Sunday, December 24, 2006

What is it about Christmas...

..that turns people so strange?

Morrison's supermarket was like a Hogarth cartoon of Bedlam yesterday morning. People were doing their shopping dressed up as Santa; children were running up and down the aisles out of control; one woman had her entire family going round with hand baskets, each given a portion of the list to fill. I presume this was so she could take over the 'seven items or less'* queue and beat the lines backing up the aisles from all the other tills. It's best not to think about them too hard, or the tinny festive music being pumped into the store.

I've only myself to blame. If I'd been a little bit less wrapped up in the WIP, I might have seen the onward-rushing train crash that is Christmas heading towards me with unstoppable speed. A little forethought and all the shopping could have been done early in the week. As it was, the Horse Doctor and I had to brave the rush of lunatics crazed by the thought of impending festivity. We were lucky to escape with our lives.

But what I don't understand, and have never understood in all the years I've been noticing these things and scratching my head, is why people think they need to buy enough food for a month the day before Christmas.

You see them pushing round two groaning trolleys, laden with a half dozen four pint cartons of milk, sixteen loaves, gallons of tomato soup, more vegetables than you can shake a stick of celery at, four frozen turkeys. I kid you not - four frozen turkeys, each the size of a large frozen turkey. What do they need that many for? Even if the entire family is descending for the festivities, and that family is the size of a small town, there'll be enough food to feed them all until the second coming.

Our weekly shop was only marginally more expensive than normal, and only then because we had a last minute panic and bought more beer (you can never have too much beer in the house). And yet all around me, the good Burghers of Aberystwyth were acting like a nuclear holocaust was upon them, stocking up on tinned pilchards and UHT milk, 'just in case.'

But the shops will all be open on Wednesday. It's not like the old times, when everything closed on the 24th and didn't open again until mid January. Even out here in the back of the back of beyond. And the weird thing is that they'll all be back next Saturday and Sunday, stocking up again for the terrible trauma of not being able to go shopping on the following Monday. So either they've actually consumed all that excess, or they've taken it home and buried it in the back garden to confuse the police.

It's madness. A sort of mass hysteria brought on by listening to Cliff Richard singing 'Mistletoe and Wine' once too often.** I can only hope that all you sane people out there in blogland who regularly stop by here haven't succumbed. Booze helps to keep the panic at bay, or so I'm told.

Tomorrow will be long walks, goose and far too much to drink; I don't think there'll be any posting. So if I don't see you, have a good Christmas.


Nadolig Llawen i ti.


* or 'seven items or fewer,' which is correct.
** which is to say once.

4 Comments:

Blogger Chaser said...

I hope you and the Horse Doctor have a very merry!!!!

December 25, 2006 3:39 am  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Merry Christmas James! Hope that you have a nice, quiet, relaxing day.

December 25, 2006 5:02 am  
Blogger Trace said...

Merry Christmas James! *SMOOCH*

December 25, 2006 3:46 pm  
Blogger JamesO said...

Thanks everyone. I hope you all had a festive yule too.

December 26, 2006 3:26 pm  

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