Monday, 22 December 2014

I may be some time.....

A cold, dank outside awaited him. He'd not been outside since his Christmas piss-up in Cathays 48 hours previously, and was still suffering the effects. Bravely though, he steps into the breach, looking back briefly, before trudging onwards, onto a sodden Newport pavement. He knew what awaited him, yet as he walked towards his car, he felt no fear. For a moment, the last words of Lawrence Oates rang in his ears, before turning the ignition key to be greeted by John Lennon singing "War is Over". He was wrong, the war had only just begun.


The dread-fest that is the christmas food shop never ceases to turn anyone and everyone into a version of themselves that makes Scrooge himself look positively jolly. I always go in with best intentions, I know what I need, I've got my shopping list on my phone, all is good in my festive hood. I promise myself I'll not get internally irate, just relax and just enjoy everyone else stressing out whilst you casually, nonchalantly even, go about your business. But as soon as you get in there, there they are.....the other people, just waiting to drag you down to their level, bastards! 

I don't know why I do it, but I always find myself trying way too hard to make eye contact at Christmas. Maybe if they see the hope, the positivity in my eyes, they will also see how much effort I'm putting in to put up with their miserable faces, maybe it will inspire them to do the same. Perhaps the stress will melt away and the magic of christmas will gush forth? But no, it soon becomes nearly impossible to resist the urge to mutter to yourself like a homeless crack addict. People seem to have the spacial awareness of a blind elephant. Captain Scott had it easy, he had the freedom of the North Pole to move around in. He didn't have to put up with trolleys haphazardly left in the middle of the isle while two kids sat in it scream for their mum who's gone AWOL. 

Not many people know this, but I'm proud of my trolley handling skills. I use my trolley with common sense....with skill. I'm diligent and handle it with respect. I see obstacles, I avoid them. If I need to stop, I make sure there is nobody behind me and make sure I move to one side and allow space for my fellow shoppers. This isn't a boast, who the hell would boast about having a little control and common sense? What's alarming is something that comes so unwavering natural to my good self is completely devoid in other humans. Should there be a lane system? Should there be an aptitude test? People who pass said aptitude and trolley handling exams could be identified by finger print recognition on the handle bars. Let's use technology to make the world a better place.

I've always been a people watcher, I like to study people's facial expressions. I try and work out what they might be thinking, what type of person they might be. I think it's fair to say, people look different the week leading up to christmas. If the Dawn of the Dead ever became a reality, it would be indistinguishable from a christmas food shop. Please understand that I'm basing this on a Newport branch of Tesco, so perhaps my findings may be askew a little. Do Sainsbury's customers have the same look of abject desolation in their eyes? 

It felt to me like the christmas music only exacerbated the toxic proceedings. When Cliff Richard came on, I noticed a discernible change in the actions of the food shopperees.....they became more aggressive, tangibly upset. Maybe it's only right that they should react this way? Is the Cliffmas love-in coming to a shuddering halt? Are we losing our faith in christmas altogether? I remember wondering to myself as a kid, whether or not I'd still be listening to the same old christmas songs as a grown up....and I am. Other than The Darkness' (Don't let the Bells End.....best christmas song title, ever, by the way), there's not been a decent christmas song made since 1984. 

Christmas is kind of okay the way it is, but it can't go on like this forever. It's stuck in the past.....the ghost of christmas past is amongst us, every year.....it's stagnant. It needs reinventing, it needs to become less stressful, less commercialised. It needs some new tunes, which means Simon Cowell needs shooting, hanging.....to spontaneously combust, how he goes is not important, what's important that he does. The X Factor has single handedly ruined the Christmas charts.....the only thing that seems to get in the way of his dominance is a natural disaster and a subsequent proverbial charity inspired single. 

So there we are, in one blog.....kill Cowell, save Christmas. Jesus (thought he should get a mention), I'm good.







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