The office was abuzz. Rumor had it that the party planning committee, headed by newly appointed president Lydia Longley, was considering a new annual Mardi Gras party. Inside the conference room, however, tension filled the air…
"No way," said the stern party planning treasurer, Sarah Stern, "We should be eliminating parties from our budget, not adding new ones."
"Well, I think it would really boost morale around here. And as a New Orleans native, February just wouldn’t feel right without a Mardi Gras party!" Lydia cried excitedly.
The others around the room nodded in agreements, and soft-spoken administrative assistant Rick Applebee jumped in with a suggestion.
"Perhaps we could have a Mardi Gras party instead of a Groundhog Day party. Who remembers Groundhog Day anyways?"
Sarah Stern was enraged by this idea. She gave Rick her not-nicest look, which was very not-nice. Rick averted his eyes and loosened his tie nervously.
"Groundhog Day is a natural phenomenon, a historical tradition. I’ll get rid of Christmas before I get rid of Groundhog’s Day!"
The others responded only with a strange look. Sarah Stern’s face turned red with embarrassment as she cleared her throat and spoke again.
"Anyways, no one is getting rid of Christmas. OR Groundhog’s Day. If you want to have a Mardi Gras party, go ahead. But I’m only authorizing money for food and refreshments. No decorations."
"No problem." Lydia said with a smile.
The next week it was Fat Tuesday, and the staff walked in to a fabulous Mardi Gras celebration. Beaded candy necklaces
were draped over each cubicle; with a bag of Mardi Gras bubble gum coins on each desk. Purple and green Hershey kisses hung from the ceiling, while gold-wrapped chocolate squares lined the tables. Candy dishes throughout the office were filled with refreshing Mardi Gras buttermints
When Sarah Stern walked in, Lydia quickly assured her:
"It’s all edible. And we’re still coming in way under budget." Sarah smiled, which was rare.
Still smiling, Sarah gently asked, "Perhaps you know of a source for candy groundhogs? I’ve been searching for years."