The Christmas sausage

Stroppy didn't like taking the bus at Christmas

Christmas.

Christmas.

Christmas.

What? That’s all I’ve heard for the last few months, why should my blog be any different?

So this is the festive season.

It’s the time of year when wide-eyed children wait for Santa to come down the chimney with a sack full of toys; maybe they will hear the jangle of Rudolph’s bells as he flies away.

If they’re lucky maybe Santa will drink the glass of brandy left for him on the fireplace.

A time of joy and happiness around the world.

A time of… zzzzzzzzzz

Sorry, I fell asleep.

It’s all so very boring, don’t you think?

This apparent ‘magic’ created by the legend of Santa Claus lost its effect on me when I was around five years old and realised that we don’t have a chimney. My parents tried remove the look of horror from my face by assuring me that Santa had a magic key to come in through the front door.

But, come on, that’s not very ‘Santa Claus’ now is it?

What next? Santa Claus didn’t have his reindeer with him when he visited the local shopping centre because he actually travels the world on the magic megabus!?

COME ON PEOPLE!

Good grief.

Let’s just stop and think logically for a second here.

What would you actually do if a fat old man managed to get into your house on Christmas Eve? Kick two festive bells out of him? I thought as much…

Santa is a burglar.

What would you do if you found nine reindeer, just hanging out on top of your house? More importantly – how exactly does one get reindeer poo off the roof!?

There are an estimated SEVEN BILLION people in the world. Let’s assume Santa has a glass of brandy/whiskey/tequila at every house he visits – sorry Santa, but in most of the world drink-driving is illegal.

So, I guess next Christmas is cancelled – you’re looking at a minimum year-long driving ban (assuming you need a license to drive nine flying-moose, sorry, sorry, I mean ‘reindeer’).

So, billions of counts of burglary, billions of counts of failing to clean up reindeer poo (Santa, come on, surely Mrs Claus could get you a poop-a-scoop for Christmas!?) and one massive count of drink-reindeer-driving.

You, sir, are going to jail.

Let’s also not forget that Santa is SUPPOSED TO BE GREEN. But was Santa happy with a green coat, like all the other elves?

No.

I will never forgive Coca-Cola for making Santa a sell-out.

So, back to reality, Christmas is just another excuse for us to empty our pockets (I’m not talking about pocket-fluff, by the way, I’m talking about money).

The fact that CHRISTmas is actually a CHRISTian celebration of the birth of Jesus CHRIST, is almost completely irrelevant in this day-and-age.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to lift the lid on the can of worms that is religion.

But I will say that, as a society, we’re almost in a position where we are comfortable mocking the religious aspect of Christmas.

Almost.

Although, ITV’s decision to cut Tim Minchin’s song, ‘Woody Allen-Jesus’, from the end of the Christmas edition of The Jonathan Ross Show, suggests otherwise.

Personally, I love it!

Another problem with Christmas is never knowing who to get a Christmas card for or what presents to buy people. Both problems almost always lead to levels of awkwardness that I have only ever associated with Christmas (and Nick Clegg).

Scenario One:

You exchange presents with friends/family and decide to open them together (any regular visitors to this blog will already know how much I hate opening presents in front of people).

You open their gift to you first.

And die a little inside.

Because they have, quite clearly, put so much more thought, effort or money, into getting your gift than you did for theirs.

So now you’re torn between the fact that you are delighted with what they have got you, and the fact that you know that you’re just such a very bad person…

Either way, you still have to sit there and watch them open your gift and pretend they like it.

Scenario Two:

You meet up with some friends to hand out Christmas cards, but someone you know has unexpectedly tagged along. So you hand out everyone’s cards, turn to the unexpected guest and say, “Oh, sorry. I must have forgotten yours, it’s at home, I’ll give it to you next time I see you.”

Shut up.

You didn’t ‘forget’ their card at all – and it’s not at home, because you didn’t write it. You didn’t even ‘forget’ to write it. You had no intention of sending this person a card at all.

The odds are that you don’t even like this person and they probably don’t like you either!

Of course, this scenario is made so much more awkward when this person presents you with a Christmas card – now, not only do you still hate each other, but they have the moral high-ground.

That’s it from the Stroppy Sausage for 2011. Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve!

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE STROPPY SAUSAGE!!!

In memory of my Uncle, John Heyworth.
Who unexpectedly passed away on Christmas day, aged 44.
Rock on, John.
20/06/1967 – 25/12/2011

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The soggy sausage

Stroppy didn't want to go swimming

What do you like to do at 2am?

Sleep?

Me too.

What would you NOT like to be doing at 2am?

For me, there are many things, including: chasing a spider with a pint glass; talking to the cat; falling down the stairs.

Other than the above mentioned activities, which should usually be saved for, you know, never – there is something that I find even less appealing:

Swimming.

OK, I might be exaggerating slightly, I didn’t (and never plan to) go swimming at 2am. Other than the fact that it would be the dumbest thing anyone could ever do, I’m just not particularly big on swimming (although I did earn my 10-metre badge when I was 9).

So, no. 2am swimming did not occur.

I also didn’t fall down the stairs.

Although, I would much rather jump down the stairs head first in pursuit of a spider whilst shouting back up to the cat about my progress, than have to do deal with this problem again…

A burst pipe, at 2am.

Water everywhere.

Can you believe it?

I suppose we should have seen it coming really; the pipe in the downstairs bathroom had been a little bit leaky for a couple of days, like a slow drip that you could hear everywhere in the house. But the landlady promised to send a plumber at some point ‘over the next few days’ so I wasn’t alarmed.

I should have been alarmed.

There should have been alarm bells and flashing lights and warning signs. Instead there was just a dripping pipe – that wasn’t dripping anymore!

Wait… why is the pipe not dripping anymore?

Why can’t I hear the drip?

Actually, what is that I can hear? That almost sounds like running water…

I should have probably realised that there is only one thing that sounds like running water – and that would be running water.

Not to worry, though. I’m no DIY expert but turning off the house’s water supply seemed like the next logical step. It would have been a brilliant idea, too. In fact that’s probably the first thing a plumber would have done.

However, in trying to do this I came across our next problem – the stop-tap didn’t work.

So, to clarify, the STOP-tap didn’t STOP the water from coming in and, seeing as that was its only job, I now call it the ‘DOES NOTHING-tap’ (although sometimes I call it the ‘far too close to my bare buttocks when I’m trying to go to the toilet-tap’).

Next, in an absolute moment of genius, I decided to turn all of the taps and the shower on, in the hope that this would reduce the water, which was now gushing out of the pipe. The only thing I achieved in doing this was an increase in the water bill.

So not only was our house flooding, but we were paying for the privilege.

By this point the water was getting pretty bad. Actually, take a look for yourselves.

So, to cut a long-story short, we opened the front door, reached for the brooms (and the beer) and called a 24-hour plumber.

Who couldn’t make it.

Excellent.

The only other 24-hour plumber that we could find in the area demanded £120 payment over the phone before he came and a further £120 per half-hour – money that we just didn’t have.

So we swept for another hour before deciding that it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice. It was time to call the landlady.

Our landlady isn’t a scary lady. In fact, she’s actually quite nice. But still, it was 2am, nobody likes to be woken at 2am – especially to the sound of the Niagara Falls.

Besides, what could she do? We had already tried the only two 24-hour plumbers in the area.

I’ll tell you what she did.

She sent an electrician.

At last someone’s coming to help…

Wait a minute. An electrician..?

So the house is flooding and we’re all knackered from sweeping water out of the front door, but it’s OK. There’s an electrician on the way – to do some plumbing.

Luckily for us, Mr Electrician knew a few things about stopping water, and so the gushing water stopped. I could have kissed the man (although I didn’t – as far as plumber-electricians go, his breath was rancid).

One trip to Tesco later, looking for something to fix flood damage at a cost of no more than four of the Queen’s English pounds – in our pyjamas – we returned home (with a multipack of tea-towels) and went to bed.

Drama over.

Oh, and as for pyjamas – they’re manly and you know it.

I’ve always said that, one day, I’d like to have a family. You know, beautiful wife that doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, maybe a couple of kids. Just picture the stereotypical family from any Disney Christmas film and that’s pretty much what I’ve been aiming for (except I’m hoping none of them turn out to be cartoons).

I may have to reassess this now.

I definitely need to marry a plumber.

Or an electrician, apparently.