At the Christmas party.

The mood at the office Christmas party had none of the usual holiday cheer. There were the usual servings of cookies, eggnog and fruitcake, the usual holiday decorations and the traditional gift exchange as had been done every year, but this time though the mood was of pure annoyance. The cause was Kevin’s sports jacket on which hung hundreds and hundreds of tiny bells. Every time Kevin walked around the office, he would shake his jacket to sound the bells and the continuous ringing was of great annoyance to everyone in attendance, yet no one could leave as this was seen as a sign of disrespect for the holiday season.

Charles was driven to near insanity by the bells and was continuously drinking the eggnog just to calm his nerves. When the last of the eggnog was gone, Charles blurted out, “Oh dear, we’re out of eggnog. I’ll go get some more.” With that, he left the office.

15 minutes later Charles returned with some more eggnog and had on a pleasant smile for a change. This surprised Robert, who was also driven to near madness by the tiny bells on Kevin’s jacket.

“What’s going on, Charles?” Robert asked. “Aren’t the bells driving you crazy?”

“Not for long they won’t,” Charles replied, strolling to Kevin’s office where Kevin sat at his desk, eating a slice of fruitcake while looking out the window to admire the Christmas lights that hung outside the office, not even noticing Charles standing there silently as if waiting for something.

“Oh,” Kevin gasped, finally seeing Charles, “You startled me.”

“I wasn’t doing anything,” Charles replied. “If I wanted to startle you, I’d do THIS.”

Charles began waving his arms and seconds later, Kevin’s jacket began ringing frantically before it flew upwards to crash through the ceiling. Kevin’s jacket was no more. In fact, Kevin spent the rest of the party staring at the jacket-sized hole in the ceiling above his head, but at least there was peace and quiet in the office now.

Robert saw the whole thing happen and was incredulous. “How did you do that?” he asked.

“Oh, it was nothing,” Charles replied nonchalantly, “Nothing at all.”

Soon it came time to for the party to end. Tables were put away and leftover cookies and fruitcake were taken home. As Charles and Robert walked outside to their cars, Charles called out, “Thanks for everything, Steve.”

“Anytime, Charles,” Steve called back as he drove his electromagnetic crane out of the parking lot. “Anytime at all.”

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