Thursday, December 06, 2007

Office Christmas Party

'Tis the season for ... Office parties. Ah yes, the office Christmas party. I remember them well! Ahem, truthfully there was at least one that I don't remember so well. Luckily the party was held on a Friday evening. Oh, I was filled in on the details the following Monday.

I suppose there is always at least one individual who took full advantage of an open bar. Yeah, one year I was not only the life, but the talk of the party. (They all laughed when I jumped up to dance! How was I to know I was sitting under a table at the time?)

For a few years after the fact my exploits that night came to be referred to as "The Yellow Jim Beam Scarf Affair." I can neither confirm nor deny the validity of my actions, as I learned of most of them via third party accounts. It should be noted that each year additional facts and details were affixed to the stories. I'm certain, but cannot ascertain for sure, that some of the troubadours of knowledge were in fact not at that particular party.

One thing I do know as fact. I was very disappointed by the entertainment provided for the party. Under the spell of unspecified "spirits," that disappointment soon became disturbed bitterness.

Our company was a large corporation employing about 250. When the member companies were added to the mix, a Christmas party could draw upwards to 850 revelers. With a large diversity of creed, color and ages, the entertainment committees of the past always hired DJs. It was difficult to find affordable bands with large enough repertoires to please so many varied tastes in music.

Heading up the entertainment committee that year was a clueless young woman who had only been with the company for three months. Rather than to say how or why she was given the responsibility, I'll just say that she was an upwardly motivated individual who left high heel imprints on many a shoe in her path. (I could add that she probably used Chap-Stick and Preparation-H interchangeably!)

Having recently married a connected and popular member of our firm, she had influence. That influence allowed her to convince the rest of the committee that the "fantastic" band that had played at her wedding would be great for the upcoming Christmas party. Did I mention that she was "blonde?"

Inasmuch, a wedding band, good or not, is not exactly ideal to provide entertainment for a large corporate shindig. That band proved that in spades. They knew very few songs appropriate for a large group of party-hearty people. The liveliest thing they knew how to play was polka music. It just so happened that our polka crowd was not very well represented that night. Now when it came to slow music, they packed the dancing floor with smash hits like "Daddy's Little Girl."

I half expected them, when asked to liven it up, to play "Rawhide" like the Blues Brothers did in the movie. For most the evening the dancing floor only served scattered groups of people who got together to stand around and ... talk ... and get drunk.

At some point in time I had managed to grab my scarf from the cloak room. It was admittedly, a rather loud yellow scarf bearing two words in large red letters "Jim Beam." (I wonder ... what ever happened to that scarf?)

With a little fuel in the form of liquid libations circulating through my veins, I'm always ready to dance. I'm usually the first onto the dance floor. What do they play to liven things up? Can you believe the "Hully Gully?" It was shortly after that when I insulted not only the band members, but I also lit into the blonde newlywed responsible for the travesty.

It was at about that time that my powers of recollection abandoned me. I can only conjecture that there must have been something in the water. Apparently there were reports of some individual who was crashing a couple of the other Christmas parties going on at the same hotel. This individual was described as wearing a yellow scarf and not too steady on his feet. It was rumored that said person had made several attempts to get a female concierge to dance with him in the main lobby of the hotel.

According to several witnesses this man was finally shut off. Orders were given at every one of the five open bars in the place that a man wearing a yellow scarf was not to be served under any circumstances. Allegedly this man stood in the middle of the dancing floor and shouted "Merry Friggin' Christmas." Then the fellow grabbed his coat and was last seen that night struggling to figure out how to get out the revolving doors in which he'd found himself trapped.

As I stated before, the above actions were described to me the following Monday. I remembered almost none of it. I did, over the next two hours, walk around the various offices and the Trading floor apologizing to fellow co-workers and members alike. It was the only and last time I was ever both the life and the talk of a party. (That is to say, that I know of or remember.)

Ah yes, office parties!

Drinking Around The Christmas Tree
(To the tune of
"Rocking Around the Christmas Tree")

Drinking around the Christmas tree at the Christmas party bash,
Faces are hung o'er the balcony, everybody is smashed.

Drinking around the Christmas tree, let the Christmas drunkards through,
Later we'll do some vomiting, and our arms will hug the loo.

You will get an upset queasy feeling when you taste
Vodka through your nose, oh golly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly.

Drinking around the Christmas tree, your hangover's on its way,
Everybody's wearing ice pack hats in the new old-fashioned way.

(drunken sax solo.)

You will get an upset queasy feeling when you taste
Vodka through your nose, oh golly,
Deck the halls with boughs of holly.

Drinking around the Christmas tree, your hangover's on its way,
Everybody's wearing ice pack hats ... the new old-fashioned waaaay.



Jack K. said...

The story has to be true, it is too detailed to be made up.

Or, if one were in a drunken stupor and writing stories, it might be the first thing that would come to mind.


Skunkfeathers said...

Years (seems a lifetime) ago, I went to a company 'well oiled' very early on, and wound up face-first in my dinner salad.


The next Monday, a coworker came to me and handed me $9 in folded-up one dollar bills. I was dumb enough to ask "what's this about?"

In my 'well oiled' state, I sat in the balcony above the dance floor, made paper airplanes out of $1 bills, and wafted them to the floor, yelling "..and DON'T CALL ME SHIRLEY!"...

One reason of many that I don't drink at what few company holiday parties I still attend ;)

Peter said...

Ah Mike, the joy of remembering these events from a distance, far better than on the following Monday with the remnants of a well earned hangover.

Christina said...

Yeah, my office Christmas party is tomorrow. If I remember anything good, I will share it.

Hale McKay said...

Skunk - LOL! Just how many $1 airplanes did you launch? Was the 9 dollars your planes?

That was only Christmas party in which I got 'wasted,' or was a "puddle" as one co-worker said.

Hale McKay said...

Christina, I'm waiting eagerly for the report.

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