Work Friends Not Mingling With Other Friends

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Vol 38 Issue 06

Man's Dream To Get Drunk In An A-Frame Finally Realized

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, CO— Pete Strausbaugh, 33, a Denver-area electrician, realized a longtime dream Saturday when he got drunk in an A-frame house. "Man, that was even better than I thought it would be," said Strausbaugh, finishing off a ninth Coors Light in the living room of his A-frame at Sunlight Mountain ski resort. "It's not quite up there with being drunk in a treehouse, but still." Strausbaugh later announced that his new ambition is to get baked at Niagara Falls.

Conrad Bain Steps Down As National Kitsch-Reference Laureate

WASHINGTON, DC— Actor Conrad Bain, known to millions as Philip Drummond on the hit '70s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, stepped down Monday from the post of National Kitsch-Reference Laureate. "I am extremely proud to have served my country for the past 11 years in my humorous-referential capacity," Bain said. "Almost as proud as I was of Willis and Arnold that time they went on the hunger strike to save the ancient Indian burial ground that my construction company was going to tear up for a new building." Bain added that he is fully confident that his successor, Ron "Horshack" Palillo, "will serve the nation with distinction and honor."

Guy Who Just Wiped Out Immediately Claims He's Fine

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT— A fraction of a second after wiping out on a patch of ice, South Burlington pedestrian Isaac Berkman loudly insisted that he was fine. "I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine," Berkman, 24, told concerned onlookers before he even straightened his badly twisted legs and attempted to stand up. "I'm okay." After noticing a deep gash just below his left knee, Berkman instantly assured witnesses that the heavily bleeding wound was "no biggie" and "totally under control."

Dog Keeps Iceland Awake All Night

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND— The nation of Iceland was tired and cranky Monday after being kept up all night by a howling dog. "People were complaining as far away as Seyhisfjórdhur," said President Ólafur Grimsson, brewing an extra pot of coffee. "The sound carries a long way up here." Grimsson said none of Iceland's 280,000 citizens were close enough to the dog—believed to have been stranded on an ice floe near Vestmannaeyjar—to throw a shoe at it.

New Bin Laden Tape Contains Three Previously Unreleased Monologues

ATLANTA— A new Osama bin Laden videotape acquired by CNN from Al-Jazeera features three previously unreleased anti-U.S. rants and harangues by the terrorist leader, excited network sources said Monday. "One piece goes on for 45 minutes and is entirely about the need to bring down the Great Satan," CNN spokesman Gil Eckert said. "In another, shorter piece, he's sitting in a dank cave, cryptically telling some guy off camera about the 'great victory' Allah will enjoy in the very near future." The eagerly anticipated tape, the first new material from bin Laden in more than two months, hits video stores Tuesday.

The Axis Of Evil

President Bush's State of the Union pronouncement that North Korea, Iran, and Iraq represent an "Axis of Evil" continues to spark debate. What do you think?
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Work Friends Not Mingling With Other Friends

CHICAGO—Following a party celebrating her 26th birthday Saturday, a disappointed Kristin Thennes reported that her friends from work failed to mingle with her other friends.

Three of Thennes' coworkers keep to themselves.

"I was really hoping that my work friends would hit it off with everybody else," said Thennes, a budget administrator at Loyola University Medical School. "But the six of them just sort of kept to themselves the whole night. I felt like a terrible host."

The six coworkers invited to the party arrived in a group at approximately 8:45 p.m. Rather than socialize with the 20 or so guests already present, they huddled together near the front window of the living room of Thennes' Andersonville apartment.

"Maybe I'm being a little paranoid, but Kristin's work friends didn't seem to like us," said Laura Romo, 25, an old college friend and Thennes' former roommate. "I mean, they weren't hostile or anything, but they definitely kept their own little circle the entire time."

The coworkers' precious few interactions with the others were brief and occurred only at moments of forced proximity, such as when getting drinks at the bar or waiting in line for the bathroom. Even during these moments, few words were exchanged, with encounters limited to fleeting eye contact and tense smiles.

"They seemed a little older than everyone else at the party," Romo said. "Or maybe they just seemed that way because they were, like, a little stiff and dressed sort of dorky. Everyone else was all casual in jeans, but the work friends were wearing Dockers and stuff. I'm guessing most of them probably live in the suburbs."

Thennes has worked at Loyola's medical school since 1999. During her time there, she has formed many close ties with coworkers, in spite of their lack of common backgrounds. Thennes' closest work friend is Denise Schukal, 29, who commutes to work from her condominium in the Chicago suburb of Rolling Meadows. Schukal, whose husband Jeff stayed home with their 15-month-old daughter while she attended the party, was among the non-minglers.

"Kristin's friends were all really nice," Schukal said. "I didn't get a chance to meet many of them, but they all seemed cool."

Thennes attempted to get her work friends to interact with the others, but to no avail.

"I tried pairing up people who might hit it off," Thennes said. "Like, I introduced Harold, my work movie-geek friend, to Emily, my college movie-geek friend. But after exchanging a few brief words about how they both really liked Gosford Park, they just sort of retreated to their original spots. I thought they'd have been a sure thing. What more could I have done?"

Traci Kessler, a longtime friend of Thennes' who knew no one else at the party, was unable to infiltrate the work-friends circle.

"I got on great with Jen's old college buds and a bunch of the other people there," said Kessler, who met Thennes in 1995 in a yoga class. "But when I went into the living room to meet all her work friends, they were all just talking about office stuff. After about two minutes of that, I had to go back to the kitchen. I was like, forget it."

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