Operation Funnypants

There isn't a lot to say about this event, aside from that it was pretty successful and definitely entertaining on both sides.

A close-up of the ball joints of a beer tap at The Whiskey, Calgary.

Every year, Critical Mass holds its "Town Hall" event - which is basically a celebration of the clients, work, people and culture of Critical Mass. People get together to watch funny skits put together by employees that show various departments or themes, and get some information on how the company is doing in terms of business - meeting goals, etcetera.

This year it was decided that the presentation format should be changed; instead of gathering the company in a hall for a rather boring afternoon of numbers with the occasional video, we ended up doing a Letterman-style talk show - complete with live guests, videos, in-between advertisements, a top 10 list and failed tag lines.

The "Not Quite" Show

Announcing for 'The Not Quite Show.'

We had trouble coming up with a name, but someone suggested the "Not Quite" Show - which ended up sticking. We imitated Dave Letterman's show format, using the stage manager/announcer/host introduction and monologue. It worked out quite well.

I was asked to be the announcer for the show, so I just had to read some lines for the introduction and closing, and provide live voice-overs for the commercial breaks in-between subjects. It was hilarious to do, and fun being a part of the whole thing.

The show was held in the Vertigo Theatre, located at the base of the Calgary Tower. It quite literally set the stage for the show, and made the presentation all that much more slick. We had lighting and sound crews in addition helping with the logistics of it all, which was excellent.

A dress rehearsal was held the night before the actual show, and by the end of this second run-through there was some concern that things weren't smooth enough; however, it couldn't have been more smooth at show time. Allard (the host) was on fire , killing the guests brought on-stage with spontaneous dry humor in addition to the witty jokes he had already scripted. It made for a hilarious night, and should be entertaining to watch again - the whole thing was filmed and will be on DVD for future amusement.


The intent had to been surprise people with the Not Quite Show, who were expecting the typical boring "business and power-point"-style Town Hall presentation. I heard a lot of awesome comments from people, and a lot of compliments - so I think it went over well.

A few people apparently noticed, and not just those from CM. The host of the show and I were walking to the next venue (The Whiskey, which was where the drinks were at) when we were asked by two women in a passing car - "Are you guys famous?".. Must have been the suit, shades and positive vibe we were giving off that did us in. ("Well, we did just come out of hosting a talk show - in a way, we are famous!")

Flattery, beer and nice weather on a thursday afternoon; I don't think you could ask for much more.

Kananaskis Cow-Punch

Golfing out in Kananaskis.

The next day was the Kananaskis Cow-Punch, the second half of the major CM summer event. A trip was made out to the Kananaskis area and people were given the option of hiking, horseback riding, white-water rafting, yoga or golf. I opted for the latter, having not golfed in a while.

We were given carts, clubs and were told a beer cart would be around shortly. (The first thing I wouldn't do if I were managing a golf course: Give customers carts and supply them with beer.) We played shotgun-style, which meant every group of four could continue playing from the best shot after each turn.

I think even given the 4:1 advantage, our score was still high at the end of the ninth hole (+9, averaging 1 over par of course.) Not bad for a bunch of computer geeks, though.

We finished 3rd-last, apparently 45 minutes after some of the first teams finished. We lost 10 or 12 balls and found 8 or 10 in the bushes, which would contribute to explaining our lateness.

Shortly after finishing we left for the main ranch area, where we met up with the other groups (who had all arrived earlier, by the looks of things.) Lunch was served and was pretty good, although the staff apparently were short on some basic food supplies (ie. hamburger buns,) so white bread was being served with chicken and burgers by the time we arrived. Minor logistical note, I suppose.

A "rodeo show", frisbee session and several beers later, the buses left for home base and it was then off to the ever-prestigious (sic) Coyote's for an evening of continued shenanigans. Something about that place has always made me wonder - must be the unbalanced high-chair-style tables and the allegedly-"fake" bartenders. Ah well.

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