The Christmas Party

‘It’s the same old same old every year,’ Jemima, from the typing pool moaned.

‘What? Pub lunch and cheap crackers?’ Lynn, the receptionist sneered.

‘Considering that we all still have a job, I’m not complaining,’ old Mr Thomas, the security guard commented in passing.

However, on the day that they were all told to assemble at the ground floor of their 10 storey building, everyone was talking.

‘This isn’t normal is it?’ Lynn nudged Jemima.

‘No, can’t say it is. Gawd, I hope they’re not gathering all of us in the foyer to announce the company’s closure. What am I going to do? I’ve up to my ears in debt. My credit card is maxed and I haven’t even bought a present for me mum yet.’ Jemima let out a litany of curses which was quickly silenced when the new CEO Matt Duncan walked out to the top of the mezzanine floor.

‘Hello, everyone, I am guessing you’re all wondering why you’ve been told to assemble here today. Well, it’s our annual Christmas party and in view of the positive annual profit forecast, we’re not doing our pub lunch this year.’ Matt continued to a series of hoorays and applause. ‘No, I gathered from Kate in HR that most people are fed-up of the stodgy Carvery and booze-up from years past. So this time, I’ve asked Kate to think of something more exciting. If you all make your way to the coaches we’ve hired for the day, let’s get the party started.’

As the 100 employees of Duncan & Pratt Public Accountants filed into two coaches, Kate and Matt stood at each entrance handing out Christmas Elves Hats and rattlers.

‘Ooh, this is so exciting. Hey mister where you’re taking us?’ Jemima squealed, donning her red felt hat laced with white trimmings as she took a seat next to the driver.

‘Sorry ma’am. I’ve been given strict instructions not to divulge our destination,’ the man wearing a smart cap and dark glasses, turned towards the blond blue eyed typist and smiled.

Jemima blushed. Despite her huge size, her cherubic face had a sweet girl next door quality which had gained her many conquests in the past. She once told Lynn, What can I say? Some men just can’t get enough of me.

After a three hour drive, the coaches entered a private estate with automatic gigantic gates which opened for the two vehicles and then closed with a clang after the buses drove through.

The employees of Duncan & Pratt disembarked and everyone gasped at the sight of the immense Hall, with its silhouette outlined by millions of twinkling golden Christmas lights. A set of double-doors was thrust open and a lone kilted bagpiper marched out, played a tune, then turned around to lead the party into a reception with a 30 foot Nordmann Fir as a stunning centrepiece. It was a magnificent tree. Waiters, dressed in white, walked around handing out crystal glasses of Champagne.

‘This sure beats a pub lunch,’ Thomas uttered under his breath to Jo in admin.

Everyone was excited and the amount of chatter rose to a crescendo. Suddenly a gong was heard and all eyes locked onto a brilliant red spotlighted figure descending the imperial staircase. The figure stopped on the landing just before the split and addressed the crowd.

‘Welcome to the Palace of Dreams,’ the voice was crisp and clear. Your company has given us carte blanche to excite you all for the next five hours. So, each of you will now receive a card with your name on it. Please make sure you get the right card. On that card, you will receive a set of instructions. Tonight, you will get the chance to become someone else for a change. You must not share your new role with anyone else. I promise you, it will be much more fun that way. Then in accordance with your new role, you are to proceed to the left if your role is a woman, the right if your role is a man and the middle, if your role says neither. Your costume and mask awaits. The palace is proud to have many rooms and you are to seek the named room which your role requires for you to be in. There will be food, drinks and entertainment. Oh, and one last thing before I leave, you are all required to wear the mask to hide your real identity. So enjoy!’

‘Hang on, you haven’t told us the rules,’ Jemima shouted.

‘Ah, sorry my dear, I almost forgot – there are NO rules. You are free to do, think, be, whoever you have been entrusted to be – for the next five hours…sorry, 4 hours and 55 minutes. And the final thing is, at the end of the evening, you all get to vote on who was the best role player and he, she or they, will win a fully paid holiday to Switzerland. Au revoir!’

The clamour returned, this time, with excitement as every employee opened their own cards and read their ‘role assignment.’ Some smiled and preceded without hesitation towards the direction on their cards – to collect their costumes, eager to play their parts. A few stood rooted to the spot – notably old Mr Sam Scanlon from Filing.

‘I am not going to dress up as James Bond and risk having Jaws pull out what’s left of me teeth,’ he tutted.

‘C’mon Sam. Loosen up, it’s all in good cheer. I’m off to get me Lady Jane costume. I wonder who is going to be my Tarzan,’ Beatrice the tea lady bustled off to the left.

Lynn shook her head as she overheard the two oldies, you can’t stop people from being negative no matter how much you try.

Two very pretty elves flitted in, and began plucking out those who were still milling about, not knowing where to go, or perhaps reluctant to get into the spirit of the game. Soon, no one was left in the foyer and the other parts of the Palace of Dreams began to buzz.

Old Mrs Peacock, aka Fusspot, the personal secretary of Matt Duncan, looked at herself in the mirror of the dressing room. She was dressed as a milkmaid, with her grey hair covered completely under a bonnet. Her clothes were tight-fitting and a lift-up bra made her look like Dolly Parton. Behind the mask, she giggled. No one will call me an old fuddy duddy in this, she mused. She began to venture from room to room, looking for anyone who could recognise her.

The first room she entered was a casino. James Bond aka Sam from Filing was already at the Roulette table, smoking a Cuban cigar and betting big, attracting a score of cute young girls, at least I think they might be cute young girls, Mrs Peacock suppressed another giggle. This is fun, she began thinking, just as someone came up from behind her and slapped her bottom.

‘Howdy Dolly. Care to make an old cowboy happy?’ He was dressed like John Wayne, 10 gallon hat, complete with cowboy boots. The only thing missing was his horse.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t 6 foot 3 like the original movie actor. In fact, he was only 4 foot 2 and Mrs Peacock thought she knew who was really behind that masquerade...Thomas from security.

‘A lady of your stature shouldn’t be left unsupervised. Here, take my arm and I’ll escort you to wherever you wish to go.’ The little man continued trying hard to play the part.

Mrs Peacock resisted calling his bluff and decided to try on a sultry voice with a Southern twang. ‘Oh heavens above Mr Wayne. I don’t think gentlemanly behaviour includes slapping one on the fanny like that.’

‘I’m sorry Ms Dolly. I got carried away there. I’ve been out on the prairies too long and plain forgot my manners.’

They entered a room fashioned as an old Western Saloon complete with a lady singing ‘Boot Scootin’ Boogie’ accompanied by a honky tonk band. Cowboys and gals were drinking, mingling and then a group started line dancing.

‘This is like Westworld – I love it!’ cried John Wayne, ‘C’mon Dolly, strut your stuff baby.’

Jemima, attired in a wet look laced up garter dress complete with cat-eared mask and matching Fuck-me boots, entered a darkened room which suddenly lit up with dozens of flickering candles. A black leather-clad male greeted her with a low bow and led her to a beautiful chaise lounge. She wanted to giggle, nervous as to what she was expected to do – but soon realised that as her role of Dominatrix Queen, giggling was the last thing she should do. So maintaining her silence, she began to silently watch as masked men entered her den to pay homage. Each was bearing a tray of food. A whip having been placed in her hand, she flicked it and was surprised with the sound of a crack. She decided that it was best not to speak – merely pointed to things she liked and soon was happy munching away. This is better than heaven!

Out in the orangery, Lady Jane aka Beatrice the tea lady, has indeed found her Tarzan. He looked like Mr Cummings, the beer-bellied, balding Senior Tax Manager who liked his tea sweet and strong. But never having seen the latter in loincloth, she couldn’t be 100% sure. Unfortunately no one in the company has a body like Johnny Weissmuller, she thought and since she herself wasn’t exactly a Bo Derek lookalike, she wasn’t about to nitpick. The temperature of the greenhouse was exceptionally humid and as they wandered, half naked under giant ferns and tropical trees, they heard crickets shrilling and lots of exotic jungle sounds.

‘Do you think there are wild beasts in here Tarzan?’ Jane asked, a little apprehensively, thinking of lions and such.

‘I don’t think the insurance will cover it B..erm…Jane.’

Role-playing doesn’t come naturally to some, Jane sighed.

A tiny capuchin monkey hooted from a Palm tree and Jane yelped with delight.

‘Oh look Tarzan. It’s a monkey. How cute! C’mon darling, come to Jane. I’ve got a nice treat for you,’ producing a banana she’d picked up from the buffet table as she was passing through the Hall.

‘I don’t think you should do that…we don’t know if it’s friendly,’ Tarzan began to back away from the tree.

Surprisingly, the little monkey jumped straight down and sat on Tarzan’s head, whooping away.

‘Oi, get off my head,’ Tarzan shouted, swiping his hand over his top.

It was at this point where everything went awry at Duncan & Pratt’s Christmas party.

The capuchin bit the swiping hand; snatched Jane’s proffered fruit and escaped through the orangery doors, left carelessly ajar earlier by Jane when she entered from the main Hall. It also left a little souvenir on Tarzan’s head before jumping off.

‘Fuckin’ bloody heck, it bit me. Call the paramedics Beatrice. I think I need a tetanus shot. Ow, it hurts like hell! Oh no, I feel something wet dripping down my neck. Did the bastard tear a hole through my scalp too? Is that blood?’ Wiping it off with his injured hand which was actually bleeding slightly, Tarzan recoiled from the smell. ‘Oh fuck, the devil shat on me!  Oh no, I’ve contaminated my wound with ape shite.’ Tarzan howled…not unlike Johnny Weissmuller whose call used to echo through the jungles in the movies.

Meanwhile, in the Casino Royale room, James Bond, aka Sam from Filing, had decided to get his bevy of women to play Strip Poker instead. They were at a crucial moment as Pussy Galore, aka Jo from admin was taking off her bra due to a series of poor hands, when the capuchin monkey sneaked in, grabbed an armful of cream cakes from the buffet table, jumped onto the crystal chandelier and started flinging half eaten food as it swung precariously over the poker players, spraying pee as nervous monkeys are wont to do.

The girls screamed with Sam screaming the loudest as they clambered out of their seats, ducking under the table to retrieve bits of clothing which were all mixed up now. As a croupier tried using a roulette pole to drive the monkey off the chandelier, another commotion was heard in the Country and Western Bar.

A gang of audit juniors were given roles of playing Red Indians. They were supposed to have a friendly dance competition doing a Native American Grass dance but when Crazy Horse aka Ashok saw General George Crook aka Tom from Tax pinching the arse of Black Shawl aka Janet who was Ashok’s girl, all thoughts of peaceful pow wows were thrown out the windows. A real life bar brawl entailed and actually spilled out into the hallway leading into the casino room.

The capuchin monkey earned a brief respite from his tormentors and made his escape in the melee. It headed towards the quietest and darkest corner and found itself in the Dominatrix Den.

Queen Jemima was still very much in control, commanding all her slaves to strip to their bare necessities, running a contest to see who could earn her favours. She was being hand-fed with grapes, which also happened to be the monkey’s favourite food, when the monkey interjected itself onto the Queen’s amply exposed bosom and nicked the grape neatly out of her mouth. Jemima, terrified of all things furry, screamed her head off and flung her hands wildly, trying to get up from her supine position. She was like a walrus on its back in soft sand. Unfortunately, the whip was still in her possession and most of the half naked slaves aka men in various departments who chose to remain anonymous, received quite a flogging.

Needless to say, by the end of the evening, no one commented on old Mr Thomas’s observation as he clambered back into the coach, muttering, ‘I guess we’re going back to the old pub lunch next year.’

December 26, 2019 20:37

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

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