Here’s the story of tinsel, injury, déjà vu, injury and tinsel.
Oh great, I’m going to suffocate to death with Jingle Bells playing in the background. It’s like child’s laughter. Sounded really innocuous before the horror franchise disembowelled it and left the bloody guts on the floor for us to slip over on. Now when you hear a child laughing, you fully expect their head to start rotating. That’s not a normal reaction. It really isn’t, readers. There I was, getting the Christmas decorations down from the attic, and I slipped. I had my back to the attic hatch, two feet on the ladders. When I slipped, I thought, ‘Well, this is it – I’m as good as dead’. I closed my eyes but I didn’t fall. I was stuck. The box I was holding had become wedged between the ladders and me. I was pinned against the attic hatch. Feet now dangling in the air. My breathing becoming shallower because my chest was being compressed by the box, which was bigger than the hatch and firmly wedged. I couldn’t shout for help. Even if I could, the only person in the house was dad in the kitchen making dinner with Jingle Bells blasting out of a radio on full volume. I planted my face in the box of tinsel. I suppose there are worse ways to die than surrounded by tinsel.
Now every time I hear Jingle Bells it’s like that child’s laughter. I’m fully expecting a huge tinsel monster to form from the tinsel dotted around the house like with that liquid in that Terminator movie. I’d be asleep. That’s when old tinsel would get me. I’d be awoken in the middle of the night as it wrapped around me like a super snake. “ARRRRGH! TINSEL! OH, JEEZ! THE TINSEL! OH GOD, HELP ME! SANTA! BUDDHA! ANYONE! ARRRRGH! TINSEL!”
I managed to get out. You don’t need to know how.
I didn’t fare too well. My chest was red for days and I suffered small cuts and bruises to my legs. I also took a chunk out of my arm. Looks like a little vampire bite. Or like somebody has stapled me with an industrial sized stapler. Knowing me, it’s almost certainly the latter. It was a really nasty wound. I temporarily damaged several nerves, so I couldn’t move my arm for a few hours afterwards. I genuinely thought I’d broken my wrist. It always happens around Christmas. Something always goes wrong. Like in 2010, when I fell over the Christmas Tree and nearly landed in the box it came in. ‘Few’, I thought. ‘Got out of that one – why is my wrist facing the wrong way?’ Sprained it, that’s why. Bloody Christmas Tree. Bloody Jingle Bells. Bloody tinsel. Bloody attic hatch not big enough. Stupid builders. They didn’t build this house with me in mind, did they?
After this debacle, I decided to put off putting up the decorations until the following day. Oh, and dad wasn’t being cruel in not initially helping out in getting the decorations down. He wasn’t very well. Although I did object to his later remark about how much of a difficult day he was having. Pretty damn rich. He doesn’t face annihilation by tinsel.
I awoke the next morn in a fit of screams, which is a fairly usual occurrence this time of year. Turns out, my arm had exploded overnight. Not literally of course, metaphorically, a literal arm explosion would’ve almost certainly waked me up. No, my wrist had ballooned and swollen, redness had engulfed it and agony was strewn across my morning face. Along with weird eye gloop. I had to bandage myself up and soldier on.
I found myself engaging in that most beautiful of Christmas endeavours, the untanglement of the lights. “COME ON, YOU JOLLY BASTARD!” Shouting at it, somewhat surprisingly, didn’t help. And putting them up wasn’t much cheerier. I honestly don’t see why we don’t leave them up all year round. Granddad did. Well, he decorated the Christmas Tree once and loved it so much he bundled it into a cupboard and took it out once a year, every Christmas. Heck, he may be gone but we still have his fairy. And it reminds me of his clever idea. Even if the faries head is now being held on with little more than Blu-Tack.
Dad was still unwell and mother is tiny, so I had to put up the outside lights. With one hand and a tiny stepladder. Only three rungs. And it was resting on wet grass. If I hadn’t been quick, I’d be left hanging from the guttering as the stepladder vanished into the ground. I was very lucky. I nearly slipped off it once, right outside the living room window. I would’ve gone through it, too. Or bounced off it and landed in the nettles. In the end, I regained my footing after my head created enough friction to stop me against the glass it smacked into.
I wasn’t having the best Christmas, if I’m being honest. So I decided to go for a lie down and put off putting up the remaining decorations until the next day. The important thing, readers, is that I was still standing. Well, lying down struggling to breathe, but you get my point.
I awoke the next morn in a fit of screams, convinced I’d trapped a nerve in my poorly arm, also convinced that I was living my own Groundhog Day. I’d assume. I’ve never actually seen that movie, but it’s hardly my fault. I was only three when it came out. Determined, I was. And with a little help from my brother, that determination paid off. I could stand up proudly and smile at that tree, that beautifully decorated tree, with an immense sense of joy. It was all worth it. It took away all the pain. Is what I’d like to say, but in reality, I was on my hands and knees wheezing in agony.
Oh great, Christmas is gonna kill me. Probably in cohorts with the tinsel.
I needed a break, readers. Thursday was my only chance. I had Christmas shopping to do on Friday. So I went to the pantomime. Not by myself, that would be so depressing I’d have to take some alcohol to make the time pass quicker, but that would probably end up scaring the children like last time. It was pre-planned. Unfortunately, I didn’t know what I was going to see, only that it was for my cousin’s child’s fourth birthday. We went last year for his third birthday, which we enjoyed quite a lot. We enjoyed it so much we were talking about it during the show. He didn’t like that. He kept telling us to shush. Although I didn’t actually know what the pantomime was about, I knew it involved a dragon. Could be a big plastic thing with a recently divorced middle-aged man inside wearing a vest and Superman underwear. Could be a Komodo dragon. Although I hoped it was the former so I could boo him to cheer myself up.
It was to make a nice change of pace. Something to relax. Unless it was a Komodo dragon, then I was almost certainly going to lose my face.
It was a big-ass dragon. I was at a pantomime of Sleeping Beauty. I didn’t actually want to go because I’m, in the words of mother, ‘a miserable old BLANK’. I got bored fairly quickly. I started to have a debate in my head as to whether or not we should actually support the arts because in fifty years time, global warming will have annihilated our way of life. In that bleak, dystopian future, we’d need crop growers and defenders against the nuclear zombie hoard. I fail to see how an actor or actress would be any use in that situation. “I played Cinderella, I shalt throw my glass slipper at them”. Oh, great. “I played Peter Pan, I shalt stab you with this sword – hah! Oh crap, it’s a prop! RUN!” Or even, “I played Sleeping Beauty…” I’m gonna stop you right there love, because you’re about as useful in that situation as a doorstop.
But then I looked across at that four-year-old relative of mine. He had the loveliest smile. So full life and happiness. Eyes electric with the brightest joy. Dancing and shouting. Maybe I was being a miserable blank. Maybe mother was right. I was there for him. He’s unbelievably gorgeous. It was Christmas, after all. Yes, I was having an awful time and yes, I’ll almost certainly need a new arm, but does that matter? No. If there’s any time of year it shouldn’t matter, it’s now.
This is my last post on this blog before Christmas. Just try to smile and have a good time. Be happy. Celebrate the good times of 2013 and talk about them. And try to turn the bad experiences into positives. There’s no reason you shouldn’t celebrate. Unless you’re of a background or faith that doesn’t celebrate Christmas. Fair enough. In which case, have a great Wednesday…
American writer, Robert Albert Bloch (1917-1994), once said: “Friendship is like peeing on yourself; everyone can see it, but only you get the warm feeling that it brings”.
Peace Out :|:
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