" I suppose that decent sausage rolls would be too much to hope for" observed Smut Clyde morosely.
"They will be all old and stale" predicted tigris " what else can you expect on NYE".
They both looked at me.
"Heh, heh, chums" I vouchsafed "not to worry, I have Christmas crackers here with party hats and riddles in them" I read from the packet "Guaranteed to raise a smile"
"Guaranteed to raise stale sausage rolls from my stomach" gloomed Smut.
"Unkind!" I observed "look they are made in Bangladesh, the Christmas cracker capital of the world".
The Riddled talking clock ticked "It is now 11.30pm" it announced "putting things in the clock mechanism and drawing on the clock face are not funny."
"Shut up, Hitler clock" said tigris putting the finishing touches onto the toothbrush moustache "or Tom Friedman clock. Which is worse? At least Hitler built autobahns."
"I'll just go and check the mail" I said and walked over to the mail desk "still nothing". I walked back and sat at my desk.
"AK" said Smut "what time did the infernal clock say it was? Do you think that any mail will be coming in now aside from amusing photos of peoples bottoms? Do you think that anyone else will be working now?"
"Who knows" I said "what thrilling messages may wing their way here. Who knows what amazing secrets!"
"The secret of how to work the staff roster for NYE might be a good start" suggested tigris "it is not robust software"
"Well yes" I said "I did think about that when we took it back to help with the Stonehenge work roster".
Smut laughed "Those guys are funny. Physical humour but with an impish overtone."
"I felt we could have done more with them comically if it hadn't been for those meddling priests. 'Eat At Joes' was a good sign to make with the stones" said tigris.
"Why did you get the Marketing people in on it, AK?" asked Smut.
"They had done some good work on the demongraphics and felt that with a good supplier, namely Mrs. Miggins, they could have had a solid merchandising opportunity. That was before the priests got all nasty on it, with the antlers and the holly up the jacksy and such" I replied "Arthur says that he only limps on cold mornings, now."
"Well" said tigris, "for my money the last meeting of the Secondary Structure of the Foraminiferal SSU 3′ Major Domain and Space Guns made from Pinecones Society was the highlight of the year."
"Yes, well, things did get rather heated" said Smut with a mixture of pride and embarrassment.
"Heated?' I said "We still haven't found all the Meringue Surprise bowls."
"I found a slice of garlic bread on the ceiling of the meeting room, two weeks after the affray" said tigris, "behind the extractor fan that had Professor Dingus' wig in it."
"I know nothing about that" Smut said, a little too quickly.
"Gravity is quite weak at that end of the hall and his wig got sucked up" I ventured "or so I heard".
"My highlight" I said as the other two began to pack up " was the proper organisation of the clipboard cupboard, what a bleedin' mess it was."
"The time is 11.50pm" said the talking clock "no time to slack off n-"
""Oh the poor thing fell down" said tigris "I think it's time for us to go home"
"Yes' said Smut "legend tells that if you catch Evangeline van Holsterin under mistletoe at midnight on NYE, she can't ask you about your bar tab for an unspecified time"
"Worth a go then" I said "I'll distract the idiot boyfriend with King Lear by finger puppets"
"This legend" asked tigris "I never heard of it"
"Is that the time?" said Smut "we better go"
"The taim oz twlvety zornin" said the talking clock.