The judging of the Christmas Windows was supposed to have been on Monday. We all waited with breathless anticipation, but apparently, one of the judges had the flu and couldn't make it. Tuesday came and went with no clear winner. And Wednesday. It seemed that everyone I met was asking about the Christmas Windows. "Who won?" they asked. But I didn't know.
"Why do you even care?" demanded sushirob. "You didn't even want to DO this in the first place?"
A good question. A very good question indeed. Why did I care?
I guess it was like so many other things. I'd come up with a wacky idea, thrown together out of bits and pieces of stuff at hand, and somehow hope it would fly, while not expecting it to get off the ground. Things like showing up at the company Halloween party with an AK-47 and a Peg Bundy wig as "Glambo." Things like fed-up elves holding the Christmas decorations hostage.
Yeah, that was me. The Queen of throwing-shit-together-at-the-last-minut
"Without knowing who did what, I think my favorite would have to be the penguins and second, the recalcitrant elves," she emailed me.
What? SECOND??? Okay, this was a bad sign.
The second bad sign was, as you may recall, the HR Director mentioning that our window could have offended some people. The third was one of the other managers telling me that one of the judges HAD, indeed, found our window offensive. He asked me if that was our intention.
WHAT??? Of course that wasn't our intention! We just thought it would be funny.
And ... you got a couple of networking/programming geeks together and it escalated. These things happen, you know? But in no way -- in NO way -- was it a commentary on the whole window decorating thing nor intended to be anything other than a light-hearted parody of ... well, of something Christmasy.
Thursday rolled around. It was the day of the company Christmas potluck lunch and pirate gift exchange. Although not feeling well, I dragged myself to the office. Hey, man, sometimes you get good stuff at the pirate gift exchange. I was not going to let my contribution (a giant, green M&M stuffed with a pound of real M&M's) go to waste.
The company closed the office from 12:00 to 1:30 for the celebrations. We feasted until we were about to pop. Santa and Mrs. Claus even made an appearance, and handed out candy canes and a hearty "Ho, ho, ho," to the assembled employees. One of the managers announced that anyone who wanted could have a picture with Santa out by the web design office.
"Not unless it's a picture of him gazing at our window and looking horrified," I muttered to the Tech Support supervisor.
She giggled at me. "You should have asked him how that little labor dispute of his was going," she said mock-solemnly.
I giggled at her. "I wouldn't say I was actually naughty this year," I put in, "except for that little matter of the genocide."
"Well, you know, sometimes you just gotta do it," she said, and we both snickered.
We all trooped out to the common area, where gifts were unwrapped, exchanged, and pirated with glee. The Darth Vader head "change-your-voice" mask was stolen twice in quick succession, as was the package of assorted booze-flavored coffees. Finally, though, we were done. The managers dismissed the crowd, and wished us all a Merry Christmas.
"Hey, wait a minute!" I yelled, "Aren't you going to announce the winners of the window contest?"
"Oh yeah, I forgot!" cried the HR director and yelled for everyone to come back. He disappeared into his office, and returned moments later carrying some envelopes.
"Well," he began, "It was a close race this year, but there was a clear winner." He paused for a moment. Yes, yes, come on, come ON, I thought. Give it to us straight.
"The winner," he said, "of the Christmas window decorating contest, was ... The Elves' Ransom Note."
HA! I turned to Mike and we high-fived. The HR director handed us each an envelope with a gift certificate to Century theaters large enough to not only pay for admission, but also perhaps even a popcorn and a soda. "Good job, everyone," he told us, and we drifted away back to cubicle-land.
As the billing and tech departments began a war over the talking Darth Vader head (stolen from tech by billing during the pirate gift exchange), I considered next year's entry.
Next year: Glambo II: The Vengeance of Santa.
And we all lived happily ever after.