By Dave Hynes
The Yuletide season is upon us, evidenced by high street mayhem, excessive glitter, neon lights and abject misery coursing through Scotland’s streets. Anything that can go wrong for Christmas usually does. But this isn’t about those nasty Christmas gifts from Grandma, the retro socks, the bubble bath and the unwanted knitwear. No. We’re looking at the truly gutting Christmas scenarios that could turn a man towards complete festive abstinence
Last year provided a truly abysmal Christmas for those stuck at Heathrow airport. You see when it snows in England (unlike Scotland) the general population turn into snowmen rooted to the icy ground in a fit of stultifying inactivity. It’s all a bit ‘Trains, Planes and Automobiles’ really (great film) when there’s just no way to get back and Mr and Mrs Dundee are at the counter screaming: “EasyJet call it HardJet cuz I cannae get a fucckin’ flight!” 2011’s Xmas will no doubt see Iceland’s turbulent volcanoes reaching Krakatoa highs as even Santa Claus gets bogged down with low-flying soot.
The motorway has had a pile-up the size of 50 squashed reindeers and you ain’t goin nowhere until at least Boxing Day. Its freezing outside, the jingle bells of the radio are getting a bit wearisome – especially the on-repeat ‘Driving home for Christmas’. Worse still the car heater is packing up. You resign yourself to looking at the rear of an upturned lorry for your Christmas kicks when the halogen glow of a Little Chef gleams nearby. Turkey Burger it is you say until you realise since Heston Blumenthal’s changes there is now only blowtorched crème brûlée on offer.
Spending it at your girlfriend’s house as meet the McFockers turns into a game of horrible charades and nervous, teeth-grinding laughs. Naturally you run over the cat as you desperately flee.
One Christmas Eve Drink Too Many
Christmas is all about having fun right? It’s all about getting out there and meeting mates and having a laugh. Office parties, group get-togethers, festive booze ups; they’re all part of the season. Obviously this excess can put us into some pretty perilous positions; particularly as we’re often exposed to people we’re maybe unfamiliar with on a social level. One drink too many and you’ll be regaling all the office with ‘hilarious’ tales of your sexual deviance, moral ambiguity and self centred working practices. Senior management will remember that come budget time and they won’t forget the fact you spewed on the work experience kid in a hurry either.
An easy one but nevertheless a surefire way to becoming the Scrooge who ruined the Chrimbo for the kids. Trees burn, we all know that. Christmas trees, bolstered by ten trillion watts of fairy fire burn easily, some of us know that, and too much mulled wine and brandy will see to the rest. Having negotiated the tear-filled, conversation sapping family death of grandma at dinnertime, having debated the awkward pros and cons of the Queen’s speech and having saturated every crap movie and board game out there, you finally find a way to nip out for a swift pint- but the price of escape was wearing last year’s sweater from deceased grandma to avert mum’s prying eyes as you tip toe out the porch. But the damn thing is malting, its hooked on the chrimbo tree, it collapses on the cat, the living room’s ablaze… mum sees you sneaking out with a shrinking sweater and a hand motion tipping invisible pints into your mouth as you vault the garden wall and smile.
Ah Edinburgh, the world’s best place to kick back and enjoy New Year! Or Hogmanay as you Scots call it. Arriving on the train early doors you meet up with mates and grab a few drinks then it’s off to a restaurant for a little grub. “What you’re fully booked?” Bummer. Turns out everywhere is bloody booked. A quick cold takeaway burger later and it’s off to the famous Street Party. “What do you mean it’s ticketed? Can’t we get in?” Double bummer. Still though, the night is young and there’s celebrating to be done . . . now to find a pub in Edinburgh that isn’t 12 deep at the bar.