Chicken and Scam Artists.

So 2013 started pretty normally….

Okay, actually, it didn’t. With a new year begun, I was on my way to see my friend Chanel who had rolled into town… and was promptly pulled over by the cops. For holding my cell phone.

As of this year, Nevada is completely “hands off” touching your phone. As in… at all. I was even sitting at a stop light fully parked, so they take it serious. I’m telling all of you this now so you don’t have to go through what I did.

But spending time with Chanel was nice. We hadn’t really seen each other since Kristin’s wedding, so it was really good to catch up over drinks and a nice lunch before they went home.

Chanel and I.

Chanel and I.

It was shortly after that I got called to various work gigs. With CES back in town, I was hired to be a driver for YouTube to take all of their execs and partners back and forth from the Strips hotel scene to the Convention Center. I was supposed to see one of my cousins while he was in town for the show, but it never happened due to timing. After that, it was straight to work for Miss America.

There he is....

There he is….

Unlike Miss USA, America is more of a “girls only” event, meaning that they usually don’t ask men to be part of the standard production, but through recommendation and reputation, I got on. Back to Planet Hollywood, as always. The humor was not lost on me that first morning as the stage manager told us to not even bother talking to the beauty contestants as there is nothing to be gained from it. At that point, all of my stand-in colleagues turned and looked directly at me with a very knowing look. “What? I haven’t done anything”, I whispered back, as I tried my best to hide my amusement over the comment, mentally disagreeing with that thought.

But the show went well, albeit quickly, with no majorly outstanding stories or adventures. If anything, it was just a fast, pleasant day of work.

The gang.

The gang.

It was just as well. Destiny was once again calling and the real matter of my January adventures was now clear to me.

So.  Much.  Chicken.

So. Much. Chicken.

I would go to Wing Bowl.

Wing Bowl is a chicken wing eating contest that was offering preliminary rounds at various bars and pubs until the culmination of the finals at the South Point Casino. I decided that if I was to do this, I would need a wing man of my own.

In this case, a wing woman.

Cue Sarah Jane.

After all, who better to join me after her epic spaghetti eating contest back in 2011?

So we began our eating adventure. The rules were simple: Eat as many chicken wings as you could in a 5 minute period. So away I went.

Even from the beginning, I knew I was out of my league.

Even from the beginning, I knew I was out of my league.

Don’t get my wrong: I love eating chicken wings. But I’m also a slow eater, and shoveling that much food down my gullet at once was overwhelming.

Mmm.... Greasy.

Mmm…. Greasy.

I didn’t think such a thing as “Chicken Madness” was a real thing, but I was being overpowered.

Chomp, chew, bite, pow ("Pow"?)....

Chomp, chew, bite, pow (“Pow”?)….

Make it stop....

Make it stop….

In 5 minutes, I ate 16, which is pretty good I think for someone who has never attempted this before.

Sarah Jane went up:

Go, WonderHussy, go!

Go, WonderHussy, go!

She did 15. Her vegan(!) friend Tanayaa managed to finished down 8. It was a greasy, wing-filled experience, but none of us came close to the 36 wings some guy ate.

The spoils go to the victors.  Or just being spoiled.  It was a lot of chicken.

The spoils go to the victors. Or just being spoiled. It was a lot of chicken.

I swore off chicken for a while after that.

My last gig of the month was with some “talent” agency that I’ve avoided for a few years due to their reputation, but I decided to work with them again for a bartending gig. I figured that it had been a few years, and I did have some booze pouring experience.

It was a convention party/event at the World Market Center. I showed up on time, set up, did my thing, and in the last hour, they dismissed me a little early. Nothing seemingly nefarious as the party was winding down, and they were being friendly about it. Three hours later, however, the agency sent me this nasty e-mail saying how I “greatly offended” the CEO of this furniture company because I wanted to look up the right measurements for a gin and tonic. As a result, the agency was refusing to pay me. I didn’t realize accuracy and wanting to provide good customer service was such a controversial issue, but the point stood that this scam of an agency basically skipped off without paying me. And they still e-mail me job offers all the time after this! If I can find a way to put a stop to this bad business practice, I am open to suggestions.

2013 was already setting up a weird tone. What I didn’t realize at the time is how off it was going to be….