Gripes' Christmas Message

One of my favourite paintings at the National Gallery of Scotland.

The Wicked Fairy at the Manger (by U.A. Fanthorpe)


My gift for the child:

No wife, kids, home;
No money sense. Unemployable.
Friends, yes. But the wrong sort –
The workshy, women, wogs,
Petty infringers of the law, persons
With notifiable diseases,
Poll tax collectors, tarts;
The bottom rung.
His end?
I think we’ll make it
Public, prolonged, painful.

Right, said the baby. That was roughly
What we had in mind.



Chez Gripes this year, Christmas is a secondary event. Far more important than this mere quasi-religious consumerist trifle is my sister’s birthday. This year she is coming to Edinburgh (yay!) and we are going en famille to the zoo. [In case you were wondering she has no kids and will be 44 this year. She is, however, a hard-core Primary teacher…thus the zoo trip, I suspect.] I wanna see the polar bear! Is it still green I wonder…?

Before this, of course, we have to get through Christmas. Blah blah, gifts, blah blah, food, blah blah, bloody awful episodes of Eastenders… And before we even get to that, we have to grit our teeth and visit She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named: Mrs Gripes’ Maw.

As “the lodger”™ -of almost seven years standing- I am met with quizzical looks and a degree of circumspection whenever I visit Mrs Gripes’ Maw. She saves her venom for her daughter. Sneers, swipes, and passive-aggressive snipes (along with gleeful tellings of the most recent deaths) are delivered and endured for the duration of the visit. The journey home is always fast- and the air in the car is always filled with Mrs Gripes making the air as blue as that from the exhaust of a M8 Motorvator Coach: ho ho ho-ly living fucking Christ on a bike, that woman is a cu.… (Oh you get the picture…)

And even before we get to enjoy the festivity of Mrs Gripes’ Maw, we have The Christmas Shop: Tesco Super-Duper Megalithic Warehouse of Everything Ever (except that one thing you need…), a list and an army of frustrated, sharp-elbowed shoppers, desperate for the last bag of sprouts (or else their entire identity and Christmas happiness will be but nothing- nothing -and life shall have no meaning and darkness shall descend upon the world…) to be followed by drinks with the Stupidest Neighbour in the World Ever! Could my life get any better?

Actually, I’m looking forward to it.

So -happy, merry, safe, loving Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Yule, Saturnalia, Tirupavai, Tohji-Taisai, Festivus …Christmas even, whatever - and (unless I cannot resist the urge to blog meaningless drivel over the next week/fortnight) I shall return to full Gripey glory in the New Year.

Love to you all! (has someone drugged me? Have I succumbed to Christmas cheer? Oh lawks a lordy…Nurse! More tinsel!)

2 comments:

c'lam said...

sounds like a good time will be had by all!

have a good one anywyas

straighttalker05 said...

The zoo? In December? With a primary school teacher?

Rather you than me.

Be careful in the pet corner, those guinea pigs and vicious wee mites.