Compulsory Christmas newsletter
Have you noticed on those ‘Thought for the Day’ radio pieces how many times pastors, priests, chaplains and bishops et al are, we are led to believe, “reminded of Jesus”.
Be it contemplating how difficult it is to prize a lid off a jar of jam, achieve the precise balance between teabag, water, milk and sugar in the perfect cup of tea or deliver a headshot to a member of the Taliban with a high velocity rifle at a distance of 250 yards, these truth-sayers uncannily have a way of bringing any everyday task back to the old JC. On reflection what’s surprising is not the way in which they are reminded of Jesus as much as their tendency to be reminded. They must be forgetting about him all the bloody time.
This forgetful tendency goes at least some way to explain the Catholic Church’s collective response to allegations of child abuse by the clergy. Just a thought. For the day.
Talking of which have you noticed how many organisations, when confronted by stories of complicity in evil and wrong-doing are taking to announcing investigations into themselves. Be it political parties, football clubs or the Met Police, the latest trend is for official spokespeople to affect dismay and express an unflinching commitment to hunt out the truth with a frenzy not seen since we saw Ed Balls on Strictly Come Dancing.
Imagine if individuals started behaving in a similar fashion. If Gerald responded to an accusation by his wife Mavis that the previous night he had drunk eleven pints of beer by saying “This is deeply concerning. I’m going to get to the bottom of this by launching an enquiry into my actions of last night, starting right here by analysing why this lampshade is on my head”.
It wouldn’t inspire confidence would it. Even if he added: “Make no mistake. My determination to seek answers is such that I am now deputising my right hand to take the necessary steps to discover what my left hand was doing between the hours of 8pm and 2am and why find out why there are traces of Wotsits on my fingers”.
As I write this the carnival of Christmas-time is vomiting down upon us and I find myself engulfed by seasonal headlocks and festive sing-a-longs. In fact, I can’t step outside of my front door at the moment without finding myself caught up in alcohol fuelled choirs, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas or violent street mobs setting fire to things.
I hate people who refuse to enjoy Christmas, choosing to express my hostility by forcing sherry trifles through their letterboxes and slamming mince pies into their ears. Bastards! What is their problem.
Christmas is a time of peace and goodwill to all of us and if we let a few miserable gits opt out it just doesn’t work anymore. So don’t let them. Smear their faces with brandy butter! Bombard their conservatories with pork pies and sausage rolls! If you see them in the street not wearing a jaunty pair of antlers feel free to punch them repeatedly in the face.
Because people who don’t see the utter loveliness of Christmas and instead focus only on what they see as negative – the Michael McIntyre Christmas Specials, excessive and unsustainable levels of consumption and gluttony, blocked drainage systems, David Walliams – they don’t deserve our respect or our love.
When it comes to Christmas the fact is THEY LOST.
If they don’t like it they should leave the country.
At Chez Accidental Republic, I for one will be celebrating a traditional family Christmas of rich food, fine wines, paper hats, Bing Crosby, the Queen’s Speech, Irish country dancing and bare-knuckle boxing. Although I’m personally a little squeamish about the hyper-consumption levels of recent years I will be gutted if I don’t wake up to a new speedboat and diamond-encrusted egg timer.
We will probably take in one of those feel-good festive movies after dinner – the sort of thing that leaves you feeling all fuzzy and hopeful inside. Bad Lieutenant is my Mom’s pick because she always tries to model herself on Harvey Keitel. We all think it’s funny because in reality she’s the spitting image of Burt Lancaster.
As the New Year beckons I will soon be taking the opportunity to unveil an exciting new rosta of Accidental Republic tees and accessories. I’m developing a range of shirts targeted at those people who aren’t easily able to express emotions. Men is other words. Hey presto! The new shirts will do the heavy lifting ! Fear, Dread, Shame, Regret. I’ll have all the bases covered!
Until then, such sentiments will have to go tragically unexpressed and the silence around the table will hang heavy in the air as it always has done. Like a rancid cloud of intangible restlessness it will lurk menacingly in the space above your paper hat glorying in the lack of any eye contact or common understanding.
Happy Christmas then.