom, I encountered one of my buddies commenting on the “hot dog man” sitting on top of the rotisserie hot dog cooker. He immediately began negotiating to which no price could be agreed upon. The owner of the store would not compromise and announced that the “hot dog man” would not be sold for anything less than $200 dollars. After a brief reflection of my weekend activities and the realization that I had no monetary gain and only good memories, I shouted out, “SOLD” and the rest is history. Mr. Marbles-Greer was officially adopted and successfully made the rest of the voyage as an official crew-member.

MR. MARBLES – THE NEXT YEARS

The remainder of the trip went as planned and Mr. Marbles received appropriate flight gear to make the transit back across the Pacific logging 9 hours of flight time. Since then he has made one more return trip across the Pacific by boat to his next residence in San Antonio, TX. His only social engagement outside the residence is the wedding between me and my beautiful wife JoDee. At present time he is located in Leavenworth, KS enjoying his new family and living the dream.

— John Greer

Thanks, John! And if you like Mr Marbles, wait ’til you meet Alice! — DJ Scott

Let There Be Light! But leave the flowers alone.

Posted in Weddings!, Weird Things at Parties on May 28, 2009 by djscottshirley

The bride was an identical twin, and both were cheerleaders in college, as well as several other members of their wedding party.

The wedding was elegant, with all the groomsmen in white tuxedos in one of my favorite ballrooms at the Hilton Inn DFW Lakes in Grapevine. The party was rocking along, and it was time for the bouquet toss.

One of the unique features of this ballroom was the chandelier above the dance floor, a huge inverted disc that sort of resembled a flying saucer. As the bride went to toss her bouquet, the thought struck me that it was an ideal trap, should the toss end up a bit high. This proved to be prophetic.

The infamous bouquet-snatcher chandelier.

The infamous bouquet-snatcher chandelier.

Sure enough, the bouquet sailed in a graceful arc, like one of those slow-motion scenes from a movie, and landed directly in the flying saucer chandelier.

As the crowd’s laughter began to taper off, we realized that it was going to be a bit of a problem to retrieve the bouquet.

Cheerleaders to the rescue!

The bride’s twin and one of the groomsmen who was also a college cheerleader, both dressed in formal white, moved into position for the rescue. He stood just below the rim of the flower-gobbling light, and she stood directly in front, with her back to him. She made her body perfectly rigid, as he grabbed her and threw her straight up, catching her under the soles of her feet.

The gathered crowd applauded their acrobatics, as he straightened his arms overhead, raising the bridesmaid to the full height of the light, a distance of about 12 feet off the floor. She retrieved the bouquet and tossed it casually to her sister the bride. Then she jumped, doing a complete 360 degree flip, and landed on her feet like an Olympic gymnast. And, as the saying goes, “the crowd went wild.”

Every wedding should have a memorable moment like this one.

Apparently that light ate some other bouquets, and the last time I worked that room, the Hilton folks had installed a different fixture, with less of an appetite for flying flowers.

The REAL Secret of Public Speaking

Posted in DJ Stuff, Full Frontal Nudity!, Weird Things at Parties on April 14, 2009 by djscottshirley

One of the best ways to keep your Master of Ceremonies skills polished is through public speaking engagements. So I generally accept most invitations to speak.

We all know the clichés about public speaking: how it’s one of our most basic human fears, how you should lead off with a joke or a funny story, and how it helps to imagine the audience in their underwear. Tell them what you’re going to say, say it, and then tell them what you told them.

I was speaking to the Eagle Mountain Yacht Club in Fort Worth. Their meeting was held in the bar area of a popular waterfront restaurant. I spoke to this group on several occasions, so I don’t recall my exact topic that night. But I remember being worried that it may be dry and dull, so I had several jokes, props and visual aids to keep it lively and entertaining.

They all laughed at my opening story, and as the stand-up comics say, I was killing them! Everyone in the room was looking straight at me, their focus was riveted, and they were hanging on my every word.

Or so I thought. Their attentive stares were starting to feel a little creepy. Then I realized they weren’t looking at me at all.

Seems that a female bar patron behind me had just taken off her top.

In public speaking, it's important to limit distracting influences!

In public speaking, it's important to limit distracting influences!

So much for the theory of imagining your audience in their underwear!

Happy Birthday, Where Shall I Put My Clothes? Also, When?

Posted in Full Frontal Nudity!, Weird Things at Parties on April 14, 2009 by djscottshirley

It was the year that the age-old concept of the Singing Telegram found a new life as the Strip-O-Gram, and it seemed that everyone was sending strippers to embarrass their friends at work.

Businesses with names like “Eastern Onion” had been hiring out-of-work actors, singers and dancers to perform song-and-dance messages, but many of them drew the line at nudity, so this opened up a whole new labor market.

The employees of a large camera store chain were throwing a milestone birthday party for the boss, and a group of them decided that a Strip-O-Gram was just the ticket to make the boss man blush. They had contracted me for their musical entertainment, and I was informed of the other “entertainer” at the last minute.

The venue was an old Dallas dance hall with a full stage, and my DJ booth was on the stage with the curtains drawn so that only the booth was visible on the stage. There was another table in the back where I had my music organized.

One of the hosts escorted a young lady – very young, in my eyes – to the DJ booth, and explained her “mission.” She looked like a typical girl next door, nothing exotic, just a fresh-faced young girl wearing blue jeans and a T-shirt.

It’s important at times like this to maintain a professional demeanor, and to be helpful and accommodating. I suggested that she look through a section of music labeled “novelty” to find something appropriate for her routine, and I turned to my console to mix the next song.

When I turned around to ask about her song choice, she was wearing nothing but a smile … not even a tan line!

What they had in mind, but not what they got!

What they had in mind, but not what they got!

Still trying to preserve my professionalism, I asked, “ Aren’t you supposed to do that out there, for the birthday boy?”

Her indignant response was, “I am a Stripper!”

To which I answered, “No you’re not, you’re just naked. You are a STRIPPED – past tense!”

I had to instruct her to get dressed, and then wait until I played her music, and to then remove her clothes as a performance for the birthday boy…which is the point of her being there! I suggested that she might even consider perhaps dancing a little bit, and doing it all slowly.

I hate working with amateurs!

It must have been her first day on the job.

LearJets, Hula Skirts, and Congressmen

Posted in DJ Stuff, Party Machine Celebrities!, Weird Things at Parties on April 9, 2009 by djscottshirley

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I was asked to play music in an airplane hangar.

It wouldn’t be the first time, but this party was different. Hosted by Staci’s Jet Center at Meacham Field in Fort Worth, this one turned out to be a political fund-raiser.

The hangar was immense, and even with an area the size of a football field blocked off for the festivities, there was still plenty of space for several good-sized aircraft, including Ben Fortson’s LearJet.

The party had a Pacific Island theme, with Tiki bars serving tropical libations, and an impressive buffet. The “social lubricant” flowed freely in hopes that well-heeled guests would open their hearts and minds (a.k.a. “wallets”) to some area candidates for public office. It flowed so freely, that it was not long before the drinking was “fierce and hand-to-hand.” We had us a party!

An airplane hangar filled with the Movers and Shakers of North Texas politics, all of them three (or more) sheets to the wind, was a heaven-sent gift for a Party DJ. They were putty in my hands, and I could get them to do anything. Conga lines, limbo contests, and all manner of line dances and silliness ensued.

I even got several men to put on grass skirts and coconut shell bikini tops, and hula dance!

Alright, plenty of mobile entertainers have done this, I know. But, I got the Speaker of the House to do it!

People who hear this story always ask me, “State or U.S.?”

To which I answer, “Yes! And with each other.”

The Honorable Speaker Jim Wright

The Honorable Speaker Jim Wright

That’s right, I got the honorable Jim Wright, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, to dance with Gibson D. “Gib” Lewis, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Both in Hula skirts.

It’s hard to describe this on your resumé, but you gotta admit, no one else has done that!