It’s December. I think the majority of you will already be well aware of that fact but I’m writing this down for my own benefit. So why am I not rushing around like a headless turkey doing stuff or even stuffing? I haven’t even made a list, bought a gift, written a card, bought the booze….. oh that reminds me…..
Many Decembers ago, our son came home from his then work and made his dad the following offer: ‘How do you fancy free booze for Christmas, Dad?’
Now Hugh’s usual answer to any question was, ‘Pardon?'(that was down to the dodgy hearing …. and that’s another story: I was receiving medical attention from a school secretary for a common teacher injury – no, not an injury suffered only by common teachers, a common injury suffered by all teachers, the one which involved a drawing pin. The blood was gushing forth at a rate of nots /knots /noughts from my thumb as she hastily retrieved the First Aid Kit from the filing cabinet. The blood continued to flow as she donned the protective plastic gloves and asked apologetically,’ Are you on any drugs, Mrs McAlinden, only…. I have to ask ….’
‘I don’t do drugs, ‘I replied with a straight face.
‘Ehm…. medication…..I meant medication’……
‘No…. no I’m not’…. (but I will be drinking blood if you don’t hurry up with the questions!)
‘Do you have, or have you been in recent contact with anyone who has Aids’.
‘No, I do not have and yes I am in daily contact with someone who has aids….(I was sorry for her by this time)….my husband.’
‘You-your husband has Aids?’
‘Yes, yes he has – hearing aids – two of them…… does this affect me getting plastered?……
Anyway, back to the free booze.
‘Yes, Dad, free booze. Would you like free booze for Christmas?’
‘I’ve never heard the like…… something dodgy here. Don’t you be getting mixed up with scams like this….’
‘This isn’t a scam, Dad, it’s totally genuine…..’ I could see Hugh mentally dismounting from his high horse….. practically hear the wheels turning ….could see in his eyes the struggle he was having between good and evil, between being an exemplary role model and a ‘what the hell’ attitude ………free booze at Christmas time….not to be sniffed at (well, yeah, that too)….
‘So you’re sure this is genuine, Joseph. No backs of lorries, obscure rendevous (rendevouses?) dubious characters (Hugh was a great James Bond fan!) involved here?’
‘No, Dad, I promise you.’
‘Right then, Joseph’…..
‘So, you want the free booze???’
‘Yes, I trust you’…..
‘OK, Dad…..here you are…..boo, boo, boo!!!
Laugh???? Silent Night gave way to a ‘Ding Dong Merrily on High’ as Hugh began to feel ‘Nowell, Nowell’ at the thought of his near capitulation into an underworld of shady deals and drunken stupours……. (he was very much into ‘drama’ – indeed when we first met he wouldn’t go into a Chinese Restaurant….. why? …..he didn’t like the ‘quarter tone’ music?!.)… He saw the funny side of the ‘free booze’ once he had dealt with the huge disappointment of not having a plethora of free drink in his ‘cellar’!
We asked him ever after,
‘Do you fancy free booze for Christmas, Dad?’
Do you see how easily distracted I am? I started off bemoaning the fact that I haven’t got onto the Christmas merry-go-round just yet but now that little trip down ‘Memory Lane’ and accompanying wine has made me feel better, so d’you know what? It’ll happen. As a matter of fact, I feel a list coming on……..could be the wine though……. x