As I've seen at dozens and dozens of other such events, the hailee is called to the front of the room to be "introduced." As is standard, you supply the MC (usually the XO or Chief of Staff) with an info sheet before the event for her or him to use as fodder to make you squirm a bit. No big deal for me, as I actually enjoy the whole ordeal and have no problem with being the butt of any joke or prank. But, messing with my blog is a whole different story!
In my case, I provided the standard information about my family, including reference to my "useless backup auxiliary Boston Terrier/Chihuahua, Benny." (You're welcome CoS! Nothing funnier than a big, bad guy like me owning such an ineffectual pooch!). Then, under the "Something Interesting About Me" category, I of course, proudly, revealed that I write a bike blog under the pseudonym "The San Diego Bikeist." Fascinating, right? Who wouldn't be instantly impressed and enthralled to have a legitimate celebrity in their wardroom? We'll never know --
It started out well enough, the CoS -- who looks and seems like he could be the love child of James Duvall's "Great Santini" (complete with flight suit) and Jesse "The Body" Ventura --
-- pointed out that I devoted more space in my info sheet to my dogs than my own daughters. Good stuff -- squarely hitting the softball I provided. Then it got ugly. "And, as if that's not enough, this guy spends his free time writing a 'Dog Blog'!" That's when everything just became a blur to me. Witness accounts report that I clearly mouthed "It's a bike blog!" through the look of supreme anguish and befuddlement that instantly wiped the stupid new-guy grin off my face.
Really? A dog blog? Instead of an ultra-cool bike enthusiast, my new shipmates have now been given the first impression that I'm one of those dog people. Sure, I love dogs, and most animals, but NOT more than people. More importantly, I don't think that they are people, and certainly wouldn't devote an entire blog to them. I mean, "dog person" is just one, very small, step above "cat lady." I obsess about frames and saddles and pedals, not paws and whiskers --
I have very little memory of the rest of the evening, except shaking the hands of lots of folks in flight suits and muttering "It's actually a bike blog" over and over. Pretty sure nobody heard it over the din, though.
Not sure if I'll ever recover from this. Might be time to start seriously considering an alternate form of employment. Wonder if any local kennels are hiring . . .