… was this week and I didn’t go. Having never been to the firm’s bash, I’ve no idea if it mimics the social car crash of almost every one I did attend. But I decided not to risk it.
And this is almost entirely due to my ground state of ˜grumpy bastard‘. However it also breaks Al’s Life Rule #1 which, while complex and erudite, can be simply distilled to Life’s to short to drink with arseholes?. It’d be plain wrong to suggest everyone who shares my workplace – especially those who are privy to the scribblings of the hedgehog and to you I extend a wavey hello, nice to know we’re all in this shit together eh?? “ is an irritating nonce with the social panache of a special needs gerbil, but you know how it is.
You don’t? Ok, Christmas parties pay direct homage to their clichÃ©d stereotype, where a largely dysfunctional flange of those battered by a year of sneering, bullshiting and lying are liberally doused with alcohol and flung together in a seething mass of petty rivalry, sweat and imagined slights. Is it any wonder that every sane man would light the blue touch paper before running away at top speed? Slipped of the leash of corporate responsibility and rendered fearless on gassy lager, it’s only a matter of time before a testosteroned swagger across the dance floor ends in a slurred Hey mate, you’re such a useless wanker and annoying little shit. I’ve hated you for ever and at last years party shagged your other half. What do you think of that then eh? Wanna make something of it??.
Insults are screamed; first pushes and then punches are traded. Security are called just before someone slings a drunken arm round the protagonist and offers that most anodyne of beery advice not worf it mate, just not worf it?.
And that’s just the women.
Personality cocktails are almost as dangerous as their boozy namesakes; these bashes (pun sort of intended) remind me of an ill-advised joint celebration between the Aspergers society and the Tourettes association. Which has then been gatecrashed by Alcoholics Anonymous, who’ve marched in with a war cry of Ah fuck it, let’s get a drink?
And they never end; well not until the fat bloke throws up anyway. Narrative imperative demands three stories must be told before you can collapse into either your bed, a gutter or the arms of Angela from accounts, who discovers too late that vodka red bull has a similar effect as rohypnol. The first is that the bloke who laughs too hard at his own jokes must create a shadowy facsimile of his butt cheeks on the photocopier. This was never funny when it first hit the party scene back in ’83 and now can only be so if performed in a post modern ironic manner. Or if the glass smashes and the image captures a razor sharp shard slicing off his breeding organ. Now I accept that’d be properly amusing.
Stories two and three are separated only by chronology. Firstly an unknowing victim will find themselves chugging down Vodka shots blissfully unaware his 9to5 friends are matching him only with water. Now the final act plays out; he’ll be herded onto the dancefloor by perfect teamwork that draws together disparate factions in the common goal of ritual humiliation. As he rises unsteadily these laughing hyenas goad this wounded animal, and a hundred phones click to camera. He staggers around, buoyed by the flashes and applause but lacking the self awareness to comprehend that nobody is laughing with him. Mercifully he’ll eventually lurch into the bog with maybe the faintest inkling that his perfect rendition of the stumbling fool will live with him throughout the remainder of his career.
No thanks, I’m largely incapable in the presence of free alcohol and yet that’s not the only reason for my non attendance. In the hinterland of recent memory is this. So I’m better off drinking alone, air drumming to desperately faded bands and waiting for the barrage of camera phones to download other people’s embarrassment.
I’m not being all bah humbug, I actually like Christmas. Oh no sorry, I don’t “ it’s all false bonhomie and politically correct nonsense ramped up by pointless expenditure and awful relatives. For a pagan festival first ripped off by the Christian Faith and now stolen by the God of Marketing, it has almost nothing going for it.
Except the little children like it. So that’s ok then.