I’m over at Anne R. Allen’s blog this week, with a take on all those standard Christmas characters which are rolled out at this time of year – every year. It’s the next in my series of Why You Should Never Live With… and here’s a taster. For more, the full post is available here.
It’s December the Somethingth. You come home from a long day at work. You were supposed to buy Christmas gifts, but the traffic was awful and you didn’t make it to the store before it closed. All you want is a stiff drink and an hour online in order to finish the shopping you now know you should never have left home to do in the first place.
The antique Victorian street lamp illuminating your driveway casts soft light on the dusting of snow, which is inexplicable, given that it’s positively balmy outside. You stumble over something at your doorstep and it yelps. You look down, startled. It’s a small, scruffy looking dog. He looks back at you. The expression on his furry face somehow manages to convey that you have something to learn about life, that the lesson will have to be learned before Christmas is over, and that he’s going to help you learn it.
YOU: I’m betting you have something to do with my housemate.
A voice trills merrily behind you. It is UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: [walking up the driveway and singing gaily] Ding Dong, merrily on high!
YOU: Oh, here we go.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: Hey Roomie! Whatcha doing, standing out here in the cold with Wenceslas?
YOU: As I keep saying, it is categorically not cold. Is this yours? When did you get a dog? And you seriously named him Wenceslas?
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: [picking up the dog and nuzzling into his neck] It’s Wenny for short. Isn’t he the cutest? How could I resist this bundle of woof! It’s fate that we found each other at Christmas!
DOG: [wags his tail obligingly before cocking his head to the side] Woof.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: He’ll be no trouble, I promise. He is definitely not going to pee in your shoes, chew your computer power cable, or knock over the Christmas tree.
YOU: Wow. That’s quite specific, and yet I’m somehow not reassured at all. [unlocking the door] Where’ve you been?
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: Oh, I just had the LOVELIEST day! I bought every Christmas gift on my list. Well, all except the quirky one I need for my one-dimensional slave driver boss who hates Christmas. Then before I left the mall, I stopped off for a mug of cocoa. I got talking to the old lady next to me, and she told me her entire life story for no reason at all. You know, I think she’s lonely. So I invited her for an impromptu eleven-course feast tonight. You don’t mind, do you?
YOU: My gut feeling is that I don’t really have a choice here.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: [suddenly producing fourteen bags of Christmas shopping, full to the brim with perfectly wrapped gifts, all of which are exactly square or rectangular shapes] Don’t you just LOVE Christmas??
YOU: You work a minimum wage yet somehow simultaneously stressful job. How you find both the time and money you spend on Christmas I’ll never know.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: Then after I met the old lady, you won’t believe who I met – my old boyfriend! The one I left behind when I came to the big city.
YOU: Let me guess. The one that got away.
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: As IF. I was the one who got away. I’m far too busy and ambitious to think about lame exes who stay in small towns, instead of achieving something amazing.
YOU: Like adopting dogs, or inviting crazy old ladies for dinner without consulting the people you live with?
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: [blissfully ignoring you] So you wouldn’t believe it – Chuck and me nearly got into an argument.
YOU: You haven’t seen each other in years. What could you possibly have had to argue about?
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: Well, He and I both wanted the last limited edition snow angel in the store We both reached for it at the same time, and—
YOU: [settling in for the long haul at the kitchen table, sighing. The dog hops up on the bench beside you and puts his paw on your knee.] Let me guess. Your eyes met, and then narrowed, and you wrestled for the snow angel, which he won, but then you both realised who the other one was, and—
UNDERWRITTEN CHRISTMAS CHARACTER: Oh my Lord, how did you know?
YOU: Never mind. Go on.
For the rest of this post, hit the link below!