Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Psycho Party's only sucker.

Tai Pan restaurant was the setting for an unique lunch break here in our office. For tomorrow is our much loved and esteemed colleague; Bob's 60th birthday and we decided to surprise him with a discount Chinese meal.

I for one, am not a great appreciator of Chinese Cuisine but I wasn't going to turn down an opportunity to take leave of my desk for a couple of hours and part take in these festivities. I was however, careless enough not have brought any money with me to the restaurant as I forgot to go via a cash machine on route to work this morning, so I was forced to go on bended knee and ask for some money of off Boney Squirrel- who was kind enough to do so.

Once again I was put in the awkward situation of stumping up £12 although my total came to £6. I didn't eat much of my Cantonese Chicken as some prick said we'd all have Egg Fried Rice without asking us all. As I suffer from 'egg fear' it really spoilt my enjoyment of the food, not that it was particularly nice anyway. Anyway, as I was borrowing money I decided not to complain that I was paying for Joe's spare ribs, two beers, and spring rolls even though he earns near eight times the amount per year than I do. This is the second time this has happened. Either I'll stop going out on these functions altogether or next time I'll order a huge selection of expensive dishes whilst the rest of the team order from the cheap set menus.

Unfortunately I've been roped into going to his retirement meal, which will of course means that he won't have to pay despite the four figured sum pay off we all know he's going to get. I really had no intentions of attending this 'farewell you tosser' type send off, and like the majority of my fellow workers I'd politely declined to answer his email begging us all to go out with him. But he cornered me at the restaurant and like the spineless dog I am, I lied and said "I'd love to come. Did you not get my email?"
What makes matter like this worse is that in this office I am second to bottom in the hierarchy. I work in the Admin Dept. I fax letters, answer the phone and photocopy. WHY would a highly paid director wish to have my company? I can tell you its not for my sparkling wit- I rarely talk to him on these occasions. No It's because a) he's very unpopular and he knows that by asking me to one of these functions it would be too much of a fo-par for me to refuse and b) he knows that I will only spend £5 yet chip in £12. I am a sucker. Perhaps I should plot my revenge for this night? I doubt it as I'm going to do my very best to worm my way out of attending.

I must be a sucker. I do tend to feel sorry for unpopular people and waste my precious time attending toe curlingly boring and cringe worthy parties just out of politeness. It really is pretty pathetic.
This started to happen when I was at Primary School. I remember getting an invite to the most unpopular kid's birthday party and being the only one there. It was awful. He then assumed that as I wasn't the only one at school who wasn't nasty to him (well -to his face) and that I was the only one who came to his party I was his bestest friend. He followed me around like a bad smell for weeks until he got the hint that I didn't like him.

A very similar situation occurred whilst I worked at Abbey Nat Insurance, whereupon the most unpopular and disliked person there, invited the whole department to his 30th birthday at his house. Now, before you start to feel sorry for this guy, he was unpopular for a very good reason, he was a twat. For the sake of compassion I won't disclose his name as the guy was a total psycho who kept a 'list' of people whom he wished to extract bloody revenge on; someone whom I still expect to read about bringing a gun in to his workplace, butchering his colleagues in a hail of bullets whilst whistling the theme from the A-Team. Anyway, Carl had spent the previous year talking about his plans for his birthday. He repeatedly showed my the list of attendees and how much he'd spent on nibbles and drinks. The invitation list included work co-ordinators who hated his guts, fellow team members who ridiculed him, the office babes who he letched after and who he totally freaked out alongside other such people who he wrongly assumed would jump at the chance to come.

We all knew that no one was going to attend. Perhaps he did too, this would explain why so many people were sent invitations. Maybe he hoped that if he invited everyone then at least a few would be able to make it. I decided as I was in his team and I suppose I was as close to him as anyone (I lent him a Mogwai CD once) that I would round up a few colleagues to go. It took a lot of effort on my part to do this and the usual response when I asked was: "piss off". Eventually three of us decided ithat although it wasn't the best way to spend our Saturday nights- it was the decent thing to do.

The three of us, Beachie, Kristal and I were to meet in Central station and I made Kristal delete both mine and Beechie's phone numbers to ensure that she wouldn't phone up and cancel (we knew her well enough for this to be a possibility). I arrived at Central Station with the plan to go to the party for 2-3 hours then home in time for 'Match of The Day'.

It was just as I arrived at central Station I received a text message from Beechie apologising, but stating that he won't be joining us.


What a shithouse.

So it was just Kristal and I who boarded the train to Netherton. Neither of us wanted to be there, but as I was responsible for us going, Kristal was pissed off with me. I was getting annoyed with her and I was pissed off with Beechie. Further more Lisa was pissed off with me too, believing me to be a sucker for going to a party of someone whom I disliked and moaned about quite a lot..oh how right she was.

When we eventually arrived at the party nearly two hours late, we were the first non-family members to arrive. Great. Carl, much to my embarrassment, introduced me to everyone as 'a wannabe rock star'. I shook hands with his younger brother and his brother's 'older' (by some twenty years) girlfriend, his mum and dad, his cousins and his 'Mad' uncle who was a bass player in a K.C & The Sunshine Tribute Band (a lengthy and extremely boring conversation ensued about his musical adventures).

His house was pretty nice I guess, but he had far too many computer games and DVDs/CDs I thought for a thirty year old- which in hindsight is pretty funny considering the stockpile of CDs and DVD I hoard in our flat. His kitchen was full of party food- the usual; Chinese chicken drumsticks, crisps etc- way too much. Carl took us on the grand tour and then the poor delusional fool went on about who else from work was going to be attending- of course as expected- none of them bothered.

After about an hour, I was on my own. Kristal simply had had enough. She was pretty drunk already and decided to make her excuses and leave and asked if I wanted to come along. I really should have left but being the "sucker" I am I reluctantly declined. To make matters worse she decided to make up a hideous web of lies to get out of it, saying her flat mate was in a terrible state and in floods of tears in town as he had been dumped by her boyfriend of 5 years and she wanted to look after her. Carl's Dad heroically drove her into town. Why hadn't I thought of that?

I not only had lost my taxi buddy but I was now faced with the prospect of a 'sing-a-long' as Carl's uncle had brought an acoustic guitar. Sigh. I thought that perhaps if i ate enough Chinese chicken I may suffer a heart attack and therefore not have to subject myself to this tedium anymore. Thanks a lot Beechie!!!

Things however, improved as two 'friends' of Carl's arrived. I can't for the life of me remember their names, but they were thoroughly decent chaps who also didn't know anyone there. I ended up talking to them for the rest of the night, surprised that some other suckers had been roped into coming to his horrible shindig. It turns out they used to go to school with Carl some 13 years ago and had only bumped into him earlier that day and turned up on a whim. To be fair they were led to believe that Carl mustn't have been the same insecure freak that he was at school, as he informed them that over a hundred people would be in attendance.

As the night went on, Carl looked so disappointed that no one else had bothered to show up. This made me feel guilty, as the only reason I had attended was that I felt sorry for him, which in turn made me pity him more.

I did, however, come to realise whilst in his 'gym' (a converted bedroom with a punch bag suspended from the ceiling) that I required glasses, after chatting with Carl's 'friends' one of them insisted I try on his glasses, which,- much to my sunrise- made everything so much clearer- I could read the small print of Carl's 'Blade' posters which decorated the room.

Eventually at 12 I decided I had to go home. I was depressed and my two new friends had long since gone and once again i was stuck in the Hell, forced to listen to his 'mad' uncle's musical anecdotes whilst Carl's Dad drunkenly played the 'The House of the Rising Sun' for the millionth time.
To finish off a thoroughly terrible night, Carl's brother insisted on organising a taxi for me with the firm where he worked. The taxi driver arrived and Carl's brother said he'd only charge me half price. Cool.
The whole family waved me off like I was a beloved family member and i was free. woot.
Unfortunately, the taxi driver stiffed me and said he knew nothing about the 'half price discount' Carl's brother had assured me and I was forced to fork out £18.

Lesson learned. I came to stop pitying Carl as the months went on as spending more time with him made me hate him more. I last saw him in the crowd at the last Festival where I wondered if I was still one his infamous ‘list’. I would have to assume that I still have revenge coming my way, despite my best efforts to make him feel good.
Like I said, I AM a sucker.

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