This, in itself, is not interesting. What is perhaps interesting is the sorts of people I worked with. Imagine the plainest, most normal people you can. Now half of them were in the military and, while they didn't hold active commissions, they never quite left the military, if you take my meaning.
It was, in some ways, one of the most boring jobs I've ever held. Fortunately, I had an office mate who was a special kind of crazy himself. The two of us spent most of our days talking to the guards of the various buildings to figure out where the catered lunches were so that we'd get first pick of the leftovers.
In that sense, it was a grand occupation.
One day, something big happened. I don't know what, but there were promises of lots and lots of money for the company. That bit was kinda surprising, but as P.T. Barnum is rumored to have said, there's a sucker born every minute.
The upshot was we went out to this Moroccan food place. I don't remember much of the food, but the decor was something else indeed -- pillows on the floor around low tables served as seating, a fountain in the entryway. The only thing missing was the harem.
I also remember that the tea was served in what amounted to champagne flutes. And the waiters poured the tea about three feet above the glass, standing up and with the pot in an outstretched hand. Without spilling.
Notably, there was a belly dancer who came out at some point. She did the usual bag of tricks and then decided to go about the business of humiliating people in entertaining ways. She went for some of the obvious big wigs and nearly pulled them bodily from their seats. There they stood in the middle of the floor for a moment, waiting while she thought up what ridiculous act she would make them attempt. Things like dancing while balancing a foil laid horizontally on their head. They looked stupid. People laughed. I determined to not be that person.
I think she pretty much always had her eye on me. I don't know why. Maybe it was because I wasn't wearing a button up shirt? Maybe she saw my long hair at some point? I didn't have a lot to distinguish me at the time. When she had the chance, she beelined for me and insisted on standing me up and pulling me out to the middle of the floor even though I was kind of in a corner.
There was a moment where I saw her size me up. And in that moment, I saw my chance!
When I was in high school, I was in marching band. Our school's mascot was the Highlander -- no, not the "THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE" kind. The Scottish kind. As a result, our band wore kilts and we looked awesome.
In addition, we had a contingent apart from the drill team and color guard. We had Highland dancers who marched out in front of the band, sabres held vertically, marching steadily in time with the cadence. We were awesome and we had the trophy case to prove it.
My sister was some six years ahead of me and was a Highland dancer. I watched many a practice as they did various dances and imitated them.
Away I went, dancing a vague form of the dance that they did to Tunes of Glory with perhaps a bit of a jig thrown in. I looked more or less like I knew what I was doing and, as a result, I had taken control of the interaction and she was forced to try and imitate me, Which she did attempted, uncredibly.
At length, I went back to sit down. About a week later, someone had cut a video of the highlights of the lunch. And there I was, dancing like a madman inbetween video of people looking stupid.
It was, perhaps, one of my finer moments.