Christmas Crackers

Oi Oi! It’s December 1st today, so I guess it’s time to push the Christmas shopping madness into high gear and watch everyone go every-so-slightly mad. I’d rather do my Christmas shopping online if at all possible. However, just getting to work at this time of year is hard enough.

Take Monday as an example. It snowed. I got stuck. Couldn’t even reverse out of my parking spot. Took me an hour to get home then another hour to get to work on Tuesday because everyone was being silly arses. Wednesday came and everything seemed to be slightly better, however on the way home last night I noticed some muppets in a van who’d decided to park up in the outside lane of the M6. Sure, they’d broken down, but it’s only a matter of seconds before someone slams into the back of them. Then, when I got down to junction 12 the whole motorway was closed off due to an accident there too. Nightmare. Driving in the winter is pants. You must go slow, you must queue everywhere at all times and you get ice on your windscreen.

So then, after driving in the dark and cold, waiting in a huge queue of traffic for some stupid arse to decide what lane they need to be in. A prime example would be the guy in the Vauxhall Corsa who was doing about 25mph up the dual-carriageway (60mph zone). He suddenly decided he wanted to be in the outside lane. Not a huge problem you’d think, but there were about 10 cars trying to get around him at the time, and he forgot to indicate.. or look.. or bother to apologise when the bloke in front nearly crashed into him. Ahhh well.. I won’t let it get to me..

Ah, but how about that guy who was on the other side of the round-about yesterday morning, then decided to turn right straight in front of me without indication, even though he was in the left lane at the time. Nice. Again though, I won’t let it get to me. I honked my horn in a jovial way and waved a friendly “hello” message at him as he passed millimetres away from my bonnet.

So getting to work is bad enough but shopping is even worse. When you do manage to battle through the numpties who faff about swapping lanes and braking just because the guy 300 yards in front has, you get to the car-park and end up fighting other drivers over parking spaces. It’s like some medieval battle…

“I challenge you to a duel. This, my lord, is my rightful parking space”

“WRONG SIRE! I have been waiting here with my indicator on for just as long as you!”

Then, after exchanging a few choice swear-words you hit the shops. It may be the Bullring, the Arndale Centre, the Trafford Centre or local city shops. Either way, there’s people everywhere like flies. The worst part about “people” is that they want to walk EXACTLY where you want to walk, or walk straight at you… or stop in front of you suddenly.

I have an in-built “timer”. I always say to Em, “You’ve got about 30 minutes, then that’s it”. This is because after 30 minutes of shops, walking around shops, holding clothes, putting clothes back, trying different ones on, holding more clothes, standing outside of changing rooms, holding 5 or 6 carrier bags and moving out of the way of people who want to stand exactly where you’re standing I kinda explode. I have to sit down and have a coffee or a cake, or something. Yeah – I know what you’re thinking, “Cake? Coffee?”.. well yes, it’s a tad too early to start drinking isn’t it? Apparently…

Then back you go for round 2, suitably refreshed and holding a bottle of water so that you don’t dehydrate when you see the next “Total” come up on the till. More shops, a department store, presents galore and then the, “Oh, I wish I’d got something else now”-feeling when you’re half-way home.

Ahh! Home! And do you know what that means ? A well earned drink. This is the time of year to stack up that fridge. Beer is cheap in the shops and now, with 24 hour licensing and 24 hour opening you can even go down to Tesco or Asda at midnight and get some beer. Job done!