Our company Christmas party was at Players whose motto (and web address) is “Eat, Drink, Bowl, Play.” Players itself is a fairly new addition to Lake Oswego and while it really tries to look like it’s a chain similar to Dave and Buster’s (“a Chuck E. Cheese for adults,” as I was told), it seems to be just the one location. In Lake Oswego.
For those not in the know, Lake O. is a suburb of Portland. It’s conveniently close to the office, which makes it a good place for stuff like that. Lake Oswego should be pronounced to rhyme with Lake No-[N-word] because it’s basically the Newport Beach (California) of the greater Portland metro area. Replace the million-dollar houses on the beach with million-dollar houses on the lake. Replace the Hummers with… ummmm… Hummers, but with a greater chance of actually going off-roading (which is still pretty close to nil, but who’s actually counting?) This is Lake Oswego. You have the same expensive houses, the same mortgage brokers, salesmen, and other bro’s with shiny shirts and big watches. You have the same trophy brides. It’s materialism personified.
Players itself is an interesting venue, especially given the location. There is a restaurant, serving a fine selection of pastas, burgers, and steaks. There is a fully stocked bar. There are three mini bowling alleys. They have shuffleboard and pool. They also have a good number of video games and physical games like shuffleboard and bowling. The clientele is what is truly interesting. Being part of a corporate party, we were a bit segregated from the rest of the folks–specifically, we had no need or desire to hang out at the bar because the free drinks flowed like water and we had our own room of four bowling lanes and a different room for food–but there was some crossover when it came to the other games. There were the families with pre-teen (or maybe teen… I can’t tell anymore) kids. The kids pretty much distanced themselves from the rest of the family and thought themselves to be the cool kids on campus. There were the families with little kids, mostly playing ticket games together and redeeming the tickets for prizes. And finally, there were the singles. From what I gather, Players is the new cool, happening place in Lake O because it is close to home, is social, serves alcohol, and because many of the Lake Oswegans seem to be scared of actually driving the 20 minutes to get into the city. There were an extraordinary number of MILFs (although not exactly moms *I’D* like to f) and/or cougars, and I really don’t know their story (for all I know, they could have been singles, single-moms, bored trophy brides…I don’t know) but I got quite a few smiles, winks, and the like–which was mildly uncomfortable, seeing as these bleach-blonde 40-somethings were not even remotely my type, and… ummm… hello? Do you see this big fat wedding ring? But anyway, there seemed to be some sort of suburban meat-market subtext to the whole thing that I did not quite follow. Although the flirtatious smiles were a tiny bit of an ego boost, the whole place really wasn’t my scene and the people weren’t my people.
Putting all of the social study aside, it actually was a pretty good company Christmas party. We have previously had them at places ranging from bowling alleys to formal-dress country clubs, and each year we have them in different locations to mix things up. While I doubt I’d go back to Players on my own, I’m happy that the company picked yet another new and different place for the party. At the very least, it gives interesting stories.
Oh, also–Kim won a snake. Sure, after everything was said and done, it was probably the most expensive $1.67 plush purple snake imaginable, but it was fun. We each got $5 worth of tokens (but on a fancy magstripe card.) She gave hers to a dad with multiple kids. We used mine to play ski-ball all night. Mine netted us 125 tickets (toward the 500 ticket snake.) The guy with Kim’s card ended up with a PILE of tickets. I literally mean a pile of tickets. After everything was said and done, he had 3000+ tickets (although I don’t know what percentage were from the card versus his own money) and he gave us the rest of the tickets we needed for the purple snake. It sits on the bed. Apparently, I grabbed it in my sleep. Ebenezer both sits on it and licks it. Yep, expensive purple plush snake.