Friday, 14 December 2007

Ding Dong Merrily on High


At the risk of sounding a bit churlish, I'm going to say what I think;

Fuck Christmas.

Every town and city in the land is full of people desperately trying to plunge themselves further into a spiral of debt and despair, to buy unwanted and mostly unnecessary shite for people they don't see or even think about for 11/12ths of the year.
Before you can join the happy throng of miserable geriatrics and yowling screaming snotty fucking kids, you will need to brush up on the old reflexes for the fist fight you'll be having, to secure a parking space in a dimly lit impossible to get-into/out-of concrete communist style bunker called a "Car Park".

Having negotiated this subterranean labyrinth of yuledoom, you will emerge into the fluorescent glare of good will and christian celebration that is the average shopping centre.
The goods in the shop windows will trick you.They don't have these shiny things in the shop, they sold out weeks ago, but you fought your way in through the temporarily retarded shopping zombies at the door so you buy something, ANYTHING.
Grabbing an item either large/colourful or small/mind numbingly expensive, you head for the till.........."Oh shit", goes the flashing sign behind your eyes, (It's actually your brain stem trying to make you run, but you'll get all Homo Erectus and over-ride it),the queue awaits.

Although constructed of flimsy nylon strapping, the magical forces of the maze mean that it simultaneously lures, hypnotises and stupefies a veritable horde of human life.
It wanders so far round the shop, back and forth, up and down, that it's length is equal to a medieval pilgrimage, which is a good thing because it's a christian festival we are all celebrating. As you are sucked into the open end of this cattle run, you idly wonder why all the people nearest the till are old and have grey beards....even the women......Too late the answer pings into your thumping head; they have been here a long, long time.

Beep, beep, beep, go the tills. four of them........although there only ever three working.....some cash, mostly cards. Forgotten PIN's, faulty cards, sorry we don't take cheques. You know they are doing their best, but couldn't they use BOTH hands ? If the use of chewing gum, and the simultaneous use of brain matter is SO hard, couldn't we lose the gum ?
Are they bovvered ?.........NO.

I understand, I REALLY do, I well remember doing a stint of shelf stacking at a supermarket one Christmas.
On the last Saturday before the big day, I unwittingly entered a duel with the married women of the town in which the shop was located.
Stupidly I imagined I could re-stock the mince pies in Aisle 4, then move on to the rest of the store. I was in the shop for ten hours, I failed to fill those shelves with mince pies.
Thousands of both the own brand and Mr Kipling's finest went onto the shelves, but word had spread. They were burning tyres in the car park to send a signal to their sisters.
Not once could I honestly say that the shelves were 'full'.

I got over it, but I won't be doing retail at Christmas again, ever.

So you get to the till, you brave the blinding glint of the cheap jewelery on the ears of the assistant, your card works, the present goes in a bag, with fifty feet of paper till roll, you swerve and blunder out of the shop, tripping over a stultified married man rocking in the doorway. Solidarity is one thing, but sorry chap, you're on your own today.

Desperate for something to stop the shaking, you head for the coffee shop. Yes, yes, nothing would give you greater pleasure than the mulled-skinny-mincepie-lattechino, with a marzipan float. Just make it hot..........£4.60, lovely old job.

As the trembling subsides, you open the bag to savour your victory........a shiny label glints mocking you in the neck of the present..........SIZE 8 !......but the hangar said size 12, you know it did, you checked twice !

Fuck Christmas.

17 comments:

sally in norfolk said...

you need cheering up today :-)

beachfreak said...

A gem of a post young man.

No further comment necessary from me, other than to wonder whether you fancy escaping to the beach early tomorrow morning with me and Pops, away from all the till jingling madness?

knifepainter said...

Hey Sally, out of the old system now, starting to feel better. Thanks for dropping in.

Freak, many thanks.

What time and where ?

sally in norfolk said...

Hope I cheered you up... :-)
The 100 mile round trip was well worth it,I got my coffee and fell more in love with your paintings,but best bit was getting to meet you !! x

Manic Mother Of Five said...

Oh chill out - its one day in the year and just remember what a top bird you get to spend it with. See, every cloud and all that.

Go sketch the lady in question - bet that will put a smile back on your face!

Ms Smack said...

I completely freakin' agree with you. If I didn't have a little one, I'd skip it, every damn year. The only positive is that its the ONLY TIME some people see family, I"m thinking specifically about elderly people, and for some, its the only time of year they get a decent feed.

knifepainter said...

Sally, I couldn't have been more cheered up.....thanks for making the effort, and joining the club....

Manic, I know, I know, I know......as befits your status as a righter of wrong-boys you have seen through my temper tantrum. Sorry mum. x

......I luv u Smack. X

Anonymous said...

You men are such light weights, i have the perfect shopping tool for reaching the front of the queue in record time, 3 small children all high on chocolate and excitement, what shop wants "children" in hyper mode 10 days before christmas not many i can tell you.I will lend you said children at anytime, they are such a pleasure.....Suzyf36.xxx

photogdownunder said...

Hey Knifepainter,a quick note to say thanks! Just as we were getting all sentimental down here about missing friends and family this yuletide season,you reminded me of a shopping trip into Norwich, about this time of year! So now I realise that we have actually made the right move, the only major angst currently here being which beach to stop at overnight in the camper van on Xmas eve! If you ever fancy a Xmas away...I can recommend several beaches which have great sunsets to paint, or just watch it go down at the same rate as a bottle of Gordons Gin!!
Love to all, we'll be in touch soon,
G

Ian said...

Hey Sam,

My tips for a stress free xmas are:

1) Dont park in a carpark, find a outofway non metered street.

2) Use the internet, most of my shopping was done this way.

3) Shop little and often.

4) Use the internet.

5) Do a recce first, come back a week later.

6) Use the internet

7) Don't bother queueing for food and drink unless you are with a companion.

8) Use the internet.

9) Practise your dancing. This will enable you to slip through crowds. Although despite my best efforts, a person of the contradictory gender still brushed her boobs against me yesterday, wondering if she was trying to tell me something...

10) Use the internet

11) The booze cruise should be done at an unusual time, learn the patterns of behaviour in Supermarkets. I shall be doing mine on tuesday or wednesday at about 4-4.30pm just before everyone in Bury St Edmunds finish work. Hoping they all dont have the same idea as me.

12) Ermm.... use the internet.

Best of luck!!

Ian

ginger witch said...

Pissing myself laughing. Alcohol is the only answer!! XX

Swearing Mother said...

Knifepainter, I know just what you mean - think I'm turning into a raving f*cking lunatic this week.

Stuff the turkey, and stuff shopping too. Had enough now.

Pass me the gin.

Ms Smack said...

I think I like Ian's ideas about the internet the best! The only pain in the ass is that it's difficult to buy early in the year, or even mid-year. Just when you think "Order of Phoenix" is cool on PS2, it's outdated and outplayed by December!

Swearing Mother said...

I am pissed, the tree has shed all it's needles already, I've cooked myself to a standstill and just about managed to get through the day without swearing.

It's a Christmas miracle.

xx

knifepainter said...

Hiya guys,

Hope you didn't think I had died !

Currently enjoying a quiet restful festive time, hope you are too.

Thanks to you all for dropping by.

X

Swearing Mother said...

Was beginning to wonder where the kin hell you've been, to be honest. I know it's busy, but please remember your fans.

:o)

Have a great New Year Sam.

x

knifepainter said...

Hiya Sweary, hope you're feeling well today !

My head is ok now. x