Ho Ho Hack !

Journal Entry - various.

It's that time of year again when Exec Producers describe newsrooms as "family", when unit managers drink too much cheap white wine and bore the crap out of everyone by driveling on and on about accounting software upgrades ... when freelancers scarf all the shrimps at the buffet table... and Shooters try to bed every P.A. in sight.

Yep, it's Christmas party time. And TV parties are without doubt the worst.

Why ?

Because we spend WAY too much time crammed into dark little rooms with each other trying not to scream "YOUR STUPID IDEA IS GOING TO GET ME FIRED"...and now we're going to set all that repressed hostility aside and trade man-hugs ?


Not without copious amounts of Bushmills, we're not.

As you may have guessed I've seen my share of Good Will Gatherings. So, in the spirit of the season here are a few chestnuts-roasting type memories.

-- Christmas 1978. Calgary Sun party. Calgary.

Legendary columnist Fred Kennedy is about to retire so the publisher has a mock front page made with stories about Fred's career. The gift is blown up to 3 x 4 and we're all asked to sign it. Late in the evening someone scrawls in black marker..."I never liked you, you fat fuck. Ho Ho HACK !!".

-- Christmas 1980. SCTV party. Edmonton.

Too much Ouzo. Too much Rick Moranis. Too much Catherine O'Hara. Steal milk truck. Lose shirt. Wake up in bath tub.

-- Christmas 1982. CBC Edmonton party.

Vicki Gabereau "borrows" goat from local farm. Brings to the studio. Goat tries to bite everyone. SPCA takes goat away. Threaten to lay charges.

-- Christmas 1985. CBC Calgary party.

Write fake memo with National Reporter, Jane Chalmers announcing appointment of much-loathed line up editor, David Isaac as new Exec Producer. Post said memo on every notice board in the plant. Hide in fear for first week of New Year as Regional Director launches massive investigation to find culprit.

-- Christmas 1991. Zagreb, Croatia. Impromptu hotel bar party.

Eat boiled chicken, pureed apricots, and rice for dinner. Try to fight off advances from BBC correspondent Kate Addie. Drink too much sljivovica, (slivovitz) plumb brandy with CBC reporter Michael McIvor and friend Clare who he will later marry. Vow never to eat plumbs - or watch the BBC - again.

-- Christmas 1993. CBC Toronto party.

Get in argument with Globe and Mail TV writer, John Haslett Cuff who less than a month later will write entire column trashing me as a "bleeding heart so-called film maker who should never be given another dime from the public purse."

Mum calls and asks: "Do you think he liked your film ?"

-- Christmas 2005. New Orleans. Party alone in empty hotel bar.

Spend Christmas Eve driving around the bleak and dangerous streets. The City of Song has become an American warzone. No lights. No people. No music. Only the incessant barking of starving dogs and the distant lullaby of police sirens.

Decide to count my blessings.


Amanda said...

Wow. Amazing. And at the same time, very true.

This was my second year attending a TV holiday party, and you are very right. There's something about television and booze that go hand in hand, and the annual party seems to be more like a contest to see whose liver has built up the most tolerance over the past year.

Although, technically, last year's I wasn't actually working in television -- I just decided to crash the media guild party because I heard they had good martinis.

This year's CTV bash featured a midget singing jazz, horses, Black Russians, a chandelier made out of candy, and Ben Mulroney getting in shit for not being in Ottawa with his pops.

Can't wait for next year... maybe I'll bring a goat!

Mike said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Conrad Whiterthanthou said...

Anyone who has been so roundly trashed by His Excrescence Cardinal John Hasbeen Fluff has just got to be okay. And since J Hasbeen disports himself with that odious bint who makes world-shattering films about Chinese people with constricted feet, he's got the gall of a canal horse, as my old Granny used to say, criticizing anyone else's films.

Thanks for all the laughs you've provoked lo these many months past. And please keep up the bad work.

Allan said...

Because of your hazy memory, let me set the record straight. I was the one who went home with Catherine, you went home with Rick.

It would be nice to see a respectable photograph of you instead of the one where you're suffering from an apparent toothache.
You've done enough good work that it's time you came out as the proud professional that you are and not a webcam lurker.

You captured the spirit of the hostile work-life party very well, and let me tell you alcohol is no solution. In my case, I invariably become horny and arrogant.

The real solution is to have someone co-ordinate activities, games, etc to break the ice.
Like pin the tail on the donkey - is Gabereau still coming?

Allan said...

GREAT picture!
You, more than I, have far less to be shy about.
Everyone who comes here has a lot of respect for you.
Remember that, for as long and as often as you can.

The Book of Don said...

thanks Allan. That's incredibly kind and gracious of you

by the way....LOL at your earlier post. Tres funny.