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Regular updates of sarcastic and irreverent nonsense.
What is it about this time of year? Normally people hate getting up on ladders to decorate the exterior of their houses. The very idea of pebble-dashing their semi-detached home themselves fills them with dread. What if a stray stone scratches their Volvo? What if a tiny pebble pings off into their pond and gets swallowed by the salmon? What if a woodpecker comes along and thinks they are ants? No, they would much rather pay a scruffy man wearing a Chelsea football top to come and do it for them. I hesitate to use the word ‘professional’ in this case as there is nothing professional about either being scruffy or being a Chelsea supporter, two attributes that pretty much go hand in hand anyway.
However, come Christmas time and everything changes. It’s as if something happens within them the moment the Christmas crackers start appearing in the supermarkets towards the end of October. The pressure slowly builds up and up until they can stand it no longer and before you know it they are rooting around in the garden shed looking for the ladder that hasn’t been used for almost a year. The husband leans it up against the front of the house and starts climbing. Everything is old, rusty, and creaking and that’s just the state of his knees, the ladder itself is in an even worse state.
This proud man, who would normally scoff at the idea of putting up bunting or curtains at any other time, risks life and limb just to string a few flashing lights across his drive. His eyes are brimming with tears of desperation. He looks like a heroin addict trying to get his fix yet it’s the adrenaline that keeps him going. Come mid January, when he takes the lights back down, he won’t have anything like that – it will be up to his baying wife to bully him into taking down the God awful mess.
The family down my road have taken this to the extreme with each window adorned with an extensive array of lights. The guttering is draped in multi-coloured bulbs of flashing nonsense. There is a three-foot Santa hanging down from the roof. There are glowing inflatable snowmen littering the front porch. By day, it looks like Fungus the Bogeyman has sneezed on the house. By night, it looks like a Redlight Zone for the cast of Toy Story.
I hope they get burgled.