I haven’t seen much of Bob, recently.
To be fair to Bob, he’s been rather busy. But he came round to my house the other day. Well, the other evening, really. He was carol singing. And it was only just December.
‘What on earth are you doing?’ I asked him. He look puzzled.
‘Carol singing, of course. Why?’
‘Why? It’s only just turned December, that’s why.’
‘Well, all the shops have their decorations up now.’
‘I suppose so.’
‘And some have had, for the last few months.’
‘And they’re all playing Christmas songs.’
‘And half the kittens on social media are dressed in red and white and chasing Christmas baubles around on the floor and then batting them with their cute little paws…’
‘Stop it, Bob!’
‘So why can’t I go round carol singing?’
‘Because there’s only one of you and it sounds awful!’
‘And what are you collecting for?’
‘That tin you’re rattling. What’s it in aid of?’
‘Our Christmas lunch.’
‘Bob! You can’t do that! You’re supposed to be collecting for charity!’
‘Am I? Who says so?’
‘I…er…I don’t know. You just are, that’s all.’
‘Well, I’m collecting for our Christmas lunch!’ He rattled the tin meaningfully towards me. ‘Silent Night…’ he began again, his voice rising suddenly about two and three sevenths octaves. I shuddered. The kittens left their baubles and ran for cover. ‘Holy Night!’
‘Shut your bloody racket!’ Came my neighbour’s voice – slightly muffled, but carrying a clear threat of violence.
Bob left quickly.
In other years, I’ve written a few short stories for Christmas, but not this year.
Bob has inspired me to re-imagine a few Christmas Carols for the twenty first century.
Here is the first one.
Down cheap booze,
Get into a fight.
Punch and scratch and kick and bite.
Tell the other bloke he’s just a shite.
Sleep in a prison cell…oh!
Sleep in a prison cell.
For those of my readers who do consider Christmas to be a holy festival, I must point out that these little offerings are intended as my rant against the excesses and the commercialisation of Christmas today. I hope you will not take any offence, for none is intended!