The MPULL staff party is a day that is eagerly anticipated by most, and feared by the rest – and this year didn’t disappoint.
After half a day of pretending to work, we were corralled into a manageable group and climbed aboard Cape Town’s ‘premier’ rail network heading towards the hippie haven of Muizenberg. For some reason, the train actually arrived on time and unfortunately, none of us managed to get our dreadlocks quite finished by the time we arrived at the beach.
Surf lessons were the first thing on the agenda. Luckily Cape Town is a shark-free zone, and we were all completely unafraid to enter the water teeming with great white sharks, and we were about to dress up as delicious little seals. Everything went according to plan, and within three minutes of being in the water, the shark siren sounded. We swam for our lives (wetsuits probably all a tad warmer) and managed to get out with no loss of life while we watched a shark swim slowly through the waves hoping to latch onto any stragglers.
Being the badass agency that we are (or perhaps just lacking a few brain cells) we all got back into the water once the beach was deemed clear. I am not sure about everyone else’s surfing experience, but after standing up on first go and feeling like Kelly Slater, I sliced through those barrels like I was born to. Ok no – that was the three-year-old on the surfboard next to me.
I watched Lauren struggle around like a turtle on her board for about half an hour and our French intern Florian getting hit in the face while I struggled to catch a breath as I tried to keep all my body parts out of the shark-infested waters. Meanwhile, Daryn seamlessly surfed on, full of smiles and completely at home in the breakers. All in all, however, it was an unbelievably entertaining way to spend a beautiful Cape Town summer’s day and work up an incredible thirst. Shout out to the Lifestyle Surf Shop for keeping us fully-limbed and alive.
We then moved onto the wonderful Empire Café for much-needed food and booze. I don’t think the lovely owner Dave had any idea about the crazed group of ravenous vultures that were about to descend on his establishment. The delightful snacks were snapped up in minutes, with Shane Punt shovelling at least ¾ of them away in a matter of seconds – as per usual.
Half an hour later – and after having to completely restock the bar – we held the much anticipated Secret Santa gift giving session. Some of the stand out gifts included: a South African survival pack stocked with Nik Naks, Chakalaka, Aromat and Mrs Ball’s Chutney for Florian, a “Mucha Leche” mug for Alvaro, a cat shaped coat hanger for resident cat lady Liesl, hair gel for the office stud Dean, and many other great gifts.
We then took a short break to fill up our glasses and moved onto the year-end fines. My personal favourite. Some of the fines simply can’t be mentioned here, but a few of the more decent ones went to Lauren “human foghorn” Peterson, Jess “absent mother” Gamble, Michael “fish eating” Salvaggio and Shane “hoover” Punt.
Things went decidedly downhill from there, and we were soon spinning around on the dance floor, others on the tables, and one young human (with delightfully gelled hair) decided a strip tease was incredibly appropriate. None of the ladies (nor our other Dean) seemed to mind.
Those of us strong enough to handle our booze, or simply not realising quite how inebriated we were, packed up and graced the Brass Bell with our presence for a bit of karaoke. Once again our foreign interns were at the forefront of the havoc and stole the microphone from every single unsuspecting performer on stage. Dean Shuttleworth was last seen begging for coins on the road to purchase a chicken pie, and Florian was found at the entrance trying to sell his Nik Naks and other wares to the myriad pretty young lasses in attendance.
All in all, this year-end function was one for the books and won’t ever be forgotten (although some may struggle to remember). A huge thank you goes out to Graeme and Daryn for always going above and beyond to do something different and original.
Although office productivity was not at an all-time high the next day – we can guarantee that MPULL is a digital marketing agency where we work as hard as we play. We strive to build up other agencies so that they can enjoy their staff party just as much as we did ours.
From everyone at MPULL, thank you for the support this year and here’s to an incredible 2017.