Happy Birthday! I got you a heart attack!

It should have tipped me off when the three people closest to the "drunk" blond chick having a seizure scrambled to cover their drinks instead of help her.

I should probably explain.

For my birthday, Jennifer Jabbusch gave me a heart attack by elaborately faking a seizure about 10 seconds after everyone gave me a birthday toast and sang happy birthday to me.

You see, to you this might sound like the cruelest thing in the world but us security minded people must be wired differently because I totally fell for it and it was the funniest thing I think that has ever been done to me on a birthday, with the notable exception of when Rochto surprised me on my 30th with a fake costume party. Yeah. No one else had costumes. That one still wins. But this one was pretty good. Rochto would have totally approved.

Anyways let me set the stage.

The first full day of Blackhat is usually spent slogging through presentations that everyone wants to see but really is just a way to kill the time until the night life starts. The best parties are on Thursday, but Wed. always primes everyone. Today being my birthday, I hit the appropriate sessions, talked to the appropriate folk work wise, caught up with numerous awesome people (Hi Terri! Hey Pete! Hi Austin! Yo Bryan! Hey Adam! Sup Jesper…ok ok I should stop I could do this all day), snuck off the strip to have a special solo birthday lunch at the Hofbrau Haus with special guest GERMAN BEER, and then got ready for the evening’s festivities. Already it was a pretty damn good birthday.

So Kympossible and a friend and I lit out for the SPI party at Tao in the Venetian since I didn’t have to go far and they were awesome to have a wrist band for me. We hobnobbed for a bit at the party and I met some cool new people.

Meanwhile, the illustrious illuminated man Christopher Hoff and company were laying down camp at Casa Fuente in Caesars. (For those who may not know or cannot make with the clickity of the linky, Casa Fuente is a Cigar bar in the forums shop Mall of Caesars.)

Before long the Hoff was holding court with 20 or so security folk who twitter and blog and what not and was calling us over via the World Wide Tube-interweb.

Now, I usually allow myself one cigar a year, and tonight was my birthday. I’d had a particularly good day even though I was away from home and before long, myself and friends were heading back to meet the others at the cigar bar. We arrived to find a rather ruly and relaxed crowd, downing Mojitos and smoking.

The bar itself is out in the open of the forum shops, so we were basically holding court over most of the far end of the mall. Ryan Naraine hooked me up with a nice mild cigar and Hoff hooked me up with a Mojito. (side note: Mojito’s are very difficult to make well. This place does it perfectly)

All was right with the world, catching up with old friends and new, and talking twitter stories and security days gone by. I could not have imagined a nicer time to be had.

Suddenly Hoff demands that everyone take a shot that he is having the waitress bring ’round. This shot appears, at first glance, to be some type of clear liquor based shot like a lemon drop or something. Jennifer starts acting all concerned, "Does this have vodka in it?" She’s making a very big deal about vodka, how she can’t have it. Hoff assures her it has no Vodka in it. She asks no less than three times and he assures her, no less than three times there is no vodka in the shot. Everyone’s getting a bit impatient because the shots are taking a bit and all 20 or so of us had to have one for some mysterious purpose only Hoff knew. Again Jennifer points out that she cannot have vodka under any circumstances.

Once everyone had a shot in hand we discovered the purpose. Hoff announced we would all sing happy birthday to me and do the shot. So 20 of the nicest people in the world loudly sang happy birthday to me such that the entire mall rang with it. I had to burst out laughing when they got to "dear stepto", I don’t think anyone’s ever used my nickname in a birthday serenade. It was really really REALLY awesome and I just want to thank everyone who was there for making it such a wonderful moment. It was beyond cool.


We security folk can’t do anything "normal"

‘Cause then Jennifer had a seizure.

Well no that’s not quite right, you see, she had prepared a couple of guys around her what she was going to do. So as I’m still kind of sitting there in a shocked and really grateful glow, I hear: "Jennifer you don’t look so good" and I look over and sure enough she doesn’t look good at all, her face is kind of contorting. Her hand goes up to her mouth and just as I ask "hey are you ok" she jerks suddenly knocking over one of the tables nearby and starts convulsing. I jump up with the other guys and go "HEY WE NEED HELP" (totally not noticing the three closest guys to her were laughing and covering their drinks so she wouldn’t flail into them and spill them) and she flips over and totally pulls a "Gotcha" and busts out laughing.

There’s literally several seconds of stunned silence as the rest of us realize she’d totally owned all of us and I managed to sputter out "YOU BITCH!" as we all collapse in laughter. I completely fell for the whole deal hook line and sinker despite several rather obvious clues.

It was awesome. What a way to take the piss out of the whole thing right then and there. I have not both laughed that hard, and been totally relieved, at the same time. I may have turned a year older, but in one fell swoop she took 10 years off my life. She gave me a hug and a "happy birthday" while I was still freaking out about how much I had just been fooled. The worst part? Hoff missed it, he’d gone to hit the restroom. (he wasn’t in on it)

We finished off the night dancing at the Cleopatra bar. Note to all Security beat people: Ryan Naraine has got the moves.

So thanks Hoff, and Jennifer, and Ryan and Dennis and Jeff and Alan and Martin and Rich and Brian and wow, everyone who was there there were so many awesome people I’m actually so tired I cannot link them all!

I was worried my birthday away from home would suck, but you guys turned it into one of my faves. People ask me if I miss security or miss working in the security industry and I always answer the same way. I don’t miss the work but I sure do miss the people. Thanks guys. I say guys because seriously Jennifer I will have vengeance.

Ha ha. No, just kidding

(no I’m not)

no really


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