Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Brokerage Holiday Party

We all have the picture of the typical office holiday party: The old guy getting lit up and hitting on the new secretary, the catered stale lunch meat platters, the copying of the butt, and the gag gifts the boss gets. It's a bit different at The Brokerage.

As the holidays near, the fun begins. One afternoon, the ladies in the office dig the fake tree out of the supply closet and put it up. Do trees from a box EVER look that great? Ours looks like it was in a wind tunnel for the last month. There are more "pine needles" in the box than on the branches. The light strings work about half the time. Finally we have the decorations that were first used in 1974, so avocado green and banana yellow ornaments give the tree that special holiday luster. On the day of the party, someone suggests moving the tree into the conference room, and every year, someone tries to move it. The remainder of December is marked by little green and yellow glass shards munched into the carpet. Unfortunately, the decorations reproduce after the holidays and are plentiful for next year.

The party begins with the food platters brought in and the non-alcoholic drinks being shared. The Boss of the Boss joins in the fun, coming to our office to celebrate with us. Somehow, he thinks it is important to be there and be seen. We have the white elephant gift exchange between employees (with stealing of gifts allowed) and the "gifts" get traded. Some of the better gift offerings in the last few years include a framed picture of the Boss, a box of golf balls with good balls replaced by old cruddy balls, a candle set that had been melted in the box, a 5-pound chocolate bar, and a DVD of "Fools Rush In". (What was Matthew Perry thinking?) This year, I'm thinking of wrapping up a box of my older ties from the 80's. I need to clean my closet anyway.

After the gift trade, the Boss of the Boss leaves and the real fun begins. The office alcohol expert brings in his portable bar and the drinks are poured. A few of the older guys leave (mostly due to their objection to drinking) and the party gets loud. Some people began a poker game last year, and the big winner was the oldest lady in the office. She cleaned up while the younger guys in the office that thought they were the next poker champion lost big. There were five people that were telling their best dirty holiday jokes also. How many reindeer does it take to blah blah blah, and you can imagine the punch lines. Our newest female employee got loopy and tried to sing along with the holiday music, but got mad when she got booed during "Jingle Bells". Seriously, how can someone screw up the singing of "Jingle Bells"? Haven't we all been singing it since the first grade? She deserved to get booed. Besides, I was working on a flush at the time and she was distracting me.

This year, some of the guys have already reserved a keg and I know donations have been requested to get the hard alcohol and mixers purchased. I'm looking forward to seeing the Boss get a bit loose again this year. He tends to get quite emotional when he drinks, and the secrets he tells and comments he makes can be hilarious. We are just waiting for him to get blitzed and suggest that our older secretary think of retiring next year. The idea of her retiring gets her all upset, and we have a bet going that she just may slug him if he suggests retirement. I'm getting 4-to-1 odds that she hits him. Besides, it will be a good temporary distraction if I don't have a pocket pair. At any rate, I'll have more material after the party. Our holiday party never disappoints in the creation of goofy memories.

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