Friday, 15 December 2006

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The History Carnival's Annual Happy Holidays Party (as Reported by an Ignorant, Belligerent Lush) The 2006 History Carnival Happy Holidays Party started with a bang. Someone had circled the twenty-third on the dry erase board and scribbled "Scott's B-Day!" underneath it. Then David Parker informed me of how special I could have been. "Should held out for two more days." I slammed down my spoon and asked him whether he wanted to take it outside. He's lucky Donny and the warehouse crew held me back. Had they held out for two more minutes, I could have killed him. Instead, I brushed the cake from my lap and walked away. I spied Nathanael from accounts receivable in the corner chatting up one of the temps about the origins of French nationalism. "Origins schmorigins," I said, "American nationalism rules! Every elementary student knows that!" They looked at me funny and muttered something about "exports" and "pinochle" while I went to get Donny to hold me back again. I couldn't find him, though, so I let the matter drop and mingled. In the copy room, I ran into Mr. Salesperson-of-the-Year himself, Tim Abbott, who was trying to convince H.R. people to trade short snorters with him. He may even have been successful. Last I saw, he was in his cubicle carefully explaining to the new girl from Duluth how snort shorters, he mean shot snooters, check, that's snot shooters—last I saw, he'd obviously convinced someone to play along. I thought Gavin from marketing might have gotten in on Tim's fun, what with all the Bing-Bong-this and Bing-Bong-that, but Jenny from reception told me it was all about his great-grandfather. I don't know. I think he was tipping back the applejack with Lars Smith and the creepy guy stalking the planters. (Someone should tell that fellow about the miracle of modern chemistry. The styrofoam bits in the "dirt" seemed to confuse him.) On my way to the conference room, I overhead Natalie Bennett and some women I didn't recognize discussing something in the hall. One of them asked in fawning disbelief: "Really? A new hymnographer?" "Surprise, surprise," I said, "Oprah and her minions 'discovered' a genius new poetess no one cares about." I waited for them to laugh, but they just stared at me like I hadn't made quotation marks in the air. (Remember that joke about feminists not having a sense of humor? It's no joke. You really do need a penis. If only there were some book I could read to understand how feminazis think. What? Thanks! Wait, I said feminazi. This one won't do me any good.) Over in the conference room, Zendo tried to convince me that the South lost the Civil War for tactical reasons. As if. Zendo (or, as I like to call him, "The Zen Meister") might have been more convincing if I hadn't seen the bong-snorters in there with him and Richard Baker earlier. Not that I dislike Richard. The man can teach anything to anyone like snap. The other day I learned everything worth knowing about Ancient Egypt in...

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