Christmas Wince


Here’s the story of enjoyables, electrocution, and flannels.

I’ve always maintained that one is never too old for an advent calendar. There very much appears to be this, I don’t know, belief maybe, perhaps way of thinking, that growing up equals misery. Bills to pay. Taxes to worry over. Debt mounting up. Erm, other things, too. I’m not entirely sure because I haven’t entirely grown up yet. But everyone’s the same. You go to school, you get a job, you get a house, you get a gal, you get married, you have kids, you pop your mortal clogs. But there has to be more than that, surely. ‘You’re such a child. 26 and still has an advent calendar! Pathetic!’ Oh, really? Like you, I woke up this morning worrying over a bazillion and one things. Unlike you, I opened an advent calendar, ate a delicious chocolate, which already cheered me up quite a lot because… well, chocolate, and then discovered behind said chocolate a typical British Christmas joke. ‘How do snowmen get around?’ Any ideas? ‘They ride an icicle.’ So for that split second I’m no longer full of stress and worry, I’m now full of questions such as, ‘How much did the person who wrote that joke get paid?’ I’d still give him a hug if I ever met him though, because these childlike enjoyables are what should make the adult world stop worrying and brighten up a bit. Of course, I did forget to get an advent calendar at the start of advent, so I do have ten huge chocolates to get through over the next few days. Ooh, I do like a challenge…

Despite the ginormous advent calendar, it still doesn’t really feel like Christmas for me, yet. I don’t know if it’s just me, but every year that passes by, Christmas seems to get shorter and shorter. Like my mum. I still have a Christmas list, though. You see, nobody will give me money for Christmas because they know I’m a miserable git and I’ll just put it in the bank. I’ve become so accustomed to not spending money that when people give me money and tell me to ‘buy something nice for yourself,’ I don’t know what to do with it. So I just put it in the bank. Eventually, I’ll have earned so much damn interest because it’s just sitting there that I’ll be delighted with how much money I have and that delight is a gift, of sorts. “What did you get with the Christmas money I gave you?” “Bank interest! I’m over the Moon – thank you so very much…”

Unfortunately, the older I get, the harder is it for me to think of things to put on my list to Santa-Dad. I’ve gone for underwear this year. Always need underwear. I also went for flannels. Strange Christmas gift I grant you, but my underwear and flannels are always going missing. You put them in the wash and you never see them again. So terrified have I become that my last flannel standing will go missing that I haven’t put it in the wash for a year and as you can imagine, this white flannel has turned a peculiar shade of black. I could’ve bought some more flannels, sure, but I was having a hard time doing just that so I’ve asked for some for Christmas so it’s now someone else’s problem. You know what the issue is, readers? They don’t call them flannels anymore. “DO YOU HAVE ANY FLANNELS?” “I DO NOT KNOW WHAT THAT WORD MEANS, SIR!” “FLANNEL! FLAN-NEL! The thing you wash your face with on the morning!” “Oh, you mean a face cloth!” “No, I mean a flannel! A FLANNEL! When the hell did people start calling flannels ‘face cloths.’ They’re flannels for God’s sake!” It’s the type of thing that annoys me, readers. What a disgusting world we live in.

I was struggling a bit after the flannels and underwear. I asked for some jumpers. I only have one. An HD cable, too. I do have one but I need two, and that means I need to unplug the one and plug it into the two, which is a severe electrocution hazard. Thankfully, I’ve been electrocuted so many times in my life I’ve grown a certain level of immunity toward it…

I’ve also asked for a new razor because mine is such a bastard I want to throw it into the Sun. I’ve asked for a safety razor, which I know has now made every single man reading this wince in terror. They are by far the most dangerous razor on Earth. They will rip your face to shreds several times, so in that respect, they’re a bit like owning a pet tiger. Eventually, Ethel will stop tearing your face off. What? I’d call my pet tiger Ethel. For realsies.

But the blades are cheaper, the shave is closer, the acne and burn risk is lower, and plus, I’ve watched plenty of YouTube videos on how to use one of these bastards. I’ve also asked for a shaving brush. Actual badger hair. If you told me at the start of 2016 that I’d end the year rubbing badger hair on my face, I… wouldn’t be that surprised. I am expecting a mental breakdown any day now…

Of course, as hard as it is buying shit for me, it’s even harder buying shit for the one’s you love. I probably shouldn’t call their gifts ‘shit’ should I? Gift vouchers are the failsafe here, at this time of the year. I do hate shopping, though. I stood in one queue this week for half an hour to buy a thin bit of plastic. I went in another shop where they have a wall of vouchers for every shop and online shop imaginable. Sadly, it’s right next to the elevator. At one point, I was so engrossed in one particular voucher that I’d failed to realise there was a queue of elderly people waiting for the elevator forming behind me. Whose stupid idea was it to put the voucher aisle next to the bloody elevator!

I also had to buy some alcohol, something I never do because as you know, I don’t drink booze. Unless I’m ill, then it’s whisky morning, noon and night. And in-between. Obviously. I don’t know if there’s a time limit on how long one can spend in the booze aisle before one starts to look like a crazy person. ‘He’s been staring at the same bottle of wine for half an hour – should we call the local psychiatric hospital?’ You can’t ask the shop workers at Tesco for help because many of them are teenage chavs. “Yo, what’s up bruv?” “Erm, I need wine, but I don’t know anything about wine, can you help?” “What’s da issue, it’s all the same. It’s booze like, innit? Just makes you pissed. That’s all that matters.” “Excuse me, can I see your manager, young man?” “Okay. Dave, get here, bruv.” “Ah, finally, a real adult. Can you help?” “What’s up, bruv?” “Oh, for God’s sake…”

If anybody is wondering, rosé. Can’t go wrong with rosé. Apparently. All wine tastes like crap to me, but if you’re wondering, rosé. Apparently.

I’ve spent so much time not enjoying buying things and not enjoying writing out lists and not enjoying anything else this December that I don’t really think I’ve got into the Christmas spirit, yet. To be honest with you, I’ve never really had much Christmas spirit. As I said earlier, miserable git. But there’s that moment, isn’t there? Maybe at Midnight Mass. Which I think is at 11 this year. Or maybe when the Christmas decorations go up which, as we all know, shouldn’t happen before the 15th and if you do, I guarantee you’re that overly jolly crumbum who everyone in your neighbourhood absolutely hates. ‘It’s not even December and he has his Christmas lights up! I never liked him…’

At some point this advent, you feel a Christmas tingle for the first time. A magic envelops the air. You start to feel a pleasant numbness. Your heart goes all funny. All tingly and weird. That’s Christmas. That’s the Christmas spirit.

Well, that or you’re having a heart attack…

American musician, songwriter, author, actor and businessman, James Buffett (b. 1946), once said: “I’m growing older but not up.”

Peace Out :|:

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To Contrive & Jive
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