the wrong Santa, the mushroom casserole, and other stories of office holiday mayhem

Earlier this month, I asked you to share your funniest office holiday stories. Here are 10 of my favorites.

1. The coal

I worked in a mess of a frat party type workplace. The Christmas Eve midnight shift was just us two interns, and a big boss. Myself and the other intern were working in the warehouse and Big Boss was holding down the main office. The other intern was “secretly” dating the big boss (but told me, so I assume she also told everyone else). In the middle of our shift she changed into a sexy elf outfit to go surprise the boss in the office with his Christmas present (ick). She came back shortly in tears. Apparently, the third intern had had the same idea (came in on her night off to surprise him), and FirstIntern had caught ThirdIntern in a compromising position with Big Boss.

For the Christmas midnight shift the next day, it was me and FirstIntern but the boss was off. She decided to go give boss ‘coal’ for Christmas. She gathered up all the sharpies she could find and spent the entire day coloring his desk, chair, computer monitor, safety glasses, safety boots, EVERYTHING in sharpie.

Of course Big Boss couldn’t admit what he’d done, so he pretended he had no idea who would do such a thing to his desk, and no one ever got in trouble.

2. The dog brush

So my supervisor and his wife are known for the big annual holiday party they host at their home: great food, great booze, and lots of interesting conversations/stories/gossip (academia). For the first two years I worked with them I had missed their party to visit my inlaws for the holidays, but the third year the party was held a week early so I was able to go with my husband. Now, all of the people I work for and with are really nice to start with, so we were given a warm welcome and glass of wine as soon as we walked in the door. THEN everyone learned that it also happened to be my birthday that day, and pretty much EVERYONE decided they needed to bring me a drink or do a shot with me to celebrate. I got hammered pretty quickly. Fortunately, my husband was there to be my designated driver and keep an eye on me while I gave a passionate speech about how much I loved my job, and had one of those “You’re so amazing! No YOU’RE so amazing! I love you so much! No, girl I love YOU so much!” conversations with a similarly smashed colleague. I then discovered my supervisor’s ancient and adorable golden retriever, shouted “Somebody get me a brush for this dog!” and spent the last hour or two (?) of the evening cuddling and brushing him, telling my boss that I was going to kidnap his dog (I didn’t) and that this was the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER! Not gonna lie, it is still, in fact, one of my favorite birthdays :D

3. The look book

In one of my first jobs, I was in a support-type role that usually was in charge of event planning in the office. About a month and a half out from the holiday party one year, I got put on a big project with a tight deadline and in order to do that I had to drop something and it was decided the holiday party was it. I’d already done most of the pre-planning at this point so we had a venue, theme, caterer, basic event outline and a project plan with dated milestones. The party was planned, someone just needed to follow the work plan and execute on making the party happen. My boss gave this to someone in a similar role to me but one level higher in an adjacent department and I gave the party not another thought.

Until I received an invitation. This was not an email invitation like we normally sent, but a box full of confetti that popped out all over my desk when I opened it, candy canes, other Christmas-y trinkets, and an invitation card that played a song when I opened it. Everyone in the company received one of these! I looked at the card and saw that the location, time, theme, and even the date were now all completely different than what had been originally planned & held on people’s calendars. Curiously enough, given the fact that it was a holiday party and that the invite box was distinctly Christmas-y, the theme was now “black-tie casino”??

About 30 minutes after we got the invites, an intern went around and left a printed-out 20 page “casino party look book” on everyone’s desk. I wish I had a copy of the letter in the front of it still – it was weirdly formal and told us all to abide by the dress standards laid out in the book, with the photos as a guide for our outfits and our props (props?!?) so the party would feel cohesive. There were pages of instructions about how formal attire should be (very formal, a major departure from the casual fun norm of every other year) and a very limited list of acceptable shades – not colors, but shades, complete with squares of the color printed in the book that we were encouraged to hold our clothes up against to make sure they matched.

A bunch of people came asking me about it, because I was the normal party planner but I had no idea. My boss got to the office about 2 hours after the boxes landed and called me and the new party planner into her office (now covered in confetti) and was like…”what on earth is happening here???? We are not having a casino party instead of a holiday party.”

Turns out New Party Planner decided that she was actually too busy to do the holiday party. So she told her intern to do it instead, and just let her run with it without checking in at all. She did not pass along any of the planning materials so this poor kid thought she was starting from scratch and apparently decided this was her opportunity to go all out and make a big splash at the company. Which, I mean, she certainly did. This was the same intern who had meekly passed out look books to all of us without saying a word!

4. The mushroom casserole

My first ever work holiday party (for a small elementary school, at the principal’s house) was crazy. I had gone back and forth over whether or not it was appropriate to bring a bottle of wine along with our potluck contribution. I decided not to. Our admin was already drunk when we arrived. Throughout the night several people got very drunk, another teacher hit on my partner in front of everyone, and my coworker’s spouse got into a weird argument about dogs with the principal. One guest had brought a mushroom casserole, which he admitted was entirely foraged from the woods by the school- after everyone had eaten it. The highlight of the night was a preschool teacher’s husband dropping his pants to show off an almost life-size, full color tattoo of the cast of a certain Netflix original scifi 80’s show. The inebriated admin disappeared halfway through the party and from what I heard spent the night in the principal’s daughter’s bed (she was away at college). If anyone from said school is reading this, I’m sorry for spilling the beans, and I had a GREAT time :)

5. The incident

One year, after an (I thought) perfectly normal Christmas party, we received a company-wide email stating that alcohol would now be banned at company events due to “the incident.” I asked around, and it turned out that one of the guys from another department, who everyone had assumed had just left early, had actually… not done that. Instead, his supervisor noticed that his car was still in the parking lot two hours after he’d “left,” and gotten concerned. She eventually found him passed out on the floor in the breakroom, naked.

6. The wrong Santa

I’ll borrow a story from my Dad from when he was the head of HR at a women’s clothing retailer back in the 80s. They were having their annual Christmas party when someone came in dressed as Santa and began interacting with people at the party. The problem was that he hadn’t been hired as entertainment, but was a random, drunk guy dressed as Santa that had stumbled in off the street! Everyone was having a great time but my Dad watched as he got more and more inappropriate. When he started inviting female employees to sit on his lap, my Dad had enough and frog-marched him out of the party. Everyone in the company booed him as he escorted Drunk Santa out the door.

7. The bootleg CDs

In the mid-2000s, I was a receptionist for the C-level suite. For some reason, the exec who was in charge of holiday gifts for staff that year decided I needed to help them instead of their assistant. I was directed to make bootleg copies of Josh Groban’s Christmas album, complete with a custom sticker on the CD and CD case with our company logo and “Happy Holidays!” on it for every one of our employees. I created the sticker and case artwork and sent it over to exec for approval. They decided they wanted to make their own… using WordArt and such. It was awful.

8. The legend of Buddy

I don’t normally participate in the office Xmas party. It’s not that I’m a scrooge, but I don’t drink, so being surrounded by my work peers and work supervisors getting progressively inebriated has never really been my idea of fun. To save costs, the Xmas party was always held on a Thursday evening – although exactly what cost savings there actually were given how unproductive everyone was on Friday after is debatable. To partially offset this, even though we didn’t have flex-time, at your manager’s discretion, you could come in any time up to 10 am on the Friday morning.

There’s a wonderful story-telling technique known as Rashomon-style which I got to experience every year, as people came in at staggered start times (and sometimes staggering themselves) with tales of what had happened the previous evening. Being the only one not attending, this meant I got to hear the same story from multiple points of view and able to piece together some truly eventful… uh… events.

My favourite involved a young man who was known for being so quiet and conscientious at work he flew under the radar of most people. Few people outside of his immediate team knew much about him. After one Xmas party, everyone knew his name. We’ll call him Buddy.

Like many of the stories already listed, the office Xmas party featured a limited drinks voucher scheme and a set table seating layout. Buddy was put on a table with a coworker who didn’t drink anyway and a woman who was about four months pregnant. So they gifted Buddy their vouchers. Apparently, a few others did the same.

He let his hair down and had a very good time, including revealing that he had a subtle and sharp sense of humour. The vouchers kept coming, and so did the stories.

Shortly before 10 pm (the party having started at 7 pm) one of the managers realised Buddy should probably go home since he was lying *under* his table. So he was poured into a taxi – and promptly got straight out the other side and back into the party before the manager could finish giving the driver the address. This happened twice.

The fresh air had apparently given Buddy his second wind because instead of going back to sleep under the table, he was now attempting to dance on *top* of the table.

He was eventually taken home at 1 am by the first manager’s wife (doesn’t work at the same company and had arrived to pick up her husband).

So, that, I thought was the end of the adventure. This was the last Friday before Xmas itself, and nobody really expected to see Buddy again until the New Year. When 10am rolled around and there was no sign of him, no one was surprised. Then 10:15 am ticks by and the door opens. A clean, freshly-shaven, ironed-shirted Buddy walks into the office. It’s an open-plan floor, so he made it to the second bank of desks in stunned silence. He didn’t quite make it to his own desk before the entire floor erupted in a standing ovation! A legend was born.

9.  The judo throw

Worst Christmas party disaster was from a former employer’s big annual bash. Big venue, free-flowing booze, ice vodka luges, chocolate fountains, close-up magic, full early 2000s energy. And all on worktime, starting around lunch! Festive feeling ran high. A previous year one colleague had got so drunk on the 30 minute transport to the venue, she’d been refused entry and had to sleep it off in the first aid room until her father came to collect her, so there was a definite track record of alcohol fuelled judgement errors.

But this one, particularly unfortunate year, two women got into an argument around mid-afternoon. It became physical. A judo throw was used. And the unfortunate woman who was thrown fell down a small flight of stairs. Small, but enough for her leg to break.
As soon as they were back in the office they were both immediately fired.

10. The rare books department

I’ve changed up a couple of details from this being super recognizable, but I used to work in a rare books department in a library. People who work in rare books tend to have pretty esoteric passions that lead them there, and these were always on full display at said party. My favorite selections from over the years:

-The brand new head of the department wanted to show off a bit at his first Christmas party, give a speech… and sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” with his 21-year-old, fresh out of college secretary. I was on the party planning committee and tried to veto it politely by asking an HR assistant (also on the committee) who sang part-time in a professional choir if he’d prefer to lead everyone in some secular holiday songs instead, but the secretary thought I was insulting her singing ability, angrily told me that she’d been singing since she was a little girl, and burst into tears. The meeting then awkwardly ended.

(In the end, we printed out the lyrics to “Let It Snow” and had a very, very bad a cappella sing-along after the bar had been open for a while.)

-Staff members made medieval hot possets based on a recipe found in a book in the library. Possets are basically cream, egg, spices, and white wine. I didn’t care for the taste since the medieval palate is very different from the modern one, but others did, and didn’t realize how much wine was in the recipe. One of the fellows I only vaguely knew by sight got extremely drunk. He broke the thermostat off the wall, looked at it confusedly, and then in what I can only describe as “a Mr. Bean-esque fashion” stuck it back on the wall. Surprisingly it held there long enough for me to fetch facilities.

-I wasn’t here for this one, but after the posset incident, I heard about a previous party where staff members decided to make a Victorian flaming punch bowl, one where you mix of bunch of different spirits together and stick a sugar cone in it, then set the cone on fire. Fire, sugar, and the Victorian equivalent of a Long Island Iced Tea? What could go wrong?

Quite a bit! As soon as they set the sugar cone on fire, the whole thing went up in a FWOOM of flame and the curtains behind the punchbowl caught fire. I always got different answers about what happened next– either the sprinkler system went off, or someone fetched the emergency fire extinguisher from the break room, or possibly both– but that staff party ended very early, and with no one eating or drinking anything.

{ 104 comments… read them below }

  1. Admiral Thrawn Is Still Blue*

    Ok, I actually feel bad for the party planning intern. I hope she recovered from this.

    1. oof*

      That story kind of just made me sad? It was really the lack of supervision and direction from her manager that was to blame here, not the intern herself. She was still learning what office norms are, but it’s hard to do that when the person who was supposed to be mentoring her was absent.

      1. Pikachu*

        It makes me especially sad because it sounds like it would have been a really freaking amazing party.

          1. Mal*


            *geared towards the right audience. A lot of people would love the opportunity to try this, as a sort of game or are already used to it.

            1. Miss Pantalones En Fuego*

              It’s the prescribed colours and styles that get me. Telling people to wear black tie is one thing. Telling them to wear black tie appropriate clothing only in specific shades is way too extra for my taste.

    2. Baska*

      I was gonna say the same thing. The New Party Planner should have AT LEAST given that poor intern the planning materials instead of forcing her to figure everything out herself. I feel so bad for her!

      1. JC*

        I want more of this story! Sounds like the intern inadvertently blew the budget? Was the party a success? Was the casino black tie dress code followed?!

        1. fhqwhgads*

          The casino party was cancelled and they had the originally-planned party the OP had worked out in advance of the handoff.

        1. selena*

          That might explain why her superior thought she didn’t need any guidance: intern had planned parties in college.

          A naive person might have thought the ridiculously formal norms of many frat-parties are how all bussiness parties work.

    3. L*

      There was an update in the original thread. I wonder why it wasn’t included. I am not sure but I think I recall that none of the original reservations were cancelled so OP and the intern finished the original party planning together. It was a nice end.

    4. Clorinda*

      Me too, She worked on that thing like it was a wedding. I hope the meeting (or the post-meeting recovery period) included someone apologizing to her for letting her go so far without checking on her.

    5. Seven hobbits are highly effective, people*

      Yeah, that’s a totally unreasonable thing to dump entirely on an intern since they have no idea what work holiday parties are even supposed to be like. I probably would have planned a highly structured prom/kid birthday party hybrid, complete with stations and activities, if given that assignment with no other direction at that career stage. (I’m sure after a holiday party with no alcohol but a “decorate your own snowman” station for the people who didn’t feel like dancing, no one would ever have asked me to plan anything again, either.)

      Depending on the field, it can be a great thing to involve an intern in, since it gives them an lower-stakes internal project with a definite end date and a need to wrangle a variety of things (so, practice budgeting, contacting vendors, getting bids, tracking yes/no/non-responses to estimate attendance, and so on), but certainly not without instruction in norms for such a party and regular check ins to see how it’s going. I mean, people should be giving their interns information about how the work holiday party works and checking in to make sure they understand even if they’re NOT the one planning it, just so they know what to expect when they show up!

  2. lazuli*

    There’s something so charmingly goofy about getting drunk on medieval wassail and then breaking off a thermostat, versus judo-punching someone down a staircase. I love it.

    1. Quill*

      Library parties sound like the best, but then again any parties without viruses in attendance sound like the best right now.

  3. PJS*

    Anyone else think the “coal” in #1 was going to be something other than sharpies? I can’t decide if I’m disappointed or relieved.

  4. Junger*

    Buddy and the dog brush were excellent reads!
    It’s always great to hear stories where people get really drunk, but everyone involved is so nice that everyone has a lovely time.

    I feel really bad for the intern in 3 though. Hopefully the manager apologized to them and managed it off as a comedy of errors instead of an embarrassing mistake.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      Buddy and the dog brush were my favorites. I lost it when Buddy slipped out the other side of the taxi and back into the party at least twice. That sounded like something out of a Marx Brothers short.

      Dog brush was very relatable. I too would have sat with the pupper.

    1. Threeve*

      It probably says a lot about the places I’ve worked, but the shocking part to me was not the FWOOM, but the fact that people allowed it to keep them from food.

      1. Seeking Second Childhood*

        That says to me that the sprinklers went off. Water sits in those pipes for weeks at a time between maintenance flushes — at a minimum.

  5. LGC*

    The highlight of the night was a preschool teacher’s husband dropping his pants to show off an almost life-size, full color tattoo of the cast of a certain Netflix original scifi 80’s show.

    …so what you’re saying is that he took you guys to the Upside-down?

    (I’m not sorry.)

  6. CatCat*

    The highlight of the night was a preschool teacher’s husband dropping his pants to show off an almost life-size, full color tattoo of the cast of a certain Netflix original scifi 80’s show.

    Hold up. Does he have the cast of Stranger Things tatooed on his ass!? OMG. LMAO.

  7. AnonEMoose*

    The Buddy story and the rare books ones are perfect illustrations of something I have known for awhile – when the quiet, reserved, studious types decide to cut loose…batten down the hatches! I volunteer for a local to me science fiction convention…and if you think this is a bunch of nerds sitting around talking about obscure books – well, you’re not ENTIRELY wrong…that is a thing that happens…but that’s the smallest cube on the very tip of the iceberg.

    1. New Jack Karyn*

      Sometimes folks have a wild streak that’s pretty big in their personal lives, but know that it’s inappropriate to talk about at work. So they don’t say much of anything.

      “What did you do last weekend, Chris?”

      (wild bacchanalia in the woods)

      “We went camping.”

      1. AnonEMoose*

        And/or they just prefer to keep some stuff in their personal lives separate from their work lives – in some workplaces, that’s a really wise move.

  8. Jennifer*

    #4 Is why I don’t eat anything homemade at the office potluck. Hilarious! And I’m assuming she was sober when she made it so she can’t blame it on the alcohol. Or the mushrooms.

    1. Thankful for AAM*

      Picking wild mushrooms can be really dangerous tho! I am going to be asking about the source of the mushrooms at any potlucks from now on!

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        Thank you, God, for my mushroom allergy, so I never have to consider the casserole…

      2. AnonEMoose*

        I’m now thinking of the episode of “Midsomer Murders” that involved someone being poisoned by a Death Angel mushroom…I like mushrooms, but foraged ones…nope…hard pass.

      3. Lady Heather*

        Yes! It comes up mainly regarding immigrants in my country, who know “shiny red mushroom is edible, matte red mushroom is poisonous” and then they move here and here it’s actually “shiny red mushroom with medium ring is edible, shiny red mushroom with slightly-shorter ring is poisonous”.

        Given the geographic diversity of the US and it being mostly common to not live in the same state your entire life, the “migrants foraging mushrooms” concern is probably very applicable there as well.

        It’s extremely easy to get overconfident when foraging because ‘ have been foraging mushrooms for fifty years!’ but unless those fifty years were in the exact same forest, your fifty years of experience aren’t actually fifty years of experience, just (however many times you’ve been in the forest these mushrooms came from) of experience.

        If you want to forage, fine – but eat your own stash, don’t feed it to your children or other people’s children, don’t feed it to adults without warning them first and be understanding when they nope.

        (I’ll get off my soapbox.)

      4. Elizabeth West*

        Yeah, that one freaked me out a little. Lucky for me I hate mushrooms and would not have touched it.

      5. KateM*

        Only if you pick mushrooms that you don’t know are safe. But the problem with potlucks is that you need to trust the judgement of the one who picked them.

      6. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        It’s actually a highly prized dish in France. But the French know their mushrooms as well as their onions, and they have pictures of edible and poisonous mushrooms in dictionaries, and you can also ask your pharmacist for information if you’re not sure what you picked.

    2. virago*

      … Or the mushrooms.

      You make a very good point. If/when we return to the plant, I will be much more careful about whose offerings I choose to try.

      My mother took an adult ed mushroom foraging class at the local high school and had to sign a release saying that she wouldn’t sue the school district if she picked something for class that wound up making her sick.

  9. Social Commentator*

    I would love a foraged mushroom casserole! The mushrooms are generally much more flavorful and far better quality than anything you’d find at the supermarket.

    1. Minimal Pear*

      Right? I forage for mushrooms so I was reading that one like “wait hey that sounds awesome!”

    2. LunaLena*

      That’s assuming none of the shrooms were toxic. That person could have easily put a lot of others in the hospital that night. Don’t get me wrong, I love wild mushrooms – some wild morel mushrooms grow around my MIL’s house and it’s a fight to get to them before the rest of the family notices – but I’d also want to know that they were properly cleaned. The wild mushrooms I’ve gotten at farmer’s market type places always have a ton of dirt and dead bugs on them.

    3. river*

      My first thought reading that was “whoa he could have killed everyone!” You know what they say, there are old mushroom foragers and there are bold mushroom foragers, but there are no old, bold muushroom foragers.
      I would be furious if someone served me foraged mushroom without telling me. I do NOT trust people to get it right, there are too many ways to get it wrong. Most mushroom toxins have no antidote.
      Yes they are super tasty, but I’ll take that chance myself, consentually, thank you.

  10. Emma*

    The dog story reminded me of a Christmas party I attended at my boss’s house a good 20 years ago. We had a receptionist who was an odd character. Like, she was super chipper when telling you about her ostomy bag and would offer to show it to you. Anyway, she got hammered at the party (as did most of us, tbh) and wound up spending about an hour rolling around in the backyard playing with the boss’s dogs. Good times.

    1. SAS*

      Aww. To be fair to the kooky receptionist, I too have been super chipper about discussing my ostomy bag, mostly because it gave me a new lease on life (or just, allowed me to remain alive period) and some people don’t tend to consider that, rather that it is some embarrassing or tragic thing to be pitied.

      Definitely never showed it to anyone though!

  11. Jennifer*

    I really like the idea of recreating medieval recipes. I think there’s a youtuber that does that. I just don’t have the money to waste on ingredients for something that may end up being inedible. A good idea to avoid fire + alcohol whether you’re at work or not :)

    1. Queer Earthling*

      There are a handful of youtubers but my personal fave is Tasting History with Max Miller, if anyone wants to waste some time binge-watching about historical food.

      1. Clorinda*

        The secret, as with most cooking, is to taste as you go. Medieval recipes are HEAVY on the cloves and other spices if you follow exactly–and even if you follow vaguely, based on your best guess as to quantity.
        Evidence: I was once fed an “authentic medieval venison stew” that could have stripped varnish off a wood floor, made by a person who was generally a good cook but too obedient to recipes.

        1. Lady Heather*

          Or maybe an interpretation from whoever interpreted the old recipe – I think I heard on Modern History TV (Youtube channel) that recipes that have been preserved were generally written by cooks for cooks, so they didn’t bother to put down amounts because the cook would obviously be able to figure that out themselves.
          Or even that recipe books were generally more of a “journal” than a “prescription” – “Thursday 25th I served salmon with cloves and bread.”

          Me, I hate following recipes with celery in it because while I can figure out that “6 stalks of celery” actually means “6 ribs of celery” but what do you mean when you say “2 stalks of celery”, that can be either?

        2. MsSolo*

          The problem with medieval spicing is it took so long for most of the spices to reach Western Europe that most of the flavour had gone, so you usually get huge proportions added to make up for it. Then you hit the Georgian period and spices start moving much faster, and suddenly all the amounts drop, sometimes too far because your also shifting from recipes for royalty to recipes for normal people (lovely sign of rising literacy!), who couldn’t afford much spice in the first place, so it’s mostly just so you can say it has spice in.

          (Ronan cooking is interesting, because it’s overpoweringly sweet and salty by modern standards)

    2. Lady Heather*

      Jason Kingsley – a British video game developer, millionaire, youtuber (Modern History TV), and medieval knight – has done a few episodes that, interestingly enough, concluded that the poor people ate the healthiest with their whole-wheat flour and not being able to afford sugar!

      English Heritage (youtube channel) may also have something. They’ve done videos around cooking, at least. (And they’re “in character” so it’s like someone from Dowton Abbey is talking to you.)

      1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        A friend of mine from Djibouti in Africa told me that back home, the rich kids were all sick because they were allowed to eat junk food, and their servants’ kids were in much better health because they lived off the rich kids’ leftover vegetables.

    3. Elizabeth West*

      That reminds me of the time I took a Shakespeare class at college and we had an assignment to recreate different facets of Elizabethan life. Mine was music and food. The first one was easy; I already had (have? I hope I kept them after I moved) a record set of music from the period with lots of lovely lutes and flutes.

      For the second, I looked up some recipes and made a rice mold with cherries around it and some Elizabethan gingerbread. It is NOT the same as what we eat now; you have to boil it and it has honey and pepper and anise in it and was very sticky and strange. It wasn’t completely authentic, since all my ingredients were modern, but it was sufficient to give the impression of antiquity.

      I wish I could find that recipe website again, but this was in the early 2000s and it may be gone now.

    4. Wilhelm*

      If you like old recipes, Anne Reardon on the How To Cook That YouTube channel has several videos where she bakes old recipes while using her knowledge of history and food science to guestimate the quantities.

  12. Rock Prof*

    Adorably trashed dog brusher, does your university need any geologists? Because you and your colleagues sound like my kind of crowd. I’ve definitely been to parties where I’ve had longer conversations with the host dogs than with my colleagues.

  13. EmmaPoet*

    NGL, #2 would be me except I’d have spent the whole party with the dog. And I don’t drink. But I would have happily spent hours cuddling and brushing the sweetie.

    1. CC*

      Heck I did that at a family reunion one summer. Even if you like all the people, crowds just get to be too much sometimes.

  14. AnotherLibrarian*

    I think I’ve heard the burning punch story before, but then Rare Books is a very small world. The closest we ever got at the rare books library I worked to wildness was that someone made Victorian punch for a party and put a warning label on it. The warning label was written out like a book catalog record listing all the ingredients as the table of contents. Yeah, librarian humor. The recipe was really good and barely tasted like liquor (despite containing a shocking amount of it.) Victorians knew how to party!

    1. Aldabra*

      If you’d like a delicious cocktail that will knock your socks off, try coquito. It’s a traditional Puerto Rican drink.

      Also, in the original thread, someone said they had a Roaring 20s costume party and all the women dressed up in flapper dresses, but there wasn’t much for the men to work with, so one man dressed up in 1720s garb complete with wig. That dude is my hero.

  15. Hello, I'd like to report my boss*

    Thanks to the burning punch story, I’ve decided I’ll definitely NOT be flambeing steak tomorrow! I was considering it … but given my recent track record and the spectre of the punch fire I think I’ll err on the side of caution.

  16. Personal Best In Consecutive Days Lived*

    I would really like The Legend of Buddy to be a Christmas comedy movie, exactly as told by the LW and unfolding in Rashomon-style.

    1. fhqwhgads*

      Probably because they were both physically fighting before the judo throw happened. Just because she ended up more injured doesn’t mean she wasn’t also in the wrong.

  17. Des*

    I’m DYING to know what happened with the party (and the intern) from #3.

    >This was the same intern who had meekly passed out look books to all of us without saying a word!


  18. Junior Assistant Peon*

    A young female employee got visibly drunk at my company’s Christmas party and disappeared into the coat room with her boyfriend. Both of them emerged disheveled and smelling strongly of sex.

  19. Amber*

    Wait. What on earth is wrong with foraging mushrooms? Where u love people are possessive about their mushroom hunting spots and fresh picked mushrooms are considered a treat.

    1. Dr. Rebecca*

      If done by an amateur, it can kill people. In fact, there are Asian mushrooms that are edible but that have non-edible American look-alikes–specifically the death cap and destroying angel–and a lot of accidental poisonings occur from mistakes in identification by people who don’t know that. There’s nothing *wrong* with foraging mushrooms, but I wouldn’t want to eat them a) without knowing they were foraged, and b) without knowing the forager’s understanding of their local mycology.

    2. Sol*

      Unless you’re a highly expert forager, it’s easy to pick poisonous mushrooms instead of edible ones. At least it is in my area (Midwestern U.S.), where foragers end up hospitalized on occasion for not choosing their mushrooms with extreme care. I assume that’s what #4 was thinking of as well.

    3. Stopgap*

      If you want to bet your own life on your ability to identify poisonous mushrooms that’s fine, but you can’t bet other people’s lives without their consent. It would’ve been fine if the coworker had said that they had foraged the mushrooms BEFORE anyone had eaten the casserole.

  20. It's Me*

    That poor, poor, poor intern in #3.

    When will you start collecting party stories from this year? Because I have a doozie.

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