Hey guys. I want to extend a heaping pile of genuine gratitude to everyone in attendance at my dinner party last Friday. Being the new guy at work is never easy and every one of you made me feel welcome to the Arnstien & Lehr family.

If you’re talent, as attorneys, is half as impressive as your dinner party-attending-skills I possess not an atom of a doubt that A & L will gross ten figures before the culmination of this quarter. I feel blessed to work with people that have, not only shrewd legal sensibilities but A+ personalities, as well. What an evening.

I’ll be candid and admit to feeling a slight nervousness immediately before everyone showed up, as I waited for the night to officially commence. I wanted the meal to go well because I had never socialized with my coworkers “off the clock” before. If I seemed a little stiff it was just because I’m not use to entertaining large groups of people at my home, especially coworkers.

I know, I’m being paranoid but I would like to make a single small apology. Conversation was shortly interrupted as I relocated the centerpiece after serving your drinks. It’s just that, in the middle of the dinner table, if you recall, sat a lovely arrangement of long-stem roses sprouting from a crystal vase. It looked picture perfect as I admired it from the kitchen, before everyone arrived.

Unfortunately, I was so distracted by the pleasant aesthetics of my beautiful centerpiece I never took its height into consideration. Not until we were sipping wine and exchanging pleasantries did I realize that the bouquet of red petals was partially blocking my view of Kathy’s face! I’m sure you can empathize with the fact that I did not want to spend the night leaning around the flowers every time I spoke to Kathy. I acted quickly and moved the roses to an end table in the corner of the room where all could enjoy it and I could still see Kathy. I’m not known for dwelling on small things but that’s what was going on right there, just so you guys know.

One more thing. Just before I served the second course I caught myself holding my wine glass from the rim instead of the stem. There is rarely a legitimate excuse for such an egregious lapse of etiquette but, Samuel, your story about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was so enthralling I momentarily forgot I was in a formal setting. Sammy boy, you spin yarns with such a poetic touch you could make the most dignified of hosts confuse their dessert fork for the salad fork.

I know, such a blunder is unlikely considering the fact that a proper desert fork is three centimeters shorter than a salad fork. Desert forks have only three tines and salad forks have four, so you’d have to be a world-class rube to confuse them, but that’s how good you are man! Your tales of travel fill me with such wonder; before I know it I’m sticking the wrong utensil in my Strawberries Arnaud. I could feel myself blushing. Did you guys notice?

This means war, Sammy! I’m teasing of course. After the dinner party I feel like our relationship has reached that wonderful point where playful ribbing is appropriate. Feel free to tease me back.

It’s probably not worth mentioning but thank you guys for never verbally acknowledging that the “1929 Chula Vina Vineyard Pinot NoirI served was actually cherry PowerAde mixed with vodka.

Before I filled your glasses I noticed a glimpse of restrained skepticism on your face, David. You were right to doubt me considering the fact that 1929 Chula Vina Vineyard Pinot Noir is one of the rarest and most expensive wines on earth. I should have expected that might happen because you told a lengthy story about how you come from a long lineage of wine cynosures, and how you yourself are a world renowned wine cynosure, literally moments earlier. You passed around pictures of your vineyard and everyone backed up this claim but for reasons I can’t fully explain I didn’t totally believe you and decided to call your bluff. David, One. Me, Zero.

I’m sure that everyone began discussing how strange it was of me to serve cherry PowerAde mixed with vodka and try to pass it off as priceless wine, the minute my party ended, but you never mentioned it at my residence. Sincerely, thank you for not doing that. The discomfort would have been palpable.

The bad news is I looked like a silly goose. The good news is a now know that I work with people who have sophisticated pallets. As time passes you people get better and better. Just like wine. That joke was just for you, David. Every one of you has an awesome sense of humor but that specific joke was for my man David.

Tom, I gotta say. You were great at my party. What do they call it? A hit? You were a hit times two, brother.

Tom, even though you didn’t openly express offense after I interrupted your story about how difficult it is, for you and your wife to raise an autistic child, to angrily demand that you schedule an appointment with a cosmetic surgeon who can perform Rinoplasty on you as soon as possible, I could tell that you were a little T.O’ed. I’m pretty good at reading people. Plus, everyone at the office told me never to talk about your nose because it is a source of crippling insecurity for you and you find it greatly upsetting.

I know I talked about this, ad nauseam, during most of my dinner party but your nose is so severely cockeyed and bulbous I couldn’t concentrate on a word you said the entire night. Morbidly mangled is the only phrase that begins to aptly describe the tragedy that is your nose but even morbidly mangled, with its alliteration and gruesome implications, does zero justice to the intense feeling of repulsion people must feel every time they look at you.

Raising a child with autism may be challenging but it is nowhere near as challenging as trying to pay attention to what you’re saying while your freakishly large nose is casting a shadow over half the dinner table.

Looking back, I should have mentioned it once and moved on to the next dish. Ramming my cellphone at your face and demanding that you use my kitchen, right that instant, to schedule the appointment was an ill-timed move.

But, looking back again, it was funnier than it was uncomfortable.

There I was waving my phone and screaming “Make the call! And don’t come back until you have indisputable evidence that plans have been made to have the majority of your nose surgically removed!” and I just have to laugh at myself. If you haven’t yet noticed, I’m character. I’m sure you’ve noticed, though.

Please consider it a testament to your affable nature that I felt comfortable enough to do that in front of everyone (and to do it with such indignant confidence).

You probably don’t even remember me doing this (that’s how much of a big deal it wasn’t) but after you agreed to and followed through on making the call to the plastic surgeons office I should have just served desert. I shouldn’t have threatening to kick you out of my house unless you draped a napkin over your face, hiding your unattractive nose, for the remainder of the evening so we could all “eat in peace”. I still cannot believe you did it. How horribly insecure you must be to obey such degrading instructions. Thanks for being a good sport about the whole thing.

The other guests and I should have taken a vote on if you should be required to shield your face while you’re in our presence. I know, that wouldn’t have taken away the pain of your humiliation but at least it would have been diplomatic. It’s just that, I was so confident that the entire party would have unanimously voted “yes”, Tom must conceal his awful nose at all times if he wishes to remain in our company, that taking the vote seemed unnecessary. Why not skip the red-tape and toss a napkin onto that loathsome heap of twisted flesh that some people (but not me) would call a nose? That was my train of thought. Just so we’re on the same page.

You know what? I probably shouldn’t have even said anything about your nose. You must fancy me a real goofball.

You must have been thinking Hey, dumbbell. You’re supposed to put the entrée in your mouth. Not you’re foot.

Again, I’m new at this dinner hosting thing and you only learn by doing.

For example, if one must use the restroom one should place their napkin to the left of their dinner plate, not on their chair. Also, if one desires to have an orgy with a group of new coworkers one should gradually ease into the situation by behaving flirtatiously, dropping subtle hints, and making sure that no one is uncomfortable with the idea. One should not excuse oneself to use the restroom, place ones napkin to the left of their plate and return naked carrying a plastic grocery bag full of condoms.

I’m being hard on myself, I know. Who am I? The faux pa police?

I would have never done that in a work-place situation but we were “off-hours” and I was feeling amorous after three VokaAdes. Also, I’ve been a pilates-animal lately and I’m down to svelte 287 pounds from 295. What I’m trying to say is I was feeling real good about my body last Friday and the idea that you guys would decline my offer never even entered my mind.

I’m confident that, upon reflection, you have all come to the disappointing realization that the loss was all yours.

Everyone had fun though, right? I know, I should have been voted “Most Likely to make Mountians Out of Molehills” in high school. Everyone enjoyed themselves, I’m sure.

The fact that my wife had a hysterical night terror and began screaming “Die, devil lizard, die!” at the exact moment you guys decided to leave early, because of my impertinent nudity, was picture perfect. I’m going to speak for everyone and say that it was right then, when the moment officially went Kodak.

In fact, I think I literally said “This is Kodak as fuck.” Didn’t I? Well, if I didn’t someone else surly did.

Gloria, when you were yelling “What’s happening!? What’s happening!?” as you grabbed your purse and sprinted for the nearest exit, that was beyond priceless. You have this thing you do, where you screech questions and, like, make this face of horror and disbelief while you flee my home in pure terror and it’s just too much. But how many times have you heard that before?

Just so you know, she (that is, my wife) works nights as a police dispatcher. She often falls asleep on the living room sofa which is adjacent to the dining room where we were eating. About four nights a week she has a reoccurring night terror in which she is dragged into it pits of lizard hell by a satanic crocodile. It’s normally a very loud and violent ordeal. So that’s what was happening, Gloria, to answer your question.

In retrospect I should have made her sleep in our bedroom, not mere feet from the dinner table, but I was hoping that the bedroom would be the location of the aforementioned orgy that every one of you angrily refused to participate in.

Oh, hey Julie. I was wondering where you were. You working hard or hardly working?

Julie, I know you told me never to speak to you again but I’m going to continue breaking my oath of silence and say I’m really sorry that my wife began to assault you with the porcelain butter dish while screaming “Die, devil lizard, die!” as you and your husband made a break for it. In my defense, she has night terrors four nights a week but she only mistakes every person within her field of vision as an evil lizard on an average of two to three nights a week. At the time these seemed like decent odds.

In her defense, your face, undeniably, has an exponentially more lizardish quality than the average person. If anyone ever tells you that you’re face doesn’t look exactly like a lizard’s face, they’re lying. I mean, the first thing I thought when I met you was “Wow, this lady looks just like a lizard” and I was wide awake at the time. My wife was sleep walking and in a state of delusional horror when she attacked you. So to her you didn’t look like a lizard you, like¸ were a lizard.

I made plans to confront you about how your face looks exactly like a lizard’s face at my dinner party, sometime after desert, but my wife beat me to it. We’re always finishing each other’s sentences like that.

I hope you can be understandable and drop the charges. Time cures all wounds and it has already been three days since my wife gave you a concussion with a cumbersome piece of dinnerware. Let it go. I told everyone in the office that, despite the fact that your face looks way, way to lizardish, you were a cool chick. Don’t prove me wrong.

Hey, Jimmy. Is that a new tie? You are always buying new ties. Every office has a New Tie Guy. Jimmy is that guy. You look like you have something to say Jimmy, I mean, New Tie Guy. Don’t even ask me. I know what exactly what you’re going to say.

Yes, like myself, my wife was also naked during the attack. She sleeps in the nude.

So, there I am, standing in the dining room, heedlessly naked (and feeling a little embarrassed to be honest) and then here comes my sleepwalking wife, also in a state of unacceptable nudity. I was like did someone say coincidence?

She, my wife, looked so peaceful dozing on our sofa, foaming from the mouth and quietly muttering “Death to the Dark Lizard Lord” over and over again that I couldn’t bring myself to wake her up and hand her a night gown.

I don’t want to be the Captain Obvious of A & L but I am your Captain, so climb aboard.

I can’t help but notice that every one of you has been slowly backing away from me since I got here. There has been a conspicuous lack of eye contact on the part of every one of you. I know what it is.

What’s wrong, you guys. Are you guys seriously mad about Friday? Is it because I don’t work here anymore? I get terminated and suddenly I’m not cool enough?

Look, I realize that I am permanently forbidden to come within four hundred feet of A & L property or six hundred feet of any of you, but as we all know, damage control is best done face to face. Also, you guys haven’t been returning my texts.

Hey, guys. Technology called. It would like to introduce itself.

Are those security guards sprinting towards me? They must be. That joke about technology calling you guys was off the top of my head, by the way.

Now I’m almost positive that security personal is bum rushing me as I speak. You guys have been making distance between yourselves and me for quite a while now and I’m the only person standing in this general vicinity. So, they must be coming for me. They are probably upset because they weren’t invited to my dinner party. You guys promised me you wouldn’t tell the security and maintenance staff about my party. Now arriving in AwkwardVille., population, this guy.

Seriously? No one laughed at the arriving in AwkwardVille line? New Tie guy gets it!

I always knew that mace irritated the eyes but this intense burning of the throat came as a surprise. And fellas, I realize that I’m breaking several federal laws by being here but I’m already blind and incapacitated from the mace. There is no need to stomp on my femur like that.

The majority of my former coworkers may be yelling “Kick his ass” in synchronization while the remaining of my present, former coworkers are enthusiastically applauding my beat-down but they’re obviously just giving me a hard time.

It’s not you’re faults. You’ve only just arrived. You missed the part where I said that all my coworkers have A+ senses of humor. We joke around together and I’m, like, busting up all day around here.

Guy’s, I don’t want to be the guy that tells you how to do your job, but here comes that guy.

Tossing me onto the hard pavement of the parking lot, much like the recently mentioned pummeling of my femur, is not only unecessary it’s borderline loutish behavior. I don’t want to go back inside and tell all my friends that I was trying to be Mr. Tuff Guy but, I’m sorry, your conduct has been truculent at best.

Yes, I just went there.

Guess, what?

I’m staying there.

You, gentlemen, are as churlish as the day is long.

See, I’m still there.

You could have easily slammed my onto that grassed area to your right. There’s like six bushes over there. You could have just as easily hurled me through one of them. It would have been just as humiliating for me and I would have suffered exponentially less internal bleeding.

Don’t get defensive. It’s called constructive criticism and you need to learn to take it.

Can I ask a quick question?

Why are you guys still standing in front of A & L headquarters, staring at me menacingly, with your arms folded? Why haven’t you returned to your posts?

Oh, that’s right. Because of my last visit to A & L it’s now company policy to stand guard until all deranged trespassers have left the premises.

Oh, yeah! You’re the same guys that chucked me out before. I thought your fists felt familiar. Shit, I can’t remember you’re names. I am the absolute worst with names. Maybe, you never gave me them.

After I climbed through a seventh story window and set fire to that cubicle my adrenaline was really going. It was one of those days. When was that? Oh yeah, Earlier today. Well, I won’t keep you guys any longer.

Just one last thing. Next Friday I’m having another dinner party. The only thing to do when you fall off a horse is to get right back on. My first dinner party was not perfect, but that is okay. It’s time to suck it up and saddle up.

You’re both invited. I want to make up for not inviting you to my previous dinner party by making you guests of honor at my upcoming dinner party. Also, both of you are large burly men. I’m sure you could fight off my wife in the fifty seven perchance chance that she becomes convinced that you a soul-eating alligator.

A large, bright beige seashell will be sitting on the dinner table. It is not for decoration, only. If you find yourself overwhelmed by her (my wife’s) strength, hold the seashell to her ear. The soothing whisper of the Pacific Ocean is the only thing that has ever returned her to a gentle slumber once the night-spasms have begun.

If that doesn’t work hit her with the seashell. I spoke too soon a moment ago. The gentle song of the ocean, produced by a sizable seashell is the only the thing takes her to a state of rest, with the exception of several powerful blows to the skull with the aforementioned seashell.

Now that I’m thinking about it, hitting her in the head with anything will probably get the job done but as chance would have it that seashell is usually with in arms reach so I have used it as a beating apparatus on many an occasion.

Well, it is just about time for me to hit the trail.

About the party, though, I’m inviting the rest of the gang as well. Just because I’ve been fired from and legally forbidden to step foot on A & L property doesn’t mean I still can’t kick it with my old work buddies.

See you then.

Oh, and dudes. Be on your best behavior. I don’t want you to embarrass me in front of everyone.

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