Well the Christmas season continues apace and Im having a pretty good one so far. Its been very relaxing and despite the phenomenal cost of everything Ive really enjoyed it. Just to prove that Im not a total curmudgeon I even wore a paper hat, pulled a cracker and blew a squeaker on the big day itself.
I also received some great presents: Aramis aftershave from the sister-in-law (It looks like Camella thinks I smell and shes probably right); chocolates (great present for a fat man that); a poker dice game (Im already twenty quid up); some SuDoku books (Mrs H hopes that these will keep me quiet and stop me shouting whilst shes watching Corrie); a mulled wine kit and a hangover cure kit (very important these and both are of course needed one after the other); Comedy DVDs (Fawlty Towers you cant beat it can you!); a barometer/thermometer (so as I can measure when the atmosphere gets frosty in the house when Mrs H takes the huff and I struggle to understand what Ive done); a glass that holds two and a half pints of beer (my family know me oh so well as you can see); a set of three rubber ducks for the bathtub (as used by my all time hero – Ernie off of Sesame Street you havent lived until youve seen him perform the Rubber Duck Reggae); and a set of two monogrammed handkerchiefs (not such a good present this as I think that its extremely unhygienic to sneeze or blow your nose into a piece of cloth and then put it back into your pocket or up your sleeve) – I suppose that Ill keep them just in case I ever take up Morris Dancing!
I didnt receive any pairs of socks or underpants this year so it looks like Ill have to buy my own in the January sales whats the world coming to when a man has to buy his own undercrackers after Christmas eh Its a case of neglect by the family thats what!
The Christmas Day festivities themselves were great – apart from a throat infection that stopped me drinking after 2pm on Christmas day (and Ive not had a drink since) but otherwise it all went off well. New Year is now on the horizon and with it comes the uplifting feelings of the chance of a new start mixed with the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia for times past and the mournful memories of those who have been lost to us.
These feelings of loss and longing can be so powerful that some of us will go to extraordinary lengths to get in contact with those who have passed away and there are also those who are despicable enough to relieve us of our money to try!
For instance, there are some members of my family who have an irrational belief in the power of psychic theatre shows, sances and mediums. A few of them have been to shows and personal readings and say that the psychic or medium could not possibly have known about some of the personal things that they were told. I have four problems with this whole scene:
1) Why would you go to a medium to find out things you already know anyway Wheres the insight in detail. Tell me who will win the 3.30 at Sandown on Saturday or next weeks lottery numbers and I will believe!
2) The content of a reading does not ever stand up to scientific scrutiny when performed under controlled experimental conditions. (James Randi, the celebrated American magician and sceptic has offered one million dollars in bonds for anyone who can do this a few have tried but so far all have failed).
3) The theatre style psychic shows are no better than magic shows. Do people really believe that Derren Brown, for example, actually reads minds No of course they dont because he doesnt claim to we all know that hes an illusionist. So why should they believe some other fool in a suit doing the same thing who says that hes a psychic
4) Doris Stokes was a celebrated medium and although she is very, very dead she hasnt bothered to contact us to tell us that shes OK and enjoying the afterlife with her wings and harp.
Just remember, if you are invited to a ludicrous theatre psychic show there is one easy way to stop the proceedings in their tracks, expose the psychic for the charlatan that he (or she) is and get yourself thrown out of the theatre all at the same time. When the white suited buffoon on the stage goes into a trance and starts saying something along the lines of Ive got someone calling from the other side who is called John (or Bill or Fred or Tarquin or whoever) Just shout back Whats his surname and get ready to get thrown out by the burly minders.
Its also going to be Mrs Hs birthday this Saturday so instead of paying to visit a psychic to find out what she wants as a present I actually decided to ask her. I was presently surprised when she replied that as a birthday treat she wants to go and see Pools play on Saturday the first time in God knows how many years that she has been to a match. I get to go along as well and its going to be great (assuming that we win of course!). Cmon Pools!
I hope you had a great Christmas and that you have a very Happy New Year If you can recall what happened afterwards then you probably didnt have a good time!
Just to make you groan, heres the joke that popped out of my Christmas cracker at dinner on December 25th:
Q) Why did one of Santas toy makers visit the psychiatrist
A) Because he was suffering from low elf esteem!