Sleepless in Sevilla

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Aug 21st, 2006
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One of the interesting characters that some of us fondly remembered from the dot-com era (and some of us only remember without the fondness) is Martin G. Martin was, and probably still is, a drinking and eating legend, with superhuman digestive capabilities.

He was also famous for his oft-repeated line, “I work for a small company, and I don’t have an expense account.”

Nonetheless, Martin was a good laugh … and despite the lack of an expense account, a relatively inexpensive drinking companion. That’s because Martin could clear a tray of canopes faster than anyone else that I’ve ever known. Yes, he knew where the free drinks and grub could be found if there was a trade show anywhere in the area.

Alas, free canopes and drink were in short supply in Kashiwa, Japan. But we were happy to pick up the tab at the local kobe steakhouse.

My favorite Martin G story was an evening out after a trade show in Seville, Spain.

The previous evening, Martin (who had apparently finally gotten an expense account, or possibly stolen someone else’s credit card) had taken me to an endless series of Tapas Bars … ordering everything on the menu, and devouring it in haste … before moving on to the next Tapas Bar.

But this evening, coming after the close of the trade show, would be a diet of liquid sustenance. Faced with a 7:30am flight the next morning, I tried to escape shortly after midnight. With no taxis to be found, Martin suggested that we walk to the hotel where he had stayed the previous night, where there was a taxi rack. (And where was Martin staying that night? … in retrospect, I should have questioned that.) We walked for about an hour, and I was sober enough, that I recall Martin became very uncomfortable during that long walk, with tapas and canopes attempting to escape his massive digestive tracts. Thankfully he did not explode like Mr. Creosote, and we succesfully arrived at the hotel, which was complete with a taxi rack just as Martin promised.

Martin suggested that we should have a nightcap at the hotel bar after he relieved the pressures of his bowels. The imagery was more than a bit unpleasant, but being the suggestive sort, and always up for another drink, not to mention parched from the hour’s walk, I stumbled to the bar and ordered a couple of beers and two shots of something tough. (A bad habit that I picked up from ColiniAL.) If Martin had suggested that we have a wafer-thin mint, I would have passed.

A couple of hours passed, and the hotel bar issued their last call.

At that point, I mentioned to Martin that it hardly seemed worthwhile to go back to my hotel and sleep before my flight, as I would probably never wake up to leave the hotel in time. He told me that he knew just what to do … we walked out to the cab rack, and Martin told the driver to take us to an all night club. The dance music was horrible, but it was numbed by more shots of something tough. At about 6:30, I realized that I still needed to get back to my hotel to pack my bag and make it to the airport.

I made the flight. And I got a good 2 hours kip on the flight back to London.

There are probably cheaper places that my luggage could have stayed that evening. But as with every morning that came after an evening out with Martin G, I was just happy to still be alive.