a truly hilarious company holiday party story, told in bullet points

This is one of my favorite holiday stories of all time, which was relayed last week by a reader who is a pure angel for sharing it with us:

I love me some bullet points, so here goes my holiday nightmare. Picture this:

* I was in my early twenties, with my first grown-up job, coinciding with my first house (rental, but it counted).

* I learned the gazillionaire owner of our company elected not to provide a holiday party.

* I decided to be a hero and open my OWN HOME to my co-workers, thereby providing cheer to all, while kissing up to management.

* I also decided to ignore the fact I had only moved into the house on December 1st, and the party needed to happen on the 15th….

* ….while purposely forgetting I had 79 coworkers, all of whom were noted to have iron-clad livers from many a Happy Hour (used car dealership, if it matters). The resources I checked swore that no more than 30% of those invited would likely show in the busy month of December, so I not only invited all 79, but their spouses and significant others. (Yes, it still hurts to admit this.) I was the youngest of the 79 employees by at least 10 years, with all the rest between 35-65 years of age.

* One co-worker (I am still ticked at her, so I will name and shame), SHEILA, decided to have mercy on me and volunteered to co-host. I happily agreed without bothering to nail down what “co-host” meant to SHEILA. At the moment the party started, she had not yet assisted in any way whatsoever.

* Since this was Minnesota in the 1990s, the “womenfolk” of the dealership agreed to provide the food and the rest was BYOB. (Mama didn’t raise no fool, my friends!) (Okay, so she did.) I slaved over my contributions, and everyone else brought chips and more salsa than Texas has ever sold in a month.

* I decorated every inch of my tiny, one-bedroom house, while also unpacking. I had beautiful lighting, Christmas music playing softly, and it even started snowing, just enough to be perfect!

* While I was smugly glowing in my Martha Stewart moment, the guests arrived…all at the same time, as if they were air-dropped by demonic forces.

* How many showed? 78. (The 79th person – the owner – had better plans. And really – didn’t we all?) Luckily, many didn’t bring their better halves, mostly because a shocking number were having affairs with each other, something no one had clued me in on.

* My co-host, SHEILA, was having an affair with our Sales Manager who showed up five minutes after she did, gifted her with raunchy lingerie, and whisked her away for the rest of the evening (but only after telling me to cover them with their respective spouses, should they call).

* None of my invitees remembered to bring glasses, but lucky me, I had already unpacked my grandmother’s vintage china, which they were able to locate all on their own, so they drank their Jack from tea cups. Very fragile teacups.

* And drink they did! When my fancy-pants appetizers ran out, and then all the chips, there was nothing left to balance the booze. Picture a tiny house filled with over 100 people, all drinking, and no food. At one point, I wandered around with a loaf of Wonderbread, gently offering toast to one and all. (Actually, just the bread itself….someone had moved the toaster off the counter to make room for the booze and it took me a week to locate it again.)

* I wasn’t even getting a true picture of how bad the scene was degrading, because 3/4 of my coworkers smoked. As it was December in MN, opening the windows wasn’t really possible, and the air took on a fog-like appearance, which I tried to convince myself was romantic.

* After a couple hours, I heard the most horrific crash, and then multiple thuds, another crash, more thuds, and so forth. Turns out, my boss’ husband decided he would “skate” downstairs to my basement, by lifting one leg in the air, and placing a large glass ashtray under the other foot. He attempted this three times (never clearing more than one step) before I gently suggested my boss should perhaps/possibly/maybe consider taking him home. This suggestion was not well received.

* By now, everyone had had their fill of Christmas music, but thankfully, a guest had the forethought to bring an Anthrax cd, among other metal music, which melded nicely with the cancer-inducing air, and the mosh pit now assembling in my living room.

* At one point, I joined my dogs in my large bedroom closet (tellingly, they had no interest in joining the party, once Johnny Mathis’ comforting carols were replaced by koЯn). I decided to remain in there with them, until my get-together was either busted by the cops or the Lord called me home. Neither happened.

* At midnight – five hours after the party began – I decided I never wanted to see any of these people again, and told them all to leave. Immediately. Over and over. I turned up all the lights, shut down the “music”, and put on old lady pajamas (I had read that trick in Good Housekeeping). Nothing worked until I rounded up all the partially full liquor bottles and heaved them out the back door, into a snow bank. I refrained from yelling, “Fetch!”

* It was then that I noticed the vibrant yellow ring in the snow all the way around my house. It was the color of a highlighter pen, forming a perfect circle. In my fatigue and smoke-dulled senses, it took a bit to notice the footprints next to the ring and I suddenly realized why I never witnessed any guy exiting my (single) bathroom. They had all decided to relieve themselves outside, bless them?

* The landscaping pee ring was my final straw. I collected myself, stormed back inside, and loudly announced that the party was over and everyone had two minutes to exit. Jackets would be collected and dispersed at work on Monday. GET. OUT.

* (I should note that sending people away after seeing them get so inebriated was not a good move on my part, and I would never be party to that today. But as I was the youngest person on staff, and naive, and totally without hope they were ever going to leave, please forgive.)

* After everyone left, around 12:30, I started cleaning. I finished just shy of 9 am, and had to twice run to the store for more cleaning supplies. Someone had sex in my bed, broken beer bottles on my floor, torn drapes, unplugged my fridge (I heard they wanted to get it colder, faster), vomited in various places that my dogs found first, etc. It was a crime scene, and I knew all the suspects.

* The following Monday, I received much appreciation from all, none of whom appeared to remember how I literally lost my cool and threw them out. The gazillionaire owner shook my hand, thanked me for my team spirit, and handed me $20.

* And the pee ring? I had forgotten about it that night and went to bed once I was done cleaning. My landlord stopped by that afternoon, to tell me he was back from vacation (he lived next door, and I was watching his house); he saw the urine and uncomfortably asked me if I was having issues with the plumbing. I ignored the insult that he thought I might squat and pee outdoors in a perfect ribbon like a lunatic, and since I was not allowed to have parties, I told him my dogs evidently were marking their territory and I would speak to them.

* I remained at the dealership for three additional years, and was begged to host the holiday party each season. I finally said I would if koЯn agreed to play the event live. I figured it would be the only way I could top the first (and last) “Stella70’s Holiday Extravaganza.” (And yes, that is actually what I had called it. Cringe.)

{ 333 comments… read them below }

    1. Portia*

      It is the first story I’ve seen to approach the holiday-party date with the magician/piano player a few years ago. Just delightful!

            1. A Penguin of Ill Repute*

              Looks like that’s the Once Upon a Time version actually, AoS was shared by Office Chinchilla above though

      1. Grizabella the Glamour Cat*

        Me, too, Hey Nonnie!

        I will admit that there were places where I laughed, but that wasn’t enough to offset the stress-inuced adrenaline that was (and still is) pumping through my veins. *SHUDDER*

    1. L'étrangère*

      I would have loved being able to work with stella70, and I’d never have peed around her house

  1. SeluciaMD*

    The fact that this was told in bullet point format is just the chef’s kiss on top of this perfect Christmas cake of a story. Dear OP, I think you earned yourself some seriously strong karma points that night! Ah the naivete of youth………..

    Happy holidays to all! May your celebrations this season be truly festive, but not so festive as to include death metal and pee rings outside your home. (Unless that’s your thing, in which case, go forth and be merry.)

  2. Juicebox Hero*

    I knew this one was destined to become one of the Holiday Legends of AAM. I feel so sorry for Young OP and her plans for a civilized, genteel office party being swept away in a cloud of smoke and a ring of pee (OMG I can’t. Bad doggies!) but I’m so glad she shared her pain for our pleasure.

    1. KimberlyR*

      The drunk men, without speaking to each other (probably), collectively decided to make a perfect pee ring around OP’s house. Amazing!

    1. ferrina*

      The bullet points gave me natural stopping points to recover from laughing so hard. OP is such a (involuntary) legend!

      1. Iconic Bloomingdale*

        I was literally laughing out loud at my desk reading this. The bullet points made it so much easer to stop, laugh, regroup and continue on! lol

        1. LongTimeReader*

          OP I am literally crying on my lunch plate with laughter. The bullet points are everything.

        1. Michelle Smith*

          I’m not so sure. They’re not allowed to have parties and it’s super likely that landlord would have found out about the police contact and evicted them.

  3. Alex*

    I’m so sorry that happened! That sounds outrageous and stressful! It’s an amazing story though. My favorite part is probably “…my dogs evidently were marking their territory and I would speak to them.”

    1. Stephen!*

      I have no idea why that was the line that caused me to cross from quiet enjoyment to desperately trying to stifle guffaws, but it was.

      1. L'étrangère*

        Mine was cowering in her own closet with the dogs. I can just imagine the dogs’ face “wtf stella?”

        1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

          Mine was “once Johnny Mathis’ comforting carols were replaced by koЯn” – the backwards R broke me

          1. TrixM*

            I barely held out till: “I decided to remain in [the closet] with [the dogs], until my get-together was either busted by the cops or the Lord called me home. Neither happened.” It was all over for me after that.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      Mine is that one, informing her drunken guests they’d get their coats back on Monday (and their cheerful acceptance of this) and especially “that he thought I would squat and pee in a perfect ribbon like a lunatic.” That just cracked me up.

  4. EmmaPoet*

    I resembled a very stunned George Takai while reading this, as my “Oh, my!” got louder and louder.

    1. ENTJane*

      PLEASE sell this story to a movie producer. You’ll finally get the money you deserve from the ordeal, and we’ll get to see it on the big screen.

  5. Dust Bunny*

    I told him my dogs evidently were marking their territory and I would speak to them.

    F-ing dying.

    1. Kowalski! Options!*

      “…..in a perfect ribbon like a lunatic…”
      The laughing/coughing/choking fit I just had from this makes me VERY glad I work from home these days.

          1. Allura+Vysoren*

            Yep, see also Michigan and Ohio. I’ve learned the hard way that if I’m with my family and I want to leave at a particular time then I need to begin leaving 30 minutes before that time.

          1. whingedrinking*

            Me trying to get off the phone with my Prairie-born parents: “Well, it’s getting late, I’ll let you get to bed…”
            Mom: “Oh, okay. Well, just to let you know…” *continues on for fifteen minutes*

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          “Do you have chains on your tires? Take some hot dish! Oh, and drive down Summit to see the new Target there!”

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      When they’re that drunk, it doesn’t matter what state you’re in. You can’t shift them with a bulldozer.

    2. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

      The Midwest winter goodbye, I mean you NEED time for the car to warm up and gather your 50 lbs of outerwear. Pre-pandemic we had a neighborhood Round Robin in December. The best part of that was one guy kept it to a strict 45 mins before he would announce it was on to the next house. With 6-7 houses in rotation, we still got plenty of fun and got to have all our houses decorated to the hilt, but it kept things moving. It was the only party my Roy Kentish husband liked host, because people weren’t in our house long, lol.

    3. NotEvilHRLady*

      I am from Minnesota and feel this so hard. There’s actually a podcast called The Minnesota Goodbye (hosted by the radio station KDWB’s morning show) because there is always ONE.MORE.THING.TO.SAY.

    4. whingedrinking*

      I read a story recently about a cultural clash where folks from – I want to say Nigeria, but I don’t remember exactly – were visiting a Canadian family. Basically the family kept hinting that it was time for the evening to draw to a close, but their guests kept hanging around. Finally one of the visitors blurted out, “Why won’t you let us leave?!” Turns out in their culture it is extremely rude for guests to decide to go. Whereas, as a Canadian, I was cringing hard at the description of the hosts’ attempts to get them out. Basically, if your friend is saying, “I’ll walk you to your car”, that’s the last step before they murder you and leave you in the woods for the bears.

      1. Lime green Pacer*

        Yup. My Canadian FIL would eventually pull out “Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry?”

      2. Starfox*

        I’m from Michigan, transplanted to the mid-Atlantic. Once after a movie night when everyone stayed talking WAY past my bedtime I started picking up empty cans & loudly chucking them into the recycling bin in a polite Midwestern attempt at PLEASE LEAVE I’M EXHAUSTED but nobody got it. Another Midwesterner would have given an immediate knee-slap & a “welp, guess we should get going”.

      3. L'étrangère*

        Ok, I nominate the Canadians here for second best only to stella.. I’ll do my best to be more alert next time I’m up there, promise

      4. goddessoftransitory*

        “Let me walk you out, it’s slippery” is Midwest Nice version of the “GET OUT” scene in The Amityville Horror.

  6. dream weaver*

    I’ve spent a lot of time since reading this one last week thinking about the yellow pee ring.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      It’s like chaos theory with drunks and outdoor peeing where the tangle of data spontaneously forms into a new, higher order.

  7. scarlet magnolias*

    Hi I thought nothing could top my “Tale of Jordy” (NOT “Tale of Genji”) but this kind of did. I do have another story (of course I do) about my 30th year working in libraries. I had recently gotten a new job in a beautiful small sophisticated town in a Fairfield County Library. Bear in mind that I worked in the children’s department and it helps if one is a might childish.
    Library had a lovely Holiday party with a white elephant give away. This took up a LOT of time but was very enjoyable even though the level of the gifts was uneven, ranging from junk to pretty nice stuff. I bought 2 battery operated hamster toys wearing samurai garb who sang “Kung Fu Fighting”. You never saw so many drunk librarians quarreling and screaming to possess these toys. It almost came to blows. I believe the IT person finally stalked out with them, refusing to concede an inch.
    Good times

    1. Nanc*

      I couldn’t resist a web search. Apparently a Gemmy KUNG FU FIGHTING Hamster may be obtained on eBay or Etsy. I still need stocking stuffers . . .

      Also, Stella70–please take screenwriting class and get this story going! This is a Hallmark movie I would watch!

      1. Lucy P*

        Based on everything that happened, I think it would need some thoughtful editing to be safe for Hallmark. More like a Lifetime movie.

      2. Ellis Bell*

        I kind of want more tales of the car dealership from Stella70. I have worked in hard boozing workplaces, so I know there are more tales!

    2. What She Said*

      I do have Christmas versions of said hamsters. Still gets my husband giggling playing with them.

    3. mbunny*

      My MIL once gave my husband those hamsters, and they did end up at a subsequent white elephant party. Six degrees of separation between my MIL and you, scarlet magnolias!

    4. frystavirki*

      My Tae Kwon Do teacher in elementary school had one of those hamsters. I was fascinated by it, but then, I was 5. So.

    5. Spero*

      My kid has one of those hamsters, originally scored in a pirate dice game when I was a teen. Moving it around for fifteen years was totally worth the glee it brings her

  8. Llama Llama*

    When I first started dating my now husband, we partied a lot. Most parties were relatively small. He threw a Halloween party at his house (two bedrooms, small unfinished basement). Coworkers and friends were invited. I provided an excellent alcoholic punch. 200 people showed up!!! His house was insanely packed and it was overwhelming. Cars were lined up and down the street. Someone started a tip jar because we provided a lot of alcohol. Per reports there was a decent amount in it at one point. It was all gone in the morning.

    I gave up at midnight and went to bed. Woke up in the morning and most people were gone.

  9. Taking the long way round*

    I’m so stoked this got its own entry in the AAM Holiday Hall Of Fame.
    I’m impressed you spent ALL NIGHT cleaning up.
    The vomit though eweww

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      Yeah, that was…but I can see why she cleaned up right away–nothing was going to improve by waiting, that was for sure!

  10. Oh The Humanities*

    This reminds me of the time in grad school we were hosting a relatively informal conference in our town. Most of the incoming grad students were put up with local grad students, and I offered to host someone. Not a big deal.

    She brought another conference attendee back to my house. Not super cool without my consent, but not a dealbreaker. But then she had SCREAMING LOUD SEX with him for hours and hours in my guest room, all night. There was another grad student sleeping on the couch downstairs and all my furniture was shaking.

    The worst part was that I’m pretty sure they had my cat shut in the room with them the whole time. Who does that!?

    At the time, I didn’t have the confidence to interrupt. (10 years later and I give significantly fewer f***s, I would bust that door down in a heartbeat.) But I did pull her aside the next day and say that that absolutely could not happen again, that it was disrespectful to treat my private home where I was hosting her like a hotel, and that I was straight up pissed off to have lost a lot of sleep in my own home. She got an actual hotel room the second night and told everyone at the conference that I slut shamed her, lol.

    A month later, I thought I had scrubbed all physical and mental traces of this incident free, and was doing some yoga in the guest bedroom…and went into downward dog only to find that they had tossed the used condom behind the couch.

      1. Anon4This*

        I don’t know. We had a cat that absolutely refused to leave the bed for any reason and would happily plop down right in one’s face mid-act. No amount of cat treat bribery or sometimes even closed doors dissuaded him. Some cats are just voyeurs.

        1. Caliente Papillon*

          *Some cats are just voyeurs?! I’m dead.
          Meanwhile you know Fluffy is judging you HARD ha ha haaa

        2. Web Crawler*

          At least you know your cat is there! Mine sometimes hides in my closet, waits until we’re not paying attention, and then jumps up on the bed and screams. It’s terrifying

        3. TrixM*

          Yes, my cat would squeeze in between bodies mid, er, activity, at peak moments of distraction, lie on my chest and begin the paddy-paws thing with purrs before being thrown off with extreme prejudice.

          It was the time he timed it just right in terms of maximum distraction moment, got really going with purrs, paddy paws and DROOLING on my skin that was the last straw.

          After that, he was banished from the bedroom, the door firmly remained shut, and we learned to ignore the disconsolate cries from outside at our cruelty in no longer sharing “intense human grooming sessions” with him.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            Oh, the drool! Our Peanut’s a drooler and does the head-shake spray like a hippo’s hind end thing a LOT.

        4. Fledge+Mulholland*

          Our cat would hide somewhere in the room during the act, and then IMMEDIATELY jump onto the bed to join us once we were finished. It was creepy how she knew we were done.

        5. N C Kiddle*

          My boyfriend’s cat likes to sleep on his bed, and she has been known to make herself comfortable there when we’re trying to use it for non sleep activities. Fortunately she doesn’t try to participate beyond just lying there.

        6. goddessoftransitory*

          We had to shut ours out of the room for adult private time. They would just leap right up on the bed.

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      That poor kitty :( I can imagine the poor thing cowering in a corner, paws over ears, praying for brain bleach…

      (and the souvenir under the couch…. blecchhhhh ugghh gag ewww gaaaaaaak!)

    2. Sharpie*

      I very nearly spit my coffee out at the last paragraph! Who even does that, much less thinks that it’s in any way acceptable to do in someone’s private home where they’re putting you up out of the goodness of their heart?!

      I am so, so, so sorry you had to deal with that level of total obliviousness!

    3. Fake Old Converse Shoes (not in the US)*

      Once upon a time I found the remains of sexy lingerie and a pirate costume under a desk at a previous job.
      I wish I could erase it from my memory.

    1. Field Loaf*

      My heart stopped when I read about the crashing sounds and didn’t start again until I got to the ashtray part.

  11. Kimmy Schmidt*

    For some reason, the toaster that was so well-hidden it took a week to find has me in tears at my desk.

  12. laowai_gaijin*

    This is just art:

    * At one point, I joined my dogs in my large bedroom closet (tellingly, they had no interest in joining the party, once Johnny Mathis’ comforting carols were replaced by koЯn). I decided to remain in there with them, until my get-together was either busted by the cops or the Lord called me home. Neither happened.

        1. Guacamole Bob*

          Though the old lady pajamas tip from Good Housekeeping is giving “or the Lord called me home” some stiff competition.

    1. Weekender*

      I came to post this too!!!! OMG! This is where the tears started!! LOL

      And “is there a problem with the plumbing?” OMG (howling)

  13. Samwise*

    This sounds like an AWESOME party.

    I’m sorry SHEILA didn’t help set up or clean up (thanks for nothing, SHEILA).

    But otherwise, you hosted a spectacular party AND got a great story out of it too.

    (Did koЯn really play your party the last year???)

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      I think the koЯn comment was along the lines of “when pigs fly,” meaning no effing way it’ll ever happen. Because they’d never agree to play for one person’s party for some random car dealership.

      The eruption of Mt. St. Helen was a spectacle, too, but nothing I’d want to be anywhere near.

    2. TrixM*

      Hey, at least she reduced the number of marauders, um, “guests” by two.

      Although if it were SHEILA and her paramour who shagged in poor Stella’s party bed, she could at least have contributed *something* by putting the sheets in the wash.

      Then again, we don’t really know how many people made use of the (non-bathroom) “facilities”, so perhaps leaving the sheets in situ for the next “guests” was for the best

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I don’t think I’d want SHEILA and her lovah anywhere near my washing machine–God knows what else they might chuck in there!

  14. Frank and Beans*

    “I decided to remain in there with them, until my get-together was either busted by the cops or the Lord called me home.” I snorted at my desk… GOLD!

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      Same – this is just a brilliant telling. While it sounds like a nightmare to live through, it sure does make one hell of a story years later. And the bullet points – *chef’s kiss*. SHEILA should take some notes from OP!

    1. Myrin*

      Huh? I assumed that that’s what OP meant when she said “someone had had sex in my bed” – otherwise wouldn’t she just have said “masturbated” or similar?

      1. MarsJenkar*

        I’m going to assume they meant, more than one couple in the bed. Not necessarily at the same time.

        1. TrixM*

          Yup, and my suspicion too.

          Although with that crowd, I wouldn’t discount more than just couples in the bed at the same time either.

  15. NotRealAnonforThis*

    As soon as I heard “Used Car Dealership”, I hit the “seatbelts on light”. A number of friends have worked in, and have confirmed over many years and dealerships, that yes. This all tracks. Every bit of it.

    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      My spouse once worked at a used car dealership for two weeks. He just could not with the dude-bros and, in his words, “sleaziness”.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      I take delivery orders for a LOT of local car dealerships, and the way they estimate food needs is–interesting. “Okay, so there’s ten people here today, we need fifteen large pepperonis!”

      “Err…that’s enough food for like, fifty people…”

      “Eh, it’s the company account! Do you sell beer?”

  16. Terra*

    You wouldn’t have been the first person to call the cops on their own party to get people to leave. Just saying, for future reference.

    1. ProRata*

      My neck of the woods, the Police would tell you “you invited ’em, you deal with ’em”….and then cite you for a noise complaint from the neighbor miffed because they weren’t invited.

    2. learnedthehardway*

      I was going to say the same – about the time she hid in the closet, that’s when I would have called the police on my own party.

    3. Bunny Girl*

      My friend used to host big house parties and a couple times her brother, who was in a local band, would play in the garage. Once someone called the police who came over and told them to stop playing. The neighbor, who was an officer as well, came out of his house holding a beer and yelled about them turning off the music. They were allowed to play if they kept the garage door closed.

      1. Missthe 80s*

        I threw a huge party with a live band in the 80s. Cops showed up, left, and came back after their shift was over to join us.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          I remember an old Jeff Foxworthy stand up routine about that: “Welcome back, Officer Mitchell! I thought you said you didn’t wanna come out here again tonight!”

    4. Peachy Keen*

      Yep. My dad did at a house party he threw as a teenager. It was a 70s/80s teen movie-style disaster, my grandparents were out of town, my dad wanted to throw a party, his friend started handing out flyers, 50+ people showed up…

      My dad, totally out of his depth, pretended to be a neighbor and called the cops on his own party. My grandparents possibly finding out he threw a rager in their house didn’t scare him as much as the actual rager in front of him!

  17. Annimal*

    I don’t think I’ve ever managed to laugh so hard with my jaw completely hitting the floor, and I’m making noises my coworkers shouldn’t hear. Incredible storytelling and I hope you will NEVER have a party that tops the absurdity of this one, Stella70!

    1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

      Yes – my thought is his house got hit one year, or the facility the party was at presented him with a massive bill for cleanup, or they got banned from a hotel for being too rowdy. He knew it would be a disaster and didn’t touch it with a 39 1/2 foot pole.

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      No, she meant she’d only host another party >IF< koRn performed life at her house, which she figured there was zero chance of them doing. It's the same as saying she'd hold another party when pigs fly.

    2. Fluffy Fish*

      No, she told them she would host again when Korn agreed to play live at the party aka the 4th of never.

  18. Coffee Owlccountant*

    OP, I need to send you my grateful thanks for cheering up my day IMMENSELY and also welcome you to the AAM Hall of Fame because I am quite confident Alison will roll this out annually for our community’s mutual enjoyment and merriment. You get all of the Internet Points today, absolutely all of them.

  19. Slow Gin Lizz*

    I think my favorite detail on this is that someone moved the toaster and put it somewhere where it took OP a week to find it. That’s some really stellar hiding technique, that.

    Also I really need to know: did Grandma’s teacups survive?

  20. Leems*

    Fellow MN resident here–PLEASE tell me that you were in the employ of the now-disgraced Denny Hecker. It would be an even more perfect Twin Cities story.

    Good people helping good people! (LOLsob)

    1. Summer*

      Omg yes! I need to be LW’s friend! Such a gift for storytelling and so very funny. Thank you Stella70 for this magical ride!

  21. The Dread Pirate Roberts*

    This may be the greatest thing I have ever read. Thank you for suffering so that we could experience joy, Stella70.

  22. Cool Hand Luke*

    This story wasn’t funny (much less “hilarious”) and it doesn’t seem like something that actually happened or would have happened.

    1. The Crowening*

      Huh. I laughed out loud, which I rarely do – and I’ve known enough people like this that I can EASILY imagine it all happening.

      1. StressedButOkay*

        I especially giggle-snorted at the “pee outdoors in a perfect ribbon like a lunatic” line!

      2. Magenta Sky*

        I grew up in rural Missouri, where “gunsandbeer” is one word, and the only thing that would make this an unusual Friday night was that there were no bullet holes to repair in the drywall.

          1. Selina Luna*

            In a rural area? I really wish I could say no, but yokels with guns and alcohol are something I am far, far too familiar with…

          2. Magenta Sky*

            Or their own house. There was a guy who lived in a trailer that didn’t have the skirt around the bottom to keep vermin out. He’d hear mice in the walls, and . . . shoot at them with a .22.

            The trailer leaked when it rained.

            “If God didn’t mean for us to drink and shoot at the same time, He wouldn’t have made beer bottles such damn fine targets.”

            Rural Missouri is a great place to be from, and the farther from, the better.

        1. Ellis Bell*

          I grew up in a booze culture part of the world too (no guns though, we’re British) and this party is exactly what I expect to happen when you invite en masse. The only thing that didn’t track with my experience was 1) OP’s surprise at the turn of events, 2) sweetly trying to feed them toast as though they weren’t deliberately trying to get wasted, and 3) being concerned at their welfare in retrospect! I’m actually kinda impressed she managed to kick them out. Every party I threw in my twenties ended up with littered bodies everywhere in the morning.

    2. Eldritch Office Worker*

      It absolutely seems like something that could happen I don’t know what you’re talking about. Maybe you have boring coworkers but I have seen parties come dangerously close to this (luckily easier to avoid if you’re anticipating it).

      1. Russian in Texas*

        There were epic parties in my old company before it was bought by a boring corporation.
        Some included taking a drunk train to Galveston (which does not exist anymore), some included finding the admin in bed with the biggest customer’s husband (wife was at the party), and at least one involved the host, then company’s co-owner, heating up her pool instead of the hot tub and getting the epic gas bill next month.

        1. Russian in Texas*

          The same co-owner once went to a business lunch with a rep from a HUGE customer she knew forever (that was in the 2000s, I was already working there). At some hotel by the Bush Airport (the customer is next door). They got sloshed at that business lunch, to the point they decided it was a good idea to steal a floor lamp from the lobby. By the time they got to the garage, they sobered up a bit, realized what they’ve done, and left the lamp in the garage. In the middle of the driveway.

            1. Slow Gin Lizz*

              Another couple of hurricanes or meters of sea level rise and it may no longer be there, so clarification is obviously necessary. As of today’s date, Dec 7, 2022, Galveston still exists.

          1. Russian in Texas*

            LOL I should have bean clearer!
            Although couple hurricanes tried their darndest in the 2000s.

        2. Slow Gin Lizz*

          How in the world does someone heat their pool instead of the hot tub? I guess the pool is set up to be heated already and they accidentally hit the wrong switch? Still, bad move oops.

        3. zinzarin*

          On first read, I thought you were suggesting that Galveston, TX no longer existed.

          “Huh, they nuked Galveston, did they?”

      2. Ragged and Rusty*

        Yeah I stopped doubting anything on here after what I saw at my first job.

        And I also laughed.

        1. Slow Gin Lizz*

          I agree that it’s only hilarious in retrospect, and probably also only because this commenter is an AMAZING writer and I hope is employed as a writer.

      1. Phony Genius*

        Anybody else here think “uh oh” upon reading that it was a car dealership? (Yes, it matters!)

      2. ferrina*

        I have met a few people that party this way, though never had the misfortune to host 78 at once. I find it kind of sweet that Cool Hand Luke hasn’t run into this crowd….bless their heart!

    3. Juicebox Hero*

      Well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

      I’ve had experiences with The Things That Wouldn’t Leave If There’s A Drop Of Anything Alcoholic Anywhere In The House (Rumple Minze shot contests come to mind) and they really are that hard to get rid of. If anything, the OP was lucky to get away without structural damage to her home (holes punched in walls, doors ripped off hinges, electronics and valuables broken), or stuff stolen, or someone getting seriously hurt.

      1. Russian in Texas*

        At one of friends’ parties one friend got drunk and egged off the other friend to punch him long enough that the other friend did punch him.
        Broken jaw and all. 3 days before Thanksgiving. At which the punched friend went to see his parents and refused to admit he had a broken jaw.

      2. Chauncy Gardener*

        Holy cow. Of course this story is real! I can think of numerous previous places of employment where it probably would’ve been worse.

        1. GammaGirl1908*

          Right? I went to similarly wild frat parties in college. I’m not fazed by the events, I’m just entertained by the storytelling.

      3. Magenta Sky*

        “It ain’s a real party until the Fire Department shows up.”

        (The police, of course, are invited guests.)

        1. anon today*

          From what my ex-LEO comms officer told me, it was the police HAVING the party. And when concerned neighbors called the fire department because there seemed to be a lot of Christmas trees on fire, the FD made an emergency run to the liquor store and then joined in.

      4. Ellis Bell*

        OP must get snaps for being a super fast learner. She went from believing it is a good idea to invite dozens of old lushes to her home, to figuring out they will follow a booze bottle into a snow bank.. in one night. It took me years to learn this.

    4. Just Your Everyday Crone*

      If you’d rather be right than happy, you do you, but don’t make a urine ring on your co-worker’s lawn about it.

      1. Keeley Jones, The Independent Woman*

        Same. Especially from a used car dealership in the 90’s when this took place. Some of this might not happen now (like the smoking indoors) but I’ve been to 90’s Midwest house parties and absolutely none of this surprises me.

    5. I am Emily's failing memory*

      I was cringing and feeling increasingly horrified and sorry for the LW more than I was laughing, but I hundo P believe this could happen. I’ve seen enough incidents first-hand that were close enough/adjacent to this kind of thing, though they usually played out in hotels and other rented spaces rather than a poor soul’s new home.

    6. Hound Dog (Nothing But)*

      Don’t like, don’t read, my friend.

      And you clearly don’t know cars salespeople.

    7. Ginger Pet Lady*

      Just because you cannot find the humor that it in it doesn’t mean it isn’t funny. It just means you are missing out on the humor.

    8. Fluffy Fish*

      Ah yes. We all forgot that you personally are the arbiter of whether something is funny.

      I’m sure we will all adjust ourselves accordingly.

    9. CRM*

      The story itself is mortifying, but OP has a way with words and did an amazing job transcribing it for us. I personally think it was extremely funny. As for the story’s veracity, I know better than to believe everything I read on the internet, but there is no question that this could be true. My sister works for a marketing firm and this story easily could have been about her coworkers, right down to the in-office affairs (also, if you have ever ready the other holiday stories posted on this site, you would know that many people lack good judgement about drinking/partying at office events).

    10. Insert Clever Name Here*

      Y’all, this username is a troll.

      Or SHEILA. But they e definitely done this same thing on other updates that don’t seem like they could come from a Jane Austen novel.

    11. The OG Sleepless*

      As I’ve had to tell people on occasion, no, sorry, that’s funny. Some things are a matter of opinion, and some things are just objectively funny, and this story is the latter. And if it wasn’t funny, what would be the point of making it up?

    12. StellaBella*

      We take letter writers and commenters here for their word, please note. Also, your version of pulling an Elon on all our fun is not welcome or helpful or positive.

    13. Common*

      Glad to finally find a comment that suspects this didn’t actually happen. It sounds either entirely made up or the details have been purposefully changed/incredibly embellished.

      “And then everybody clapped!”

      1. Empress Matilda*

        But so what, though? Even if it’s 100% invented out of OP’s own mind – it’s a funny story, and it gave a bunch of people a few minutes of lighthearted enjoyment. And even if Alison suspected it was made up, and wanted to post it anyway *just because it’s funny,* where’s the harm in that?

        We’re not saving lives here, and there’s no advice to be taken from this letter. Sometimes things are funny, and people enjoy them, and that’s the entire benefit. It’s really okay!

      2. Ellis Bell*

        Err… There isn’t a line in the story where everybody clapped? Or one even close to it? Trying to get people to leave your house for hours, and then getting harrassed to repeat the experiment for three years by the colleagues who trashed your house is not a neat, quippy, climax of the story kind of thing. However OP is such a good story teller that I understand your confusion.

    14. Kammy6707*

      My husband worked at a car dealership for a little over 2 years. This story tracks.

      At his dealership, all salespeople had the option of having either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day off. My husband always took off Christmas Eve (we are no longer partiers). Everyone working on Christmas Eve was openly drinking by noon.

  23. Reality Check*

    Three thoughts, OP:

    1. I hope you got those brownie points you were after!

    2. I really miss the 90’s sometimes.

    3. Maybe I should go work at a used car dealership.

    Awesome story!

    1. Minimal Pear*

      Yeah, that was what really got me about the whole story. That little element of precision… *chef kiss*

  24. Brain the Brian*

    Why on earth did I decide to use my ten minutes of down time just before a meeting to read this? Oh, God, I now have to stop shaking and crying with laughter very quickly… :D

  25. Snoozing not schmoozing*

    It’s the holiday version of Bilbo Baggins’ impromptu (and unwelcome) party. “Carefully, carefully, with the plates, that’s what Bilbo Baggins hates!”

    1. metadata minion*

      No, that would be if the boss set up the part without telling the LW, and then didn’t show up himself until the last minute ;-)

  26. Pinto*

    And that is how OP learned the reason why gazillionsire owner refused to sponsor a company holiday party. He knew his staff.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      I’m guessing he and his were banned from every hotel and events hall in a fifty mile radius.

  27. Uncle Boner*

    This story would have been so much better if someone mysteriously shat in the center of the living room…a mystery that would haunt us all.


    1. NotAnotherManager!*

      We used to throw more controlled versions of what OP describes a few times a year, and someone peed in my bedroom trashcan (and missed quite a bit) during a party my immediately-post-college roommates and I threw. We never figured out who it was, but we found it because of the smell and because there was a surge protector right next to the trashcan that was making a terrible sizzling sound from the urine in the outlets.

  28. CRM*

    This story ties with “I will confront you by Wednesday day of this week” for best AAM holiday story of all time. What a ride! Thanks for sharing, OP.

    1. SHEILA, the co-host*

      Don’t forget the legend of the date who mournfully played the piano at the LW while the rest of his co-workers gave her their drink tickets.

      1. TrixM*

        Thank you for honouring us with your presence! One to remember, eh? Or perhaps not, depending on number of antique teacups of booze consumed.

        (I cracked up all over again at your handle, complete with correct STYLING of the name.)

  29. What She Said*

    Hate to break it to you but your dogs were totally judging for this party.

    “WTH did mom do???”

    Awesome, story but so sorry you had to live through that. Hahahaha!

  30. lost academic*

    I’ve honestly never read anything on this site that made me laugh until I cried and once I got to you trying to shut it all down, OP, I was just GONE.

    You’re a legend.

  31. Calamity Janine*

    some brain cell in the back of my head will now be trying to work on a Johnny Cash parody to describe the bathroom situation. you’ve heard Ring Of Fire, now get ready for…

      1. Juicebox Hero*

        I walked in to a frozen ring of tinkle.
        I went ew, ew, ew
        Boss gave me 20 with a twinkle.
        Blamed my dogs, dogs, dogs
        For the ring of tinkle.

  32. Ann Onymous*

    Just read this aloud to several of my coworkers after they asked what I was laughing at. Thanks for adding some enjoyment to our Wednesday!

    1. Ellis Bell*

      I had to do the same because I came across a bit strangely when I was holding on to my desk in laughter-weakness.

  33. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

    Today in the era of cell phones, I would 100% have considered calling the cops from the closet and asked them to come break up the party.

  34. Sunny days are better*

    The OP walking around with a plate of plain, white bread slices is when I finally died.
    What a legend!

  35. CeeBee*

    the sad thing? most of us can COMPLETELY imagine this scene. with our co-workers. possibly more than once.
    I have saved this and will re-read every December 7th henceforth.

  36. Emily*

    Stella70 needs to befriend the date of the magician who played the piano at her and collaborate on their the holiday movie screenplays.

  37. Kari from Up North*

    This is glorious. And I’m hoping it was Denny Hecker that wouldn’t fund the party and didn’t attend.

  38. Emotional support capybara (he/him)*

    Frame this post and hang it in the Louvre this instant. I am deceased.

  39. Goldenrod*

    Somehow, my favorite thing about this story (other than promising to “talk to” the dogs), is that it was remembered as a LEGENDARY party, and no one remembered or cared that LW kicked everyone out unceremoniously!

    At least it was a success, on that level.

    In conclusion: F*cking Sheila!! At least the AAM community shares your grudge now, LW!

    1. Firefighter (Metaphorical)*

      sheila is officially an AAM legend now, with Guacamole Bob and the Cheap Ass Rolls Lady

    2. Ellis Bell*

      Oh I saw that coming. Shambley drunk people don’t remember being yelled at, they only remember getting a place to get drunk in, or that you gave them alcohol.

  40. CareerChanger*

    I cackled aloud at “unplugged my fridge (I heard they wanted to get it colder, faster)” because this is such a stupid thing to discover after a party, and yet I can somehow relate to the drunk logic. (Assuming it’s drunk logic. This isn’t a real trick that works, is it??)

    1. Good Enough For Government Work*

      The last time I smoked (I have smoked a total of 2 ‘traditional’ cigarettes in my entire life) it was because I was INCREDIBLY drunk at a Christmas party, we were waiting in the freezing cold for a bus home when someone offered me a smoke, and I was sufficiently hammered that for some reason, I thought a cigarette would warm me up. After all, it’s literally on fire, right?

      That logic reminds me of the ‘fridge’ logic employed here.

  41. mreasy*

    You’re a legend not only at your former workplace but truly among us all for sharing this INCREDIBLE tale. Sheer perfection. Bravo !

  42. Auntie Matter*

    How lucky are we, the commentariat, to have gained both SHEILA and Jedi Mike in the same week.

  43. Erin*

    Omg lolololol the Merry Korn Christmas feat. Wonder Bread is absolutely amazing!!

    Thank you for hosting this elegant event, and thank you for sharing it! Just fantastic!!

  44. Kettle Belle*

    Love This!! When I read “the color of yellow highlighter”, I knew that could only mean one thing.

  45. Former+Retail+Manager*

    Just had to say thanks for sharing! This made my day. Hope you have a great and more relaxing holiday season this year.

  46. ENTJane*

    PLEASE sell this story to a movie producer. You’ll finally get the money you deserve from the ordeal, and we’ll get to see it on the big screen.

Comments are closed.