Bah Humbug – Part 23

Day 23 – Dinnertime

So there I am. I’m sat waiting for my dinner. My tummy rumbles and groans as the perfume of roasting meats and vegetables permeate the air. But because my eldest brother is working late we have to wait for him. Of course this means that the usual Christmas day dinner time of 2pm has long passed and it is approaching a gut gnawing 5pm. He arrives. The meal begins.

So there I am. Asked to sing at a special specific Christmas day carol service. The lack of public transport and reluctance for people to give me a lift (I bare an uncanny resemblance to Peter Sutcliffe) means that I have to walk the 3 miles from the church to the family home. I arrive at 3pm. The meal has long been consumed. I am left with a shrivelled and desiccated dinner in the microwave on the none matching dinner plate, the none matching cutlery, the none matching place mat and the cracker from the previous Christmas.

So there I am. Much older. Much wiser. Still sitting on the odd chair, eating from the none-matching dinner plate with the none matching cutlery while observing that the other dinner guests have matching plates and cutlery. It was at this time…I realised….I was special specific. Something like that sticks with you for life.

Anyway, I digress, dinner time. Every year my mum would ask “Do you want sprouts?” “Do you want Parsnips?” “Do you want Christmas Pudding?” and every year I would reply “No mother, I have been eating here since 1973 and you should know by now that I do not partake in the illegal consumption of sprouts/parsnips/Christmas pudding (delete as applicable)”. So to avoid any arguments I will now do a poll to find out your preferences for Christmas dinner.

And it came to pass that Aham son of Joheb didst place the said poll behind the cut and saw that it was good.

[LJ2ME] Bah Humbug – part 22

day 22 – giant green radioactive maggots

There is simply just nothing more frustating about christmas than giant green radioactive maggots. They’re everywhere! I really cannot see the appeal or see any reason why people insist on having them. All they do is ooze slime all over the place and lay eggs in the ears of sleeping people.

Bah Humbug – Part 21

Day 21 – Traffic Chaos

Much akin to the problems with snow, the Christmas period is renown for traffic problems. This year, it seems, is no exception.

If it’s not snow causing gridlock and road closures it’s everyone travelling at once to get from A to B. Traffic jams, slow moving queues and giant maggots blocking motorways, traffic at Christmas can be as taxing as the VAT on presents. Today, it took me 40 minutes to travel my usual 20 minute journey from Brierley to Barnsley. Mostly due to people deciding, quite rightly, to crawl along the snow covered roads at 20mph. Now I wouldn’t usually mind because I am a fairly considerate chap but when I say “snow covered roads” I am exaggerating. It was mush. Mush covered roads. So there was plenty of grip and traction and very little in the way of ice.

I recall one year travelling from Wakefield to Liverpool on the M62 and I saw 8 cars broken down. Foolishly the wife exclaimed “Imagine being broken down on a motorway at Christmas!” just as the Vectra decided that enough was enough and veered toward the hard shoulder. Oh how we laughed as we later ate reheated Christmas dinner all dried up and shrivelled.

And yet a previous year we managed to travel the 80 miles in just under an hour!

This is because, in Britain, if you want to get an idea of what it was like travelling on Motorways in the 1970’s you should set out on a journey on Christmas day. For you will behold how empty the roads can be.

But not to be outdone, this year the good old Christmas demons have pulled out all of the stops. My sojourn to Liverpool this evening has gone the way of the last bus as the exwife in her infinite wisdom went to Eurodisney this weekend.

Now, if you have been hiding under a rock this week or you live in the US, you probably won’t know that the Channel Tunnel (that railway line that connects Britain to the continent) suffered failures and has been closed since Friday night because of the cold. This means the Exwife is now stuck in France, though last I heard they were going to catch a ferry instead. Because of this, my visit to the olds and Liverpool has had to be postponed until tomorrow throwing my plans out by one day boo hiss.

So my effort to thwart the Christmas travel chaos has been….thwarted and tomorrow I face a long drive over the M62 to that jewel in the West coast through yet more ice and loads of trucks and lorries making that last minute Christmas delivery and tonight I spend time in the company of the ever so conversational puss cats. Joy!

Big. Hairy. Monkey. Balls

Bah Humbug – Part 20

Day 20 – Mad Friday

Venturing into Barnsley town centre on the last Friday before Christmas is possibly the stupidest thing to do ever. Unless of course you like thronging crowds of pissed up Yorkshire people vomitting, fighting and being squeezed like sardines into the variety of bars and clubs there are in the metropolitan area.

Personally, I’m glad I didn’t bother. I mean getting jostled about and crammed into bars is not my idea of fun. But be under no illusion. Mad Friday, or Black Friday as it is known in some areas, is a national, if not international, phenomenon.

Seriously, do people like this kind of thing? Is it a new level of socialising I’ve just not grasped? Another example of me doing life wrong?

My idea of fun is sitting in a nice quiet bar, enjoying audible conversation about old toot whilst supping refreshing beers from around the country. Not trying to move my elbow to lift a lukewarm lager to my lips in a sardine tin rugby scrum of buffoons and underdressed ladies whilst my legs ache from trying my best to remain standing in between jostles. Bah. Humbug.

Bah Humbug – Part 19

Day 19 – Nuts

Nothing says Christmas more to me than nuts. I love nuts. Especially walnuts. Hazelnuts are ok, Brazil nuts are a pain in the bum to get out of their shell, peanuts make me snore and almonds…well I can take or leave almonds.

But I love the nuts. Can’t get enough of them.

So why would I include nuts in a grincheque series about Christmas? Surely, if I love nuts I wouldn’t put have written about them. Well…it’s easy…Nuts make me fat. So the easy availability of nuts at Christmas guarantees that I will be a tub of lard by the end of January. Not only that, but the excessive amounts of peanuts, which I can’t help but scoff down, means that I will snore and wake the entire county of South Yorkshire.

Admittedly that’s not a strong enough reason to include nuts as a bad thing about Christmas, especially as I’ve got a love for nuts. But to be honest. I wrote “Nuts” down for my reminder for todays post and I haven’t the foggiest what it was I was going to gripe about….

Now where are them walnuts…..

Bang bang

I suppose you know it’s a bad recession when firework night is quiet. Either that or :

  1. The weather is shit
  2. Nobody fancies paying £35 for a rocket (yes £35 for a whiz and a bang, as seen in a local newsagent near me)
  3. People go to council run displays more now
  4. People realise the celebration of the murder of a catholic terrorist hell bent on the regicide of a corrupt and suppressive monarch has no place in modern society
  5. Arsebook and Twatter are more stimulating to Jo Public than watching a lot of money go up in smoke.

When I lived in Liverpool, Bommie Night was such a big event with the local scallies. What with being able to legally get their hands on explosives with ease and that. For weeks leading up and after, the suburban soundscape would be accompanied by a regular beat of bang bang bang all evening.

But here in Yorkshire. Not very much. Apart from a big fire in the field at the top of the field behind the field behind the lane with no name and a couple of pathetic efforts of Netto standard fireworks.

Personally though, I think the time has passed for this festival and it should go the way of bear baiting and gin dens. Besides, it seems absolutely crazy to me that in this day and age of global terrorism, ordinary people are legally allowed to buy gun powder based explosives over the counter. I mean, if I was Johnny Terrorist, all I’d have to do is fork out £35 for a rocket, dismantle it, put the powder in a coffee tin, add a couple of nails, ball bearings and sharp metal things and there you have it….instant bomb…..Course, you might need something to light it with…..

Bonkers!

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