Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Joyeux Noel

In November 1999, my friend WWLD and I decided to volunteer to work at the French embassy's Beaujolais Nouveau party. That's the celebration held every year when the new Beaujolais is unleashed upon the world, and about the only time that people will drink it, as most connoisseurs look down their noses at fresh wine (not me though - I'll drink pretty much anything).

At this party, we had to wear the fugliest purple t-shirts, which made us feel a bit like the help considering how everyone else was dressed up in their business finest. However, after hitting the Beaujolais table a couple of times, that stopped mattering. And then we started to feel sorry for the people who actually paid $60 to attend the party when we were there for free.

Our beat was the Orangina table, which seemed like something of a disconnect at first - who thinks of drinking fizzy orange-flavored water with wine? - but it turned out to be quite the palate cleanser, what with all the hors d'oeuvres and wine and pastries. Plus, since it was the two of us at our table, we could tag-team and send out a scout to investigate the various food tables while the other person "worked". We ate and drank the whole time; it was fan-tas-tic.

By the end of the party, we weren't even bothering to work the table but instead set out a bunch of Oranginas and let people have it. (Oddly, some party-goers thought that we worked for Orangina and asked us questions about the company. Like I give a rat's ass where Orangina is bottled.) At the close of the evening, when all the guests had left and it was just us help, they brought out all the leftover food, wine, and Evian bottles, and let us take home everything we could carry. Somehow in my inebriated state, I managed to get a 12-pack of Evian - these were the full-sized *glass* bottles, mind you - plus a couple of bottles of Beaujolais nouveau home. Why I opted to grab water instead of wine, I'm not sure.

I've since been to other Beaujolais Nouveau parties - last year's was particularly atrocious, where I brought home three CASES of Beaujolais Nouveau and couldn't unload them for love or money - but the French embassy's 1999 party stands out as the most fun.

And tonight I get to go to the French embassy again. This time, though, it's for a run-of-the-mill holiday party. Still, I am very excited about it. I'm attending ostensibly to network, but I plan to park myself next to the champagne table and leave only to refill my plate with more cheese. Maybe this time I won't cart anything off with me...but just MAYBE, I'm not making any promises here.


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