You were tanked and everyone knows it, you can’t call in sick so you must ride out the world’s most violent hangover without flinching, with the whole company scrutinising your every move
You idiot. You made a right knob of yourself at the Christmas party last night and the whole office cannot wait to see the state of you this morning.
Calling in sick is not an option when you very publicly banged down seven tequila shots in a row without using your hands before forcing the chairman to be Patrick Swayze to your Jennifer Grey when I’ve had the Time of My Life came on.
You’re at least three times heavier than the actress and the chairman only uses his arms to drink port and masturbate so the lift was never going to end well, although afterwards the ambulance woman did say his vital signs were strong.
You stand outside the office trying to calm and centre yourself. You’ve managed the commute without vomiting which is a bonus, but deep down you know it has only postponed the inevitable and you will remain teetering on the precipice of a monstrous chunder all day.
You enter the revolving doors but you’ve massacred so many brain cells that you complete three full rotations before figuring out how to exit them and end up inside the building.
Once in, you notice the security guard and receptionists physically perk up. They exchange loaded glances and greet you by your name even though you’ve never spoken to them before. The security guard even winks at you. Outraged, you ignore him and hurry on, their cackles echoing down the corridor behind you.
You have the elevator to yourself so take the opportunity to check yourself in the mirror and immediately wish you hadn’t. It looks like the girl from The Exorcist is going for an interview.
Before you can do anything about your appearance you feel a seismic shifting in your gut, something is moving south and fast. Your stomach bloats, your bowels become more pressurised than an airline cabin and you whimper as you realise you simply do not have the rectal strength to fight it. To your horror and dismay, you fart continuously for seven whole seconds, finishing just as the elevator doors open and three more people enter, all grinning as though they know you.
The doors slide shut and you pray to god for the first time since you were five but he’s not listening. Your sulphurous emission rises and is so rich and dense it has everyone checking their shoes. Someone swears under their breath, another fumbles for his inhaler. You give an unconvincing eye roll and waft the air beneath your nose.
When you reach your desk you’re not able to respond to the loaded Well look who’s heres and Didn’t expect to see you todays because the nausea has intensified and your mouth keeps filling with excess saliva.
You’re about to spit into your waste paper bin when your boss comes over and sizes you up. You smile with your lips closed to avoid drooling like a bloodhound. She says something about HR wanting to see you. You nod, your saliva making a loud sloshing sound you hope is inaudible outside your head.
She reminds you about the presentation you have to make to the board at ten o’clock and you break into a profuse cold sweat, goosepimples pebbledash your body and someone jams meathooks into your brain.
Helen arrives eating a sausage sandwich, the fat glistens on her lips as she chews loudly and wetly. Mike bites into a bacon sandwich, a thick white strip of fat twangs back against his face and swings there while he chews. You can see the blackheads on his nose in incredible detail.
Your boss is still speaking but you don’t hear her. Sweat drips from your nose, your gorge rises and this time there’s no keeping it down, you push past her, sprinting the length of the office to the toilets.
You press your cheek against the white porcelain rim, grateful for its coolness, hygiene far from your mind. You love this toilet. You love it because you need it and it doesn’t judge you, because it is discrete and you are cocooned away from mocking eyes. You develop a messed up kind of Stockholm Syndrome and decide never to leave the cubicle.
You need to be sick again but someone has entered the cubicle next to you so, being a loud and dramatic puker, you will have to wait until they’ve gone. But infuriatingly they sit there silently and do not leave. You really need to spew but try to hold it back. What are they doing in there? You despise them and their apparent constipation. You rattle your toilet roll holder to try to rouse them from whatever stupor they might be in but it doesn’t work.
Five minutes have elapsed and there’s still no movement in the cubicle next door. You try to peer under the dividing wall but the shoes give nothing away. Desperate now, you climb on to the toilet seat and peer over to see what your tormentor is up to.
Someone is flipping through Facebook on their phone, you tremble with anger and are about to berate them when you notice they’ve stopped at a video in which a woman in a blue dress — a lot like the one you wore last night — appears to rugby tackle a slight older gentleman who looks a lot like your chairman. The woman watches it three times. There can be no doubt. In a second video you appear to be trying to get off with the security guard. You slide back to the floor of your cubicle in shame, curl into a foetal position and remain there until the late evening.
You emerge when it’s dark and you’re sure everyone has left. The mirror shows you a desperate woman with a corpse-like pallor, deep purple bags, burst blood vessels around the eyes and sweat patches under the arms. You fluff your damp hair pointlessly and scratch some of the dry sick off your chin before taking the elevator back down to the foyer.
There’s a mild ping and the doors slide open theatrically to reveal the company’s eight security guards gathered around Youtube.
They whoop and applaud as you pass but you hold your head high and refuse to acknowledge them, until you realise the doors are locked for the evening and you must go back and ask them to let you out. You press your hands and forehead against the glass, slide to your knees and have a little cry.
Click here to to relive the Christmas party.