I don't know WHY it happens - It just happens.
Every time -- And I mean EVERY time -- you take the Aces Casino party crew and mix it together in the same place where Hollywood-types, sports stars and/or faux-celebrities are hanging around, something ALWAYS happens.
EVERY time. Set your watch by it. It'll happen.
Oh, and we must make this crystal clear, right up front - it's normally not a good thing. The history of these past confrontations, A.K.A. "the stuff that legends are made," have been more than adequately chronicled in past editions of this parakeet-paper blog from Aces Casino.
And, we're talkin' about some DOOZIES here, friends -- Bruce Willis throwing our Blackjack table overboard on the Queen Mary; Robert Wagner causing a major "commotion" at another "21" table; Joan Rivers making it her goal in life to terrorize our Orange County casino party crew every minute of still another elegant event; Steven Spielberg's departure from an event early when he let it be known that he couldn't win a single hand at the tables, and left, "broke." Time, after time, after TIME. Without fail. Uncanny.
It got to where we'd avoid celebs at our parties, for fear of jinxing them or their latest films, teams, or projects. Didn't work. Saw Charlie Sheen at an event, didn't talk to him, thinking that would break the streak... Three weeks later, Chuck Lorre fired him from "Two And A Half Men." Saw Brandi Passante (Storage Wars) at a poker table, playing in one of our tournaments. She was eliminated 10 minutes later. We went to go and meet the Pawn Stars one weekend, but they were lucky. They weren't at the shop when we came by, therefore avoiding the "celebrity jinx," it appears..
Seriously. I'm surprised the Hollywood Reporter hasn't picked up on this phenomenon yet. It's like the S. I. Curse, the Madden Curse, and the goat from Wrigley Field all rolled into one big, giant mega-curse.
But, being the top Los Angeles casino night party company in the southland tends to place us directly in the cross-hairs of some of the biggest party planners and event coordinators in the entertainment industry that are looking for the perfect casino night party, and almost 100% of these incredibly talented people know virtually NOTHING about "the curse." And that's fine, because we're always looking to find a way to break the streak of crazy happenings at one of our next fun-filled galas. Hey, the events are always terrific - All we need to do is avoid the random table splash-down, alcohol-induced vitriol or horrible losing streaks brought on by our celebrated guests, and we're in there.
So, with this in mind, it shouldn't surprise anyone when, in the middle of the 2011 party season, a call came in from a client that was throwing a surprise party for his wife up north of where we're located, in the city of Calabasas. WAY up north. And in the middle of the week, not on the weekend.
Now, we're based in Orange County (with our main office in southern L. A. County), so Calabasas is quite a poke for our team. That's a 2.5 hour drive. And gas is probably $6/gallon in Calabasas. This is an event that our party crew wasn't too quick to sign up for.
Until one of our staffers, upon hearing the location of the event, uttered something like, "Hey, Calabasas. That's where the Kardashians live!"
Well now, wait a minute. Would visiting this group of Ryan Seacrest-designed reality show pseudo-celebs count as a visit with the stars? We'd seen the show before on the office TV. I was surprised when I saw Bruce Jenner on the screen, he of the 1976 Decathlon Gold Medal for the USA. Hey, there's one of my heroes. Did he change his last name? Then, 10 seconds later, Kim Kardashian walked into the room to talk to Jenner, and BOOM! OK, don't change the channel. We're watchin' this. I don't care WHO changed their names.
It was decided. OK, yeah, we're taking the party. Contracted with the client, knowing full well that we'd be going out to Calabasas a few hours earlier than normal, so we could go up there see just how big the city of Calabasas was. Then, after some crack detective work (Ed. Note: 30 seconds on the 'net. Banacek, you ain't.), it was discovered that the Kardashian sisters owned a clothing store right near their place of residence, and it appears that the store is pretty famous - A place called "Dash." Oh, I get it. Cute name.
Then, someone said that one of the sisters had just recently married a player for the Los Angeles Lakers (Lamar Odom), and the die was cast. That was all she wrote. We're doin' this. Ladies and gentlemen of the best Orange County casino night company in the southland, pack your bags. We're goin' to Dash.
So, in no time flat, there we were - Driving into the parking lot of the store that some wanna-be-Kardashian clones would LOVE to be visiting - "Dash." And, as things usually evolve whenever Aces Casino is involved, one thing IMMEDIATELY stood out - The 8-foot-tall gentleman walking right by our car, and heading in the direction of "Dash." One of our team (A HUGE Laker fan) immediately recognized him to be L.A. forward Lamar Odom.
He immediately bolted out of the car, and roamed right over to where Mr. Odom was walking, and began chatting with this very large Laker player.
One Problem. Our co-hort didn't realize that when he rapidly approached Odom, he totally cut in front of none other than the infamous Khloe Kardashian herself, one of the sisters that is heavily involved with the E!-Network show's plot-lines. Needless to say, this did NOT sit well with our reality-TV super-diva. She proceeds to lay into our staff member with a vengeance, calling him everything from rude to, wait, how did she put it? Well, let's just say that it wasn't something that he'll name his first child.
GREAT, I'm thinking to myself - We're not even in the DOOR yet, and we're already behind the eight-ball. No worries, I think to myself - Us two remaining Aces Casino team members get out of the car, and head on over to the Pier Six Dash-Brawl. By the time the two of us get up to the three of them, we notice another problem - Odom and Rodney (our team member) are chattin' up the Lakers, which ANYONE could tell is NOT going over very well with Khloe. In other words, she's ticked, and I find this out when she turns away from the Laker pow-wow, stares right through me with a look that would have melted "The Terminator," and storms into the clothing store.
Oh, no, I think to myself. This is not good.
Agh, heck -- We drove out all this way, might as well see it through. So, by this time, Odom and Rodney are both walking into the store, and Khloe's nowhere to be seen. we walk into "Dash," and notice immediately that there are now a grand total of 7 people in this store -- The three of us, the Laker player and his girlfriend (Ed. Note: Our commitment to editorial accuracy testifies that the two are possibly married, although this cannot be confirmed with the State of California) and two female sales people, two ladies that someone should give their OWN reality show. More on that in a moment.
Well, OK. Time to take a look around, and the first thing that I notice is this clothing store looks just like my early-90's bachelor pad when I was rooming with two old college buddies. There is stuff EVERYWHERE. On the floor, on the tables, some things on hangers, total disarray... It looks like what Wal-Mart looks like four hours after they open the doors for Black Friday. I'm surprised, but I feel right at home. Rodney feels right at home, too -- He's still yakkin' with Odom, and does so for the whole time out there. They're havin' a GREAT time talking.
Ted decides to repeat his question to the staff (he wanted to find something for his wife), and they flat out ignore him. AGAIN. THAT'S when Ol' Ted makes his fatal mistake - Exposing his award-winning sarcasm to the masses at Dash. After looking at me with a look that asked, "what's going on here," he turns back to the two sales girls and asks them, "Hey, ladies, are these clothes all bunched up in this huge pile on the floor part of some half-off special?"
Like an Eastwood movie, these two employees of Dash turn their head slowly towards him, and one of them finally speaks. "We haven't got to that stuff yet, chill. Don't worry about it, Khloe doesn't mind that being there. You shouldn't be in here. We're taping in the store at 5:30pm, we don't want you in here."
I look at my watch. It's 11:20am, and there isn't a camera crew, a trailer, a grip, NO ONE around this 7-person "hotbed of activity." Gee, isn't a six-hour time block just a bit early to "prep the set?" I'm guessing that the pile of clothes won't be in any of the shots the camera crew catches later. At this point, I'm wondering to myself if Dash's mission statement starts with the words, "we don't want you in here," when the main event begins.
Right then, who should pop out from the back room but Khloe Kardashian herself, and once she sees us, her Swarzenegger look hasn't changed. "Honey, have to go," she tells Lamar, who's still chatting with Rodney and doesn't hear her talking to him. She fixes THAT rather quickly, when she walks right up to Rodney, and allegedly tells him, "Excuse me! I'm TRYING to talk to my HUSBAND!"
Ted immediately says to me, "we're gettin' 86-ed out of here, aren't we?" Odom looks at Rodney, and utters the line of the day. "Boss says we gotta go." Yeah, I'm gettin' that impression, big man. Only THEY aren't the only ones leaving. WE are, too. we begin to walk out of the store, right behind the Queen and her forward, and as we pass thru the doors, I take one look back at the counter, and the sales girls are right back to doing what they do best. Nothing.
WE get back in our car after getting one last dirty look from that Kardashian girl, and speed off to the event that brought us to Calabasas in the first place. We set up, do the event, it's a BIG hit as usual, just like the Orange County casino night crew we are ALWAYS does, and eventually, we make our way back to our home facility.
As we unload the equipment from another Aces Casino job well done, we look up at the company's long-standing motto as it's printed above the entrance. "This Beats Working." Not a truer word has been said. Aces Casino is a GREAT place to work, or "not" work, as the definition might state.
But, in the back of my mind, I just can't get that other catchy motto out of my head. I wonder how much the painters would charge to change the Aces Casino company motto to, "We don't want you in here."
Nahhhh. We'll stick with the original. Besides, I'm guessing that Aces will be around much longer, anyway.