Saturday, January 15, 2005

astounded but not speechless: psycho dennis

I felt like getting one of these co-worker bashing articles out of the way, but since today is Saturday, I'm going to have to write one that relies on memory, rather than initial shock. I feel that the most appropriate person to write about today is Psycho Dennis. He isn't as weird as some of the people at work... but none the less, he's earned a place in my heart, and thus on my blog.

I didn't nickname Psycho Dennis, and I have no idea why he's called that. I met him at my department's Christmas party; he was introduced to me as Dennis, but once he was ten feet away, his name suddenly switched to 'Psycho Dennis'. I guess there's more than one Dennis, and people need to differentiate.

Psycho Dennis was already drunk when I got to the party. To be fair, I showed up about a half hour after the thing started. I have to be honest though... that bartender was an animal, and I, myself, ended up stumbling home that night. Here's the thing though... Psycho Dennis already had a reputation from the last year's Christmas party. Even the bartender had recognized him and commented on the fact that he shouldn't be drinking too much, but of course, that didn't stop the bartender from shoving drinks in his face.

In the great Christmas bash of 2003, Psycho Dennis drank too much and passed out on the sidewalk outside the bar; classy shit for a Wall Street party. Nobody was able to wake him up, and nobody knew where he lived. He had brought a friend (or it may have been a buddy from work), who elected to take him in a cab to the address specified on his driver's license, but when they got to the address, the people there didn't know him. They had no idea where to put this guy, so they dropped him off at a hospital.

I don't know Psycho Dennis at all... I had only met him at that party. My department is split between two buildings, and he's at the Wall Street one. He must be quite the character to have such a nickname... afterall, the names 'Drinking Dennis', 'Sidewalk Dennis', and 'Sleeping Beauty' seem more appropriate... there's something about this guy that makes the word 'psycho' trump any other description of his character. I have no idea what's so psycho about him though.

Psycho Dennis assured everyone that he was going to take it easy at this party. They were truly concerned... they're actually all very nice people, and consider the workgroup to be a sort of sub-family. I had been at the company for less than a month, so I was sort of the new step-child, but if I was a true family member... say a second cousin or something, I'd have made sure to ask Psycho Dennis what his address was, just in case. Nobody did that.

I missed a good deal of this, because I was being actively hit on by a co-worker for at least an hour straight, but I did see them carry Psycho Dennis outside, because he was unable to walk. I actually missed all the good stuff, but the highest ranking guy at the party got stuck dealing with the Psycho Dennis situation (really though, doesn't Sleeping Beauty sound like a much better name?). He was totally passed out, and they couldn't get a cab to pick him up to enable his yearly visit to the hospital.

You have to keep in mind... this is a Wall Street work party. This isn't a kegger in your friend's garage. Everyone had come straight from work, and we were dressed in suits to business casual at the very least. Now imagine a bunch of people in suits, trying to keep their business-like composure at a company party, while Psycho Dennis is passed out in a puddle, on the sidewalk out front. Not only that, but his boss has to take care of him... he didn't have a buddy at the party this year.

An unconscious man on Wall Street stands out a bit... it was no surprise that the cabs wouldn't take him; he had to be woken up. They tried all sorts of methods, but nothing seemed to work - the highlight of their repertoire was doing the speed-slaps Three Stooges style. Nothing could wake this guy.

'Plan B' was to simulate Psycho Dennis' consciousness. The first attempt was holding him up and trying to keep his head erect, to make it look like he was just having trouble walking, rather than having trouble being awake. This didn't work... apparently Psycho Dennis is extremely heavy... he didn't look overweight to me, but I wasn't trying to carry him.

He had some sort of a napsack with him that day, so their next attempt at simulating his consciousness was to stand him up against a pole, and use the straps from the napsack to tie him to it. The idea was to make it look like he was standing on his own.... but of course, they couldn't have his head slumping over, so they needed to tie him up in a way that his head was fastened to the pole as well. I guess they did a sloppy job with the pole thing, because he was choking on one of the straps. Who knows how long he hadn't been breathing... it's not like he was signaling them with his arms or anything... they just happened to hear a sleeping man making some soft choking noises.

All the fun finally came to an end when they decided to call the Fire Department, requesting their 'bar to hospital' shuttle service to do its magic for a man who was in danger of drowning in the puddle that his co-workers had put him in. It was getting late, and the fun of abusing a grown man was giving way to the need for everyone to go home to their beds. Interestingly enough, Psycho Dennis was unconscious throughout the entire tail-end of the night, and yet he was still the life of the party. That was my first and only Wall Street party to date, and I can't imagine attending one without Psycho Dennis at my side. I want to be the guy who buys him his first drink.