13 December 1999
Overheard conversations at the Firm's Christmas party attended by, among others, senior partner Pratchard, managing partner Henderson, corporate partner Alison Brett, Big Tosh, Chalmers and God's own Yorkshireman Rodney Bickerthwaite.
Brett: Oh Mr Pratchard. How imaginative coming as Widow Twanky. Everyone else's fancy dress is boring.
Pratchard: Fancy dress? I thought the invite said casual. Still it's good sport of Henderson to come as a pirate.
Henderson: I've just come from my Lodge meeting you fool. After my disgrace in the mayoral election The Grand Wizard King and King of all Frogs Irvine poured hot banana custard on my nipples, shredded my trousers and made me wear this eye patch.
Brett: What happened to the shirt off your back?
Henderson: I had to give that to the old brass I knobbed, err didn't knob, to stop her spilling everything in a multi million pound sign-up with the Law Society Gazette. I see Mr Bickerthwaite has entered the spirit of the occasion by coming as a marketing manager.
Bickerthwaite: That's director of business, strategy, coordination and strategic business coordination. And I don't believe in Christmas. A great man once said: "Christmas is sentiment, and sentiment makes us weak. Now pass us me bat. I need to practice me forward defensive." That man was Geoffrey Boycott. Now if you don't mind, some legal journalists are having their own Christmas parties which I need to gate-crash and ruin.
Pratchard: Oh well. Present time. Who's buying me a present? I want a present! Give me a present!
Big Tosh: It was my honour to draw you from the hat Sir. This year my gift to you is the same as always. I pledge my life to you. Next year I will risk my life for the Firm, kill for the Firm, shred documents and carry Mr Henderson's "special case notes" to Palermo for the Firm.
Pratchard: Shit. I wanted a Pokemon.
Chalmers: I got you in the draw Mr Henderson. Look, I've bought you the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire board game.
Henderson: But I already am a millionaire. Isn't there a version for City fat cats called Who Wants to Own a Small Country?
Chalmers: I take it you had to get a present for Ms Brett sir. I saw it earlier on. Very Saucy. A penis-shaped pen. I love that office humour.
Henderson: What penis-shaped pen? What? When did you see that? I don't know what you're talking about.
Chalmers: A couple of hours ago when I saw you take it into the toilet to wrap it up.
Henderson: Ha ha. Oh yes. I had to take it back to the shop. It didn't fit. I mean work. Look Ms Brett, I've bought you, err, this stapler. Happy Christmas.
Brett: You're a very sad little man Tom.
Chalmers: Never mind Sir. Pull on the wishbone. Oh look. You won. You get to make a wish!
Henderson: Now let's see...
At this point a waiter enters the room carrying a silver platter laden with the heads of all the senior partners in the magic circle. Simultaneously a suitcase full of cash appears on the floor and Chalmers is turned into a turkey.
Henderson: Well bugger me. I really didn't expect that to work.
Chalmers: Look at Mr Pratchard. He's photocopying his buttocks in time-honoured office party fashion.
Pratchard: Photocopier? Sorry, I thought it was the toilet. I must have had one Bacardi Breezer too many. Maybe we should pop down to the January sales Tom. Get a new photocopier.