Thursday, December 16, 2010

We Wish You a Tacky Christmas

Sometimes the only thing left to do is traipse around a golf course at 12:00 in the a.m. (that's midnight for those of you who get confused by the whole 12:00 a.m./p.m. thing. For those of you who say "no one gets confused by that, everyone knows 12:00 a.m. is midnight and 12:00 p.m. is noon, duh" to you I say you are wrong.  There is at least one person on this planet who does not know the difference and is therefore convinced everyone else wallows in the quarry of confusion that is 12:00 a.m./p.m.  This is also the same person who says "ironical" and doesn't know how to find a 10% increase and thinks he invented the phrase "it's what's on the inside that counts.") with 11 other people, all of whom - you included - look like  escapees from the state insane asylum.  I mean, honestly, what else is there to do after cheese balls have been consumed, 20 questions have been played and a Christmas gift of human hair has been opened?  Wandering around a golf course in pitch black with the threat of death by alligator consumption or serial killer like a scene from a horror/science fiction movie hybrid gone horribly wrong seemed like the next logical course of action.

Confused yet?  You're not alone.

How does a tacky Christmas sweater party turn into a night of Geo Caching and the re-emergence of a disease eradicated years ago?  I can't really give you the answer to that other than to say, It. Happened.

The night started off normal enough: gold lame pants (there's supposed to be a little accent thingy above the e in lame, as in la-may pants not lame pants, because gold la-may pants may be a lot of things, but lame they are not), candy cane ties, feetie pajamas, black tutus and a FUPA.  In short, it was the annual Tack Sweater Party hosted by the Stootzmans (name has been changed to protect the innocent).  The concept is simple, really.  Wear the tackiest Christmas sweater/outfit you can find, bring a dish to the party, drink some punch that tastes way too good to have alcohol in it - but it does  - parade your tacky self in front of the crowd to be judged (because honestly, who doesn't like to be judged at a party?), vote on the tackiest dresser who is awarded a prize, participate in a white elephant gift exchange, hang out awhile with friends, take a group photo, the end.  Except it wasn't the end, and the whole group photo thing never happened.

I wore a cream colored knee length dress and brown knee high boots.  Doesn't sound too tacky, right?  Did I mention the long sleeved bronze and gold la-may flowered upper portion of the dress with pinkish pearls running up the arms and down the back?  My look floundered somewhere between creepy American Girl doll and Norman Bates' mother.  The husband wore green trousers -  because "trousers" are way more fun than "pants"- a sparkly gold "vest" aka lady's sleeveless blouse, and completed the look with a grayish/blueish jacket flecked with red and green...flecks.

Together we were really quite dashing, but sadly we did not win the coveted tacky schweata fashion parade prize.  That went to gold la-mayed pants Tina (again, name changed to protect the tackiest).  She completed her outfit with a red (tacky) sweater, red scrunchy socks and tennis shoes.  She looked like a Christmas obsessed aerobics instructor from the eighties.  She really was quite deserving of the award.  In fact, I voted for her, which I only  mention because I always like to take some degree of credit for other people's success.

The fashion parade was shortly followed by the white elephant gift exchange in which the husband and I did not participate because I forgot to bring a gift.  And by "forgot" I mean, intentionally did not bring a gift because white elephant gift exchanges cause me extreme amounts of anxiety.

I spent the first half of the exchange trying to convince my friend who gifted a giant tub of cheese balls to end up with the balls so I could eat them.  She did.  Because, seriously?  She's one of the greatest friends ever.  And a tub of cheese balls?  Greatest. Gift. Ever.  I spent the second half of the exchange shoveling cheese balls into my mouth, until someone picked up a gift bag, reached inside and pulled out what could have been a kitten.  But it wasn't.  It was hair.  Human hair.  From the heads of two of the party-goers.  Who had shaved their heads that day and thought their hair would make the perfect gift.  Some may find that weird, or gross even, but actually?  Genius.  I mean really, what else are you supposed to do with your hair once you've separated it from you body?

Someone received the game 20 Questions, which is a battery operated device the size of golf ball, as their gift and a group of us spent the better part of an hour trying to stump it.  After it had guessed everything we'd thought of, we became convinced it could hear us so we used sign language to decide on our next word.

I would like to say that a group of girls thinking a battery operated device had the ability to hear and a gift of hair were the weirdest things that happened that night, but I would be lying.

Bring on the geo-caching.

What's geo-caching?  It's kinda like a scavenger hunt.  You go to some website and get some coordinates which you enter into your phone or GPS or something and follow the coordinates to find an object and then you write your name down on piece of paper that has the names of all the other people that found the object and then you feel like you're a part of something special and your life is complete.  Or something like that.  I don't honestly know.  If you really want to know what geo-caching is, Google it.  Or Yahoo-it.  I recommend Yahoo.  It's way more betterer.

I first heard about geo-caching from a friend who hiked around in the woods and up mountains and across streams to find "the object", whatever "the object" may be and got bit by a spider and almost died.  The husband has absolutely no recollection of the deathly spider bite, so it's possible I just imagined the whole thing.  But probably not.  A 2009 report by the U.S. Department of Health reported - because that's what reports do, report things - that the third leading cause of death in the United States is geo-caching.

It's entirely possible that I just made that up.  Do we even have a U.S. Department of Health?

The second time I heard about geo-caching was at the party. Drue (spelling of name was changed to protect the identity of the geo-cacher from Muggles.  What?  You thought Muggles was just a Harry Potter reference? WRONG!  A Muggle is someone that has no idea what the hay a geo-cacher is doing when in the midst of caching and therefore the cacher must cease and desist caching until Muggles are gone.  At least that is what Drue told us.  I am starting to think he was just f*cking with us.) was extolling his geo-caching adventures with much gusto and enthusiasm. The interest of the group was piqued and there was much jubilation when Drue announced there was a cache just .3 miles away from our location.  Why, we could walk to it!

And that's exactly what a dozen of us did.

And it was an epic fail.

Because the cache was in another neighborhood. Surrounded by a canal.  Which half of the group knew was there. But that did not deter Drue.  So we walked along the road, through a golf course, behind a maintenance shed - where a crazy serial killer surely lived - and along a canal - surely filled with alligators.  We brought along a camera to document our death, I mean our adventure, and used the flash to provide intermittent light.

We all agreed we shouldn't split up, because that's how people die in horror movies.  And there was certainly no way anyone was going to sneak off and have sex or the nymphos would be permanently joined together by a stake through their chests.  We debated whether Tina in her gold la-may pants would be the first to die or the only to survive.  We laughed at our wit and from our drunkeness and blindly followed Drue.  And we STAYED TOGETHER.  Until Tina said she didn't know how to work the camera and I decided to stop and take a look.  "It probably doesn't have anything to focus on," I said.  I took the camera from her and she posed - a fingers at the lips, brow furrowed, worry-eyed, poor frightened girl look.  I snapped the photo, we had a look on the screen, and the rest of group was gone.  We had been separated.

And then we were cut in half by chainsaws.

Just kidding.

This is a Christmas story.

We reunited with the group and all made it back to the Stootzman's where we piled into two vehicles to drive to the geo-cache location because once this group of tacky sweater lovin partiers sets its mind to something, there is absolutely no detering us.

On the drive, Drue decides to share a story to distract us from our overwhelming excited anticipation of finding the cache.

Drue: I went to Tallahasee.  I played beer pong.  I got Shingles.

The rest of us: Insane amounts of laughter.

Drue: It's not funny.  The medicine costs $180 a pill.

The rest of us: Insane amounts of laughter and mocking the rest of the night.

Here's a tip you may want to keep in your back pocket, just in case: if you ever feel compelled to share a story in which you contract a disease that no longer exists, do not tell it to a bunch of drunk, delirious idiots on a geo-caching adventure in the middle of the night.  You're not going to get much sympathy.

The husband: Of all the things you could have said after I went to Tallahasee.  I played beer pong.  I got Shingles would have been last thing I would have guessed.

The rest of us: insane amounts of laughter.

Boy #1: I got drunk, maybe.

The rest of us: insane amounts of laughter.

Drue: It's not funny.  It was incredibly painful.

Boy #2: I would have guessed Aids before Shingles.

The rest of us: insane amounts of laughter.

Drue: I was so sick I actually drove myself to the doctor, which I hate.

Boy #1: So, what's Polio like?

Drue: I got Shingles, not Polio!

The rest of us: insane amounts of laughter.

The laughter and mocking ceased only because we arrived at our location: An island of palm trees, pebbles and an electrical meter in the middle of a round-about.  Our clue to finding "the object": it doesn't belong.

The twelve of us parade around and amongst the island, kicking up pebbles, feeling up palm trees and dismantling the meter whilst repeating, "what doesn't belong?"

What doesn't belong?  How about 12 fashion challenged assholes dancing around a round-about in 40 degree weather at 1:30 in the morning?  This occured to no one but the husband who kept the thought to himself, like his own private joke.

Prepare yourselves for what I am about to say next.

We didn't find "it."  Shocking, I know.

Does that mean the party's over?


On to the next location!

Let's get tetanus as we molest a guard rail or perhaps we'll get electrocuted as we deflower this electrical pole.  We're only four feet away now! No, eighteen. Now, six inches away. It should be right here!  Nope, eight feet away!

Needless to say, we didn't find "it."

Three strikes and we were out.

Dejected but still jolly - it is Christmas, after all - we piled back into our vehicles and drove away.  Sometimes the only thing left to do is gather up your white elephant gift - oh wait, you didn't get one because you didn't bring one...because you have The Issues - hug the hostess good-bye, and go home.


  1. You're baaaaaack. Yay. I was going through withdrawals. LOVED this post. from the lame pants to the human hair to the SHHHHHH it can hear you! And the cheese balls which I polished off by weekends end.

    Not sure I would believe this story had I not been there. And glad I got filled in on the whole geo-caching episode since I was lame and missed that part. And by lame I totally mean la-may. A person can be la-may, right???

  2. Glad you are still reading!!

    A person can most definitely be la-may! And while you, my dear, may be la-may, you are absolutely not lame!

  3. I second tab's comment, except I was totally there through it all, but I might have been sleep-walking towards the end.


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