An employee of a small town "liberry" chronicles his quest to remain sane while dealing with patrons who could star in a short-lived David Lynch television series.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christmas Par-Tay

Tonight was the "liberry's" Christmas Party, a day I look forward to every year. Why? Cause frankly, we know how to do a work party right. We have all the essentials: food, beer, more food, cookies and sitting around a fire telling funny stories about our crazy patrons. What more could you ask for?

Last year's party was brilliant in concept if not entirely in execution. Our theme for last year was to have a Comfort Food Party whereby we brought nothing but stick to your ribs, carb-laden comfort foods and then gorged ourselves stupid on them. Genius, no? The extra-genius part, or so we thought at the time, was that instead of exchanging gifts or doing Dirty Santa or something, we each baked several dozen cookies, one dozen for each staff-member, and exchanged those. We also baked an extra dozen which we would share around Mrs. A's home coffee table. Well, as you can read HERE, it didn't work out so good. After stuffing our gobs with mashed potatoes, fried chicken and mac & cheese we had no room or desire left whatsoever for cookie sampling. I think Mrs. A's dog ate more cookies than anyone else, but that was mostly because Mrs. B left her basket of gift cookies lying on the floor where the pooch could get at it. That, my friends, was one fat beagle.

This year we decided not to let our eyes get quite as big as our stomachs. We still did the cookie exchange part, but this year we went with a different theme. We thought about it long and hard and decided to do an appetizer party on the grounds that the best part of any meal is the appetizers. So tonight we had a nice little feast of appetizers. My wife and I brought both chicken curry dip and spinach artichoke dip along with the requisite Triscuits and little toasted bread slices on which to eat it. Other staff members brought cheesy dip, meatballs, bruchetta, crab dip, and, one of my all time favorites, Li'l Smokies. Our theory--which admittedly was on shaky ground to start with--is that by only eating appetizers off of small plates we would somehow have room left for cookies afterward. However, as we learned, you can stuff a LOT of appetizers on a small plate. And you can go back for more as many times as you want. So by the end of the meal, we were all still pretty stuffed, though not quite as much as last year.

Then we sat around Mrs. A's fireplace, passed Mrs. C's infant nephew around the room, kept the dog out of the food and ate cookies and cookies and cookies. Mrs. C made even made pecan pie bars just for me, as she knows they are my one true weakness--my Achilles heel, if you will. And yes, even in our carb-charged euphoria, we still managed to tell a few patron stories. Mostly old ones about The Dufus and about other similar computer patrons who refuse to log off when asked, even when the library is closing. It's a subject my wife has strong feelings about.

"I keep telling him, he'd have a lot less trouble with people if he would just scream at them a few times," she said. "Let someone stay on the computer a bit too long and just go back and scream `GET THE HELL OFF, NOW!' and that kind of thing would clear up quick."

The whole reason the subject of the Dufus came up was because Mrs. C's sister asked if Mrs. A's house--a house formerly owned by the Dufus's grandmother, I should add--was haunted. I said, "Well I know one former resident who you'd better hope never comes back to haunt it." That would be hell to have the Dufus as a ghost. For one thing, he'd spend all his time hogging up your computer, replying to his ghost spam and refusing to get off.

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