From his vantage point, John could see the entire party.
He could see Nina and Louis eye-fucking the shit out of each other. They thought no one knew of their affair. He could see Randy, Henry, and Karen whispering by Karen’s desk about why the office Christmas party was so early in the month. He could see Eddie by the food table adjusting his pants for what had to be the ten-thousandth time that day, and wondered what the deal was with his crotch. Was it a rash issue, a size issue, or an anxiety issue? He wanted to ask him, and he also wanted to approach the three whispering ninnies and tell them that the reason the party was so early, was that one of the six of them had to be fired before Christmas, and John at least wanted to give them some fun before it happened.
John wondered how well his company would be doing without any of these knobs and considered excising their entire division and doing the work himself. He thought his idea of keeping them separate from the rest of the employees was pure brilliance, as they wouldn’t have any negative impact on the good workers. This just heightened their effect on each other, but none of them was very good to start with so not a whole lot was lost.
John looked at the quarterly report and then back up to the group. Not much had changed with either. He had lost enough that one of them had to go, and now Randy and Henry were looking at him and chuckling. Karen glanced up at him, and then back down at her desk. He could only see the tops of Louis and Nina’s heads above the cubicle wall and hoped beyond his last ounce of hope that nothing obtuse was happening. Eddie had eaten half the veggie tray.
He had agreed to an open bar for their little shindig. He couldn’t count how many drinks each of them had up to that point, but if things got entirely out of control, he could just lock them in the room, play dumb, and call the cops. None of the other employees would be the wiser.
John returned to his desk to get some of his own work done, thinking they would be alright for a couple hours.
“So you just left them to their own devices?” the police officer said. His smirk implied he was actually enjoying this situation.
“I didn’t think things would get to this level of ridiculous,” John said.
They stood outside the building as Emergency Services crews milled about. The fire was only minor, but the damaged caused from the sprinkler system would definitely have everyone working from home for a while.
“So what first alerted you to any issues?”
“It was the one named Karen running out of their side of the office topless, yelling penis at the top of her lungs,” John said. He thought about how insane that sounded, and wondered how bad his karma must be for this all to be the case.
“And then what happened,” the officer said.
“I jumped up from desk and rushed into the room.”
“You provided them alcohol?”
“I did. In hindsight, not the best decision,” John said.
The officer nodded for him to continue.
“When I entered the room, chaos was just getting underway. Apparently Karen’s penis concern was from her co-worker Eddie Shaw taking his pants down and shoving himself into the rum raisin cake. He was approaching Nina King, who was in various states of undress with Louis Gregerson. When Louis saw what Eddie was doing, he pulled his own pants up and charged at Eddie, knocking him to the ground. Louis then grabbed the knife from the food table and that’s when I was able to intervene. I grabbed his arm and the knife fell, thankfully away from anyone. When I asked Eddie why the hell he would do such a thing, he replied, for funsies, and I almost picked the knife up myself.”
“Why was Karen Tipple topless?”
“I have no idea,” John said.
“Please continue,” the officer said.
“In all the confusion, I didn’t realize that I had jostled the plastic tree enough when I rushed by it to knock it over. Of course, in the beautiful way that life seems to work itself out, it landed on freshly lit candles that made their appearance out of nowhere land, and that is what started the fire.”
“And what started the physical altercation between you, Randy Williams, and Henry Devlin?”
“The whole reason I was letting the IT division have their own party was because I was going to have to let one of them go before the 25th. I wanted them to have a bit of a party before I had to deliver the bad news. I sent a memo to the rest of the employees explaining this, and as they never interact and understand how inefficient the IT division is, they all said they understood. The last two financial quarters have reported we have had significant enough losses that I couldn’t keep them all on, however, these two reports were altered by Randy and Henry as part of a plan to prank me. I have no idea how or why this could be considered funny, but to them and their lunatic brains, it was hilarious. So one thing led to another and I left my sanity behind me until I realized they were both unconscious. Not one of my better moments,” John said.
“One hell of a party though,” the officer said.