The reason Val and I wound up dining for free Friday at one of Pittsburgh’s most elegant restaurants was because the owner’d heard me speak and said I cured his hangover.
He insisted the only proper compensation was that we dine as his guests at his restaurant.
And today I’m left to wonder how different my life would be if that October morning, instead of restauranteurs, I’d given my standard “Use All The Crayons!” presentation to a roomful of hungover hedge fund managers.
Curing even a single hangover by monologuing for 45 minutes is now my greatest achievement.
If you believe in the accuracy of the Scripture, curing a hangover is something even Jesus never did.
In my experience the only thing that cures a hangover is a quiet room, an old couch, a fuzzy pink blanket and about ten straight hours of “Andy Griffith” reruns.
That used to work for me in the day before kids and functioning television remotes.
Now I’m not allowed to get hangovers anymore. It would be so improper. Set a bad example. My time’s too valuable.
So, no, I don’t get hangovers anymore.
In fact, I make believe I don’t get hangovers, which is much more challenging.
I used to pretend I was too sick to go to school, but now am forced to pretend I’m not at all hungover nights after I swore to my wife I wouldn't drink too much.
It’s now on record that I cured the hangover of one prominent restauranteur, who for purposes of this story I’ll call Lazarus.
What are the chances I could heal myself?
I can’t imagine it working, but next time I suffer from a bad case of the Brown Bottle Flu, I think I’m just going to try standing in front of the mirror and saying things like, “Enjoy being human and enjoy human beings!”
I don’t know if I’ll feel any better, but I know I’m bound to make the rest of family sick and misery loves company.
I have a lot of positive referrals from important meeting planners who’ve enjoyed my talk, but they tend to be generic and read like they could be the result of motivational payola.
Not so with Lazarus.
Check this out:
“We’d had more than 200 restauranteurs and lodging associates at my restaurant for a lavish wine dinner the night before. The next morning was Chris’s 8 a.m. keynote.
“Honest, I can’t believe I even went. First of all, I felt like I was going to die. Second, I didn’t think the talk was going to have any value whatsoever. We have so much going on in our industry and I wondered why we were going to waste our valuable time talking about crayons.
“But his message is so funny, so warm and so universal, he had me right away. It became one of the best keynotes I’ve ever heard. His message is something everyone should hear. It just makes you feel happy to be human. And, yes, it cured my hangover.”
He addressed this all to Val.
I think she had trouble believing he was talking about me. Heck, I wasn’t so sure either.
So it was a truly great night.
We enjoyed a wonderful splurge, the food exquisit, the wine-pairings excellent and my often-wobbly self-esteem got a really nice boost. Now, I’m now even more exuberant about future prospects.
And it was all free.
Now I just need to do something productive to ensure I’ll one day soon be able to actually afford to pay for night like that.