Nov. 30, 2006 — -- ABCNEWS.com asked for your holiday office party horror stories, and you overwhelmed our e-mail inboxes with tales of drunken spouses, couch fires and all out food fights. Here are some of the best of the bunch.
Back in the early '70s I was a teaching assistant during graduate school. One of the department secretaries hosted a faculty and staff Christmas party. It was a time when everyone smoked wherever they wanted, and I was a smoker at the time.
I was talking to someone in the living room with a cigarette in my hand. As I spoke I was gesturing with broad sweeps of my arms. At one point, I accidentally hit the wall with the lit end of my cigarette -- the same wall their couch sat against.
The party went on. It was time to leave. As I was leaving I smelled smoke and looked over to see a steady plume of smoke rising from the back of the couch, caused no doubt by the embers from the hot ash of my cigarette as it hit the wall.
"Oh look!" I cried out. "Your couch is on fire!"
They ran to extinguish it by pouring water over the smoldering fabric, thanking me profusely for my keen sense of smell and quick reaction to the crisis.
I got the wrong date for the office party that was to be held at a very expensive restaurant. I showed up at work and asked a fellow co-worker if she and her husband wanted to ride to the party with us that night and she responded, "Why? The party was last night. Where were you? We waited for you and your wife for 30 minutes before we got started."
In preparation for the party, we both bought new clothes and had to sell NBA tickets because of the supposed scheduling conflict.
This happened five years ago and I am reminded of it EVERY year when the holiday party is being scheduled.
I couldn't face my wife due to all the trouble we went through to get ready for the party. To this day, my wife thinks they cancelled the party - I was too embarrassed to tell her I got the dates wrong. It is my dirty little secret!
I was at an office Christmas party and was probably drinking a bit too much. At the dinner table, I sat near my boss and his wife, who worked at a local furniture store.
I didn't know much about the store. When his wife started talking about the business and how slow it had been that year, I said that the store would be wise to dump the "annoying old man" who starred in the store's television commercials.
The table went silent. My boss's wife said, "That 'unfunny old man' is my father." Needless to say I didn't say, or drink, much more after that.
We had an extremely glamorous Christmas party at a mansion in Chicago. I had a beautiful ball gown, taffeta, the whole deal. I was walking down the sweeping staircase with a glass of champagne, looking like a princess when the heel of my shoe got caught on the stair, broke off, flew across the room, missing my boss's head by an inch or so. It hit the wall behind his head and made a dent in the wall. I fell the couple of steps and with much dignity got myself up, readjusted the strapless gown and walked around for the rest of the party with a shoe with no heel.
My ex-husband decided to partake in a beverage or two to loosen up for my company holiday party a few years ago. When introductions were made he said, "Hi, I am Steve, Tina's wife," I didn't live that down for a long time.
About 20 years ago, during an office Christmas lunch, about 25 of us went to a local "medieval-themed" restaurant where they served "grog" out of wooden mugs, fed patrons entire roasted chickens, and encouraged the customers to throw their bones on the floor so the serving wenches could sweep up during the meal.
It was billed as, and completely lived up to being, a raucous atmosphere, but a fun experience nonetheless.
A food fight broke out among the "happier" members of our group. The "happiest" of the bunch picked up a half-eaten chicken and hurled it across a long picnic-style table at someone and ended up hitting the senior department manager right in the face.
There was chicken meat, skin, bones and grease completely smeared all over the boss' shirt, tie, and slacks.