This is part 2 of the report on my staff Christmas party. If you missed it, part I is here. I suggest you read part I first; otherwise Part II won't make much sense. What follows may not be suitable reading for all audiences. Reader discretion is advised. As usual, I tell the truth in its purest form. I cannot help myself, for I am a scientist.
Cloe started to draw very quickly on the paper. At first we couldn't see what she was doing, as her back was turned to the audience. Brenda was the first person to react, by clamping her hand over her mouth as if suddenly shocked by something she shouldn't have seen. The vet was next, wincing as if struck by something acutely painful. Denise and Ravel turned their heads to one side and frowned, as if unsure what was on the paper. When I saw what she had drawn, I could do nothing except gasp at her audacity.
'Come on, it's easy!' shouted Chloe at her team, as she put the finishing touches to her artwork and stepped to one side. Her fellow team members looked completely perplexed. I wasn't sure what to do at this stage. As master of ceremonies, it was my duty to maintain standards. But at the same time I didn't want another party to end in complete disaster. I was still mulling over the idea of creating a distraction when I suddenly noticed that shopkeeper had come over all animated and excited. I watched as he locked and unlocked his fingers, stroked his chin, rubbed his elbow. His team mates, including McCavity, seemed to shrink as he looked at them, eyes wide open, an expression of triumph on his face.
'Yes mate. You've got it, haven't you?' shouted Chloe, pointing at the portly man sitting on the floor in front of her. The shopkeeper nodded rapidly. 'Come on then! Time's running out! Whadisit, eh?'
'STRAP-ON DILDO!' shouted the shopkeeper, foaming slightly at the mouth as he spat the words out.
Brenda, now literally sitting on the edge of her seat, looked immediately shocked, and almost fell backwards into the chair. The vet wore an expression of disgust, Ravel and Denise looked bemused. My reflexes made me glance backwards towards the kitchen door, where I knew Dolores was preparing coffee.
'NO!', shouted Chloe almost immediately. 'Oh come on, you can do better than that!. Look here!', she said with a hint of urgency in her high pitched voice. 'Watch!'. With that, she started to make a pushing motion with one hand towards a point in her picture.
'I know!', shouted the shopkeeper, unswayed by his previous crude outburst. 'It's an ANAL PROBE!!' With that, he burst out laughing and fell sideways on to the floor, spilling his drink into the lap of McCavity. My no2. research assistant leapt to his feet, grabbed a near-by tissue and started to dab at the the wet patch on the groin area of his jeans. The shopkeeper simply continued to laugh, tears streaming from his face. Clearly, the pictoral representation of an anal probe was too much for his faculties to handle.
'Close!' shouted Chloe. 'Time's running out team! Come on McCavity, you know! What did we use last night?'
Have you ever seen anyone actually die of embarassment, right in front of you? It's not a pleasant sight. There's a sort of crumpling effect, as the legs give way. The face becomes ashen as the blood drains, and the person appears to regress into a child like state before finally succumbing to the effects of the mental poison that that they have just ingested, and falling backwards. Fortunately, in this case, McCavity was prevented from hitting the floor by the vet, who rushed forwards and managed to support my terminally weakened research assistant. 'I don't think we really need to know, do we?' said the vet in an authoritative voice, looking over to where I was standing at the back of the room.
I saw disaster looming. Glancing once again at the kitchen, I was in an immediate quandry. If I stopped the game, it would spell the end of the party. Dolores would find out what had happened and forbid me from ever having a staff Christmas party ever again. On the other hand, if I allowed the game to continue, it was likely to scar the minds of all present and lead to debauchery on a scale unimaginable in the history of the Institute. 'I, er, think that, the time has, er, run out, actually.' I said, trying to sound calm. 'We should move on. Sorry Chloe, you have to sit down now.'
Chloe looked immediately disappointed. 'Aw, you lot are useless. Angus, you should have guessed it. I can't believe it. It was a...'
Before Chloe could actually reveal the truth behind her controversial drawing I heard the kitchen door slam, quite hard. The sound distracted everyone enough to halt proceedings, and was followed immediately by the sight of Dolores striding into the room carrying a tray of mugs and a large pot.
'Coffee anyone?', said Dolores with a tone of clearly enforced jollity.
'Oh yes!' I shouted, pleased at the intervention of my wife. 'We'll pause the game I think and take coffee. I think it got just a little too exciting there. Too much sherry before lunch I think! Coffee everyone?'
I took the tray from Dolores, whom I had watched carefully as she came into the living area, for any indication that she had seen the drawing. Fortunately, she hadn't looked at the board. I kept myself between her and the drawing whilst she took the cups off the tray. Glancing over my shoulder, I saw the vet lift the sheet of paper over the stand to reveal a blank sheet underneath. Looking around the room, I noticed that everyone except Chloe and McCavity were talking in excited whispers. The two young disruptive elements were, in fact, nowhere to be seen. 'Where did McCavity go?' I asked Dolores.
'I saw him heading for the loo. He seemed to have wet himself.' said Dolores as she unloaded the last of the cups. 'Going well, is it Joseph? I had the radio on in the kitchen to drown out the noise. Everyone seems very excited.'
'Er, well, you know. Christmas high spirits and all that. Young Chloe seems to have brought something to the party, if you get my drift.'
'Nothing more than a filthy mind, as far as I can tell Joseph. Well, enjoy the party. I'm going to do the washing up. Don't disturb me.'
A few minutes later the group had more or less composed itself. The shopkeeper who had suffered the apoplectic laughing fit was being comforted by Brenda. Ravel and Denise were in discussion about something or other, and the other guests and staff were quietly sipping on their coffee. McCavity and Chloe were still missing. On the one hand I was happy for them to remain absent. But on the other hand I didn't want their Pictionary team to be short of members. In my experience, the surest way to lose a game of Pictionary is to have fewer members. I had to bring them back to save the game.
You may question this line of logic, but at the time it seemed sensible. I was desperate to bring the game of Pictionary to a satisfactory conclusion. I have an intense dislike of party games that end before their legal endpoint. I think it comes from something that happened in childhood. You see, I was often a bit cleverer than the other children, and they would get very angry with me if I won games where you had to think more than a few steps ahead. Sometimes I would get pushed around and the game would be stopped by someone throwing the board at me.
And on top of that, I can't actually see through walls or predict the future, because I am a parasitologist, not a parasychologist as young Chloe thought. I mean, how was I supposed to know what they were getting up to, eh?