Every year, the holiday season brings debt, the flu, and holiday parties. Because it’s Christmas, the take-charge administrative assistant, Penny, decides that nobody should go home from the office party without a gift. Herb, her grumpy boss refused to foot the bill for gifts for everyone, so Penny instructed everyone to bring an appetizer to pass and a gift addressed to Anybody.
After munching on Jeannie’s cheesecake, Jon’s Vienna sausages, and assorted Christmas goodies, everyone seated themselves in their respective steno chairs and gathered around the bank of filing cabinets on which the pile of gifts was resting. Herb the grumpy boss had to perch on the copy machine because his chair was in his office on the other side of the building. It annoyed him that he couldn’t sit on the copy machine without the help of a stepstool. Of course, everything annoyed Herb. The party annoyed him too. The rule was you could pick a gift off the filing cabinet or you could abscond with a gift that had been opened by someone else.
Mary, the large lady from accounting who wore a different colored tent to work each day, was hoping for something sweet when she opened the first gift. She got a pair of fuzzy socks with jingle bells on them. Caleb, once the class clown and now the office joker, didn’t want Mary’s socks so he picked another gift. It turned out to be a scented pomegranate candle. Very not funny. It was Penny’s turn to choose. She’d gotten five scented candles for Christmas last year and she only wore pantyhose, not socks, to work. She opened the bottle of wine that she, herself, had brought in the hope that Will, the party guy/emerging alcoholic, might notice her.
Jeannie, the office clothes horse, who hated casual Fridays, couldn’t see herself wearing fuzzy socks and disliked pomegranates and cheap wine. She selected another gift which was a box of truffles that she would never eat for fear her perfect figure would suffer. She looked at Mary who was positively drooling. Herb the Grumpy, opened a gift that was obviously brought by Caleb the Joker and tried to contain his temper as he held up the rubber doggie doo-doo.
Will the Alcoholic, didn’t see any Wild Turkey-shaped gifts on the filing cabinets, so he walked over to Penny, gave her a wink and stole her bottle of wine. Penny was ecstatic. Sarah was near-sighted, but not shy, so she stole the fuzzy socks from Mary. She thought they were a puppy.
This left Mary free to grab the truffles from Jeannie, who in turn opened another gift. It was a large summer sausage. Who eats this stuff, she thought. She looked hopefully at Mary again. Mary was hugging her truffles.
Luke, who cheats on his wife with the strumpet who works in the deli next door, got a Starbucks gift card. He doesn’t drink coffee, but he wondered if the girls at Starbucks were cute.
Jon, the single, twenty-something new-hire from engineering, put Luke’s mind to rest by stealing his Starbucks card. Luke retaliated by grabbing Jeannie’s summer sausage. He was suddenly intimidated by its size and immediately gave it back to Jeannie with an apology. Jeannie was amused. He then opened a bag that contained an assortment of bathing & hygiene products. It was a fitting gift for a slime ball. Nobody took it from him.
At the end of the party, Herb the Grumpy went home with the dog poop. Everyone thought it was hilariously appropriate. Herb’s wife thought that he had come home with the worst gift last year: an electric nose hair trimmer. But no, apparently there are worst gifts.
Herb wondered whether there would even be a holiday party next year if Penny had gotten the dog poop. He resolved to bring fake vomit next year.