Thursday, February 16, 2006

That's What Friends Are For

I just returned from a special luncheon hosted by my company for all employees who have hit their 5 and 10 year anniversaries with the organization. I reached my 5 year mark last September. It was a very strange moment for me, realizing that I had actually worked at a single job for 5 years running... the only one that has ever lasted longer is that of "mom". :)

So after the luncheon, they provide us with some entertainment-- two local singers-- and it is *really* cheesy. Joseph, a friend from another department, is sitting a few places down the table. He starts quietly laughing. And I mean laughing-- tears running out of the corners of his eyes, face is red, whole body shaking. I can't politely look at the singers without also looking at Joseph.

I start laughing silently, too. This is bad. My manager is sitting next to me... the one who only recently started liking me (after trying to get me fired 3 years ago). Joseph can't control himself. He's wiping his eyes with the cloth napkin and trying to hide under it as best he can. About 3 more people are in the same situation I am, and we're all looking like some sort of freak show from the contorted faces we're making to keep from bursting out laughing. Oh, the humanity! The performance is beyond cheesy! I'm acutely aware of my manager's presence behind me, and I'm desperately trying to gain control of myself. Quickly.

Joseph finally gets back to as normal as Joseph gets when the music and show become a little more sane. Then, near the end of the show, they sing one of their songs they've written:

Have you ever felt that natural high
When you get up and exercise
You feel those endorphins rise
It just hits you between the eyes

And Joseph loses it again. So do I, along with about 4 others around him. By this time, though, my manager is doodling on the luncheon program. Okay, so maybe I won't be thought of *too* badly for this breach of etiquette...

The husband/wife duo finishes with a long compilation of "Les Miserables" songs, thanks the audience for the opportunity to entertain us, and sits down. Everyone cheers (is it because they liked it, or because they were happy that they were finished?). Then the director of Human Resources gets up and announces....

"It looks like we have time for one more song!"

Joseph visibly slides down in his seat. They come back up to sing. This time, it's a country song they've written. I can't even remember the lyrics, because about a minute into it, I look over at Joseph-- he's taken some of the chocolate frosting from off his cake, blacked out one of his front teeth, and is smiling at all us table cohorts.

Not only can I not keep from laughing silently this time, I start coughing on top of it.

I swear I'm gonna kill him next time I see him.

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