Merry Christmas, Bedford Falls!

December 16, 1996

Well, folks, it’s going to be a short week for me, but it’s a special week, so I’ll try to get something out to you each of the next four days. Just a quick mention from last week’s edition: yes, it was Friday the 13th, but I’m not superstitious. Besides, it’s really really unlucky to talk about Friday the 13th, especially since I’d spilled some salt and nearly walked under a ladder earlier in the day. I didn’t want to make things worse than they already were. Here’s something I also don’t normally do: advertising. Well, it’s not real advertising, it’s more of a request. Houghton Mifflin publishers will donate one book to a children’s hospital for every 25 e-mails it receives. I know, I know, you’re all gasping at the thought that I might do a good deed. I promise not to make it a habit. The e-mail address is:

Despite your best efforts, you might find yourself at an office party with Induhviduals. Here are some tips you will want to share with them in order to avoid any embarrassing or dangerous situations. If your boss gets drunk and offers to photocopy her posterior, do not helpfully suggest pressing "reduce 75%." If you hear someone yell "Empower THIS!!", try to put some distance between you and whatever happens next. Never ask, "Is *that* your wife or did you cash in some stock options?" If the party is held on site, don’t ask for directions. When you meet your boss’s spouse, never say "Wow, I didn’t know you two were married. What’s it like to have an open relationship?" Don’t put the eggnog in your own flask. Don’t ask the band to play "Take This Job and Shove It." It’s never a good idea to use the mistletoe as a fig leaf.

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