Biff America goes downtown to an uptown party | SummitDaily.com
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Biff America goes downtown to an uptown party

I was the worst dressed person in the room – which for me is not unusual. What made this case unique was that the room was the size of a small country and filled with wonderfully arrayed filthy-rich people.

Through a convoluted chain of events, I was invited to attend a gala fundraiser hosted by one of our state’s most wealthy and well known. Not only was I allowed through the door, but also I shamed the hostess into allowing me to spend the night by claiming night blindness and a weakness for small-batch-bourbon.

The dress code was “business formal” which I thought meant the clothing you would wear at work if you wanted to impress the guy who drives the catering truck.



I wore khaki pants – not ironed but clean, a sweater and a well-worn blazer. What I lacked above the ankles I more than made up for with my footwear. If there was a flood in that ballroom I’d be the only one who could laugh at the rising tide and make it to the buffet in my GoreTex light-

hiking boots.



I was shocked by what the other guest’s idea of “business formal” was. It seems many of them wore Vera Wang ball gowns to the jobsite. I was just glad I work in the media and not driving a sewer truck.

To accessorize my ensemble, I put on the most expensive thing I own. Years ago a friend gave me a very costly Cartier wristwatch. Because the hands are difficult to read and the watch has long stopped running, I only wear it on special occasions. Knowing I would be hanging with a high-end crowd, I broke out the Cartier and rolled up the sleeves of my sport coat.

The party was held in a house large enough to have its own zip code. There was a swimming pool in the living room, a billiard room connected to the gym and a heated horse stable attached to the garage- with a special venting system so you would not smell horse manure.

After taking a tour of the estate and grounds, I was shown to my suite and connecting bath. I was told I would have the wing to myself, but being a considerate guest, I inquired if my toilet had the same venting system as the stable.

As usual with a gathering where I’m out of my element, I skipped the hors d’oeuvres and went straight to the whiskey. In all modesty, I must say, if there is one thing I’m sure of, is that I’m charming when I drink.

I worked the room like a weasel in heat. I’d approach a person or group, introduce myself and say something witty or profound and move on. While engaging in small talk, I’d occasionally flash my expensive watch to let the crowd know I, too, am wealthy. Unfortunately, I think I might have overdone it since several people asked if I was late for another event.

It seems that I wasn’t the only one drinking at that gathering. Much of the crowd must have been intoxicated because some didn’t think I was funny.

Still, I did not connect with many of the entitled. Without tooting my own horn, I have to say that night I uttered some cool stuff – most of which I cannot recall. One pearl I do remember is when I came late into a conversation between a society matron and a couple of silicone-cyborg-type ladies. They were discussing the stale economy and impending war. One made the observation that with the stock market as flat as an Olympic gymnast, one needed to be more aware of expenditures and indulgences by consuming, when necessary, and conserving when possible.

I tried to make the analogy about the time I dropped my cell phone in a PortaPotty, when in the name of fiscal prudence, and because I wasn’t wearing my Cartier, I bit the bullet and went hand-fishing.

My hostess breathed an audible sigh of relief as the party wound down with only a few minor incidents. I think she was worried that I wouldn’t like her friends. She couldn’t have been more mistaken. Everyone, for the most part, was gracious and accepting. It’s true some didn’t get my humor, but as I said, they’d been drinking.

There is a proverb that states, “Once the game is over, the pawns and the king go back into the same box.”

The night taught me a lesson: rich, poor, high society or low, we’re all cut from the same cloth. The only difference is some people have stables and others fish for cell phones in portable toilets, but all of us should wash our hands before we eat.

Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of “Biff America,” can be seen on RSN television, heard on KYSL and KOA radio, and read in several mountain publications. He lives in Breckenridge. He can be reached, and that includes invitations to parties,

at biffamerica@compuserve.com.


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