The Westport Poor Decision Awards will help you feel better about all of your embarrassing moments tonight at Westport Saloon
Are your public, drunken fuckups a source of others’ laughter? Are you proud of the time Westport Security caught you pissing on a PT Cruiser parked in front of Harpo’s? Do you want to relive the time you sneezed and blew all of the coke off the back of the toilet at Chez Charlie? If so, you just might be the perfect subject in one of the two-minute anecdotes presented at the inaugural Westport Poor Decision Awards tonight at 7 at the Westport Saloon (4112 Pennsylvania).
“Jessi Ahrens and I wanted to put on an event that brought the local town together,” says co-organizer Ryan Jones, best known for KC Sprints, the bicycle-riding-at-the-bar event. “As a local, Westport definitely has a family feel, but we all have differing schedules. This is kind of a way to get us together and have a laugh as a group for once.”
Jones insists the storytelling production is Intended to be lighthearted and doesn’t believe it’s meant to be an “I’m more fucked up than you are” pissing contest. Maybe. “We all make mistakes. That’s the feel I’m hoping for. Granted, this is the first year, and even the organizers don’t fully know what to expect,” he says.
As a fairly judgmental and cynical 35-year-old white lady, I admit to being thoroughly confused about why anyone would want to participate in such an event. But I tend to be in the minority when it comes to such matters, so I turned to the show’s host, bartender and outspoken bon vivant Brett Judson for further explanation. He feverishly answered my 2 a.m. e-mails via iPhone.
The Pitch: You’ve obviously witnessed several incidents in Westport during your tenure in the service industry.
Judson: This will be my ninth year in the service industry, and as you can imagine, I have seen and heard tales of some of the most unimaginable situations. The Poor Decision Awards gives those attending a chance to – for lack of better term – “see things through our eyes” in a comedic way.
Can you broadly characterize the people who will be participating?
A bit heavy on the service industry side but those of us in the industry also see our regulars as part of said community. Here in Westport, we’re all a big family. We take care of each other, and we support each other. It’s genuinely such an amazing feeling to see the mix of people coming. When this started, the first few days the amount of RSVPs were maybe that of a house party. Then the judges, host and location were announced, and it just took off from there. I’m even getting invites to it from Facebook friends.
This event seems rather detached from the general public. Can you think of a good reason that someone who might not be familiar with the Westport scene might want to come witness this?
It’s a roast. It’s no different from buying tickets to a comedy show or having a few drinks at a local bar during karaoke. You come to have a good time while watching someone on stage make a fool of themselves for your entertainment. Are you gonna learn the secret of life at the show? No. But you are gonna see a room full of people laughing and letting each other know not to be so hard on themselves.
Why do you think some of these actions would be a source of pride for people?
We all have those stories that we’re a little bit embarrassed to say out loud but know once we do, it’s gonna make others laugh. This is the same thing. We just provide you with a stage, a mic and an entire venue of people to listen. For example, I don’t think a person would be proud of shitting their pants at the Riot Room but if they, let’s say, shit their pants at a Big Freedia show while meeting their soon-to-be wife for the first time, then yeah, that’s something worth sharing. And you can win and who doesn’t want to win?
Does being self-congratulatory about bad behavior ease the pain of embarrassment?
It’s acceptance. In no way are we advocating bad behavior, but it is a chance for everyday people to get their 15 minutes of fame. Well, two or three, depending. But you know what I mean. It’s a chance to stop beating yourself up about something you can’t change. I’ve always thought the greatest gift is laughter. It’s so universal and in a instant can change even a stranger’s mood.
The first annual Westport Decision Awards begin at 7 p.m. at Westport Saloon. There is no cover charge. Create your own story-worthy moments with $2 yard beers and $5 horsefeathers.