Last night was my company’s Christmas party.
Once a majestic event where over 1,500 employees would cram into a local Marriot, eat shitty chicken and feast on the free beer and wine, this year proved to be a less than exciting event.
First of all, there were only 1,200 RSVP’s returned this year, which I’d like to associate with the rising discontent that has infected our company.
What happens when you try to do more with less?
Welcome to the monkey house!
I seriously believe that most major corporations like today’s economic climate because they can shovel shit onto the workers and then follow it with a menacing “And what are you gonna do about it”
And who wants to go to a party hosted by bullies.
I haven’t been to our holiday party for a few years now, mainly because I always wished after the party that my wife and I would have used the babysitter time for dinner and a movie instead.
We always end up the karaoke room because it’s the first place people go when they start to feel loosey goosey.
And from there, it’s only one more Bud Light until a stunning rendition of “Sweet Child Of Mine.”
This year, the stunning rendition was Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead Or Alive” courtesy of my young friend who works in the cafeteria. He had the thing planned in advance and after a few beers he made his way to the stage.
“Are there any Bon Jovi fans out there?” he asked the crowd, receiving a few legitimate cheers in return.
“Then you may want to leave.”
It was intentionally horrific, accented by plenty of f-bombs, particularly the “I’m fuckin’ wanted…” during the chorus.
Then there was my supervisor’s boyfriend, a man who apparently ran a karaoke service of his own, which made him extremely comfortable with going up repeatedly for hard rock songs like “Rebel Yell,” “Sad But True,” and a Marilyn Manson song that he kept threatening us at the table with.
“I’m serious!” he threatened, “I’m gonna go up there and do some Manson!”
After an hour, that threat became a reality, causing even the karaoke DJ to comment how he was making yet another appearance to the stage.
There was also the obligatory chubby girl with the “great” voice that had a contingency of fans/friends who only needed to press her a few times before she made her way up to the stage for her signature version of “I’ve Never Been To Spain.”
The crowd cheered at her talent, which meant that she’d milked the adulation for another 45 minutes before she trotted up the stage again for her version of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.”
“Oh! She’s good!” offered the Puerto Rican girl on my team after the Chapman selection proved to be a winner amongst the ladies.
I’ve probably only been to a half-dozen karaoke’s in my life, and I think I’ve heard “Give Me One Reason” at probably all of them.
There was the butchy lesbian that sang an Usher song (I point this out because one of my co-workers in her 60's was not entirely convinced of the gender), a gaggle of drunk girls that sang the horrific local favorite “Iowa Gurls,” and a long-haired IT guy that barked out AC/DC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirty Cheap,” including a pointless “RAWR!” at the end, just to remind you that he’d memorized every nuance of Bon Scott’s delivery.
But it was my boss’ insistence that her chubby, forty-year old boyfriend wasn’t “that bad” as he wailed away on the Marilyn Manson version of “Sweet Dreams” that prompted me to look down at my imaginary watch and declare “Oh! Look what time it is!” much to the delight of my wife, who was probably ready to leave an hour before.
We returned home where I enjoyed a cold slice of Dominos pizza to make up for the bland Coconut Breaded Chicken that was on the menu for the festivities’ tropical theme.
So even though the chicken entree was woefully dry, was the musical entertainment good enough to go back again next year?
It depends on if someone who’s seen a million faces will “fuckin’ rock them all” as an encore.