In case you hadn't noticed, Xmas, aka The Holiday Season as it is known down at Wal-Mart, is almost upon us. As ever, it is a time for good cheer, good will to all men and a good skinful of alcohol followed by an attempt to reproduce a likeness of one's buttocks on the office photocopier.
Of course, it's the stuff of legend that the photocopier's glass plate then has to break, jamming the machine with a half-resolved image of someone's backside while they explain to unimpressed A&E staff why they need 63 stitches in their arse on Xmas Eve.
Well, it's all horribly true, as a hot-off-the-press Canon press release reveals - chronicling the Yuletide travails of the company's 600 highly-trained engineeers as they struggle to cope with a surge in "non-work-related" festive copier breakdowns.
What Canon means by "non-work-related" mostly revolves around the aforementioned "rear-end copying". Engineers report a 25 per cent increase in emergency call-outs over Xmas, and 32 per cent of the long-suffering copier Flying Squad has at some time repaired shattered glass.
Mind you, there's more to a Canon engineer's life than extracting a grainy likeness of Maureen from Human Resources' posterior from a wrecked, beer-soaked machine. Midlands-based David Salt explained: "I had to repair a machine after a customer had held their pet cat down on copy glass and copied it," while Dan Hunt of the South West admitted: "I had to repair a machine that had its copy board glass smashed at a military base. They eventually admitted that it had fallen out the back door of their Chinook Helicopter."
Items retrieved from ailing copiers make interesting reading too: mice, a sleeping cat, spiders, a crab, a swarm of bees, a cockroach, a snake, a kitchen knife, a sausage roll , stockings, dominoes, and a cheque for £6,000.
Ah yes, and a vibrator and a condom. Now that must have been one hell of an office party. ®
We understand that Canon has recently increased its glass plate thickness from 4 to 5mm, and accordingly expects a reduction in arse-induced failure. No, that is not an invitation for drunken pressure testing. Behave yourselves.