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Christmas Cheer

Invitations to business-related Christmas parties are
starting to come in thick and fast. 

I’ve been to one already, but I’ve resolved not to go
to any more.  M wants to know why.  Because, I tell her, I’m bored with running
into people who once worked for me, whose names I’ve forgotten, whom I hardly
knew anyway, and probably didn’t even like. 
And they all seem at least thirty years younger than me.

Parties these days invariably involve having
conversations like the (imaginary) one that follows.

“Well, JJ, my dear
chap.  What a treat seeing you.  Long time no see, eh?  How the hell are you?”

“Oh, mustn’t
grumble.  It doesn’t help anyway.  And you?”

“I’m fine, just
fine.  How long has it been, anyway?”

“Must be a few
years now, Jack.”

“Jim.”

“Yes, of course.  Jim…. ah ….sorry, the old memory isn’t what it
used to be.” 

“Holtzman.”

“Yes it is hot in
here.  Noisy, too.” 

“Yeah, this group
is great.  It’s called Pink Gin.”

“No, I won’t
thanks.  Maybe later.”

“So, what are you
up to these days, JJ?”

“Oh, I’m pretty
much retired.”

“Ha!  You retired, you old dog!  That’ll be the day.”

“Well, I still dabble
a bit here and there.”

“Knew it, you old
devil.  Heard anything from Martin
lately?  I heard he wasn’t well.”

“He died, must be
least four years ago now.”

“Oh really?  I’m sorry.  I hadn’t heard.  What about Nigel?”

“Nigel?”

“Yes, you remember,
Nigel Pettigrew.  I heard he got divorced
again.”

“Could be, could
be …..”

“Well, JJ, it’s really
been great seeing you.  We must have
lunch, perhaps in the New Year.”

“Sure, Jack, I
mean Jim, that sounds good.”

“Well, JJ, have a
great Christmas.  And how’s your, er,
dear wife?”

“Martha.  She’s in great shape, in every respect.  And give my best to …. er …. damn”

“Gillian.”

“Of course.  Well, remember me to Gillian – and the kids,
of course.”

“No kids.  We lost our one and only.  And after that it just wasn’t to be, I’m
afraid ….”

“I’m so sorry.  Well, cheers for now.”

“Cheers.  Call me after the holidays.  Don’t forget now. We’ve got a lot of catching
up to do.”

 

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