“So what becomes of you, my love?” – The Stereophonics.
While studying at Bournemouth University, me and a few university mates were addicted to the pure fire humour of BBC sitcom/documentary called “The Office“. I find it absolutely hilarious – if you have never watched it – give it a try – and the UK version, based in Slough in Berkshire! There is also a US version which is also funny, but the UK one came first – original and best.
Along with Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers, The Office is my favourite comedy show in history. I’d watch it with my old flatmates – Austin, Steve, Jody and the famous Millwall Neil. It was Austin that got me into The Office, while Steve, Australian Emma and Jody got me into Alan Partridge. My catch phrase long before the “Don’t Stop Living” mantra and blog, was “Jurassic Park!” from Alan Partridge, but it was “The Office” that excelled at the turn of the 21st Century while I studied Public Relations at Bournemouth University.
“Jurassic Park!” – Alan Partridge.
Austin and I lived together in two different flats down the years and of a night in we’d often watch The Office! He had the Box Sets on DVD but we watched a few of them on BBC. Incidentally in my life, I have never bought a Television! At university we had a shared TV in our flats, always owned by someone else. And the only TV I ever had was bought to me by my parents.
Some of the phrases and jokes used in the series “The Office” worked their way into my real life. I often shreiked “monkey!” at university and while working as a DJ on radio, I’d fire in some of the quotes as a joke on live radio, some of them even working their way onto Nerve FM. Stepping away from the cookie jar being one of many comedy moments while the odd Brenty dance was danced on manys a night out in that there iconic Dorset seaside town. The tears were saved, for failed romances…
“Free love on a free love highway” – David Brent.
It was later on in life, on my return to Bournemouth that Austin and I decided to watch The Office again. I was back in Austin’s flat in April – May 2015 where I attended two AFC Bournemouth matches on route to promotion to the Premier League.
On this trip back to Bournemouth, I had taken ill, I had a boil on my head and I was on medication after a night of screaming. As such I was on no alcohol so I stuck to milkshake, but my mate Austin was on the cider. We decided on a night in like old times watching The Office – every episiode in order. Series 1, then Series 2, then the Christmas Special and any out-takes! But what to eat and drink? We decided to do an Office themed food and drink night too. While Austin went to work, I headed to Tesco in Westbourne to do “The Office night-in” shopping…
As I walked through Tesco, every item I chose had to represent something related to The Office. I may have missed a few of the ideas, but you get the jist and here is what I bought for this random night and what you need for it.
The Office Box Set
Series 1, Series 2, The Christmas Special
First of all get the DVDs, videos, downloads or Netflix lined up and ready to go. We start on Series 1, Episode 1. We watch every episode in order right through to the last Christmas Special. After which we have time to watch some out-takes.
Before that, I prepare a starter, main course and dessert as well as all the following food and rink, ready to go. Make sure it’s all ready before you press play on the first episode! We are glued to the screen!
“That’s the real quiz” – David Brent.
General idea –
The Menu for The Office Night-In
Starter – Keef’s Scotch egg and an Inidan Worker Bombay Pot Noodle. Dawn’s Brie and granary bread rolls.
Main course – Keenan’s Hunter’s chicken dish with chicken satay sticks.
Dessert – Tim’s Jelly with Garreff’s stapler in it. Black Forest Gateaux.
Drinks – “Wernham Hogg’s” Stowford Press Cider, “The Dead Parrots” Yazoo Milkshakes.
Other snacks used – Brent’s Monkey sweets & Midget Gems, Swindon bananas, Finchy’s Wotsits, Garreff’s cookies, Fox’s Slough biscuits.
Wotsits are mentioned in the series and Garreff eats them, so I buy a six pack. It will be three packets each for after the meal.
Brenty’s Pot Noodle
A Pot Noodle is mentioned and seen in the series. This acts as a potential starter to accompany the Scotch egg. We opt for Bombay Bad Boy flavoured based on Brent talking about the warehouse worker with an Indian impression. No the other one.
Stowford Press (Cider)
We drank Stowford Press cider for two reasons. Firstly, the word “press” – in The Office, Wernham Hogg is a printing/press company. Secondly when Brenty, Finchy and Garreff go down Chaser’s, one of them has a “lager pint” and one a “cider pint”.
Garreff’s Stapler in Tim’s Jelly
This is an essential part of the evening! In one of the episodes, Tim has put Garreff’s stapler into jelly! So I bought two types of jelly and two staplers! Lemon and Orange. We had the bowls ready – you need a bit of time to prepare this.
Mix the jelly granules with water in a bowl, stir it and then add the stapler. Put it in the fridge so that it sets and goes hard, with the epic Keenan-esque stapler inside!
The end result was classic – we would be eating jelly for dessert out of a bowl and with a stapler in it. I washed the staplers first.
Luckily in the series, the jelly episode is in Series 2! This allows you to eat the starter and main course of Hunter’s Chicken during Series 1. Then when Series 2 starts, get tore intill the jelly in a stapler, or vice versa!
During the pub quiz episode, David Brent incorrectly guesses one of the answers as “Yazoo”! The correct answer was actually “Yazz”, connected to the song “The Only Way Is Up”. So we go with the milkshake brand Yazoo! We buy one large banana Yazoo, and two small bottles – a strawberry and a chocolate! As I’m on medication and not drinking alcohol that time, these act as my drinks.
“The only way is up for you and me now” – Yazz.
In the series, Keef munches a Scotch egg in a meeting room in one of the episodes whilst chatting to receptionist Dawn. During this chat he mentions the word “minge” as he gulps the Scotch egg. We had a scotch egg each as a starter. We also have it with granary bread rolls and brie – both of which are seen or mentioned in a different episode.
Fox’s Crinkle Crunch Biscuits
A fox is mentioned in an episode (about the fox, the chicken and the grain), therefore another snack of Fox’s biscuits was bought, biscuits are also mentioned by Garreff Keenan as he invites Brenty over to his desk to get a biscuit from the famous “cookie jar”!
Cookies (Chocolate Chip)
“Stop!! Get away from the cookie jar” – Cookie Jar Geek.
Cookies had to be one of the snacks! At the start of Series 2 Episode 1, Garreff has accumulated a “cookie jar” on his desk, which shouts “STOP! Get Away from the cookie jar!” everytime you open it and try to grab a cookie!
I slice some brie and we have it also as a starter with granary bread. Dawn was eating Brie in an episode when Brent came over and checked his testicles.
Chicken Skewers and Keenan’s Hunter’s Chicken
Chicken satay skewers are used to accompany the main course of Keenan’s Hunter’s Chicken, sourced by Garreff Keenan when he was in the territorials. When talking about his time in the territorials, Garreff refers to hunting. Chicken is also referenced in relation to the fox, the chicken and the grain.
Cheeky Monkey Sweets
“Monkey!” – David Brent.
At the start of Series 2, when walking Sarah through The Office, Brent has a cuddly toy monkey hanging on a wall. He points to it and in classic style, preaches “Mooong Kay!” So a packet of cheeky monkey sweets it was!
Bananas are also bought as a snack due to the monkey reference.
There is a debate in one of the episodes over a dwarf or a midget so I buy these also for sweets after the meal.
Black Forest Gateaux
As an alternative to the stapler in jelly, we also bought Black Forest Gateaux, again referenced in an episode.
Lager and Doritos (not pictured, not consumed)
As we get towards the end of Series 2 and the Christmas special, another option would have been lager and crisps! Doritos were mentioned in an episode and lager is mentioned in the same discussion about Finchy and Garreff’s tipple down Chasers.
It was a great themed night – hope to try it again sometime and maybe uncover some other food and drink that could be used. I’d imagine the stapler in jelly is a non-mover!
Here’s a Video I made from our The Office Night-In including the famous “stapler in jelly”.