First, I am not going to name names. Not of the person or the event. The location hosts many events so that is a pretty safe thing to name without giving it all away. For those of you who were there I ask that you don’t name names either, and if you feel you must, please do so outside my thread/wall/blog.
It happened a few years ago in Orlando, Florida.
Right outside the bar area, there was a small patio where a dozen or so of us gathered after a full day of supporting each other as speakers at the event.
The hour was getting pretty late and most of us knew each other for years. Of course, there were a few new faces but they seemed pretty cool. So we welcomed them to commune with us and discuss marketing and business and life and wherever else the conversation led us.
In particular, I was celebrating a great new idea and upcoming project launch with an old friend. The rum (my drink) and single-malt scotch (his drink) were flowing like water and everybody was having a grand time.
I went to the restroom and a few minutes later I found myself back on the patio with an arm being thrown across my shoulder by a guy I had met earlier that day.
“Leeeeeeeeeeeee”, he said.
That’s when it happened.
It was a few minutes after midnight when I felt the cold steel pressed heavy against my right thigh and immediately recognized the feel of a large handgun. Not just any handgun. It was a brushed steel .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, with the business end of the barrel resting against my junk.
He looked at me with cold, empty eyes and said, “I’m going to turn your cock into sausage”.
Now, before I go on, it is important to reflect on a small, and largely overlooked detail from earlier in the day when this same person was “showing off” his handguns on this very same patio to a few of the other attendees. He seemed especially proud of his guns, although in hindsight it should have been a red flag to me that he was so nonchalantly handling them in public. In a bar.
But never in a million years could I have guessed that what was happening right now would be happening, especially not to me. And especially at a marketing event.
By this point I was 8-10 drinks in, so to say I wasn’t all there would be an understatement. Like I said, I was celebrating in mostly-known good company so I felt safe “letting loose” a little more than usual.
But what to do now?
I am particularly fond of my manhood.
I mean we have been together for as long as I can remember, and have endured some wild and fun times. And up until this very moment we had felt very safe together so I certainly don’t want to lose it or have it end up “being sausage”. (I’m assuming he meant the ground kind, not the cylindrical kind.)
I became aware that he still had his left arm around my shoulder. We had been talking a little earlier. I realized my right arm was around his shoulder as well and this could have been an advantageous position in most other circumstances. But I was a bit too intoxicated for that to matter at this point.
He pressed the gun harder into my groin as if to signal that it is about to happen. Then I heard a click as he pulled back the hammer.
My first thoughts was, “I don’t want my cock to be sausage”. And my second thought was I don’t want any of my friends here to get hurt. (It is still fascinating to me that none of them knew this was happening. I blame the booze.)
I leaned into him and said the only words I could think of…
I continued, “I’m drunk and you’re drunk. And I really don’t know what I did to upset you but if you really have a beef with me let’s settle it right here, tomorrow at noon, when we are both sober. And with no guns. Deal?”
Then I waited. I’m sure it was only a few seconds but when you have a cold steel barrel pointed at you it seems like forever.
“Deal”, he said. Then he lowered the hammer, tucked the gun into his shorts and left.
To say I was relieved would be an understatement. My cock was safe so I sat down at the table with my buddy, took a drink, and told him about what just happened. Then he told another friend and before long there were 4-6 people around the table wanting to find this guy and beat him to a pulp. I told them I would take care of it tomorrow. They asked if I was sure. I assured them it would all be OK, and we continued our evening until the bar closed as if nothing had happened.
(We did have a launch to plan after all.)
When I showed up at noon the next day, as agreed, he was nowhere to be found.
I was told he left early that morning.
A few weeks later I called the guy. I had convinced the hotel to save themselves a lawsuit by providing me footage from the security camera on the patio. It showed EVERYTHING.
I asked him why he did it. Why did he pull a gun on me and threaten me?
He denied it.
I told him I had video footage of the entire incident.
He confessed everything.
He said he had no idea why he did it, and I asked him what I did to make him so upset. He said, “Lee, you didn’t do anything. I enjoyed our talk earlier that day and was looking to hire you to do some work together”. And then he apologized. Profusely.
He found out I recorded the phone call when I emailed it to him later that day. And to his boss.
This night in Orlando is why I don’t drink much at marketing events anymore. Even at a seemingly “safe” environment like a marketing event, you just never know when someone is going to do something stupid.