Having just returned from a last-minute Christmas shopping mall trip to find that our neighbours are singing a jaw-droppingly off-key Korean version of O Come All Ye Faithful AND it's Monday, I think it is time for a list. It's a bit grumpy and sweary and generally lacking in Christmas cheer, but so am I.
Wieners of the Week: Christmas Shopping Edition
The ATM is a good place to get money out to do your Christmas shopping, but it is a GREAT place to chat to a friend/fold your money into a perfect triangle and insert carefully into your wallet/stare at your receipt for 30 seconds, wondering if it holds the secrets of the Pharaohs, while people behind you in the ATM queue stare burning holes of death in the back of your head with their laser eyes. OH WAIT NO IT'S NOT.
News flash: for all your faffing about please step away from the ATM because people are standing behind you, waiting to use the machine, and- oh, what's that? You want to check the balance on your other three cards? No, no, please, be my guest, I don't have anything to do today.
Obnoxious mall salespeople
They aren't all hideously rude, but at the moment we have these awful people selling some sort of Dead Sea Magic Nail Buffer thingy, and the other day one of them actually just grabbed my hand as I went past. Just grabbed it as it swung by, and picked it up, and exclaimed loudly that my nails were in a right state and I was wearing cheap nail polish to boot. Yeah, that's really going to make me buy your product. I said, "What are you doing?" and then he looked at me like I was the rude one. Wiener.
Singing Christmas cards not clearly labeled as such
Me: "Oh this card looks nice, I wonder what the message inside is?"
Card: "EEDLE DEEDLE DEEE-"
Me: "AAHHHH WHAT GAH"
*slam card closed*
Kids' toys. All of them.
I have nephews and sometimes find myself wandering around the toy section, wild-eyed and short of breath, staring blankly at ten variations of Bob the Choking Hazard Builder and Thomas the Bloody Expensive Train Engine, muttering under my breath, "Little car suitable for under threes! All I want! All I want!" But NONE of the little cars are non-chokeable objects and you are adrift in a sea of male Barbies and these weird little hamster things and oh my God, you know what? Fuck it. He is getting a digger. Fuck.
People who feel compelled to set off every. singing. toy. in. the. aisle.
If they're children, well, I will be glaring in the direction of their parents but I guess when you're 4 the enticing appeal of a whole row of singing Santas just cannot be overcome. If they're over the age of 10 then there is no excuse, I will hogtie them with tinsel, shove them in a trolley and send them skidding into the Manchester department. "Ho ho ho!" "Ho ho ho!" "Ho ho ho!"
Cashiers asking if I'm doing my Christmas shopping
I know they're only being polite and making small talk, but seriously? It is 8pm at the mall, four days before Christmas. I am laden with shopping bags, visibly frazzled, and clutching a small digger. You can probably figure this one out.
Come on, people! We're all tired and grumpy and trying to do our Christmas shopping, so if you're going to cruise down the middle of the mall slower than a stoned sloth then I am going to try and duck and weave past you, and if in the process my shopping bag whacks into your leg then, well, you should've moved to the side.
Christmas carols range from enjoyable (Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Snoopy's Christmas*) to pretty acceptable (O Come All Ye Faithful, Silver Bells, Rudolph the You-Know-What**) to a bit annoying (Fairytale of New York, Sleigh Ride, Rootin' Tootin' Santa Claus***) to oh my God, if I hear this one more time I am going to scream (Winter Wonderland, White Christmas).
And then there is the Holy Grail of festive eardrum assaults, Feliz Navidad. Could it be more banal? More repetitive? More pointlessly shouty? More... more... I don't know and I don't want to be upsettingly Grinchlike but one more Felizing of the Navidad and I am going to shove bits of the tree in my ears and hide in a corner until it is at LEAST January.
Sorry about the lack of Christmas cheer. But at least the shopping is done now.
*Merry Christmas, mein friend! LOVE IT.
**although upon completion of playing Rudolph at a rehearsal the other day, the bandleader was heard to mutter under his breath, "Rudolph is a fuckwit."
***was he in a brass band?