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Monday, 19 December 2011

I've Got A Problem (Part the second)

Jason, my pet Amoeba (He's got more spine than me some days)

In my last post I alluded to the fact that I had a problem at Christmas.

I mentioned that I do enjoy the foods at Christmas.

I enjoy the feeling of goodwill to all men (except that racist, bigoted, bastard the Honourable Member of Parliament, Hone Harawera) (and of course Ringo)

I enjoy watching the Salvation Army Brass Band, out on the streets, begging for money from all passing.

Beggars can't be choosers

I enjoy the never ending, yet somehow joyful sound of all the Christmas Carols encountered everywhere from those areas renowned as being at the heart of modern Christianity.

The elevators, the supermarkets, the lingerie and perfume retailers, the giant soulless shopping malls, the pubs and restaurants and even the bloody lavatories.
Says it all really, have a sh*t to some joyful music.

I enjoy watching the morose council workmen putting up ever-tackier plastic Christmas decorations.

I enjoy watching the increasingly desperate male partners roaming every retail establishment in the vain hope that this year they'll get it right.

That this year they'll find a present that will bring a genuine smile to the face of their partner, and not a grimace which means "I hope you've got the receipt for this 'cause it's going back tomorrow when I can buy something I really want"

That this year they won't repeat the heinous crime of buying their partner something useful;like an iron, or a frying pan (I did this once. NEVER TO BE REPEATED. It was meant as a joke.  She didn't find it funny. See my post SUCCESS. for a list of things NOT to get at Christmas.

I enjoy the more generous hand at the Pouring Of The Whisky, the smell of pine needles as the tree is put up in the lounge. (It's really an artificial tree we've had for over 15 years, and it smells of pine needles because I always hang a pine car air freshener amongst the branches to cover up the smell of dust, mould and general fustiness which seems to hang over it.  Plus I'm sure that there's a hint of dog-vomit since the Christmas Pudding Explosion of 2005)

I even enjoy the semi-mandatory Christmas Eve Mass at our local church.

I enjoy it because I don't go.

Wild horses whipped by 10DK wouldn't get me through the doors, but I enjoy it because my Beloved and m'son do go to it every year.

And every year I'm left on my own for a few blessed hours.

To think.
To meditate on the year.
To gently imbibe a small large generous drinkie of the blessed Laphroig on my own.

But I feel guilty.

I feel guilty because I try not to be a hypocrite.

I feel guilty because I'm an atheist.

All of this mumbo-jumbo is completely meaningless to the real me.

I was raised as a Scottish Presbyterian and you can't really get much more fundamental than that.(I've ignored the extremists in the USA because they're completely beyond the pale)

I was raised NOT to:
Have fun on a Sunday
Read anything except the Bible on a Sunday
Play cards on a Sunday
Do anything on a Sunday except walk to Church, DON'T fall asleep during the sermon and walk back.
Play or do anything on a Sunday

Over the years I've found that many questions I've raised don't seem to have any logical answers, so I decided about 35 years ago that these questions were intrinsically unanswerable, and that anyone who said they had the absolute truth was a con-man, and should be totally disregarded.

So when I feel joyful at Christmas, I've got a niggling feeling that I'm being hypocritical, and that's my problem.

I feel close to my family.
I don't hate anyone (although Ringo comes close)
I help those in need.
I completely pig out on food and booze.

And I feel guilty.

Maybe next year I'll feel different, but I wouldn't bet on it.


  1. I watched an hour long debate yesterday between Richard Dawkins and a fundamentalist Christian on YouTube. I was going to put a link here, but I can't find it this morning.

  2. Oooh, I wish I'd seen it.
    Did Dawkins rip him to shreds?

  3. TSB, I laughed so hard, shit nearly happened! When in Scotland I imbibed, can I gramatically say that, in a dram of Balblair. I liked it so much, I bought the company. OK, just one bottle. Can't wait to get the lid off that!

  4. My favourite clip of Dawkins is the one where he reads the hate mail from the supposedly peace-loving christians he's upset. His deadpan delivery is brilliant.

    I'm rushing out to the mall. I'll bear in mind the tip about not buying saucepans and get her an iron instead.

  5. Dear Twisted, It probably does not do to over analyse these things. You eat, you drink, spend time with your nearest and dearest - what is not to like? One can if pressed categorise the event as more cultural rather than religious. If I may offer some very sound advice regarding the perfect present for Mrs Twisted - ring her best friend and ask what she thinks Mrs T would like. You will be a hero particularly as Mrs T did not have to drag you kicking and screaming herself. Lindaxxx

  6. YONKS: Glad you enjoyed m'blog. I try to amuse.

    I hate to admit it, but I've never heard of Balblair. A quick google shows it to be a close relative of Dalmore and Glenfiddich, which I do know and love. Enjoy your experience of the 'cratur'

    Shackleford Hurtmore: Do you have the URLof that clip? I'd really like to see it.

    No wait, not the IRON.
    Get something safer, like a shotgun.

  7. Linda in Chile: Welcome back after your trip to Lahndahn. I agree that the celebration is more cultural than religious these days. But I cannot convince my Beloved of this.

    I point out the pre-Christian foundations of the celebrations, but I get rebuffed, and am told it doesn't matter, because it's religious to HER. 'Nuff said.

    The last time I contacted one of my Beloved's miriad of friends, I was told to:
    a) "For goodness sake, figure it out yourself"
    b) A 15 carat diamond ring
    c) George Clooney.

    I ask you, was ANY of this sensible?

  8. Dear Twisted, George C would be nice! Ask your daughter then. My family keep asking me what I want - but I really can't think of anything. Lindaxxx

  9. The Glasgow-born novelist A L Kennedy once described her Presbyterian upbringing as being told to shut her eyes and then not knowing whether she'd get a clout or a kiss. To be taught something about how you can never rely on other people to be kind, or something.

    I think you owe it to yourself to have an extra-indulgent Christmas this time and truly kick all that crap into touch with an extra tip of the hand on the old Laphraoig and an extra dollop of the beloved bread sauce.

  10. Linda in Chile: I did ask my daughter, and she said:
    A) For goodness sake; I should know by now
    B) Diamonds

    And for you, a great big cuddle for being so nice. :=)

  11. looby: I know the feeling. Clout or Kiss. Sounds like something from Eddie Izzard. Cake or Death;Clout or Kiss?

    BAD NEWS. My Beloved has just told me that we're having HAM this year, and only a philistine has bread sauce with ham.

    Laphroig is OK though, it goes with anything, AND I 've found my secret Christmas present, hidden in the compost heap, a tin of Grant's Tinned Haggis.

    It doesn't get much better than this.

  12. OMG you Scots are so pathetic.
    Why don't you take some of your'e own advice TSB. Some of that HardenUp compound or Liquid Nails, or EasyCrete or whatever. I though being raised under such a staunch Presbyterian ethic, you would know by now not to expect anything too much for Christmas, including the food.

    Tell you what my dear - sneak down to my place (only a few km down the road from yours) and join my festive feast. There will be real
    turkey, and all the trimmings. Real Christmas pudding and trifle! Custard and cream of course optional. To be sloshed down with lovely NZ wines. I also have a reserve stock of Whisky (Yes- Uncle's hoard) plus a new bottle given to him in September for his 90th which he never touched, otYou know where to find me if worser us. My address is in the white pages and you have my business card with my contact phone numbers if worse comes to worse. We kickoff @ 12pm.
    Who said Kiwis can't do a traditioanl Christmas feast?? We reserve BBQ's for the days following and New Years, unless I'm going to my BF's (Fiona's) for Hogmanay - yes she was born in Scotland and puts on a lovely Hogamanay and Haggis - only lives in Silverstream too!!

    Remember my dear life is about choices - or as I say to my Beloved -
    "On the keyboard of life always keep one finger on the escape key". Truly food for thought eh??
    Are you crying yet??

  13. VG: *with restrained dignity*
    I actually prefer ham.
    Without bread sauce.


    Your BF; is this Best Friend or Boy Friend?
    I'm getting a little confused.

    Haggis is good, but not at Christmas, although it's quite satisfactory for Boxing Day Breakfast.

  14. Dawkins 1:

    Dawkins 2:

    I've wrapped the iron; along with the new hoover attachments to replace the broken ones, I'm quietly confident that this is going to be the Best Christmas Ever.

  15. Shackleford_Hurtmore:

    Thanks for the Dawkin's clips, I'll see them as soon as I can.
    As far as the iron and hooverbits; run, you fool, run, before it's too late.


  16. My BF - Best Friend. I said Fiona. That is a girls name. Hogmanay - New years. Not Christmas.

    Ham is very economical. It lasts for quite some tiem if you keep it properly. I can see why it would appeal to the frugal minded.

    Up until a few eyars back, when my Dad was still alive and Mum, my late Uncle would donate us a ham at Christmas, which he won at bowls or in a raffle at the RSA. So we would get to share the ham aroudn the whol family, as well as get a nice turkey cooked by Mum.
    I miss those days. I miss them all now they've all gone.


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