Tis the Season To Be Jolly
Striding deftly past the noteworthy, if not somewhat especial, contributions of unparallelled kitschmas decorations that adorned the raised stone walls of my nearest neighbours abode this very morning. One could do little but admire the religious significance of the arrangement of roughly moulded plastic meerkats, complete with hand-painted robes and carefully pinked claws, in the rather curious semicircle presence of the baby Jesus. Quite what the meerkats and a small Jewish boy have in common is beyond even my seemingly stretched imagination when it comes to all things sacred. What is it about religion and animals? There was of course that small paragraph in the holy babble, the one about loving an ass and buggering an ox, but I skipped that section and went straight on to the Gomorrah parts, just in case it had any mucky pictures as a reference guide. I was an impressionable boy of eleven, I had much to be inquisitive about, let us not pretend that you didn't do it as well. Still, today's wall art is thankfully not as bad as last years display. I vividly recall being so deliciously regaled at the sight of the Muppet nativity scene upon the very same walls. The scale of which was shadowed only by the smallest of bright orange traffic cones. It's not as if Mr & Mrs Anonymous up at the great house are short of a penny or two. No. It's more to do with the fact that they are driven forever onwards by their lack of taste. They are from Norway you see. Apparently it is still very much 1976 over there, good taste, sensible pullovers and a penchant for cooked meat has still to arrive. The rumour in the village is that Mr Anonymous once mistakenly ate nuclear radioactive snow, was forced to leave his home town of Brekstad and now resides, hideously deformed, here in Scotland behind the stone walls of Meerkat Palace. Me? I'm still of the firm belief that he is definitely from Belgium.
With the advent of Stressmas so nearly upon us, I again took up my position beside my beloved, cramped and hunkered onto small plastic chairs not designed for anyone over 5.3, we sat for yet another laborious two hours in the village hall, watching other peoples childer curdle the words to 'away in a manger'. Why is it that they continuously insist upon putting the ugliest ones at the front? Perhaps to keep the priests at bay? It's not that I am impartial to the angelic innocence of those so young enjoying themselves. No indeed. It is more to do with the fact that nativity plays are great when you are observing your own little angels, but not somebody else's little darlings. I have many happy memories of my own weans when they were bearded, fully robed and visiting the little lord Jaysus as he lay stiffly in a doll-like trance upon polymer straw way back when. However, clapping and smiling is now strictly reserved for those newer parents quite happily festooned with digital recording equipment, if not a desire to see their own wee treasures embark in a career as a budding actor on stage somewhere near Broadway. Politeness dictates that Siobhan and I never refuse an offer to appreciate the hard work of so many kiddies as they put in a heart-warming rendition of the back end of Joseph's illustrious, if not somewhat moth-eaten donkey. Even when it does fall off the stage for the second time in less than 5 minutes. The whole concept of Joseph and Mary as kids scenario is mildly disturbing, particularly in light of rampant infantalisation of teenagers in our culture and the ever dropping age of puberty, though I'm sure that is not what the creators of this evenings donkey debacle quite had in mind. But then again, being of catholic origin, one can never tell.
With this festive cheer firmly ensconced in your minds, it only leaves me to wish each of you who travel here from afar to worship at the blog alter of the worst possible taste, a merry Christmas, regardless of your own chosen faith. Merry Christmas to all.
Created & prepared by Unknown