I was faced with the most agonising choice last Saturday night. Do I attend my office Christmas party, or watch the latest Republican Presidential nominee debate? Decisions don’t get any tougher than that. Get drunk with my colleagues or get drunk on my sofa. Hmm. Less likely to insult anyone on the sofa. Party it is, then.
Of course some decisions are pretty easy. The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Sean Connery or Roger Moore? Comfy boy pants or vicious cheese-wire? Comfy boy pants whipped off on first date or fifth date? Other decisions can be a mite trickier, with potentially disastrous consequences. Allowing Maradona’s first ‘goal’ against England in 1986 was a decision that tore apart countless relationships as women up and down the land said “Never mind, it’s only a game”. Selling Alaska to America in 1867 must have been a real quandary for Russia and resulted horrifically in Sarah Palin. And if only JFK had said “Shall we just stop in and watch something on the box, Jackie love?”
So you’d think that deciding to flush the UK’s position in Europe down the shitter rather than negotiating to avoid the kind of splendid isolation normally reserved for drunk-drivers would be a tortuous mindfuck of epic proportions, but David Cameron managed it last week with the kind of nonchalance with which I choose my knickers in the morning. As a result, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg had to decide between acting like a child having a tantrum, or being a proper man with a decent heft in his trousers. Wrong choice, Nick. You are hereafter known as the Minister for Euvnonuts.
I should probably mention the office Christmas party. Saturday’s festivities were in a hotel with a free bar and a band. It was like an awkward wedding reception at first, the men looking slightly uncomfortable in front of their wives and the women, with frantic, darting eyes, outdoing each other to sprinkle compliments like grass seed on a lawn. A couple of hours later, and inhibitions were being discarded quicker than Mitt Romney can shed his skin. The boss was on stage singing Aretha Franklin while I surreptitiously took pictures, and most of the girls on the dance floor looked like pole dancers without the pole (no, girls, you are not dancing ‘like Beyoncé’, it looks like you are having a collective fit). Oddly, and perhaps because I am slightly older than most of my team members (ahem), it transpired that there were certain things they expected me to do:
- Perform an emergency operation to sew a girl’s frock into her bra to stop it falling down.
- Adjudicate in an argument over who would win in a fight between Gingrich and a badger.
- Not get drunk.
Well, achieving two out of three isn’t bad. And so the next day I lay on the sofa, feeling rather delicate and moaning quietly to myself, as I read the Guardian’s brilliant live-blog report of the Republican debate. Win win, I reckon.