I think I’ve got writers block. This is essentially constipation for the illiterate, because anyone can write. That ’50 Shades’ woman can write. Hey, not only can she write but she can earn millions of pounds from it, and make many previously prudish women look smug and aroused on a train at the same time. Of course it is now common knowledge that the ’Shades’ books are the literature equivalent of a romantic night out in a KFC with Katie Hopkins, but who cares, let’s give credit where credit is due; if I could make millions from writing shit then I would. Instead I make nothing from writing shit. Anyway, the point was that I think I have writers block and I think I know why. Much like planning sex in the diary, saying you’re going to write something for Christmas is bound to give you a bout of keyboard floppiness. I’ve been working on a piece about Christmas for a week now and it is utter rubbish. The fact it starts with a critical volley at the Batman films doesn’t bode well, so I’m starting all over again.
A joke about constipation – did you hear about the mathematician with constipation? He had to work it out with a pencil.
Sod it then, here’s some things that have occurred in the run up to Christmas 2015, some good, some not so good. I may not even make 10, but it’s Christmas so all bets are off anyway.
- You may recall a friend of mine called Abigail Frottagepot. Well, on Sunday ‘the wife’ and I went over to Abigail’s house for lunch and a catch up. It was absolutely splendid. In fact it was amongst the best things I’ve done all year. I would say the same for my ‘the wife’, but to speak on her behalf would be foolish (she loved it too Abigail, no fear). Abigail cooked a wonderful bit of dead pig, festooned with trimmings. His marvellous wife and stupendous children were all both of those things and as we sat around the table chugging back red wine and laughing our little terry towelling socks off at crude innuendo and daft anecdotes I thought to myself – this is wonderful. It didn’t matter that it was Christmas, but it may have helped a little bit. More friends arrived and more wine was poured and we could have stayed forever. Or until Abigail was sick in the fireplace and I had shattered, head first, through the front window. Abigail’s wife made a very interesting point that wine always tastes better in good company. I can’t remember what we were drinking, but it did taste rather lovely.
- 2 nights before the Frottagepot debacle was our Christmas party. That’s right, we decided to have a Christmas party. I say we, I mean ‘the wife’ decided we should have a Christmas party and I decided not to argue for long enough to upset her and make her cry, which would have produced the same result. Perhaps I didn’t argue because I felt we had settled on the concept of a drinks party for between 10 and 20 friends, with a few nibbles thrown in. You may not have met my ‘the wife’ but I can assure you that a concept so simple was never going to last. Which is why we ended up with at least 33 people crammed into 3 small rooms of a small house. A house so small that our Christmas tree is a bonsai though it turns out the bottom stair can double up as four seater bench after all. My ‘the wife’ in all her enthusiastic, house proud -town mouse, prowess is also the reason that a few nibbles turned into 3 massive bowls of food, a vast trifle and caramel brownie bonanza, a paper plate orgy, enough crisps to sink Ireland and a collection of empty bottles that is causing subsidence. I was in charge of the drinks. If you were lucky enough to be there you’ll have to admit it was a tremendous success. If you were invited but couldn’t make it then have fun living with the astonishing sense of regret that will cloud your every thought until the day you meet your maker. If you weren’t invited at all then you only have yourself to blame and if I were you I’d be asking myself some pretty probing questions about my general popularity right now. (Actually, if you weren’t invited it’s only because we don’t live in the Tardis, we still love you.)
- This morning I got up to make ‘the wife’ some breakfast, specifically her favourite which is boiled egg and toast. I got up because I was already looking for a last minute present for her on Amazon, using my Amazon Kindle and no doubt glowing with pride that I could use Amazon Prime to get the bugger delivered on time for Tiny Tim’s cripply Christmas morning. Of course I have already got her quite a lot of stuff but I’m now entering the last minute tail spin of guilt and despair. I was sure I had bought her enough, but now I’m not so sure. It happens every year and forms part of the ‘Christmas present compensation matrix’. I buy lots and think she hasn’t bought much for me. Then I notice signs that she may actually be buying quite a lot more than I thought. I counter with a fresh cavalry attack of gifts before she makes a Napoleon-esque pincer movement to prove she loves me more than I do her. I finally give in and send in the last of my infantry and then sit on the living room rug come Christmas morning, looking deflated and worrying when the bailiffs will come. ‘The wife’ is amazing and if don’t I order it then you lot will think I’m being as tight as a paper cut, so I may as well just do it now. Done.
- It is currently 07.13am and I think I’m starting to flow. I would like to thank ‘Dave’ for this. I don’t know who ‘Dave’ is but I know what he’s like. And I like what he’s like. As I scanned Amazon for that last pressie for ‘the wife’ I spotted a review for the very same product by one ‘Dave’, and his blunt but fair assessment was this – ‘This is a Christmas present for the missus who just likes the brand. If it is a brand your missus likes then it saves a trawl around the shops’. Genius. I collapsed to my knees and wailed a huge thank you to the gods of logic, rationality and shopping all at once. Thank you ‘Dave’ for being so honest and shattering the hideous misconception that Christmas shopping must be a horror, akin to waking up in a Mexican cartel basement with the camera rolling. And he bought it 20 days ago. What a legend. I hope your missus enjoys it sir, and I hope mine does too.
- Last night we watched celebrity Mastermind. It was a bit awkward because Ricky Hatton was on it and though he is a fine man, who could kill me with his left nostril, he did struggle with the general knowledge round. I ended up being transfixed by his facial expressions as he wandered from one wrong answer to the next, groaning as he pretended he knew it all along but it just hadn’t been at the correct tip of his tongue at the time. He added 2 to his first round score (which in fairness was already 8, so no disaster), but was then blown from the water by Ardle O’Hanlon. He racked up an extra 14 points without breaking sweat, though I thought I saw him pause a couple of times, wary of the champion boxer o’er yonder, wondering if he should get a couple of answers wrong so that Ricky wouldn’t punch his head off with his right nostril. Ricky wouldn’t of done that anyway because he is a nice human being and a gentleman. And why am I being such a cock?
- Mastermind spilled into the ridiculous as Eastenders came on, a programme I watched without fail in my early 20’s but then gave up on. The reasons why were smothered all over the screen. If I want to find Christmas cheer I’m never going to do it by watching Richard Blackwood trying to act as three women shout at each other in some bizarre hostage incident. Of course Eastenders is totally implausible, but it’s given Steve McFadden a job for life and found a home for Danny Dyer that actually matches his talent range. I don’t know when Richard Blackwood signed up, but shame on you BBC. As a comedian he isn’t and has never, ever has been even slightly funny. As a talking head on Channel 5 nostalgia shows he doesn’t and never, ever says anything even slightly interesting. And as an actor on Eastenders he is shit. Incomparably, unfathomably shit. I had to turn off the TV after two shouty minutes because it felt like torture. Yes, the Mexican cartel style torture again.
- I would argue that Christmas music is the very lowest point, the Dead Sea, of Christmas. You might think you can float peacefully on it but in reality it’s dense, far too salty and will make you sick. Very, very sick. If we accept that music is a beautiful thing then Christmas music is a beautiful thing that has been dropped from a great height into a bathtub full of otter semen and sulphuric acid. Most unpleasant. Never mind a count down on Channel 4 of the best Christmas songs ever; we should be voting for which Christmas songs, when played repeatedly, turn us to suicidal thoughts. There are simply too many to mention so I’ll just stick to one. A representative, I suppose. The song which for me sums up how truly awful Christmas music is? ‘Stop the Cavalry’ by Jona Lewie. Firstly, it’s not about Christmas at all, even the shamefully ungifted Mr Lewie has admitted that. Secondly it’s depressing. Thirdly it’s crap. You could release that anywhere on the planet, open it up the universe if you wanted, on any day you liked, and even the profoundly deaf would scream in horror. People like it at Christmas because it mentions Christmas and it has a soppy brass band which seems to bring out the weeping, sentimental prick in them. That song is Mr Lewie’s pension fund. I’ve done my research and listened to a few other bits of his and they’re all very poor, so that means Mr Lewie must be one of the jammiest bastards ever. Furthermore I don’t mind saying I resent his very existence, no more so that when that excruciating excuse for a song comes over the speakers in a branch of Argos. Or BHS. Or jumps into my head and rides my brain like it’s competing in a fucking rodeo. Merry Christmas one and all. Except Jona Lewie.
I think I’m done now. You may note that buried in all that are some quite positive thoughts. I do love being around people and I do love being with friends and do love laughing. I love all those things as much as I love to be on my own or to moan, so I can’t be all bad. I love you too, because you’ve taken the time to read all this, and in my own dark, twisted little evil elf way I still love Christmas and I love the cat that’s just come down the stairs and I love ‘the wife’ who I packed off to work this morning. And now I’m going back to bed. Enjoy.
G B Hewitt. 23.12.2015.
By writing this extra sentence I have taken the word count to 2000, which in my OCD way makes up for a list of 7, not 10.