Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas Party

Today is the day of our annual staff Christmas party. I have been busy the last few days with our final survey of the year. Every December we conduct our survey of the parasitic fauna of the local fish population. The vital data that we collect tells us about the long term trends in the ecology of both the fish and their parasites. Fish have an amazing capacity to play host to several species at any one time, and a single dissection can take up to thirty minutes, even for a seasoned parasitologist such as myself.

But I digress.

In previous years, the Christmas party has usually gone reasonably well. I doubt that our version differs in any significant way from any other staff party, except with the possible exception that no-one, to my knowledge, has ever made any innapropriate movements towards anyone else. I suspect this is mainly because no-one on the staff is a heavy drinker. On top of that, Dolores keeps everything under control, and insists that we eat heavily before indulging in the Christmas spirit.

We don't have Christmas cake anymore, after a calamatous party two years ago when Denise tried baking one. To cut a long story short, she left the cake on a shelf near her bed to mature for three months. When it came to the cake's unveiling, we found out that something had crawled into the cake and died. It turned out to be her pet hamster, Dolly, which had gone missing two weeks before the party.

Dolores has been entirely responsible for the Christmas food before and since. Ravel keeps wanting to help, but my wife has stood firm. She doesn't have to cater for many people, and has told me that it is 'really no problem' to remain in the kitchen for the whole day. I suspect the real reason is that she isn't much of a party person herself. Anyone familiar with this blog will be aware of an episode during the summer when her negative attitude towards parties was driven home.

Anyway, I must move forwards. I've got the last ten fish to dissect before breakfast, then I have to write some emails. The party officially starts at 12:30pm with a sherry reception in the living area. McCavity (my no.2 research assistant) is arriving with his guest at 1pm. It will be nice to have a fresh face at the party, and, if we count them both in, we should just about make quorum for a game of Pictionary. I'll post tomorrow with a report on how things went.


Kim Ayres said...

It is now tomorrow so I'm waiting for the promised repot. However, I don't know whether you're posting a report on the office party or on the results of the fish parasites

Samantha said...

I will never eat Christmas cake again! *shudders*

Dr Joseph McCrumble said...

Kim - party report part I is up. Fish survey data take longer to process

Samantha - Don't let my experience put you off. Under the right conditions, Christmas cake can be quite enjoyable.