santa, satan and scooby poo: worst.party.ever.
Every year I am dragged, kicking and screaming, to the firehouse Christmas party. I have been going to this thing since I was a baby, stopped when I was about 14, and then was forced to start going again when I had kids. Every year, I say no. And every year I get the lecture about the "firehouse family" and traditions and how the kids look soooo forward to it. My ass. They're crying to go home five minutes after we get there. And with good reason.
When I was little, the party was ok. There were food and games and prizes and songs and a generally festive air. Somewhere along the line, the party deteriorated into a 4 hour, mind numbing trip to hell.
Satan's minions must have been out in full force today. Hell was never hotter nor more terrifying. The party started at 1:00, and we were left to our own accord until a little after two. The kids ran around like crazy, fortified only by burnt Bagel Bites and gallons of soda. We gave them handfuls of quarters and sent them to the room with the video games, only to have someone kick them out ten minutes later.
It should be noted that save for my family, I do not like most of these people. Hell, I don't even like my family sometimes. But these people are so low-class, so low on the totem pole of life, that the only analogy I can really offer you is this: Think Clark Griswald's family in Christmas Vacation.
So there we sit, waiting for some form of entertainment, watching the clock for the time Santa is supposed to arrive so the kids can get the presents that I brought for them and we can get home. I'm sitting there minding my own business, trying extra hard not to look like I might want to talk to one of these cretins. But they have these radars. Like a homing system that let's them know a captive audience is just waiting for some incredibly boring conversation. The woman that got me is a mother of one of DJ's classmates. So she automatically assumes I want to talk to her, I need to talk to her, I live only to hear her drone on and on. She chatters about the field trip and the class bully and then repeats verbatim her monologue from last year when she described in full detail how wonderful her son, her neighbors, her whole block is. As my eyes started to roll in back of my head and my brain began to short-circuit, she told me this story:
So I was taking Adam and his friends to play mini-golf and one of the friends, Brendan, starting talking about how there is no Santa Claus and the other kids were yelling at him and he was insisting that Santa is just fake. Fake! The nerve of him telling my kid that! So after I dropped Brendan off I asked the other boys how they felt about what Brendan said and they were all so sad and shocked so I acted quickly and figured out what to tell them. I said 'guys, Brendan is a different religion than us. He's Jewish (emphasis hers). They get so jealous of you this time of year, so they act out by being mean and telling you there's no Santa. Of coures he's lying. It's just because he's Jewish.'
She then smiled at me, this grin that made me think she was awfully proud of herself for coming up with that winner. She waited for me to tell her how ingenous it was. Instead I looked at her and said, "You really are as stupid as they say!" I didn't wait around for a response.
The day then descended into the fourth level of hell, the one where you are surrounded by costumed characters that look nothing like the beloved children's characters they are supposed to be representing. There was a blue dragon, a 7 foot tall Elmo, my brother-in-law dressed as Clifford the Big Red Dog and pinching my ass the whole time, and this big brown walking piece of dirty fur that was supposed to be Scooby Doo but looked more like just the Doo. At one point he bent down to say hello to a little girl and his head fell off. Much crying and screaming of little children ensued.
Then there was the face-painting lady in the green and purple Jester's hat and hair that was such a hideous shade of orange I thought it was fake at first. When she walked in, she spotted DJ and a friend laying on the floor by the door, lulled into a coma by the dull festivities. She walked over to them and kicked Michael on the edge of his foot. This conversation followed:
Lady: Hey, I'm gonna paint some faces now. Come on, get up.
DJ: I don't want my face painted.
Lady (menacingly): Everyone gets their face painted when I'm here, ok?
Michael: I'm not getting a stupid flower on my face.
Lady: Hey! I don't do flowers! I used to do the make-up for Cats on Broadway!
Michael: Cats sucked!
Lady: Well the make-up didn't.
DJ: Why didn't you do Les Mis? (he puts on his fake old lady voice now). It's better than Cats! I'd see it again and again!
DJ and Michael go into fits of hysterics, rolling around on the floor.
Lady: Well fine, I see you don't like me. The hell with you, then!
She turns and sees me standing there and it dawns on her that I must have been there the whole time.
Lady: These kids are rude!
Me: Your hair is on fire.
So then Santa finally came and the kids got their presents and I was scrambling to get the kids out of there as fast as possible. As I was dragging the kids out the door I was thinking that no one could have possibly enjoyed the party less than me. Then I saw a fireman standing talking to the big brown Scooby Doo and handing him baby wipes as they talked. "I'm sorry," the fireman said to Scoob. "I didn't know when I put her on your lap that she had diarreah."
Ok, so there was someone who had a worse time than me.