Ake's Pains debuted in the University of Akron Buchtelite in September of 1977. The school's reputation as an institute of higher learning has still not recovered. Ake's Pains returns after a brief 32 year hiatus. It's back, baby!

Monday, December 27, 2021

The Worst Christmas Party Ever

I lead a local card-playing group but we couldn’t play for over a year due to the virus. When we reassembled, we lost some people, including the group founder, so I stepped in.

It’s not a difficult job. I post the game nights on Facebook and am responsible for bringing the cards and accessories to the restaurant where we play. I also make sure we treat the staff with respect and that no one grabs the waitress’s @$$.

But Don, isn’t that like assigning the fox to guard the hen house? Well, maybe. But the one time it may have happened, I’m still claiming she backed up into my hand – and there was no squeeze. There is no video of this alleged infraction, so everybody just chill.

However, pre-pandemic, one of the things the group immensely enjoyed was a Christmas party. As leader, I was expected to plan this gala event. But I am not a party planner - not one of my skills. First of all, I don’t have the legs for it. Most party planners are vivacious, energetic females. They run around tirelessly, making sure everything is perfect, which typically gives them great legs. On the other hand, I prefer to sit a lot and enjoy the party, while someone else does all the flittering. This not only doesn’t provide me with shapely legs, it enlarges my @$$.

I’m not a party planner, so I came up with a simple but brilliant plan. We would meet an hour early at the restaurant, eat dinner together and then play cards. This plan was judged to be totally unacceptable by almost all group members. The last Christmas party was an elaborate event at the former leader’s house and was greatly enjoyed by all.

“Why can’t we have the party at your house, Don?” they asked with faces resembling expectant children on Christmas Eve.

This was a non-starter. My wife would never agree to this because she knows she would be doing all the work while I sat on my @$$. I wasn’t even going to ask her because it’s one of those questions that after you receive the obvious “NO” – you pay for it dearly, as your wife is upset with you for at least a  week. (“Gee, all I did was ask a simple question” – husbands, do you hear me?)

The group members then attempted to plan a better party, at a better venue. Since I’m not a party planner and could continue to sit on my @ss, this was fine by me.

But they couldn’t come up with a better plan than mine. Time was running out, so I announced my initial plan would prevail. I felt rather smug that we were going with the plan I had developed. Maybe I am a good party planner! Perhaps just sitting on your @$$ has some benefits. Perhaps I should shave my legs -- well, no. Yes, I was a man with a plan, and I could not be stopped!

We had a plan, but now people wanted to know if we would be having our traditional “White Elephant” gift exchange. I protested, arguing that this is 2021 and appropriating another race onto an elephant of color is racist. But they persisted, so I agreed. 

Life of the Party?

“Well, what are the rules? What are the rules? !!!!!!!!!!” they demanded. They actually expected me to quote the rules on the spot.

I’m sure party planners know all the white elephant rules. But I’m not a party planner. And my butt cheeks held their position firmly, as I suggested someone consult the Internet  

The day of the big, festive party finally arrived. When I got to the restaurant, I was in the holiday spirit, but that didn’t last long. About ten minutes before, the cook had left. Just up and left for no reason. No warning, just gone. My excellent master plan was suddenly in shambles.

Now I have 14 hungry people staring at me, the party planner, looking for some crisis leadership. I imagine them saying:

“We are so hungry, Master Don. Perhaps they have some gruel back in the kitchen that we might eat so we don’t starve at your awful Christmas Party.”

I have a problem handling crises. My blood pressure spikes, and it shuts down my brain. Fortunately, some group members jumped right in. We ordered food from a local pizza joint. One woman was a former waitress and took all the orders, and we sent Carlos to pick up the food. Oh, I know what you’re thinking --- No, we did not send a Mexican immigrant to pick up our food. That would be wrong. Carlos happens to be a Brazilian businessman.

The food was good. The white elephant gift game went well, and we also enjoyed homemade desserts. However, it was still the worst Christmas party ever. I, of course, blame it on poor planning. Did I mention that I’m not a party planner?

And the cook magically returned after his “two-hour break” still with no explanation, after we no longer needed him. He’s fortunate that it is the holiday season, because, in the spirit of Christmas, I did not go into the kitchen and kick him square in the oompa loompas, even though I wanted to. I so wanted to. And even though I’m not a party planner, I still have the legs for that.