Jingle Bell Suck
By: Gringo

Corporate shoes, private sector hats, industry socks and other people paid very meager dollars by very fat men to do all kinds of humdrum work, pay attention! This article could save your life!*

The cold wind is blowin' and the streets are getting dark, I'm writing you an article and I don't know where to start, so rather than continue to simply cut-and-paste Darlene Love song lyrics, I'll jump right into that most horrific of Christmas experiences for those of us that are trapped in the world of 9 to 5: the office party.

Office parties have a bit of a tired-joke stigma of being the place where Babs from the front office gets tanked up on spiked punch, photocopies her ample backside and shows it to office bitch Mildred, who is trying to reject the advances of Jason the is-he-isn't-he-a-homo intern (who, for tonight at least, isn't). But you know something? Oh, you do know something, do you? Then you write this article, smart ass!

Go on! Write it!

I'm waiting.


Still waiting.


Good. We can continue.

By the way, before I looked up the exact lyrics for Darlene Love's song "All Alone On Christmas" for this article, I never knew there was the line "the music plays all night in Little Italy". I always thought she was singing "the booze is in the pie all up in a little bit". Which, if you've ever spent Christmas with me and my family, makes perfect sense. Because we tend to eat pie, drink booze and...well, let's just say that the family's vomit the next day comes in many shades.

Back to the office party article, methinks. Thankfully, in my life I've only had to experience two of these events. Both have been so suitably boring and predictable that I am already working on developing a 10-year dossier of excuses never to attend another. The leading excuse so far is that I have to flee the country to retake power following a coup in my home country. That, or my dog has AIDS. Both are good lines.

The cliche of the office party as a place where pent-up anger, lust and other feelings explode actually has some merit, though not in the cartoon-like sense sitcoms would have you believe. Rather, office parties offer up somewhat more subtle annoyances.

Whether you're a newcomer to the world of work, a CEO about to go to jail, or are a carefree college student not yet thinking about work because you're too busy putting your scruffy hair, cute face, slim but toned body and piercing eyes to use getting people into bed and...wait, where was I? Oh, yes. Kids, always play safe and remember to see some identification! Breaking your state's legal age of consent laws is NOT something you want to have to explain to your parents from inside a jail cell. And we all know jail cells aren't a place where consent laws are respected, okay?

Now that the obligatory prison rape and homosexuality references have been put out there, I can continue.

In order to help you get through the office party season without too much of a to-do (hee hee! See what I did there? I love you, words), I am offering this helpful guide -- with pictures! -- to the kind of people you may meet at said parties. See this first as a guide for who to avoid at the parties, and, if all else fails, perhaps you may also derive some hints for dealing with this types.

Of course, you could always call in sick. I won't tell anyone.

1. Arnold Chub

Arnold is the fat, sweaty guy you only talk to out of being forced to as part of your daily routine. He's definitely not the kind of guy you'd want to hang out with on a weekend.

Beware the office party, where Arnold will, fueled by cheap booze, bore you to death with details of how his gardening is coming along, or regale you with that story of how the wrong file was once attached to an e-mail. Arnold, despite laughing at all his own jokes, will not get any of yours.

At the end of the night, expect Arnold to go home and masturbate.

2. Plain Jane McOffenheimer

Plain Jane didn't just get that tag as a nickname, her parents knew she would grow up to be a boring old witch. Jane will use the party to bore you to death with "hilarious" stories about her supposedly endearing young children, while managing to display not one single ounce of personality.

Apart from the risk of falling into a coma should you talk to Jane, there's a second thing to be wary of: Plain Jane almost without exception has breath that smells like a cancerous, bleeding skunk crawled into her mouth, let off its unique odor, and died. The skunk was also run over by a sewage truck before all of this, by the way. The sewage truck was coated in a one-off environmental phenomenon: a shower of poop. GET IT? SHE HAS SMELLY BREATH.

3. Creepy Troll

Overwhelmingly, the Creepy Troll will be male, and spends most of the day in the office trying to make eye or verbal contact with their unattainable target. Avoid this monster at all costs, as the slightest encouragement will send his freakish little brain into a tizzy. This character tends to be short, ugly, and weird. No-one in the office likes the Creepy Troll though he fools himself that they do.

Other than avoiding him at parties to avoid sending him the wrong signals, another danger about interacting is that when provoked, you are likely to lash out at the troll.

For example, I once had some freak of a troll from a former workplace come up to me at a bar when I was talking to two friends. He just interrupted the conversation there and then with a quip along the lines of "don't you ever leave the bars?". Ignoring the fact that he'd just accused me of being an alcoholic -- and that he was an ugly fuck...and a "he" for that matter -- I just said "My friends and I want to keep it just the three of us tonight." He physically recoiled in shock and walked away. Success!

Wait...this was meant to be a warning about not interacting for fear of lashing out. Lash away! These freaks deserve it for their unsettling office stalking.

4. Mr. Burlington, CEO

Mr. Burlington is the big boss man that is never seen except for his once-a-year showing at the office party. Soft-spoken but with the power to instantly rob you of a pension, job and health benefits, he's the biggest buzz kill possible. No-one wants to get too drunk around him, and conversation with him is inevitably dull as it's wiser to say little to avoid walking into any traps.

Steer clear.

If drunk by the time Mr. Burlington arrives, go hide in the bathroom till the next morning. You may reek of poop and pee and be in yesterday's clothes, but you'll still be an employed person who reeks of poop and pee and is in yesterday's clothes.

5. Moleela

This list was looking a little too "white" so in the interests of diversity, let me tell you about Moleela. She's that black/Asian/Hispanic/minority staff member that the racist white women in the office always accuse of doing no work (though never to her face). Moleela in small doses is a hoot, as she brings her Borat-esque innocently inappropriate charms to the front.

Notice the crucial part in the last paragraph? Small doses. You find yourself stuck in a corner with Moleela and a bowl of mulled wine, you find yourself cringing and crying on the inside. Give it five minutes, it'll be on the outside, too.

6. The Joker

Ah, the office funster.

In a cliche rendition, he's the guy at the party who ends up with a lampshade on his head. In real life, he is someone you definitely want to avoid at a party, as he tries to use his irritating brand of humor on everyone.

Whether it's wildly inappropriate vocal/physical impersonations of a co-worker -- often within earshot of the intended target -- or thinking it's witty to leave a slab of buffet meat lying in the boss man's desk, this guy just doesn't have enough going on to get through socializing without trying to be funny.

Sad thing is, though he thinks he's funny, he never gets a laugh. If only the Joker knew what irony means.

So, there you have it. Hopefully this article will make the world go round and round and round and prevent you from having a crappy office Christmas party.

Then again, if all else fails, you could just quit your job. Then when you run out of money and are living on the streets, you can send me an article about what a homeless Christmas party is like. Yay! Christmas 2007 is going to be the BEST EVER for articles on this site. ROCK ON, ARNOLD CHUB!

* Please note: this article will not save your life

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