You want to know what really upsets me? It’s people who use phrases like ‘silly o’clock’ when they should say ‘early’. No, it’s not people who use phrases like that. It’s people who use that actual phrase. And it doesn’t simply upset me. It makes me want to lock them away in a small dark airtight space and gradually immerse them in sand, like I was a despotic pharaoh in ancient times disposing of slave type people who displeased me by using cuntish phrases like ‘silly o’clock’, or calling me ‘buddy’ or ‘pal’, or by shagging my lovely Pharoahina whose name was Tina.
Except she wouldn’t be called Tina. She’d be Tn. Because, clever as they were at building pyramids, sgraffiti-ing really cool two dimensional graphics into blank sheets of sandstone and mummifying the old folk (usually after death, it hardly needs saying), the ancient Egyptians never got around to developing written symbols for their vowels. Th cnts. Stll, spps thy wr qt bsy mst f th tm, wrnt thy?
Now. How are you at choosing Christmas gifts for your loved ones? Or more importantly, for your Loved One? You know, the One you’ve committed yourself to, to whom you vowed, in a moment of slightly alcoholically hazed terror, your undying love, your honour, cherishment and that rather spiky bit about letting no man (no mention of women there, note) ever split the pair of you asunder? I’m crap at that bit. Not the resisting being split asunder part; that’s easy if you’ve got a conscience like mine.
No, the choosing meaningful presents with the intention of deepening the eternal bond between your immortal souls thing. And so it was that, faced with the thought of seeing the slow spread of dismay across my beloved’s face as she realised that I’d failed yet again in the ‘choosing a good present for her for Christmas’ department, I decided to fall back on the old favourite technique. We now go back to early October.
“Is there anything that you’d really like me to surprise you with as a Christmas present this year my love?” I asked my little bride of thirty five years standing. She does sit down sometimes, and even goes horizontal on occasion. And I was a child bridegroom, in case you’re wondering. Juanita sighed.
“Not particularly. Being with you is enough” she said. Nobody said you have to stick strictly to the actual words that have been said here, did they?
“Not a nice new set of Tupperware? Or yet another expensive gadget that you really don’t believe you’ll be able to live without but which will inevitably be consigned to the back of the garage by January 17th and given to one of the daughters for quiet disposal at a boot sale in the summer?” I asked.
“Oh, you’re so funny.” She said. It’s nice to be appreciated, and like they say, if you haven’t got looks, make them laugh and you’ll still get shagged. There are some lying bastards out there.
So I suggested the old winner, a week away. And so it is that on Tuesday next we shall be flying off to the misty plains and small hills of central Bohemia, resting and relaxing in a small pension in the gift of the Grey Sisterhood of the Poor Quivering Brides of Christ. Rising in the frosty dawn to crunch through the medieval streets to the bakery for a steaming breakfast of griddled hog and sugar crusted trudelnik. Clip-clopping the cobbled streets and plunging into the warmth of a hospitable tavern wherein crackles and hisses a warm welcoming fire of oak and ash. There will be no slow peeling off of crinkly wrapping paper or removing tacky self-adhesive gift tags from strategic points on this present, I can tell you. Unless I get really lucky.
2014 wasn’t the best year of our lives here at Schloss Thorn-Hymen, although there were a few good patches. Damp ones, mostly. I hope that this year will be better for us and for you.