Scrooge, eat your heart out.

Twenty-two shopping days till Christmas.   Everywhere I’ve been lately you can’t escape someone bemoaning how quickly it comes around and how it seems to get faster every year.  I was thinking about this: does it come quicker or is it just that we have more and more to do and not enough time to fit it all in?  I think the latter: even if you only make one new friend every year, it still accumulates into more parties, drinks, cards and presents than there are days in December.  No wonder everyone is knackered in January.  Christmas, like everything, is a double-edged sword.  For every great thing in the festive season, there’s something guaranteed to rile you, or more specifically, me.  

  1. Perfume ads.  Deck your romantic existentialism with boughs of holly and shove it up your ass.  If life were really all beaches and soft focus we’d all be short-sighted and living in Tahiti.  Buying aftershave will not make you beautiful/successful/sporty/thin.  It will make you poor.
  2. Slow moving shoppers.  I am 6’3″.  I have a very wide stride.  As a child my mother never made concessions for our being short and forced us to keep up with her.  I am a very fast walker.  At Christmas, all the dawdlers and gawkers hit the streets and get in my way.  I spend my lunch hours looking cross, tutting and sighing as people cut me up on the pavement.  I am also a master at the filthy look when some old codger smacks me with their shopping because they realised they just passed Laura Ashley without popping in.  This one especially annoys me because, being so tall, my groin is about elbow height for most elderly ladies.  A few years ago there was a fabulous suggestion to put pedestrian speed lanes on Oxford Street.  When I am Prime Minister, these will be everywhere and law-breakers will be shot in the knees.
  3. Clubbing at Christmas.  There are some great Christmas tunes out there – Slade, Wizzard, Mariah Carey – and as the Big Day approaches you would think that the dancefloors might capitulate under the strain of festive revellers and play some of the classics towards the end of the night, but no: whilst every other whippoorwill is forcing Christmas cheer down your throats with shocking immodesty, the dancefloors seem determined to resist its very existence.  The temerity to ask for a Christmas tune earns scornful and shocked looks from DJs up and down the land.  What is so wrong with a spot of ‘Step Into Christmas’ in the season?  I want festive cheese!
  4. Christmas countdowns.  Channel 4 are the worst for this.  The merest hint of festivity and normal scheduling goes out of the window in favour of Jimmy Carr presenting a four-hour marathon on ‘The Top 100 Greatest Sheds”.  No wonder everyone is so busy at Christmas: they’re all out on the streets pissing me off because they’re trying to avoid another mind-numbing instalment of “The World’s Greatest Vegetable Recipes”.
  5. The weather.  Where is the snow, eh?
  6. Sprouts.

I know these are all minor things, but the next time you are turning around in Waterstone’s and bash someone with your shopping, consider this: one man’s accidental knock is another man’s bollock-bashing biddy.  Now, if you will excuse me, ‘Cranford’ is on, and it’s just not Christmas without a BBC period drama at the start of winter. 

8 responses to “Scrooge, eat your heart out.

  1. Lol, great post. A lot I can relate to. Oxford Street is horrendous most of the year and at Christmas and during the sales it becomes a true horror. It’s walkable from my office and I was up there after a gym excursion a couple of Saturday’s ago to buy a stainless steel drainer (talk about mindless minutiae) and I remarked to myself what a truly painful experience it is being up there. The pavements are simply not wide enough and there’s some pretty awful people around.

    You know, I am actually quite looking forward to sprouts. I hated them as a child but as I have a fondness for cabbage, I’m now quite looking forward to the seasonal sprout later this month. Goes well in a bubble & squeak too, I think.

    Cranford was pretty good wasn’t it? Sure, it’s fluffy but it does actually make me laugh. The thing with Miss Pole running down the street with her silver and then almost getting shot was hilarious.

    PS Back to your subject matter, I keep seeing trailers on BBC1 for what looks like an Oliver Twist? Not quite Scrooge but similar. I guess it’s not Christmas in this country without Aunty rolling out something along those lines.

  2. I was reading somewhere that people who like sprouts are unable to detect all the flavours. Apparently people who dislike sprouts are able to taste more of the chemicals they release and thus see them for what they really are: vile bullets of vegetable death.

    Loved Cranford: Miss Pole is just brilliant. It’s mindless schlok, but very entertaining although all the death is just a bit worrying.

    As for Oxford Street: I’m in London this weekend, and I’m bringing a hunting rifle.

  3. Happy hunting and shoot a couple for me plz! :D

  4. If this quote doesn’t come up while we’re all merrily sat around the table on Christmas day I’ll be disappointed……

    “vile bullets of vegetable death”

    I can see Mum’s face now…!!

  5. It’s a race: who can say it first? Loser has to say that they never liked turkey and they don’t think parsnips are all that either. Her head will explode.

    See you tomorrow xx

  6. I’ve thought about this post many times over the last couple days, while running errands. I am a very scroogy shopper this time of year also. Can I add to the list? The clerk that asks you 3 times in 15 minutes if you’re still browsing? The big, fat woman that ambles along just down the middle of the lane, with enough of a sway in her gait that it’s impossible to pass her on either side, so you’re forced to walk along behind her a snail’s pace. How can one woman take up an entire lane meant for 4 people?! The shopper that leaves his cart ACROSS the aisle, barracading you from getting through?

    And beets.

  7. Gng, all worthy additions. I used to be in a facebook group called “I secretly want to punch slow-moving people in the back of the head” but I had to leave because (a) it wasn’t a secret and (b) I wouldn’t stop at punching once they hit the ground. That fat woman would have got it right in the noggin and no mistake.

    Beets: no use for anything but staining carpets.

  8. Six foot 3?

    I imagined you shorter, oddly enough.

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