HAPPY (mumble) CHRISTMAS…
Well, only a matter of hours to go before the ‘most terrible time of the year’ grinds to its inexorable end. You know and I know it will be a day that will need to be erased from the mind with bottles of red wine and an Easter egg.
This rose tinted, vomit inducing day where happy families gather round a table groaning with a bird bigger than your child, (and for some it might be the child) enough sprouts to produce farts that rival mustard gas, enough gravy to drown grandma and puddings the size of cannon balls, and with much the same taste, and a beautifully decorated tree (not just thrown on due to drinking too much mulled wine, or just wine) with mountains of gaily wrapped presents underneath is, as we know, a complete and utter lie. Much like when you drunkenly meet an old school friend that you used to bully mercilessly as they deserved it, and say that you’ll meet up for a drink. My arse you will. The next time you catch a glimpse of them in TESCO you duck behind the now ironically named Quality Street.
The day will be full of stress that the bird won’t be raw, bristly and give everyone salmonella poisoning (unless deliberate) or that the veg will have a little ‘give’ and not break grandad’s false teeth; there will be drunkenness, bitterness, Strictly Sh*te and fake joy of ‘Oh! Thanks! Just what I wanted at the tender age of 10- a Cliff Richard album’. Which is what I got given by a thoughtful relative. ‘Mistletoe and Wine’. What every kid wants in their stocking. I was the laughing stock of the playground. For years.
To be honest, it’s not all bad. And I imagine we’re lucky compared to a lot of people this year. So I’m going to not moan until the 27th. So, Happy Christmas, whoever, wherever you are…
At least I have the joy of the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special.
The Angry Man
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New Chapel Lane, Pen*stone
Author, Actor and English Tutor. Published kids novels, 'The Lost London Chronicles- The Streets of He does now! But... the world needs correcting!
Guy Philip Evans grew up on the edge of East London in Barking where he spent most of his childhood immersed in books, cartoons of the 1980s and imaginary battles with his friends not realising the huge wodge of history just sitting on his doorstep. Guy studied English and Drama at St Mary’s University, Strawberry Hill and is a qualified teacher. He is a massive fantasy and sci-fi geek which he hopes comes out in his writings. This is a sideline to his kids books and slightly more risqué.
Operating as usual
HAPPY (mumble) CHRISTMAS…
I wanted to do a little last minute panic buying today. You know what I mean. The time between the big day and the end of it all. When it’s you and the rest of the desperate, deplorable and depressed who haven’t got a clue what to do at this time of year. I dutifully trudged out into a world that resembled a savage post zombie apocalypse and I realised pretty quick that if an asteroid was to hurtle towards our little third rock from the sun, humanity isn’t worth saving. Let it burn. The list is as follows:
1. I’m not sure what the purpose of the Chichester OAP is in M&S at Christmas or at any other time.
2. Why was a large, thick-set woman wearing foundation that made her resemble a past it’s best tangerine?
3. Who allowed the beast in front of me to question the wisdom of the ‘two for one’ section and then put it back when the item she has carefully chosen to scrub her rhino-like skin is not included? And she was a beast. Especially if the hair on her head matches the hair she sits on.
4. Why are the majority of teenage girls in our town blessed with all the intellectual capacity of an ALDI double A battery?
5. Whoever thought children in Santa suits were cute? Especially the one I saw. Nose like a pug and with a lopsided squint. The kid that you know is bullied at school and you sneakingly know deserves every flick of the towel in the changing rooms.
6. ‘Trendy’ people selfie taking in the pi***ng wet and looking like they’re enjoying themselves. Hatred doesn’t do it justice. Youthful, scrubbed and well turned out. Must be maxing daddy’s credit card or milking the purse of Universal Credit.
7. Why did the woman in front of me not have her card/ cash ready after a ten minute faff at the till?
8. What is it with do-gooders letting a person with a single item go in front of them in the queue. Leave them! Obviously single for a reason. Meanness, socially awkward or serial killer. In a short digression, one of my mates lived opposite a serial killer. She was disappointed when he was finally caught; “He was such a nice man. Always lent me some milk or sugar if I was out.” Despite the fact he had decomposing bodies in the bath…
9. What is it with late middle aged men who think that speaking in an Essex accent is cool. I’m from Essex and have spent years eradicating it. They think I’m posh or at least middle class at work.
10. What the f£[email protected] am I going to buy?!
11. And finally let it end- at least that way we won’t be subject to another onslaught by Megs and Harry. I couldn’t give a toss.
Ah, the good ol’ British weather. Great to see bone-cracking, willy-shrinking cold giving way to damp, wet and unpleasant. An apt summing up of 2022 or if you’ve reached a certain age and there is leakage. I’m in town to see what I can scrounge up for the festive foot-sock. The joy of being bumped, pushed, shoved and sneered at by the general public at what is supposed to be the Season of Goodwill never fails to amaze me. Having said that, makes me feel a little better about shoving them back.
I’ve currently spent a heartily overpriced £1.99 on a second hand Hardy Boys book collection after an hour or so’s fruitless search. I’m wet, damp, cold and annoyed. A recipe for disaster. I don’t finish work until the 23rd. I’ve bought nothing. I’ve contributed nothing. Nobody tells me what they want. I didn’t win the Christmas quiz. I didn’t win the Christmas jumper competition. I’ve not watched a single Christmas film, (apart from catching the arse-end of one of those horrific Hallmark Christmas films which they churn out year on year. You know the ones I mean; they all have an identical syrupy plot. Single mum, who miraculously seems to earn enough for a detached clapboard house with six bedrooms in a quite village without guns in downtown Maine, meets cold-hearted, but devilishly handsome new boss, get holed up together in a shack in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve. Happy days. And they always have sh*te titles like, ‘Christmas Snow’, ‘Eve’s Christmas’, ‘The Miracle in His Stocking’. Why not, ‘Cant Afford a Turkey this Year- Sold the Kid’ or ‘My 300kg Christmas Belly Stapled’? And there is always some nauseating child actor, who obviously failed the Disney Kids audition as their face wasn’t symmetrical enough, in these dreadful ditties to the season, simpering away attempting to overload the cute sugar factor like a diabetic coma, when all you really want to do is push the little turd out of an upstairs window onto a bed of nails. And you can bet your life the whole thing is filmed in six weeks in the height of summer. I can’t believe people watch this rot. It’s enough to turn your brain to sawdust. Give me something punishing like ‘Schindler’s List’ any-day) and I’ve not even had the joy of watching Nigella or Dame Berry patronise me as I can’t afford a goose within a turkey, within a capon, within a pigeon within a suckling pig, within a Highland cow, and why don’t I have the room to entertain a coach load of guests at my castle/ London pad, all jauntily dressed in stupid jumpers and hats and braying heartily as poor, witless Juanita pops up from under the stairs, where she’s recently and thoughtfully been placed to avoid the work permit, with the next bottle of medium-priced champagne at £399? But of course… The whole shebang is giving me indigestion and a little trapped wind just thinking about it.
And worst of all, I’m wet. My little bobble hat resembles the sagging ni**le implant of an 80s Sun page three girl. My jeans look like they’ve been tie-dyed and that I’ve quite possibly wet myself and my feet are freezing.
This time next week, it’ll all be nearly over. And it’ll still be wet.
I was going to write about the Christmas party slash quiz debacle hosted over by Dogtanian yesterday and pithily destroy his questionable taste in questions. The first section was a punishing picture round devoted to cities of the world and their Christmas trees. I’m sure Mr Middle-Class has visited most of them in his days as a choir boy looking after his choir master’s baton, for for those of us unlucky enough not to have been as far afield as Mexico City and have had to settle with Bognor’s dazzling display of, well, absolutely bu**er all, actually, it was a trifle lacking. The second round was a ‘guess the Christmas single via a line’ and guess the year, artist etc. I was blessed with the help of a colleague (just returned from sick leave as it was free food and drink- God loves a trier) born after the year 2000 who was about as much use as a Quadriplegic at the long jump. The dearth of knowledge was staggering. As was the rapid consumption of her sausage sandwich. I have to say, I was just as useless. I could hum the tunes but bu**er me, could I name them? Could I heck, much to Dogtanian’s amusement, judging by the snickering going on behind my elf hat.
Yes, you heard right. I was dressed as a giant elf. I tried to disguise that it was me by talking like an elf all day too. I thought Dogtanian was going to wet himself when he saw me. And had he taken part in this festive car crash of a Christmas jumper party? Had he heck. He was dressed in his usual shirt and tie. The effort made was effortless.
Needless to say we didn’t win either the quiz or the jumper competition. Apparently me taking on the role of an elf had nothing to do with a jumper. The winner was a lovely lady, who to save her blushes will say that her name rhymes with ‘Booth’. Her interpretive reindeer jumper with real scalped reindeer hair was a triumph. As was the fact it lit up, although I was slightly worried about the enormous battery pack that powered it; it resembled a mini Chernobyl. I half expected the poor woman to either explode in a shower of sparks or create enough energy for a black hole. If that had happened I could have pushed Dogtanian inside I suppose…
I said I was going to write about this- I was intending to bypass it and not give Dogtanian the letter time write about the old lady with bells on her shoes that jingled down the road at me this morning.
Dogtanian wins again.
Sorry for the lack of blog the last few days. I’ve been busy you see. Tomorrow is our office’s Christmas ‘get together’ (or enforced fun, as it’s known) with festive quiz arranged by Dogtanian. The questions with him, as he’s well middle-class, will range from the obscure, ‘Who was King Xerxes III middle wife on his cousin’s side?’, to the puerile, ‘In which city’s genetic vat were the androgynous twins Jedward spawned?’, to the completely unanswerable, ‘How many children has BoJo fathered?’ when not even BoJo knows himself. Anyway, to avoid shelling out for decorations, we’ve been asked to wear the obligatory Christmas sweater. So in effect, wherever any of us move, we’ll look like mobile decorations. Cheap, but in Dogtanian’s mind, no doubt effective. Besides, Mr Middle Class Victorian undoubtedly goes by the Utilitarian ideal of the ‘greatest good for the greatest number of people’… adding in, ‘Who in Christmas sweaters look like complete arses.’
So for the last couple of days I’ve been looking for something that is not going to make me look an arse. Unfortunately none of them have that effect. I look like a backside in all of them. What gets me about these disgusting affronts to the season is that they are the most garish, ill-fitting, non-flame retardant, man made acrylic crocks of crap ever mass produced by some poor little blind Albanian lad and his mates for a shiny new penny a day somewhere in the Baltics.
I’ve tried every combination of taste available and all of them bad. I went slightly upmarket with one that resembled a curtain from M&S and nearly wept at the result. I looked like my dad. The ones from TESCO featured either an angry looking pug (and indeed, as I left, was being modelled by what appeared to be one with four children) or Will Ferrell in that most appalling of festive films, Elf. Absolute rot; makes the He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special look like a play by Shakespeare. Next was over ambitiously priced. I resent paying anything over a tenner for something I’ll wear about twice a year and their reindeer one at £39.00 had me foaming at the mouth like a rabid St Bernard.
I ended up in a store whose name, fortunately for them I can’t remember, only that after trying on a myriad of sh*te Santa’s, rotten reindeer and manky ‘mince spies’ (oh! the hilarity!) I took my choice of knitted horror to the counter.
The ‘thing’ behind the checkout looked at the ‘jumper’ and then looked at me. I raised an eyebrow.
‘Does something amuse you?’
The ‘thing’ smiled through crooked teeth and a squint. ‘Is this for you?’
‘Yes, as it happens. This is the best of a bad bunch. The rest are sh*te. Much like the rest of this ta**ry collection you appear to be touting.’
‘You wearing it?’ The ‘thing’ croaked attempting some kind of human conversation for probably the first time in its miserable life.
‘No. I’m going to attempt to use it to throttle someone not a million miles from me here.’ (Or Dogtanian, I secretly thought to myself.)
‘Oh, you’re funny.’
‘I know. I’m hilarious. Now do I pay for this monstrosity with you, or do we just stare at its poorly constructed pattern and design obviously produced by a child for the rest of our, I mean your, sad, pathetic little life?’
The creature then realised that if it didn’t get on with it I might possibly destroy him with a look, so zapped the thing. I scooped it up, resisting the urge to smack him about the face with a non-existent pair of black leather gloves and left, safe in the knowledge that I was both socially and morally superior and infinitely better looking.
I know tomorrow Dogtanian will be merciless. It’ll be hell. Those blue eyes will twinkle and the moustache will twirl. And if he utters just one word…
Why is it that after a night out, and you need a little grease, that fast food is now such a crushing disappointment?
I experienced the KFC a few weeks ago and was left wanting. Being the pig that I am, I chose the ironically titled ‘Bargain’ Bucket for one. There was no bargain here, judging by the size of it. When it arrived there was no bucket, just some cheap cardboard coffin with the assorted dry bones of a fowl. Or rat, or some other poor creature that just happened to fall into the deep fryer. I swear chickens don’t come that small.
Well, whatever it was, it was disgusting. It had been fried to a crisp. It crumbled to dust in my mouth. It was like mistakenly picking up grandma’s ashes in the kitchen and using them for coffee. It had been roasted to a temperature well beyond hate. I could chew through the bones. God knows how they are affording their gas bills. The chips were no better. Limp, flabby and pale. Like an Englishman abroad.
So lord knows why I had a ‘Maccies’ last night. ‘Big Tasty’ my bottom. There was nothing tasty about it. My bottom would be tastier. The one I had must have been waiting around a while as it had turned cold and leathery like Joan Collins’ back, and resembled a stone from a rockery. Coupled with a slimy tomato with a life of its own, and lettuce the texture and taste of a slug, the whole thing had the air of a kid’s science experiment. And judging from the bum-fluffed sod slinging hash onto the fat filled grills, where the flames danced and flashed like Satan’s armpits, it probably was.
However, it was the chips that got me last night. Especially waking up at three and foaming at the mouth. They had been salted with the entire contents of the Atlantic Ocean. Why have potato when you can have sodium chloride? I practically hung upside down underneath the bathroom sink.
I know, I know. The thought of a big burger and crunchy fries will, no doubt, get the better of me before long, and I’ll be back in the queue behind the students in their sliders and dressing gowns, the large, single chap with long greasy hair and spots wearing the Minecraft / Whatever t-shirt and the poor harassed looking mother and her nine hyperactive sprogs causing havoc with the large, single chap’s greasy hair.
But for now, I’m off for a glass of water. I’m beginning to foam again.
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