The whole skit and caboodle |

The whole skit and caboodle

April E. Clark
April in Glenwood
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
April E. Clark

I’m a believer. And all it took was a holiday party in Paonia to convert.

Now I know why I moved to the mountains.

I believe the skit is the hands-down, best form of party entertainment. The co-worker dance-off comes in a close second. And don’t forget the white elephant gift exchange. I recommend the versatile, warm and popular Snuggie to exchange. Maybe a $10 Taco Bell gift certificate and a bottle of Beano. Or perhaps a value-sized package of floral foam.

That stuff has really pulled me out of some predicaments.

Since taking a new job in September, I’ve been elated to find myself working with a fun, smart, outrageously creative group of renewable energy professionals. Who doesn’t love Mother Earth?

OK, a couple of people come to mind.

My colleagues are a dedicated, passionate crew, so it’s no surprise such adherence went into the holiday party planning. Live music was definitely on tap since our staff includes many musicians who play the mandolin, fiddle and other festive stringed instruments. Nothing like an acoustic jam session as a stress reliever.

Throw in some floral foam and the party really gets started.

On the itinerary were our financial director’s twin sons break dancing to MC Hammer and our solar educator juggling nonbladed kitchen utensils.

Make sure to give both acts some room.

The fun was just in its infancy as the skits became more elaborate. There were costume changes and backstage nerves. Songs featured playful lyrics and musical accompaniment by banjo, which always reminds me of my brother. That’s one of many instruments he can play, while I have the musical talent of a turtle.

Anytime I hear a banjo being plucked, I think of him.

Enjoying the banjo, I nearly forgot I would soon be perched in front of the room with four of my co-workers. I started to feel the stage fright I always experience before a stand-up comedy routine. What if I bomb? What if something offensive slips out of my mouth? What if the curry chicken from dinner returns unexpectedly?

Then I remembered I was with family. At least that’s the characteristic that seems to permeate throughout the group. It’s like a bunch of moms, dads, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws had gathered for a holiday reunion. Everyone was laughing, yet there seemed to be a peacefulness that filled the house.

Almost like a holiday story read before bedtime.

Our skit followed some pretty serious talent. Once we started in on our “The Dating Game”-themed bit, I was able to relax. We staged a job-interview scenario where the applicants were Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Santa Claus. Sam, our “intern” interviewer, asked some tough ones.

“Sarah” wanted to replace all death panels with solar panels.

Sam followed with another doozie.

“Why do you want this job, what skills can you contribute?

“I’m good with a deadline,” Santa replied.

When asked why renewable energy was important to him, Santa suggested an alternative use for coal.

Good answer, Santa.

“W” couldn’t get past being referred to as No. 2.

All jokes aside, the night reminded me of a great big family having a party at the farmhouse. There was dancing – I’m aging myself by revealing the soreness from doing “The Twist” – and a jam session on the front porch.

I brought back an old dance move called “Bowler With Strike Dance,” to top the Shopping Cart action.

Try that on a cruise-ship bar dance floor and see if you don’t end up on a promotional video doing the YMCA with the ship’s mascot.

I even played some euchre, a card game that’s huge in the Midwest. I don’t see it played much in the mountains, and my skills show it.

Maybe I should stick with the skits.

April E. Clark loves that she watched the Colts-Broncos game at the Paonia Theatre. A sweet venue for a Sunday game. She can be reached at aclark@

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