Today was yet another day in that inevitable annual melee we call christmas preparation. The rarity of Sunday opening hours in England necesitates that on such occasions every able-bodied individual must pile onto the high street to take advantage of the extra shopping opportunity whether they need anything or not. Thus, when I meandered into town at the bum crack of dawn (about 11:30 am at the moment) I was immediately surrounded by hordes of screaming cherubs gift-wrapped in their Sunday Best.
Elderly women with glorified suitcases on wheels used their carry-on equipage as weapons to smite any unfortunate pedestrian who might possibly be thinking of squeezing through the shop entrance before them. I waded into the mosh pit (complete with Mariah Carey on Muzak, having herself a merry little Christmas) and emerged two hours later at dusk, with Christmas tree and various accessories including toilet paper. (In fact, every person in the shop was carrying at least one package of toilet paper. I figured it was mandatory so I joined in, lest they turn me away from the check-out line for lack of bathroom tissue. Perhaps British people use it to decorate their trees?)
Having learned the art of crowd control, I used the christmas tree box to take out two toddlers and an old woman who were holding me up at the cross walk. Skillfully dodging the dentures as they bounced off the windscreen of a nearby car, I sauntered home whistling Jingle Bells. (ok, I wasn’t really whistling. I can’t whistle, even a little bit. But I was thinking Jingle Bells.) I arrived home as the stars were coming out (it must have been 2:30 by that time) and prepared to decorate the fatted calf.
As I did so, the cats took greater than average interest in the proceedings. Their dialogue was as follows:
I say, Gunther. There appears to be a new houseplant.
Plant, eh? Can we climb it? Have a go.
No, mate. Its too prickly.
Seems a bit unsteady, that. They want to water it.
Oh, by all means-
No, son. You know what mum said about watering her plants that way.
Oh. Quite right. Anyway, maybe it’s edible.
Not bad. It has a piquant, plastic sort of aftertaste.
I say, ol boy, lets go …I say! What the bloody hell are you doing?
Sorry mate. That shoelace was giving me a dirty look.
Ah. Rummy bastards. Is it dead?
I think so. For now, anyway. You never can tell with those sneaky sods.
Quite right. Anyway, I was saying, lets go purr round mum and see if she’ll sort us some proper nosh.
Capital, mate. Lead on.
(entering the bedroom)
Strewth! Look at all that paper!
Sweet fancy moses! Its strewn right cross the bed an all! We can’t be havin’ that.
Its the crinkly kind as well. It can’t be safe.
Lets sort it out, mate!
Yeehaw! (and other cat-like expressions of war)
***Sounds of a scuffle ensue***
Oi! What’s that you’ve got mate?
Bubble wrap. Blast these unopposable thumbs!
Pee on it mate, that’ll show it!
Hold up a minute son, do you see what I see?
What, you mean those boxes?
Yeah. Remember what happened last time mum got boxes?
Oh, bloody hell. My bollocks still haven’t grown back from that time.
You an me both, mate. We’ll have to get rid of those boxes.
I don’t know, son. They’ve all got stuff in ‘em. Rattly stuff.
Are they edible?
Naw, too many staples.
Right. They must be just like the other box in the loo, then.
Ah. Brilliant. I needed a waz anyway.
Wait! Somebody’s coming. Run for it!
What now, then?
Lets just go nosh on that new houseplant.
Oh, quite right. Hang on! What’s happened to it?
Bilmey! Its gone all sparkly!
I don’t like the looks of that.
No, way! Is it actually twinkling at us?
And is that toilet paper hanging on it?
And on the top! Do you see what I see?
Another bloody shoelace! Rummy bastards, how do they do it?
Its red and velvety as well. You know those are the worst kind.
Did it just say something about your mother?
Thats it, I’m going up there…
Carry on, I’ll cover you.
Curses! You fool! Somebody’s coming! Assume the position!
Lie on the couch like you’re sleeping. That way they blame the dog.
Ah. Quite right.
I’m not quite sure if these were there actual words. The above is a reconstruction based on the evidence I found when I arrived. Anyway, now I must go and re-erect my toilet papered tree.