I want my eggplant, goddammit.

Last night was my company's big annual dinner/dance, and I decided to go -- mostly because my friend Gutu kept badgering me until I said I would. I figured at the very least, it would be some good food, good company and some decent music. I was wrong.

It was a cash bar, and even though I knew that going in, I didn't think a glass of wine and a G&T would cost $12.50. We had planned ahead though, and my wife had a purse full of mini-vodka bottles. That doesn't make me an alcoholic by the way - it just makes me cheap. We stood by the window with our drinks and had sort of a poor man's red carpet view of the people coming in. As we were commenting on various coworkers as they strolled to the front doors, we spotted the Big Boss and his wife. They had flown in from the old home office just for this occasion. To give you an idea of where we sit on the totem pole in relation to him, this is my and Gutu's boss's boss's boss's boss. There may even be one more in there somewhere. I can never tell without an org chart.

For the purposes of this story, we will call him Big Boss, or BB for short. After I spent about fifty bucks at the bar, and passed on all but one of the hors doovers, it was time to go into the dining room and figure out who to sit with. Gutu had a plan, and I backed it -- we would go in first, find a nice table in the back, and then wave over the people we deemed cool enough to join us.

With that plan in hand, we set forth and snagged a nice table. It was far enough away from the DJ's speakers so you could still talk, yet close enough to the dance floor to watch your co-workers do the robot to a country song. As we sat there waiting for the rest of our group to come in, Gutu turns to me and says, "Can you imagine if BB walked in and sat with us?" Ha ha ha we all agreed. Good laugh. I am pretty sure I could rob this guy at gunpoint and he wouldn't recognize me as one of his employees.

Not 30 seconds later, BB and his wife walk up to our table. BB says, "Hi Gutu, are these seats taken?" And Gutu responds in the only way she possibly can. She says, "Yes. Go sit somewhere else." No, unfortunately, I'm kidding. Obviously, she says, "No, BB. Please, sit down."

So they did.

And nobody else did.

As every one of our friends filed into the room, they took one look at who was sitting at our table and literally ran to a different table. So the 6 of us sat at a table for 12. I don't know how he knew Gutu's name, but he did, so this is all her fault, damn her. Damn her to hell. He's a nice guy and all that, but there's a little pressure to be on your best behavior if you know what I mean. In other words, doing shots from my wife's purse probably wouldn't have been in my best interests.

My wife and I also got screwed by the waiter. There were three choices for food: Beef, Fish and Vegetarian. We asked what the vegetarian dish was, and the waiter told us it was roasted eggplant, red peppers, mozzarella and ricotta over pasta and that sounded pretty damned good. "That sounds pretty damned good," we said, and placed our order.

A little while later, after about 30 minutes of polite chit-chat with our boss's boss's boss's (boss's?) boss, our food showed up.

We got pasta. We got Broccoli. And nothing else. No Eggplant. No delicious cheeses of any sort. No roasted red peppers. No goodness at all, damned or otherwise. When the waiter came back, I said, "Dude. What happened? You screwed us." and he said, "Oh yeah. They changed it to 'pasta vegetable medley.' Sorry about that."

You know what? The definition of a "medley" is this: An often jumbled assortment; a mixture. I am here to tell you that two ingredients do not make a medley, or an assortment, or even a mixture.

Since we ate almost nothing, we stopped at the grocery store on the way home and picked up a frozen pizza. As I was preheating the oven, I saw this on the front of the box:

I may not know a good way to smuggle a tiny booze bottle out of a woman's purse when I'm sitting at the same table as a guy who could ruin my life with one phone call, but I know a shitty serving suggestion when I see one.


  1. I hate work-related social gatherings. Of course you pretty much have to go, but really my life just isn't...work appropriate.

    I mean, if I had a standard domestic life I could chat it up about the latest reality show that everyone's watching. But what am I to do? My weekends involve lots of vicey activities, which is why I keep my work life completely separate.

  2. Anonymous2:55 AM

    While almost 3 people still use the correct spelling of 'hors d'oeuvres' it is actually pronounced 'hor derves'. This is because of a place in England called Dervy, which was founded by prostitutes in 1983.

    The legendary 'whore derves' needed people to stay just a bit longer, so they could better steal from their wallets, so they created a form of small snack with a toothpick in it. This tradition became popular throughout the world, even though every single one of the original prostitutes became a computer programmer in the early 1990s.

  3. Dude, that was your big chance to influence the direction and mission of your company!

    Plus you could have got him drunk. Once you get drunk with an executive, they can never say "no" to an expenditure.

  4. That is what I like about being retired, no dinners, Christmas parties or picnics. Life is good.

  5. Shamus is right! You could've used that moment to bond with BB. Imagine y'all doing shots off eachother's wives. Just imagine that for a bit. And you could've taken pictures to use later. Shame on you, JV.

  6. My mom fixed eggplant for us once. ONCE.

  7. Did you invite BB and his wife over for a swinger's evening?

  8. ew. no. No, I did not.

  9. A wife with a mini-bar for a purse is a good wife indeed. You're a lucky person!

  10. I actually cringed when I got to the part about the BB sitting at your table. That is not my idea of a good time.. ever. I still feel 12 when I get called to the principal's office to talk to MY boss.

  11. I bet if I would have been there, things would've gone differently. Maybe horribly but definitely differently.

  12. Nowadays, I feel like the BB at someone's table. It sucks! So JV, I'm sure you made a great impression, AND you guys actually did the BB a huge favor. No one likes to eat alone. BTW...what DID y'all talk about??

  13. John, I wish you had been there. You could have been just the distraction I needed to liberate the vodka. Right before we got escorted to the door, of course.

  14. I would've tried to liberate your wife from her husband and her clothes.

  15. Anonymous8:33 PM

    Liberate me baby