No occasion can compete with the depravity of a media Christmas Party.
No occasion can compete with the depravity of a media Christmas Party. This year will be no different. The success of a truly debauched night relies on meticulous planning by both organiser and attendee. A joint effort is required to guarantee an event that lives long in the compromised mind of a media mogul.
The party should take place on a Thursday. This is important for the single reason that a media Christmas ‘do’ should not be discussed for more than one day after the event. That day should be Friday. Friday morning is a haze of black-spots, trace alcohol and animated debriefs. Then there is a carbohydrate lunch, hair of dog, and quiet. The afternoon does not exist. All men and women disperse. On Saturday, shame and fear creeps into their bloodstream as they face the normalcy of their perfectly pleasant lives and the innocence of their beautiful families. God help those who have to suffer this for longer than necessary. Yes, Thursday is the day.
The venue is paramount, of course. The number one consideration for any venue are the toilet facilities. There should be many, many cubicles. More than would usually seem necessary. There is no other consideration of note when choosing a venue.
The organisers work is done. Now begins the work of the attendees.
On the morning of the Christmas Party, the sales team make more calls than any other day of the year. The department becomes a bustling harbour of activity, with silent orders flying back and forth, nods given across the hallway, nudges under desks, winks and ear pulls. Tiny paper messages are passed around discretely like a dress-rehearsal for the delivery of essential packages later on — little lottery-ticket parcels which become as precious as actual winning lottery-tickets. Sales people are renowned for their admin failings, but you only need to see the zoo move towards this common goal to know that these animals are capable of organising a complex distribution network which UPS would admire.
All this for cocaine. There must be cocaine. Cocaine gets its own paragraph. Cocaine plays a lead role. It is the star of the show. The bell of the ball. Without it, I don’t think people would even bother. This is their big party; if they want to pretend they’re a rock star by snorting coke in a damp lavatory before dancing with Janine from Facilities, then that is their Christmas-bonus-given right. It is cocaine that demands a surplus of cubicle traps. It is cocaine which guts the staff with shame on Saturday morning. It is cocaine that helps them make the mistakes they had their hearts set on for weeks. That first line of coke is the starting gun. The Christmas Party can commence.
At the venue, men sit in packs at the edge of the dance floor, chewing each other’s ear lobes, fervently debating the attire of female colleagues who they view with fresh, lusting eyes. Who are these nymphs? Where have they been hiding? One female is marked as the prize and an unspoken derby has launched for her affection. There could only be one victor. But two or three wouldn’t be unheard of.
Adultery is mandatory. Not for everyone, of course, but it is key agenda item. There is a hunger for it. Some are willing participants, having planed their life-changing dalliance for weeks, only to plead impaired judgment over a post-mortem bacon sandwich the next day. Others have a vested interest as the office gossip mongers. They need to be the first on the ground, getting the story as it happens, securing an exclusive scoop for the baying workforce.
By midnight, the dance floor is a writhing animal, a staggering, wretched mass. Alcohol swills in empty stomachs, like a frothing, fermenting NutriBullet. Jittering coke hounds make fleeting appearances at the bar, before returning to the serious business in the cubicles. Men who were wearing ties have had them ripped off. Women who were draped in demure pashminas have dropped them in the toilet. There is glistening flesh on show, shimmering with glitter and sweat and pheromones. The party is at it’s peak.
It is time for the family men and women to trickle away. They have fulfilled their pace-maker roles, but know better than to see out the whole hog with the twenty-somethings who are chasing the party into daylight. There are exceptions of course. Relics of the industry, powered by charlie and ego and a gold Amex at the bar, ready to provide Prosecco at any given moment to the girls in brief skirts and plunging sequinned dresses.
The venue empties and the music stops. After-parties are cobbled together in nearby clubs and late-night bars. Breakaway factions continue into the night, powered by the popping candy in their noses, until their bodies begin to flag and the cold of the winter night awakens their desire for a warm bed. Or they just run out of coke.
A new outbreak of excitement comes the next day, when stories circulate of the quiet girl from the children’s magazines department who demanded buggery from an eager media veteran, and the new sales exec who was thrown out for being sick behind the bar and was seen crying outside, and the antipodean girl who was fucked on a car bonnet by a father of three.
No occasion can compete with the depravity of a media Christmas Party. Or so I’m told.
Merry Christmas, to all my friends in media.