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Friday, December 17, 2004
Company Xmas Party (After)

Well, hard as this may be to believe, it was even worse than I thought it would be. Which is not to say it wasn't tremendously entertaining. I can't believe how prescient I was.

I arrive at work at 10am sharp, dressed very nicely, and this confuses people, but that's alright. I am carrying a pint of Jim Beam which I have just purchased with my bank card. I sit down in my boss' office, and essentially force him to give me a ride over to the party. He's a good guy, but can be sort of a hardon when he's in the mood, so it's fun for me to impose myself on him. But he's in a decent mood, so at 11 we head out.

It's about a 15 minute drive, so we shoot the breeze about something or other, and soon we're there. The place is very nice, sort of an Italian villa type of building, and classy. Wine and beer are being served, along with yummy hors d'oveurs, and I grab a glass of Coke and Irish it up. The party has begun.

There are many round tables with room for eight at each, and my boss and I stake one out. We save room for one colleague who is a legendary drunk, and the rest for other people who work in our department that we don't hate. It's promises to be a lively bunch.

My boss is seated to my right, and to my immediate left is a woman who is very funny and outgoing, and to make things even better, she's been up since 3am. She starts drinking wine, as does my boss. The table seems to be accumulating an inordinate number of empty bottles. I continue to sip my Beam & Coke.

Soon, the line forms for the buffet-style luncheon, and it's grand, to be sure. A very nice spinach and other greens salad, green beans, some kind of fresh pasta salad, fresh bread, roasted garlic red potatoes, a very tasty sea bass, and prime rib. I'm pretty pleased, to be honest. I hit the table, and begin to chow.

The table continues to drink, and soon lunch is over. Now, there is just drinking. One of the salespeople gives each of the ladies at our table a box of candy. They are sort of like miniature heath bars about an inch and a half long. So, yes, nearly ideal projectiles.

The general manager steps up to the microphone and begins giving his year in review shtick, which is meant to be light and amusing, and it is. It's a bit of a roast, and he has photos of people doing stupid things and dumbass e-mails that people have sent out during the past twelve months. It's fun. But the alcohol has kicked in. Also, chocolate mousse has been served. Yes, exactly.

I devour the mousse, which is delicious. The loud woman to my left is heckling the GM, and my boss starts painting the head of the drunk to his right with chocolate. He's bald fortunately, but the table begins to fall apart in a way that becomes obvious to the rest of the gathering. The woman to my left begins chucking spoonfuls of mousse over my plate in the general direction of my boss, and there a brown blobs and smears all over the place. It looks like the testing room at Depends Inc on burrito night. Soon the mousse supply is exhausted, so she grabs a hunk of chicken and slams it into the floating candle on our table. We now have the most interesting centerpiece at the party.

The GM pauses in the flashback to hand out prizes by drawing names out of a hat, and this literally goes on for about 40 minutes, but that's cool, because lots of people got stuff. Not me, but I'm having a fantastic time, as I stopped drinking for the most part after my one cocktail. The aforementioned chocolate candies begin to be chucked at a rival table. Now something I have not mentioned is that this company has an inordinate number of very attractive women working for it. I mean honestly, it's just stupid. One of them is seated about 35 feet away from us, and in no uncertain terms, she is built like a brick shithouse. She's just lovely. Anyway, my boss inadvertently manages to lob one of these candies down the front of her top. I've never been so jealous of a piece of candy in my life. She's cool and all, but people have begun to get really irritated with the table. This slows our momentum not one bit.

By this point, wine is being consumed straight from bottles, and fists are being slammed on the table to punctuate cogent points being made by the increasingly loud people of my department. Now the really funny thing is, our area is a bit renowned for being ah, unruly, and people pretty much expect inappropriate behavior from us. Even with that disclaimer, people are shooting us nasty looks, even from the front of the room. By now, it's about 2:15.

My boss turns to me and asks, "Can you drive a Beemel Dubba U?" I grab his keys and hide them.

In the next twenty minutes, the drunk woman to my left disappears, the majority of the remainder of the table is completely beyond help, and utterly disinterested in the fact that this is apparently a work-related event. My boss stands up to yell something crude at someone, and just as he is collapsing back to his chair, I move it back about a foot. He manages to catch himself on the table, but he knocks a bunch of glasses over and makes a lot of noise. Everyone looks at us. Again. He turns to me, pupils dilated.


I laugh uproariously. The presentation draws to a close, and the crowd begins to break up, and people begin mentioning to some of us that the table was a bit out of control. Eh, like I care. I was a model of decorum compared to the rest of the table. I head up front to thank the general manager for the fine meal, and this was one of those times where having a really expensive suit on really bought me a lot of leeway, because he didn't seem pissed off at me at all. My boss asked him repeatedly for a hug, as he had threatened to do over the previous few days, but all the GM wanted to talk about was how obnoxious some of the women at our table were.

"I'm not upset, I can take it, but a lot of people were getting pissed off."

So, I drag my boss out to his car, and it's a BMW X5. It's really a minivan, but no one calls it that except me, because I'm impolitic. He gets in, and we're driving around downtown, and we're joking around and he keeps telling me I don't know what I'm doing, and we're having a fine time. I jump on the expressway, and hit traffic. It's a little after three.

So I'm driving, and after a few minutes, I realize it's pretty quiet in the car, and I look over, and he's sitting there, eyes half-closed, looking vaguely unhappy.

"How ya doing?"
"Trying to decide if I wanna throw up or not."
"Well, it's your car, but I'd wait."

I step on it, but we're still a good ten minutes away from the office. I put his window down. Our building is on a busy street, and there aren't enough spaces, so the church across the street lets us park in their lot. He tells me to just pull into that lot when we get there. I know there's going to be fireworks soon. He drank a LOT, and was putting away sea bass like a fucking killer whale. The thought occurs to me to say, "Was that sea bass or salmon? Because I think it's swimming upstream!" But I don't, because in spite of myself, I like the guy.

We're in traffic about a mile from work, and he leans out. A couple of dry heaves, and then it's like a fish volcano. It's a hard thing to drive and be disgusted and amused all at once, but it happened to me. I apologize for not making it back in time as he nods and continues to spew bass. Some of it doesn't quite make it out the window, and seems to me a bit of the goo probably went down the window groove thing. That should allow him to savor the memory for awhile after.

I finally pull into the lot and stop the car. He continues to spray his lunch, although truthfully, it's more of a chunky dribble than a spray. I tell him I'm going in, and he says he's going to sit out here for awhile, which probably isn't a terrible idea. As I walk away from the truck, he steps out into the church parking lot to take a whiz. I wave as I cross the street.

I had a little bit of work to do, so I go into the building, and people seem to be giving me a wider berth than normal. That's fine. I get to work, occasionally stepping outside to see if my boss' truck is still there. It is. I don't mention any of the hilarious vomiting to anyone.

Around 4:40, I finish up and walk back across the street to see about my boss. I start to walk up to the passenger window, but there is a very thick stream of chunky fish paste leading from the window all the way down the door to a puddle on the ground. Again, disgusted and amused. I look in the other window, and he's sprawled out in the back, with a very joyous, peaceful look on his face. Still, I can't assume he hasn't choked to death on his vomit, so I bang on the window. His eyes open and he starts talking to me, but I can't hear him, so he rolls the driver-side window down.

"Just making sure you aren't dead. Are you going in?"
"No, I'm gonna crash out here for awhile then go home."
"Yeah, you do that."

As I'm walking to my car I yell at him, "Don't do anything stupid!" by which I mean drive home. Around 6:30 he calls me from his car on his way back to his house, and starts recounting the events of recent hours, trying to get my take on it. I summarized it this way: I don't think anyone is going to get fired over anything that happened today, but I guarantee when the people involved do get fired, today will be mentioned. Happy holidays!

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posted at 10:29 PM


Company Xmas Party (Before)

Well, one of my jobs is having it's big holiday shebang today, and I am sicker than hell. Snotty nose, sore throat, and all that. But apparently, you have to go, so I'm going to shower and everything. I skipped it last year, but they have it at a very nice restaurant, so I'll get a good meal out of it. The funny part is, it starts at 11:30am. Apparently, in an attempt to cut prevent people from getting smashed and getting on the highway at midnight, they now have the party in the middle of the day. This, naturally, allows you to get smashed and then drive home during rush hour, or just head back to work to sour professional relationships, and befoul any number of potted plants.

But don't let me give the impression that this company is encouraging irresponsibility. They used to serve beer, wine, and liquor, but they've cut out the hard stuff. This is disappointing, because I don't drink beer or wine, so I ask one of the managers about bringing in a bottle of whatever. He says, "Bring whatever you want in a flask." Now, I'm not some fucking 13th century rogue, so I am sadly sans flask.

"Can I just bring a bottle of something with the label torn off of it?"
"Yeah, that's fine."

So, with that, I'm off to the shower, and hopefully a full unproductive day. If I am not killed in the resulting festivities, I will try to share some funny or terrifying stories later on.

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posted at 8:06 AM


Sunday, December 05, 2004
Death Penalty

I can't lie to you, I like it in a lot of ways. And I understand why many people do, to be honest. It goes along with the whole Biblical "eye for an eye" thing. And it's very satisfying! Vengeance tends to be, after all.

But, as anyone even barely familiar with statistics knows, it just doesn't work. People don't avoid capital crimes because they fear the death penalty. Oh, sure, they get a little scared and remorseful just before Old Sparky gets fired up, but that doesn't mean a thing. Frankly, it's the anal rape in prison that keeps me on the right side of the law. I'd have killed most of you by now if I thought I could get away with it.

But pronouncements like that are not the way to increase readership and drive up ratings, so here's a nice Christina Aguilera song for you as we kick off another 40 minute Free Ride!

I'm sure I've just violated any number of copyrights and patents, but I'm not going to get into why the media suck right now. I will, but I don't have the energy right now. There are so many factors, and I really don't want to be exhausted when I decide to really lay it down.

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posted at 2:57 AM


Friday, December 03, 2004

Well, I've been slacking a lot lately, blog-wise, and I'm sorry. No, I really am. Things have been kind of stupid with work, and unfortunately, I expect that to continue. I will, however, make an effort to do a better job here, and hopefully will post something worth a crap by tomorrow night.

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posted at 6:44 AM

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