Christmas Party Fail

This may be the most Landfield story of 2016. It occurred right before I left Alaska for Australia.

My friend Doug invited me to a Christmas party on December 10th in Anchorage. I was leaving for Australia on December 11th so I was happy to see a bunch of friends before I left. Doug lives way up on the Anchorage hillside in an area where Google Maps doesn’t yet work. A friend of mine gave me a map. This same friend, Viktor, told me it was an ugly Christmas sweater party (remember this part). The party started at 6 but I did not get up there until around 8. I had not been to Doug’s house before. His street was off 166th Avenue and I was having a hard time finding it, no one was answering the phone. Finally, after driving way up the street I was on I found his street. There were cars parked all around so I was glad to have finally arrived.

I walked up the street and up the long driveway. I was thoroughly impressed with the sheer size of the house. I arrived at the door and saw a group of people. I knew one of them, a pretty high up person at ConocoPhillips. I think it’s safe to say she is not a fan of me. She also lives in the district I ran in for state senate. I asked her if she was coming or going, she said going. I said, “Well I am just getting here, Merry Christmas!” I then opened a door that must have weighed 2,000 pounds. I walked in and saw a ton of people, none of whom I recognized. I was really impressed with all the servers wearing very professional uniforms and even more impressed with the spread! I knew Doug was successful but this was next level.

Doug is in the resource industry so I just assumed it was a bunch of his friends. Keep in mind I am wearing a sweater with 4 polar bears playing with each other, some say it looks like they are fornicating. I was a bit puzzled why no one was wearing ugly sweaters, in fact they were all dressed very nicely. I figured Viktor was messing with me. I asked some guy if he had seen Viktor, he said, “Yeah he’s around somewhere.” I then asked where the booze was, he told me down the hall and at the bottom of the stairs. On the way down the hall I stopped in and had a look at the library, very impressive!

When I arrived downstairs I discovered a bunch of gentlemen drinking Scotch or Brandy. I went to the bar and asked for a Coors Light. The bartender asked me if I wanted a glass, I said a can was fine. She cracked open my beer and I enjoyed some really delicious peanuts. I still had not seen anyone I knew so I grabbed my beer and started checking out this pretty incredible stuffed zebra. I did not know Doug was into hunting. It never occurred to me I was in the wrong house. Suddenly, a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, “This is a private party, what are you doing here?” I said, “No, I was invited.” She said, “Who the hell invited you?” I said, Doug Smith!” She said, “No, Doug lives up the street, this is a private party for ConocoPhillips. You need to leave.” I told her it was an honest enough mistake, same road, Christmas party, cars, honest mistake. She did not seem amused. I was encouraged to leave the house and not finish my beer. She escorted me to the door. On the way back to the car I told some people what happened and they were dying laughing.

I then drove up the road and found Doug’s actual house. I made sure to check the address this time. I told everyone the story and they were laughing hysterically. Apparently the ConocoPhillips Alaska party I crashed was held at the home of Joe Marushack, President, ConocoPhillips Alaska. No wonder the house and party were so nice!

A few hours later Joe and his wife came up to Doug’s place. I started talking to him and telling him about what happened. He told me that the lady who kicked me out was his secretary. He said she came up to him and said, “Jeff Landfield is here.” He said, “Who the hell is Jeff Landfield? Is he one of my guys?” She replied, “Absolutely not!” And added she was going to kick me out. I really don’t blame her, I would have probably kicked me out too. He asked where she booted me and I said downstairs by the zebra. He asked me how the hell I got down there? I told him I asked where the booze was! Him and his wife were really cool and we all laughed about it. His wife actually knew me from when I used to fill in for Dave Stieren and from running for the state senate. She said if she had known I could have stayed for a while. I also told her how awesome her library was. Turns out Joe used to be head of ConocoPhillips Australia. His wife told me about some cool places to check out.

I think this kind of thing might only be possible in Alaska. I’m sure I was the talk of some of the higher level folks at Conoco after that. I still can’t believe it never occurred to me I was in the wrong house.

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