Friday and the weekend. Dave’s Gym Xmas Party.
I’m not a big drinker. The odd glass of wine. The occasional pint of something brown. The rare snifter of whiskey. That’s about all I manage. I reckon on average I have the equivalent of about a pint of beer a week. In fact there are only three occasions every year where I can be guaranteed to throw caution to the wind and get a little bit squiffy. Number one – The Dave’s Gym Barry Beach BBQ Bonanza. Number two – My birthday. Number three – The Dave’s Gym Staff Christmas Party. All three celebrations are completely tied up with the gym and the nutters that work/train there. Which goes to prove that either I have no life outside the gym. Or the gym is the only life I need. I’m not going to think about it in any great detail as I suspect I’ll probably only upset myself.
Saturday was to be the Dave’s Gym Christmas Party and every year we have held it in the gym. Every year up until now that is. For reasons I’m unclear on it was decided to hold this mid-winters feast at our house. Not only that, instead of having a few bowls of Pringles randomly dotted around, some idiot thought it would be a good idea to have a full-on traditional Christmas dinner. With all the trimmings. And cake. And decorations. And fancy dress. And party games. For 30 guests.
The food prep and logistical organisation for this jollification started on Thursday morning and went straight through until 7pm Saturday when the rabble started to arrive. There were 2 massive turkeys, 1 enormous ham, 20kg of potatoes, 2kg of bacon, 108 sausages, 3 sacks of parsnips, 4 gallons of gravy, mountains of peas, lakes of bread sauce, fields of carrots, bushels of onions, 144 mince pies and other assorted food stuffs to cook and prepare. When the time had come to eat the food that Zoe and I had been assembling for the past 48 hours I was sick of the sight of it. Although that didn’t stop me from wolfing down my own body weight in mashed potato.
It was all worth it though. We had a fantastic time and everyone’s fancy dress was spectacular. The theme was “A Very Middle Class Christmas circa 1920’s – 1950’s” and you can see the rogue’s gallery below. Unusually no one got too hammered this time. Partly down to the 4 helpings of food most people had and partly down to the fact that I didn’t do a “special” Christmas punch this time.
Time to meet the cast:
Lord Dave Fotherington-Smythe Carter is Lord and Master of Carter Towers and its surrounding lands. Rumours of dark satanic rituals and human sacrifice are unfounded.
Gamekeeper Dan “Mellors” Bishop is fond of pruning roses, doffing his cap and helping Lady Fotherington-Smythe Carter in the undergrowth. Lord Dave suspects nothing as he’s too busy with the chamber maids to notice.
Scullary maid and Polish assassin Aleksandra “The Black Widow” Dummerska can do things to a man with a potato peeler that could bring tears to the eye of one of the stone gargoyles that skulk around the roofs of Carter Towers. Don’t let the smile fool you. You have been warned.
Courtesan Lucy “Mini” Morris is small enough to fit in your pocket. She lives in a gerbil cage and enjoys using it’s exercise wheel very much. However, don’t let her diminutive size fool you as her teeth are sharp and her claws are pointy. Likes carrots.
Rhodri “Let me touch your pink bits” Williams was thrown out of The Hellfire Club for conduct deemed inappropriate for cads and bounders. Lord Byron was heard to scream his name during the fevers that claimed his life.
Spiv, pimp and shadowy underworld figure Matt “Concrete Boots” Richardson’s greatest trick was to convince the world that he didn’t exist. Wherever crime and violence strikes Matt can be found lurking in the gloom, smiling.
Former show girl and go-go dancer Verity “I don’t get out of bed for less than a million” Easton now controls all the casinos, brothels and kebab houses north of London. She once killed a man with a nail file just for laddering her stockings.
Danny “The Enforcer” Zucko likes to unwind after a hard day of maiming grannies and drowning kittens by playing Mozart on a tuba. His favourite colour is pain and he once bit the head off the tooth fairy.
Rosie is the village witch and can be found during the full moon dancing “skyclad” beneath the stars. Many a poor village boy has tried to sneak a peek of the beautiful Rosie but has never been heard of again. The village pond, however, does have a great deal more frogs. A coincidence?
Famous World War One flying ace Rem “The Dark Baron” Aran has been dead for 12 years now. We had him professionally stuffed and mounted by the Queen’s Taxidermists and he now resides in The Carter Towers atrium where he serves as a rather fine umbrella stand. If only we could stop the Labradors from humping his long departed leg.
Newly married couple James and Georgie never intended to come to the party at Carter Towers but their car broke down and the light spilling from the windows across the moorland was the only sign of safety for miles around. Shortly after this photo was taken they decided to take a walk in the grounds of the castle and were never heard from again. It is said that on the anniversary of their disappearance terrified sobbing noises can be heard near the cellar’s entrance.
The Right Honorable Judge Gaz “Hang ’em all” Tamplin was the last to see the missing married couple and was seen shortly afterwards furiously washing his hands and wood axe. “The fire in the drawing room was dyeing down and needed more logs. The bloody sap gets everywhere don’t you know.” is what is recorded in the official Police statement.
Detective Inspector Benjamin “Bilbo” Heaton was sent up to Carter Towers to investigate The Case of the Vanishing Newly Weds but became distracted by the scullery maid. Voted most likely so say “By Jove!”
Russian ice maiden Ruthska Waghornapov married billionaire gentleman farmer Tom “Buttclug” Clugston for his huge tracts of land. She has no love left in her cold Siberian heart as Stalin once killed her prize winning Coy Carp. Tom clings to the hope that time and unrequited love will bring her round. She also has an evil identical twin.
Ndide “The Platinum Panther” Spencer is in actual fact the Queen of a small African kingdom that can be found high in the Congolese Mountains. Her life was saved by her bodyguard, Lurch, when an army of intelligent cyborg monkeys took the throne from her. She vows to return one day and take back control. She now works in Carter Towers as the cook.
Richard “Lurch” Spencer is a trained killer and destroyer of dreams. Highly trained in the dark arts of disembowelment with nothing more than a paper clip. He is now the Head Butler at Carter Towers and can smell your fear.
Thanks for reading.