Your Disastrous Holiday Party Stories

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Screenshot: Mean Girls (2004

It’s finally December, and if you’re anything like me, that means you’ve checked out for the remainder of the year. Now is the time to line your stomach with holiday ham and various charcuterie only to throw caution to the wind at the first sight of spiked eggnog, especially if said drink is complementary at a holiday party. Your employer’s get-together, someone else’s, a festive friend’s, who cares! You’re getting lit tonight, my friend, and probably every weekend for the foreseeable future.


You’re also going to be embarrassing, as we’ve seen in Pissing Contests past. Or not! Maybe someone else will light the dry-ass Christmas tree on fire after accidentally bumping into the menorah. We don’t just want to hear your shameful secrets this year, we want everything—the ugly, the unfortunate, the disastrous. What terrible holiday party story will you share?

And I know you’re eager to comment below, but first, let’s check out your terrible apartments from last week.

Meg&O wins, if only for making us contemplate goat cum:

Picture it: Austin, 2007. I had just broken up with a boy I lived with and needed a new place fast. I found a bedroom to rent in a house: the owner lived in one of the bedrooms and rented out the other bedrooms, there was a shared kitchen and bath, separate exterior entrance to each bedroom. Great, done. I took it as soon as she offered, which was only after she looked up our birthdates in a giant book to make sure we were “compatible.” Hmmm..okay whatever she can be a hippie, I don’t care. She sleeps in a hammock in her room? Sounds tricky and annoying but do your thing lady.

Goats roamed the fenced property. Little ones that come up only to your shins. Super cute right? I though so too except also - stupid as feck and with zero regard for your shin bones. Every time I came in the gate those goats would just start hammering at my shins. Like 3 or 4 of them at once just fully throwing their hard skulls at my legs the entire way to the door. I’m dropping groceries, falling over, they just hammer away. And then when I went in they would just throw themselves at the (exterior entrance) door to my bedroom. And then sometimes they would do that just randomly in the middle of the night! So at 2 in the morning there would just be 15 minutes of pounding at the door. They broke through several doors around the property over time.

I move out after my short-term lease is up. My brother moves to town and needs a short-term place while he looks for something permanent. I write the lady, say he’s looking, can they meet? She says yes, he goes to meet her, they sign a year lease, all is fine for another 4 months or so (Except the goats. They have learned to escape the fence & like to climb on and head-butt my brother’s car. One day he comes out to find a goat standing on the hood. As he’s trying to shoo the thing off the goat JIZZES ALL OVER THE WINDSHIELD! Apparently that is difficult to clean off with wipers. Smears a lot.)

After 4 months, I get an email from the landlady: she wants to kick out my brother because he’s not “her kind of person.” She only let him stay there because of me, and apparently I turned out to be a “huge disappointment” as a housemate (I had no idea.) But here’s the thing: she wants ME to kick him out bc he’s “my guest” AND she wants ME to pay for the remainder of his lease! 8 months. When I called my brother he had NO idea. They had just chatted that morning, she was perfectly friendly. She wouldn’t speak to him after this. I replied to her email, cc’ing my brother, with a copy of the lease she had signed with him and told her I wasn’t responsible for anything and she could do her own dirty work. She threatened a lawyer, I said “go for it”, brother moved out within a week without ever seeing her (she wouldn’t come out of her room while he was there) and then thank god we never heard a peep from her again.

So to sum up: Never rent from a hippie, goat meat is delicious.

Sw12345 literally became a housing attorney because of their first shithole spot:

I became a housing attorney because of my worst apartment, which was my first on my own. I was moving to Seattle for grad school and rented the cheapest apartment I could find off the internet, sight unseen - a 250 square foot efficiency for $450 a month (which was still dirt cheap 10 years ago). I moved in during the dry season, and at first things seemed ok. Then the rain started.

There was something wrong with the foundation and the roof. The carpet was constantly wet. Everything touching the floor (shoes, books, furniture, clothes I should have put away) started to grow mold, and I had to throw it out. And then mold started growing up the walls. There was a 9 inch tall ring of dark mold extending from the baseboards on all the walls. I hadn’t had asthma since I was a kid, but it came back. I got pretty sick and had to take incompletes for some of my classes. The landlord’s response was to tell me to mist the walls with bleach solution. Uh, not going to work. I misetd it anyway. It faded then grew back the next day.

Meanwhile, my next door neighbor was being evicted. He’d live there for thirty+years. He’d scream obscenities (mostly sexual) at me through our shared wall lateinto the night, which was lovely. When he was finally kicked out, they left the blinds open, and I could see inside for the first time. His apartment was stacked nearly to the ceiling with newspapers and trash except a path to the bathroom, which was smeared with feces. It began to stink. My apartment started to stink too. No one cleaned it up.

Then I started receiving notes under my door from a “secret admirer” who told me he’d been watching me through my only window, which faced the street. He seemedto know everything about me, even the graduate program I was in and the coffee shops I frequented. I shut my blinds and tried not to leave my dark, moldy, putrid apartment until I broke my lease, got the f out, and switched to law.

I am sort of thankful for that shitty apartment for giving me a crash course in the housing issues I now work on. And I’ve since seen far worse—a possum popping up in a bedroom through a hole in the floor, or landlords that remove the exterior door in winter to illegally force out tenants—but my first apartment was still pretty bad.

ballofstressnightmare home includes hoarding, alcoholism, squirrel caracasses (as in, multiple):

So not technically an apartment, but now-Mr. BallOfStress and I, along with my male bff and a random guy from out school we met off of Craigslist (back in the day)...It was a truly great house, in a sketchy neighborhood, but the price was right. We ignored the fact that the landlord was obviously a few cards short of a full deck and the ridiculous neon coloured walls in the dinning room because the price was right.

Fast forward a few months (and I’m skipping over the Craigslist roomie turning out to be a hoarder to the point that the ceiling in the living room -under his room - had started to sag AND that he’d adopted a St. Bernard puppy), and it became apparent that ‘maintenance’ was a very loose concept for our landlord. The first clue was the squirrel that I woke up to discover sitting on my dresser, just chilling, looking at me in equal surprise before he darted back into a previously unseen hole in the wall behind said dresser...

So after informing our landlord, “Bill” about this, and the increasingly unignorable smell of dead squirrel above our kitchen, we came home to discover our VERY drunk landlord passed out under the large oak tree in the backyard...with a handgun next to him....

When we went inside, we found that our ‘house note board’ (half whiteboard, half corkboard) was now adorned with 3 amputated squirrel tails - still bloody, mind you, thumb-tacked to the cork - with the ‘scorecard’ on the whiteboard reading “Executioner: 3. Squirrels: 0.”

Needless to say, we did NOT renew our rental agreement the following year!

IndianaJoan was dealt mold, mice and...bats?:

It was my and my husband’s first apartment. We were broke, so all we could afford was a dubious first floor in-law that was at least close to the park and beach (as much as you can use the beach in San Francisco). Anyway, we nicknamed this apartment “the cave” because the only windows it had either looked into an enclosed hallway or had the deck from the second story over it. So no natural light and close to the beach meant that our apartment was extremely damp. We had to run a dehumidifier constantly and filled up a bucket + of water a day. Which brings me to the first problem - mold. Nonstop mold that even the strongest bleach couldn’t battle. I’d clean the walls and the next day it was back. I was sick non-stop the year we lived there. I remember laying in bed just listening to the strange bubbling noises my chest made when I breathed wondering if I could get a better paying job when I could barely function enough to go to work.

The mold wasn’t our only problem though. We also had mice. Many mice. One day when I was home sick laying on the couch second-guessing my liberal arts degree I heard a noise - glancing over I saw a mouse crawl out of our toaster. The toaster was thrown away, as was a lot of food with dubious looking holes. When we moved, we found mouse droppings underneath everything. They were even in the bedroom,though I had convinced myself at the time that that was my safe place.

What other living creatures did we have, you ask? Bats. We had bats. Remember the enclosed hallway? We had to use it to get to our front door, only the hallways was also partially open to the sky. Apparently all the bats from the neighboring Golden Gate Park thought our hallway was the perfect place to roost (it probably was). I’d come home or leave every morning crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t find them roosting above my head. I usually did. One time when my husband and I got home, hands full of canned mouse-proof groceries, there was a particularly large bat roosting. I said a prayer and ran. The bat spread its wings and flew right at me. I froze and ducked and my husband, also running, collided into me and we both fell to the ground screaming with the bat flying over our heads. It was interesting to explain my sprained ankle to everyone though. After that, we put our apartment search into high gear and finally got an apartment whose only other unwanted living creature was a somewhat senile live-in manager who liked to leave vaguely racist notes next to light fixtures when their light bulbs went missing.


Let’s hear those stories.



My uncle died yesterday. He was a liberal librarian who used to send me tapes of Capitol Steps. He drove old people to the polls. He spoke out against injustice. His name was Allan and he was amazing and I don’t understand how he could be gone.

Also, once my piece of shit ex got so drunk (underage, too) at his boss’s stupid Christmas party that he barfed all over our brand new car.  Ugh.