Next to binge drinking, casual violence and bad dancing, the office Christmas party is one of Britain's finest achievements. (Possibly because it contains binge drinking, casual violence and bad dancing.)
I love our office Christmas party.
I love the way Big Alan Cockson, our Finance Director, always breaks his own record for eating the most pork pies and pickled onions in a minute. He's broken his own record every year for the last 14 years. He can now eat 15.5 pork pies and 35 pickled onions in 60 seconds. And he always rounds it off with a minor heart attack. We've taken to calling the ambulance at the start of the night. The paramedics love it. They just have a couple of cheeky scoops and fire up the defibrillators before he starts. (His secret, by the way, is to blend the pies and onions into a kind of soup before he starts - it's like a pork and onion smoothie.)
I love the way Big Andy Poleman, our MD, bangs at least 3 admin girls. 'Never two together, though,' he says. 'That would be disrespectful. I go to whores for that.' That kind of old-fashioned gallantry really sums up Christmas for me.
I love the way Big Brian Humpage, our Sales Director, arrives in his new car (he always gets a new one for Christmas - it's company policy) pulling a trailer made up like a sleigh, full of presents - all of which turn out to be crates of beer, boxes of pork pies, black puddings, pig roasts, sides of beef, a dozen turkeys, barrels of port and a vicar: his mate, the Reverend Dicky Lyckes. The Reverend is there to remind us what Christmas is really all about. Then he gets plastered and tries to grope the lesbian who runs security. Nobody has the heart to tell him he's wasting his time, the poor old sex-pest.
I love the way Shit Alan gets dressed up and makes a real effort to get on with everyone, then starts throwing pint glasses at passers-by because nobody appreciates his idea of making an effort. (Generally, he grabs you by the balls / tits and says, 'Merry fucking Christmas, you dirty cunt!' To be fair, he's usually been at the own-label gin before he arrives. I mean, so have I, but I seem to carry off sexual harassment with a little less menace.)
I love the way the fat woman from accounts (they're all fat in accounts - I mean the really fat one) can never quite drink enough to pluck up the courage to ask out the fat man in accounts (again - the really fat one) because, being so huge, it takes gallons to get her pissed. And the irony is that if she lost some weight so she could drink enough to ask out the fat man from accounts, she wouldn't look twice at him.
I especially love the way everyone leaves on good terms with everyone else, as though work is a good thing and not a bitter chore. And watching my colleagues leave, one by one, laughing red-faced into the night, I think this really is a special time of the year.
With that thought, I usually walk thoughtfully to Delilaz where every year it's XXXmas Night, and the girls wear Santa hats and fuck-all else. And when a young lady, one of Santa's Little Helpers, demonstrates how to open a Christmas cracker without using her hands, it is finally Christmas for Dave Knockles. It's magical. And I wouldn't change it for the world.
Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!