Friday, December 12, 2008

Santa's Skeletons

Admit it, there's something you've been dying to tell. It wouldn't take much encouragement, just someone to ask the right questions, for it all to come gushing out. Right? As I discovered last night, the annual company bash is the most likely, if least appropriate, forum for confessions to be aired. Cruising the tables between courses, equipped with trusty notebook and a candid agenda, it took very little persuasion on my part to get discretion flying out of the window and skeletons tumbling out of the closet.

It should be noted that I was sat opposite the drunkest and most goadable person (let's call him colleague 'X') there, who actually insisted that I transcribe and publish every shameful detail of his sordid tales, emphatically forbidding me to change the names or places. Any work mates reading this will already know full well who I am talking about, so I reserve the right to keep things anonymous in the cold light of day.

A couple of years ago, I shared a colleague's witty morning after 'whodunnit' quiz , written following various dubious antics at that year's company bash. In a similar spirit, I offer some of the more amusing confessions and allegations told to me or overheard at last night's do.

Before entirely losing the power of speech (this happened later, after the Benylin-snorting incident), colleague 'X' recalled the time when, walking back from a party late one night, he was apprehended, groped and propositioned in no uncertain terms by a frisky Welsh man in tight jeans and silly pointy shoes. Surprisingly, he declined the offer, but would not be drawn on the subject of whether it had maybe excited him just a little bit.

A rumour about someone having a fetish for being whipped with stinging nettles was claimed to have been started by several different tables, until I finally traced it back to my own. Knowing the dry sense of humour of the alleged originator, I somehow suspect that this particular offering may have been in jest. Or was it...?

Clearly there was an S&M vibe in the air (how original), as one colleague admitted to having fantasised about being dominated by a certain other senior member of staff. The object of these hankerings, who was sitting right next to him at the time, seemed flattered by this confession, and actually started to suggest possible scenarios - at which point the rest of the table tried desperately to change the subject.

As is customary on these occasions, plenty of lame and ridiculous stories were doing the rounds - like the suggestion that our Financial Director is a secret smack dealer (he took it in good part), and claims of inappropriate fondling between two (straight) male colleagues. But the most entertaining revelation of the night came from a senior staff member in the pub afterwards, who rewarded my request for a confession with a brilliantly animated tale of the time he was arrested for being Drunk and Disorderly ("but I was only drunk", he professed) after a boozy business lunch in London. This somewhat surprising admission concluded with the person in question sheepishly calling the police station the next day to apologise for his loutish behaviour, much to the bemusement (and presumably amusement) of the officers involved.

Who needs counselling when you can get it all off your chest at the office Christmas party?

Photographs courtesy of Al Wares.
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