Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Last Napkin Moustache!

Number Three Hundred and Sixty Five:

The Last Napkin Moustache A Day:

I wanted to get to Mekong early in order to figure out how the evening would go, and Gina was nice enough to pick me up and drive me there. I was over estimating that I would have 30-40 guests appearing this night, but An was very relaxed about the situation and we reserved several tables. People started arriving pretty early, which was great because then we could take over other tables not being reserved first, then make room as needed. First there was Gina and I, then Deanna (who was actually waiting for us), followed by Lily and Roger. An gave me 30 tickets to give out for a beer to each person. It was really kind of funny how few I actually gave out! We also had two "Donation Stations" to go to the Virginia Veterans Services Foundation, since the next day was Veterans Day and I wanted to do something for that.

Some of the next people to arrive were Emily, Chris and Alex, Carolyn, Stephanie, Willem and Jesse. Followed by Janet, Wendy, Ceci, Doyle, Chris, Jimmy, Mark and Anna. Totally great turnout for a Masstache!

Willem working on the next mustache movement.

After a bit of jumping around tables and socializing, as well as getting some food and a fine FINE beer that kicked my butt (Backwoods Bastard from Founders, on tap), I had to time the photo for the group stache. 7:15 was the set time, and I didn't think anyone else was showing, so I started to set it up in the back room. Good thing I brought the tripod because it took a few minutes to get the setting right as well as learn how to use the damn timer on the camera again. Then when all was ready, I had everyone come back, as well as An, and clicked a few prep shots seen below:

Getting ready.

The last group Napstache I took, I told everyone to get crazy with it.

The photos turned out swell, everyone was into it. So freaking awesome! Afterward, I went around getting random shots of people and the staches they had created. Here is a good one of Wendy and Ceci. Ceci sporting the hilarious feminine napkin stache.

Followed by Lily and Roger and their origami staches!

Then we went back to our tables to have more beer, conversation and food.

A few moments later, I noticed a familiar face! Abby Davis, who's My Daily Nature Photos is one day after my project, was there with her family! It was so great to see her and to be ready to do some staching of her own with the spiderweb napkins!

Love this shot of Abby and her family!

Staches started getting epidemic by that point as I coerced our waitress Thui to do one!

More settling in after the rampant napkin moustaching, the vibe the whole night was just so grand and fun. Everyone was having a blast and getting into it.

Janet making a silly-serious face as Gina laughs.

Emily and Deanna having a moment.

Then it got even weirder....

An serving up some beer to some guys in red caps.

So as the evening went on, we started noticing some ho-ed up looking gals coming in with dudes in cowboy hats, leather belts, and other hipster "what-the-fuck?" fashions. Then this gal came around the corner, donning a napkin nearly as large as the dress she had on.

Batter up.

It was a spring roll eating contest! With a little beer gnome statue as the first prize, and some beer tin ad as a second prize. The contest? First to finish 10 spring rolls AND their beer in 3-5 minutes would be the undisputed champion.

Announcing the contest, notice the trophy and the runner up prizes.

Clearly this was a fantastic night to be here. How could I not photograph this as well? It was a helluva tough battle. Those that started out of the gate strong, faltered, weakening under the chewy pressure. I heard a girl shout out in the middle of the squishy chewing sounds, "Peanut sauce! More peanut sauce!" Apparently the peanut sauce that usually comes with the delicious rolls also serves as a good lubricant for them to go down easier.

An and the crowd count off the contest.

A hard fought battle of stomachs.

Needless to say, it was an immensely entertaining way to end the evening. Lisa showed up a bit after nine to pick me up, as well as do this nice ending napstache! There is no person I would rather finish my year of silliness with!

We raised 75 dollars for the Veterans Fund and it really was a terrific evening and swell way to end my Make Something 365 project. Thanks to all that could make it out, to An and Mekong restaurant for being completely awesome, those that wished they could have made it out, and those that have followed this project through the year. I will likely post some more reflections on it soon, so stay tuned!

Oh, and the fortune in my cookie from last night seemed so appropriate for not only the evening, but the year: