The party is industrialised yuletide - 1,000 plus revellers in a warehouse, decked out for the evening in some theme - Egypt, Siberia, Amazon whatever. The company makes it tolerable; the Stuff-u-Like crowd are so gosh darn nice. And friendly too - I'm propositioned by two young ladies. Now, to be fair, they made up for in enthusiasm what they lacked in looks, but an offer to "do us both" is not to be sniffed at. Sadly, an offer I was unable to take up - they're stretchered off by the paramedics before the main course is served.
It was, the high point of our table's entertainment. I'm in the group of death. Not really having a team of my own, I'm stuck with all the social misfits who couldn't get a group together. All around me, fun is being had; but not here, across the icy steppes of conversation.
Thankfully, service is quick and we're soon released to the dancefloor. For, what is customarily the aural equivalent of being gang-raped by vagrants - the Christmas DJ mix.
The experience is eased somewhat by the sight of one of our new recruits making a complete tool of himself. Keen to impress the ladies he attempts his party piece (anyone who has a party piece....) a B-boy power move - which he fails to execute, miserably: medic!
The corpsman do take some time to arrive, as the evening is rapidly becoming the Somme, with tinsel: pitched battles at the bar; trench foot in the carpark