Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The self-employed person's office party

Crack open bottle of champagne, pour self a large measure into vessel usually used for washing brushes and drink responsibly. Crank up music till windows start to throb in sympathy. Pick up fiddle and join in. Read one of one's U.S. picture books out loud and marvel at depths of one's own perception and literary brilliance. Trip over rat's nest of trailing cables and belly flop onto tottering pile of books remaindered three months ago and sent by U.S. publisher to relieve pressure in warehouse. Note that these are the same volumes of deathless prose that one was declaiming from a scant five minutes ago. Sic transic Gliori(a) mundi.

Pour another generous volume of champagne and neck in one fell swoop. Too late, discover that along with fizz, one has inadvertently necked brush cleaning paint-water awash in a hefty titration of Cadmium Red. Cadmium? Faint bell goes off in memory. Isn't that radioactive?

Crikey. Better rinse out mouth straight from bottle instead. Cut out the middleman. So to speak. Chin, chin. What ho, chaps? Bottoms up. Vaguely recall apocryphal tales of office parties where unwise dalliances are conducted in broom cupboards and wobbly bits are photocopied to the general hilarity of all and sundry.

Eye photocopier.

Decide against making a complete idiot of self. Where's the fun in doing that if there's nobody to see you do it? Instead, while away the remainder of the afternoon turning the lights on and off to see if I glow in the dark yet. Like, just how radioactive is Cadmium red ?

And later, as I fall into the embrace of a particularly thorny rosebush on my evening commute home, ( 34 seconds up the garden path, max.) I consider how useful it would be for humans in the Northern Hemisphere to really glow in the dark. That way we could light our own way home like little self-contained candlepersons, instead of stumbling around in badly lit streets, falling over kerbs and cursing the darkness.

This reads like the deranged thoughts of a woman in need of sunshine, however. It is the day before Midwinter, and I don't know about you, but I am feeling particularly lumen-lite right now. Tomorrow, the year turns, and Light slowly gains the ascendancy, and with a bit of luck, my sodden Christmas cake will have returned from detox and will be fit to wear its coat of marzipan. Right now, it's slumped in a corner of the kitchen, muttering wetly to itself, exuding brandy fumes and trying to pick a fight with everyone that walks past. I overdid it on the 'feed your cake' instructions. To be fair, it didn't exactly try and stop me. Not one word of protest did I hear. It just sat there swallowing till it fell over with an expensive splash.

Now it's the kind of cake your mother told you to avoid. Come to think of it, I should have taken it to the self-employed person's office party. It would have been the life and soul of. Dance to the myooozick. Uh huh, uh huh. Voolay voo cooshay aveck mwah. Sisswarr. Oh, god, the shame. It would've been up on the photocopier in seconds flat. And as for introducing it to the shredder? Cake and shredder in a tree. Kay, eye, ess, ess, eye....well, you know how that one goes. Sultanas to hell and back. Currants? Peel? Just don't mention the angelica.

Slainte. A Merry Christmas to all of you Out There xxx


Lindsey Fraser said...

Here's to you, Debi Gliori! Simply brilliant.
When, when, when can we read that novel for grown-ups? xx

Mel said...

Sounds like I need to meet that Christmas cake.

As for the cadmium, if you're still alive in three days' time, you'll likely be okay. For now, anyway.

May you have a wonderful turning of the season and only glow in the dark when necessary.

bookwitch said...

WHAT have you been eating?? Drinking?

Stroppy Author said...

Love this! I have had self-employed Christmas parties for 30 years (missed the last couple, though). For a while, I had a balloon who was my boss, so there were two of us at the party. Sometimes she burst, though. I'd happily invite your cake!

renata said...

Debi! What a really neat way to be introduced to a cousin while my Mom is talking to your dad on skype :) You had me laughing so hard! Remember you have a cousin in the sunshine of Barbados.... Renata <><

Cynthia said...

Sounds like a good party!