Go Ugly or Go Home

Monday, we were instructed to wear ugly holiday sweaters to work for a company Christmas card photo. I didn’t even own one, but a quick trip to Kohl’s over the weekend solved that dilemma. I picked out the most garish sweater I could find. I mean, that’s the point, right? Go ugly or go home. I was probably more excited to wear that sweater to the office than I’d care to admit.

Even though I just did. In public.

Only, when I got to the office on Monday, I was the only one wearing an ugly holiday sweater. At first I feared I’d been the victim of a prank…and a pretty good one, at that. Ha-ha, let’s send out a company-wide Slack telling everybody to dress up in ugly clothing, but the joke’s gonna be on Mark…the rest of us will dress in normal workplace attire! Something along those lines. I was slightly embarrassed and contemplated storming my boss’s office (or at least creeping over there and gently knocking on the door so as not to disturb any important business-at-hand) and inquiring, “Why do you enjoy tormenting me?” Before I got too riled up, I figured out that the rest of my coworkers had brought along ugly sweaters of their own, but were only changing into them for the photo shoot.00100sPORTRAIT_00100_BURST20191210171941580_COVER~2-1.jpg

Well. OK, then. That’s how we’re going to play this game, huh?

Actually, that was fine. I’d planned to go home on my lunch and change out of mine anyway…even though, I’ve gotta admit, it was damn comfy. Honestly, if everybody else had kept theirs on, I would’ve done the same. I might still wear it around the house (even though it might scare the cat).

And if I had been the victim of an office prank? Well, I’ve doled out my fair share of those over the years, so it would have been a case of just desserts. My favorite practical joke ever? I once called a new hire in our San Jose office and told her I was with such-and-such laboratory service in charge of the company-mandated drug testing and her urine sample had been misplaced, so could she please go into the bathroom, pee into a cup, and await further instruction?

She did. I swear. To this day, I can’t believe I got away with it. I may end up in hell for that practical joke, but that’d be a small price to pay for the hilarity that ensued.

We had a really good weekend, by the way. I’d booked us tickets for the 1880 Train “Spiked” Holiday Express on Saturday. The Black Hills Central Railroad operates heritage train rides between Hill City and Keystone, and their holiday run includes hot cocoa, a sugar cookie, and a visit from Santa. The adults-only “spiked” version adds booze to your hot chocolate. Paying a few extra dollars for this privilege was really a no-brainer. Earlier in the day we’d hiked part of the Mickelson Trail, and the weather was perfect; sunny and mid-50s. But it still felt Christmasy with all the snow on the ground.

We boarded the train at 4:15 and were soon chugging along the tracks, through a snowy Black Hills landscape, with Christmas music playing and that spiked cocoa keeping us warm. We had a choice of peppermint or butterscotch Schnapps; Tara chose the former and I picked the latter, and holy cow, it was so good I had what could almost be described as a religious experience. DeKuyper Buttershots, where have you been all my life?

Anyway. We had a great time and might make this an annual tradition. We need a few new ones, living in a new state and all.

Sunday was less spiked but equally exciting, because the Broncos actually looked good as they demolished the Texans. Could we finally have a franchise quarterback in Drew Lock? Time will tell.

15 days until Christmas, guys!

7 thoughts on “Go Ugly or Go Home

  1. “….so could she please go into the bathroom, pee into a cup, and await further instruction?”

    OMG Mark, that’s freaking HILARIOUS! I love playing pranks. It always makes me feel like a devilish little kid!

    I bet that train ride was a blast! As you know, I love train travel; especially vintage trains.

    Btw, I actually think your reindeer sweater was not ugly at all. I see it as Christmasy festive!

    I know, can you believe that Christmas is only 15 days away?!?! I think it felt like it came faster because Thanksgiving was later this year.

    P.S. I like your new blog theme!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, to be fair, you didn’t see the back of the sweater, where the reindeer is pooping peppermints. I think that was the coup de grace!

      Christmas is coming real fast. I hate the short break between holidays. We didn’t even get a chance to hang Christmas lights, and it’s too late now.

      I like to freshen up my blog from time to time and was long overdue.


  2. My daughter bought an ugly sweater for a Xmas party this year. It lights up and has the Stitch character from a Disney movie. Trust me when I say it’s the ugliest sweater ever!

    The train ride sounds fun and delicious! We took the kids on the Polar Express twice on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic RR. An adult version would be a big hit.


    1. Actually, in our creative meeting yesterday, my boss told the group, “Mark once got a coworker to pee into a cup.” I was partly mortified, but also, equally pleased. Quite the reputation I am earning for myself, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Heh. Heh. That is a good one.
        I was actually referring to any guff you may have gotten for wearing the ugly sweater half the day. You shoulda just kept it on all day. That’ll show ’em! 😉


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