|Earlier this evening I was in the outside world leaving a trail of nuts from my back garden to the oven in attempt to snare Christmas dinner, when I noticed the telly had turned itself on, selected an obscure channel, increased the volume and dimmed the lights. Abandoning my dinner plans I went to investigate and found playing, an episode of Terry and June; and a Christmas special none the less.
Sitting comfortably I watched on as Terry; hard at work with a glass of scotch reluctantly and unbeknown to June, invited his boss and stereotypically ditzy secretary for Christmas lunch. Now completely reeled in and wondering if they’d be serving squirrel too I watched on as Terry returned home that evening to 71, Popular Avenue, Purley in Surrey, poured himself a tumbler of scotch from one of what I noticed was many crystal decanters on silver trays laying around the house and talked a reluctant June into having four extra guests for Christmas day.
I suspect then I blacked out for a moment for the next thing I noticed was that it was Christmas day and Terrys’ boss was rapping at the door with a case of scotch shouting, “Medford, open up”, as Terry scurried to the door dressed in what I can only assume was a pair of life sized Rupert the Bear pants and a bright red cardigan / cape combination with contrasting velvet dickie bow, followed from the kitchen by June dressed in what I assume to be a post neo classical slightly modified curtain.
I can only explain the next ten minutes as a frightening blast from the past as deleted childhood memories came flooding back like a low budget tsunami disaster movie starring Lou Diamond Phillips and John Ratzenberger on late night Davejavu+1.
Searching the deco, clothes and the way they talked I looked for clues as to the year this was made. I knew it was sometime in the ‘70’s but I don’t remember life ever being as unfashionable and as spartan as this but it wasn’t till they started playing charades that the clues were revealed. Terry started with a film with six letters, then immediately proceeded to do an impression of a schoolboy. The guesses came flooding in; from - the bridge on the river kwai (6 words - viable) to - raiders of the lost ark (5 words - possibly used to make the show more trendy). So I could place the show around 1982. I had confirmation; and in having confirmation I also had confirmation that I must have watched this episode on Christmas day in 1982 and yet could not remember any detail about it and somehow apart from the scotch and wife it was a perfect reflection of how my life has turned out.
Anyhoo; on to the survival guide.
Christmas is a time of year we all love to hate. Whether you’re planning a murder or even a suicide please feel free to use the following handy 5, yes that’s right, 5 tip guide as; you see fit.
1, Save money on a return fare by only buying a one way ticket for a wealthy elderly relative; to Dignitas.
2, If you do have a wealthy elderly relative that’s lived more than her fair share of life, you could try making her walk home unaided in the snow and ice. Nb, this is dependant on the size of the Christmas cheque. In my experience, anything over a tenner is highly unlikely.
3, Get one back an a wealthy elderly relative by buying a even poorer quality Christmas card than the one she gave you which after fourteen minutes can no longer stand up on it’s own under it’s wafer thin strength and smutty content of a poorly sketched and pissed Santa molesting things.
4, Sit back and avoid physical contact with wealthy elderly relatives as the snarling pack of other airs are doing a fine job of absorbing the rancid smell of decay and witch hazel as they take it in turns passing her too and fro, like a macabre version of pass the parcel.
5, Buy yourself the present you want, as no one; repeat, no one else can be trusted; especially wealthy old relatives who have tricked you once again into spending a fortune on them when in return you receive a bottle of appletize, an oddly fitting market glove and slipper combo set, a small carton of Celebrations (the worst sweets known to man) and a single pair of Marks and Spencer wide bottom off brown underpants, which look and smell suspiciously like they’ve spent since Christmas 1982 rolled up in the underwear draw of a wealthy old relative.
Merry Christmas !
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