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Volume 16, Issue 50 - December 11 - December 17, 2008
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Bay Reflections

Out of Order

Why I’m skipping this season’s holiday parties

by Allen Delaney

Yes, it’s time to attend those delightful, more-the-merrier, joy-filled, holiday parties, and if you’re like me, you’ll hide in your closet until New Year’s Day. Throwing a seasonal bash is stressful enough; attending one can be even worse. What should you wear? Is a gift to be brought? Is that smelly guy across the street going to be there?

Worse, you’re not the only one who hasn’t forgotten the embarrassment of having one too many drinks and becoming a little too involved under the mistletoe or having a heated debate with what you found out the next day was the coat rack.

Yes, parties can be overwhelming and faux pas do happen, such as the time I was using the host’s, um, facilities, shall we say, and was dethroned by rising floodwaters.

With the situation well out of hand, so to speak, I was in a quandary as what to do. I searched the room for a plumber’s assistant only to find hygiene products, mouthwash and various medications, which by that time I was tempted to randomly sample. With time running out, I had to concoct a solution for my embarrassing predicament.

The window was an option. I wasn’t really good friends with the host and hostess anyway, and besides, if they can’t provide their guests with adequate plumbing, who would fault me? I might even be able to sue them for royal embarrassment or a broken leg, depending on how I landed.

But, in good conscience, I couldn’t leave the other guests hopping on one foot then the other for the remainder of the evening. There had to be some way out of this jam. Perhaps a toilet paper note written with lipstick stuck on the door saying Out of Order or Be Back in 3 Days. Or I could slip out the door, stand in the hall and wait for the next reveler to enter. As soon as the guest notified the host of the dilemma, I could point and yell, He who denotes it, choked it! turn and abruptly depart. 

I suppose I could have used my shoe as a plumber’s assistant. But then how would I explain how it got all wet? Bad aim would be an inappropriate answer. I’m sure the homeowners would not care for me traipsing through their home with a questionably soggy foot. Hmmm … I thought about wrapping my foot and leg in the shower curtain. No, too much trouble.

I considered calling a plumber on my cell phone, giving the address and asking him to stop by pretending that he needed to use the facilities. That wouldn’t be too obvious, would it?

In the end, (where this situation began), I had to call my host and ask him to discretely bring his plumber’s helper so I could purge the problem.

My advice: Don’t go to holiday parties. If you do, don’t go once you get there.

Easy to see why Delaney, who writes from Prince Frederick, is out of a job. An early-retired computer geek, he’s remodeling another rental house before making his way as a writer.

© COPYRIGHT 2008 by New Bay Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved.