The Hellhole

Monday, December 07, 2009

Last night was Alan's company Christmas party, which like the two previous years was held at Dave & Buster's. We missed last year because it conflicted with the extended-Bowman-family Christmas party so I don't know about that, but this one was much better than the one two years ago.

For one thing, the food was a lot better. His company reserves a private banquet room with pre-designated dishes; we don't order off the menu. I don't know if the venue itself has improved significantly or this year the company chose better dishes but either way, the entrees and sides were quite tasty. The appetizers were yummy too, but they were good in the earlier party as well. Sides were very good and one in particular, an Asian noodle salad with pecans, was stellar.

For another, the venue was markedly less crowded. The time before there were, among several other functions, two bar mitzvahs going on, one of which had over two hundred guests (our server told us) and the other was not exactly what one could term 'small'. So once the time came for playing games - his company generously gives everyone a pre-loaded gift card in a very respectable amount - every game was 10 kids deep, I couldn't tell much about what was going on or what I might like to try. Plus, I had zero confidence in playing anything because if I screwed up badly, I'd be the laughingstock of at least 50 thirteen-year-olds. I have my pride.

This year, though, there weren't nearly as many people so I played some old-school Atari video games, won a couple hundred tickets at SkeeBall and drove a Ferrari like a madwoman around Monza and Laguna Seca. I had a great time racing the Ferrari simulator and Alan indulgently smiled as I slammed gear changes, straight-lined chicanes and did some power slides. At one point when I veered dangerously close to the wall but held it, counter-veering through the skid, he remarked, "And this is why I drive everywhere we go!" Interestingly, I was far better at Monza, winning "extended time!" after "extended time!" but I totally freaking sucked at Laguna Seca, quite a surprise to me and leading me to question my parentage. I'd like a word with you later, Mom. If that's EVEN your name.

The final thing that made this year's celebration better: in years previous, the company have done a "White Elephant" gift exchange. I didn't care for this, the whole unloading of crap gifts or generic whatever, and the "stealing" of desirable gifts - pointless, took too long, I just didn't like it. This year, one of the owners put it to a vote and it was unanimous that we'd rather bring kids' gifts to be donated to needy children. In my opinion, that's a far better option any time, but particularly in this terrible economy with so many people out of work/making less. We chose a "Littlest Pet Shop" gift set with lots of puppies and a remote-controlled Jeep Wrangler.

It was a nice time.

2 Comments:

  • I once worked for a company that threw a Christmas party at Dave and Buster's one year. It was a hell of a lot of fun. Then hard times struck and the company Christmas party was the first thing to go the next year. The company eventually went out of business and I lost the job, but that's not the point. The POINT is that Dave and Buster's is fun and it's great to have Christmas parties there. :)

    -- PB

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 AM  

  • Sounds like a blast! I've never been to Dave & Buster's, but it sounds like a Chuck E. Cheese for grownups, with better food and no scary animatronic monkeys. I don't like the White Elephant or gift-stealing games either. Pointless.

    By Blogger Nancy, at 8:42 PM  

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