Christmas Party 1996

This year's Christmas party was another resounding success, with good food, friends, guests, games, gifts, and dancing.

Everything even started on time and the food was ready about an hour late, which is normal and expected. Drinks and talk were well under way with various hors d'oeuvres (there was even boiled shrimp, which was rudely all eaten up before I knew it was there), when the main food was pronounced ready. Roast pork, barbecued chicken wings, potato salad, spinach salad, barbecued beans, spinach and cheese casserole, stuffed mushrooms and too many other items for me to remember.

After we had all eaten as much as we could handle, we started the games. As we had come in, everyone received a raffle ticket and a Back Tag from Steve and Carol, supposedly with a name of a person or thing written on it. The idea was to guess what it said by asking people questions they could answer with yes or no. This went on during the whole evening. When you guessed one, they slapped another one on you to try again. Of course I got set up. They put a descriptive quotation on me, then everyone threw me off by giving conflicting and obscure clues. What questions do you ask to figure out "Stick in the mud" when they tell you it is a person (suggesting me, which is totally not true) and not a person, which it technically wasn't. Well, by using superior intelligence and quick wit (with some pitying clues) I did figure it out. Others had some good ones too, but I concentrated so strongly on solving mine, I can't remember any of them, so thanks guys.

We played our old standby games: Matching the Christmas Card, where you start with four pieces of Christmas card, and you trade some of the pieces you have that you don't want to people who don't want them for the ones they have that you do want and they don't want to give to you, until you have the four matching pieces to make the card complete. This game develops certain persuasive skills such as threatening harm, intimidation and such, which is always fun and makes people like you. This was a particularly strange session, in that I had five pieces and was never able to find the dumbhead who had only three.

Greeting the hell out of everyone with a certain Christmas phrase until a certain predetermined unknown number of persons, after hearing the greeting a predetermined number of times, gives you a raffle ticket to please shut up. Depending on the predetermined number of times the greeting must be said, and the predetermined number of persons holding raffle tickets, this can go on for an unpredetermined amount of time.

Funny Bone, in which two sets (or more) of persons uses parts of one (or sometimes more) person's anatomy to hold various cards to another (or sometimes more) person's anatomy until one or the other of the persons (or sets of persons) has no more pieces of anatomy left in which to hold any more cards and their pieces of anatomy start to drop off, or is it the cards ??? hell I don't know, I don't play the dumb thing, I just draw the cards and try to keep the persons (or sets of persons) from fighting and blaming each other.

Dong Ball, which develops hip coordination and teaches fair play and honesty. At least Hector got the hip coordination and I showed examples of the other things. I won't say the game got out of control, but by the time we left, we still hadn't found one of the wooden croquet balls we use to play the game with and some jackass made a run in my pantyhose.

Joe and Paula brought a new game of Word Associations that went over well, at least for those with loud voices. Even though my voice was nearly gone the next day, it was from trying to keep control of events and enforce the rules, whatever they were, and not from some stupid shouting match to prove how word smart I was. Now, you may get the impression from the above descriptions that these games are disruptive, combative, and overly competitive. If you think so, then you don't understand the Roughwheeler mind. We all joined in and had a fun great time. But maybe these games are getting a little sedate and we are ready to start looking for some new ones to challenge us.

After the games, we had a special treat helping Hector celebrate his impending 50th birthday. He got some really funny gifts such as a walker and a diaper and was a super good sport modeling and showing how to use his new treasures.

Next we did our gift exchange. Some pretty funny things showed up and things got a little confusing when we ended up with too many gifts until we noticed that some of the gifts had tags on them for certain people and had been left by Lion who had gotten sick and gone home without telling anyone about them. In the meantime we had passed them out to whomever picked them from under the tree, then Pappy had to trade his picked gift to get his Lion gift, but we let him pick again. He should have picked my nose...I mean my gift... which was a nose, well sort of. Also, some people had left early before the gift exchange and may claim their gift at the next meeting by producing ten forms of identification and a receipt and certified letter from the store where they purchased the gift they brought.

At this point it was time to have the raffle, for which there was a mens and a ladies prize. Jeff won a nice set of tools, including sockets, wrenches, and screwdrivers. Ginny won a necklace and various sundry items. This particular phase of the party went off without a hitch and therefore became the lowpoint of the evening.

After the raffle, we milled around drinking and talking and eventually started dancing (if you want to call it that). I'm not sure what Montego was doing, and although I didn't witness it, I was told that he was involved in a slam dancing sandwich by Victor and Steve. It took him a while to realize these guys were serious and not just emulating his dancing style. We were treated to an unusual display of dancing and feather duster twirling by Mary while Ed looked on proudly and indulgently, or whatever that look on his face meant. I was even seen dancing with my wife. Some thought this was just part of my semiannual foreplay, but they were wrong, I was merely caught up in the spirit of the moment.

After a while, we just couldn't handle any more fun and good times, not that we were tired or anything like that when the main food was pronounced ready. But out of respect for our gracious hosts Bob and Rhonda, we felt we should leave so they could close down the party and go to bed. They agreed, so we left, and I said to Jan as we drove away "That was a great party, but why didn't anyone else leave and why was the music still going?"