Preparing for Christmas

IF Christmas is so familiar to everyone then how come so many people get the preparations wrong year after year?

I mean, Dad took down the Christmas tree lights and put them away himself last year, so how come he’s surprised they don’t work this year?

And how come he’s even more surprised when he sticks his finger in a broken bulb socket that connecting himself up to the National Grid hurts? Perhaps the smoke curling out of his Y-fronts will teach him to be more careful next year and get his children to do it.

Mums are no better. What fool would take a small glass bowl, add cream, milk, custard powder, a nice dash of sherry and a shot of brandy only to then stick an electric whisk in the mixture and turn it straight on before checking the control wasn’t on high…which it was. Have you even seen a custard-coloured kitchen? Not pretty.

The only reason children don’t join in this disaster is that they are too busy opening presents so Mum and Dad can find new ways to hurt themselves.

Remember that easy assembly CD Cabinet? Well it’s not easy and it’s not assembled, at least not since Dad stuck that screwdriver in his hand. Strangely enough, blood transfusions were not among the list of instructions.

And how about the chocolate fountain? A simple mechanism to switch on but not when activated early by Dad on Christmas Eve so everyone wakes up at 3am on Christmas Day to the stench of burnt sugar wafted upstairs on clouds of smoke.

Still, it won’t take long to repair the fusebox once all the electricians go back to work after New Year and it was kind of the firemen to open all the windows to ventilate the house. Central heating’s gone, they said. Oh, and Merry Christmas.

Getting ready to welcome Santa Claus may not involve providing bedding and food for reindeer but it can involve bedding and food for the kids’ new pet dog.

People who have never had a pet dog lack even the semblance of an idea about just what is being taken on, but by Boxing Day they’ll have a pretty good idea.

For a start, no-one will have had a wink of sleep on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as new arrival, Hamilton, will have spent two nights howling the place down or whimpering his displeasure at being parted from his Mum.

So nerves will be in tatters by Boxing Day morning, a state not improved by Dad descending the stairs in the morning to a delirious welcome from Hamilton only to find that his prize new golf shoes not only have a hole in one but in both. In fact they’ve been chewed to pieces.

Mother joins in her spouse’s wails of anguish with a few shrieks of disbelief that Hamilton has tipped over the Christmas tree and eaten all the chocolate ornaments which doesn’t please the children much either although they love the piles of regurgitated silver paper dotting the carpet in a miasma of vomit.

Yes, there is plenty of Christmas cheer for us all to look forward to and, because we’re all veterans of planning for the Big Day, nothing can go wrong….can it?


Dog owners face prison

TOUGHER penalties for irresponsible dog owner are being proposed by the Government after news that 5,500 dog attacks have been recorded on postmen since 2011. So what will it mean for man and his best friend?


“Brutas, is that you?” growled Max. “Talk to me buddy.”

There was a scuffling sound and then a tear-streaked muzzle was thrust between the cell bars.

“You’re still here then, Max. We’re never going to get out of here are we?”

“Don’t talk like that mate. Barkhurst may be top security, but if we wag our tails and don’t bite anybody maybe they’ll transfer us to a Category 2 prison like Woofwood Scrubs.”

“Perhaps for you, but there’s no hope for me, not while my master’s still here on C Wing. Five years he got. You can hear him scream in the showers.”

“Don’t cry Brutas, get even! Think what we’ll do to that postie when we get out. A couple of  nips, that’s all we gave him as he bent over to put that Second Class through the letter box. A bit of innocent fun is all it was and for that they throw away the key.”

“I don’t think my master sees it that way. He told the court I was just playful and they still sent both of us down.”

“That may have had something to do with your 29 previous convictions, the restraining order and that unfortunate incident with the Chihuahua at No 27.”

“Well I was hungry and it was all fur anyway. Stupid little dogs.”

“But the courts don’t see it that way any more. All they see is a tearful owner who says Fluffykins, who never hurt anyone, was gobbled up by a fat bull terrier which then chewed her walking stick.”

“It wasn’t a walking stick. It was a crutch…and who are you calling fat! Being thin didn’t do you much good did it. Four years for attacking a group of children at a picnic!”

“I was only after the sausage rolls.”

“Yeah, but the kiddies didn’t know that did they. Took one look at a big Alsatian with bigger teeth coming straight for them and ran away straight across a road. Hell of a mess.”

“All right, all right. Maybe I could have been a bit more subtle and sat up and begged, but it’s so undignified.”

“Better undignified and free than doing four years for a few sausage rolls.”

“Anyway, we’re locked up now for years. Look! Here comes a warder. Must be time for exercise! Wonder if I’ll get to use the tree first.”

“You’ll be lucky. That lot from E Wing goes out before us. Be six inches deep before we get out there.”

“Still, there’s always dinner to look forward to. Meaty chunks tonight.”

“Yeah, keep your head up. Maybe we’ll get time off for good behavior. Here we go then! Race you to the security fence.”