High spirits

Stupid season is upon us once again. This means that sweating holidaymakers in sandals fill the beaches and shopping malls to capacity, unexpected traffic-jams appear out of nowhere and you can’t get a lunch reservation anywhere for love or money. Not that you could ever get one for love, but one doesn’t have to understand internal combustion to be able to drive a car, not so?

All over the city, companies are packing out restaurants with their end-of-year functions and my company is one of them. Work gatherings irritate me at the best of times, but the December lunch is particularly irksome. For one thing, it’s almost impossible to get out of, because they close the office and the “I have work to finish” excuse doesn’t wash too well with management.

It also invariably turns into a competition to see who can get completely rat-arsed drunk before the booze budget runs out, which is no fun for me, because I’m not an adherent of the Church of Bacchus. It’s probably just sour grapes (hah!) on my part, but frankly, I’d rather work than spend the afternoon with a group of well-oiled middle-aged men who get all maudlin when they reminisce about the glory days of Civil Engineering.

The service at this time of year is pretty crappy as well, but being Cape Town, you have to look really hard to notice the difference.

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16 thoughts on “High spirits

  1. You should use what you see at the Xmas lunch as material against your most annoying colleagues.
    No, not blackmail per se… Proper use of available ressources, rather.

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  2. Yes tis the season to beee stupid – tralalalalalaaaiiieee. Notice all the ‘good cheer’ in the traffic jams/ People ready to KILL each other over a parking space. Peace to all mankind, indeed.

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  3. anne: The problem with these guys is that they never do anything sufficiently unusal to be blackmailworthy. I mean, sure, I’d prefer not to be seen with them, but in a restaurant where vaguely embarassing behaviour is the norm, the sober guy usually ends up being the odd one out.

    paul: The true meaning? Oh, you’re referring to rampant consumerism, aren’t you?

    terri: Nope.

    bee: And the hostilities will only escalate from now until the 25th when we can hope for a temporary cease-fire.

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  4. The only difference I can see between here and there is that people will spill blood for parking spots there so they can cool down at the mall, whereas here they’re doing it to warm up. The reason for the mall itself is the same I’m sure, as all our VISA bills will demonstrate over the next 6 months.

    I love Christmas.

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  5. Here! here! I cannot stand our year end functions either. I have not attended the last two. And the lady who organises everything really goes out of her way to make the venue look beautiful and the food divine – but with a bunch of people who dont know how to appreciate it and only go out of their way to get plastered and then get into fisticuffs with each other and their spouses it’s just not worth all her effort. So for all the P.A’s efforts to create a classy, enjoyable evening – the people that go are just so not classy and enjoyable that they can only ruin everything for the few of us who know how to behave – without alcohol. It’s annoying and embarassing and I dont think I will be attending another one soon – I have been to six – and that, to me, is more than enough.

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  6. I know that the ‘vaalies’ or ‘kykdaars’ have been invading Cape Town since forever but until about 10 years ago, there weren’t that many foreign visitors at this time of the year…..one of the advantages of apartheid perhaps? 🙂

    How selfish a comment is that?

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  7. Ugh. I feel ya. I pulled my bosses name from the pollyana hat. How’s that for fun?

    Actually, she’s pretty cool, so I’m lucky. But, yeah. Here’s to the passing of the holidays when life can return to it’s normal bitchery.

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  8. Dammit, I adore you!!! 🙂

    You have to admit though, sometimes it’s kind of fun watching beer-bellied upper management get shit faced and embarrass the hell out of themselves. … I mean, as long as you have to go… might as well laugh.

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  9. andrea: It’s weird to think of people getting all hot under the collar when it’s snowing, but I suppose that’s human nature for you.

    caroline: Stick around, when I get into a metaphor-mangling mood, it can get really interesting.

    banquo: I think I have the answer – they can drink and I’ll take anti-depressants.

    nomad: At least you didn’t say that the trains ran on time 🙂

    zube girl: The big headache for me is that everybody is stressed this time of year. We need a break, not more of each other.

    tj: TJ, the sentiment is completely mutual, I can assure you 🙂 Of course you’re quite right and on the plus side, they’ll probably think I’m laughing with them.

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  10. umm… KN – I don’t know you all that well yet, but it sounds like you’re suffering from some sort of social-phobia… or maybe like me you drink responsibly… and then “act” intoxicated… either way, surely you’d rather have the day off than to go do some work?

    What’s up with Cape Town these days anyway – with power failures, flight delays due to runway problems and now the whole fuel shortage… I think there should be a sign “welcome to the 3rd world” LOL

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  11. I have a friend who is a waitress in the Waterfront and she smiles very brightly at this time of year thanx to all the visitors. We have the same thing happening here in PE. I can’t believe how many tourists are suddenly visiting the area. Well, our power failures aren’t that bad, haven’t had one in two weeks, our airport still has fuel and the runway seems to be ok. Maybe it is the friendly people here, but our beaches are packed with Vaalies. It seems that the locals are being outnumbered at the moment.

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  12. chitty: I think I need to start laying the groundwork early. “Ooh, I don’t feel so good. I hope I’m not coming down with one of those 24-hour bugs”.

    tripeak: ‘Social phobia’ – I like that. It sounds so much better than ‘wet blanket’.

    buddess: I just love the word ‘vaalies’. There’ll never be an adequate replacement as far as I’m concerned.

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