|LETTERS FROM LONDON
|REASONS TO BE CHEERFUL
14 December 2012
|Hear Comes Santa Claus
All together now: jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the waaaaaay...oh what fun....
Apparently we are mere mindless materialists easily manipulated by the sound
of music as we shop and shop and shop. Think (?) tanks now know that if
Christmas music is slowed down, we will stay longer in the shop, shopping,
shopping til we drop. If music is speeded up, we will spend less time in the shop
Isn't the 'music' ghastly enough that 'they' don't have to manipulate it and us? I
swear when I hear the first note of I Saw Mommy Kissin' Santa Claus I take the
heaviest present in my shopping bag and knock myself unconscious before I
hear 'Mommmmy'. Augh!
When out and about you experience a Christmas frame of mind via
vicariousness: the crowds, queues, Santa's grottos, trees, wreaths. garland,
German fairs, lights, glitter, decorations, stocking fillers, steel bands, pound
shops. Inspiration, ideas and all sorts of stuff, clothing, gadgets, new perfumes
you never knew existed. But now you're not only under surveillance, your brain
is being controlled.
It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,
Santa Claus is Comin' to Town, Here Comes Santa Claus, Santa Baby, Jingle
Bell Rock, Rockin' Round the Christmas Tree, Frosty the Snowman, screaming
for mercy yet? Blue Christmas, Let it Snow, Silver Bells, Baby It's Cold Outside,
All I Want for Christmas is You, I Wish it Could be Christmas Every Day.... I
can't hear; I'm wearing headphones
A Grim(m) Fairytale
Once upon a time there was a child as common as muck who dreamt a fairy
godmother would help her snare the prince of the kingdom. Unsure as to how to
achieve her heart's desire, she asked her ambitious mother. "Oh Mummy. I
want to be queen someday. What should I do?" "You will strive for perfection
and refinement as you make yourself exemplary in all ways. I will help you and
he will lose the power to resist." Thus she and her pushy mother planned and
plotted her way into the prince's youthful affections.
The handsome prince first set eyes on the commoner princess-to-be as a
young woman exposing her beguiling charms in a revealing costume. He was
overcome by lustfulness. The princess-to-be took notice. "Mummy. What do I
do now?" "Don't let him out of your sight. Befriend him. Become his rock." And
so she did. She offered succour when he suffered from uncertainties about his
But one day his doubts overcame him and he no longer wanted her near him.
The princess-to-be was shocked. "Mummy. Mummy. Your plan has failed. He's
lucky to have me and now he has rejected me. Help me." "Not to worry. You will
stay close to all his rich friends, go out, go dancing, acting all the while as if
you are having a wonderful time." And so she did and so it worked. Despite the
naive prince's jester brother's advice to thrust her aside, the prince returned to
her and became enchanted again. Now he wished to make her his queen. Her
mother sighed a loud sigh of relief.
The day of the wedding arrived and the boulevards were packed with
well-wishers. The royal richly decorative golden coach, pulled by fine-looking
horses, moved through the streets among the cheering, flag waving peasants.
At an elaborate ceremony at the grandest cathedral in the land the pair married
and all the whole world rejoiced. The commoner was given a title, Duchess of
She spent her days having her long tresses coiffed, learning the royal dialect,
waving to the peasants, smiling continuously, basking in the adoration of the
people and practising her every move very deliberately. She was determined to
be regarded as the perfect princess. The princess never put a foot wrong when
among the worshipping populace in spite of the expensive shoes she wore. No
glass slippers among them.
Her ambitious family took advantage of her newly acquired status and sought
money and fame as well. Her parents, desperate to enter the royal court,
performed all sorts of tasks to secure their desired position...horse racing,
shooting. The ambitious mother offered encouragement to her pliant husband at
their first country shoot: "Shoot! Shoot to kill, Michael. You fool. You missed."
He often had to ask his wife when they attended aristocratic functions: "Did you
ask for another piece of gum, my dear?" These attempts at improving their
position in society were often met with humiliation and derision, but they are
unaware of the reaction of the inhabitants of the kingdom.
The princess' siblings follow suit. The self-deluded sister: "I'm going to show the
lowly peasants how to make ice cubes and become even more famous than my
bottom is now. I will be paid in piles of gold." The silly brother: "Well. I am going
to make obscene cakes and wear dresses. I will make friends with as many
aristocrats as I can." "As will I. I plan to marry the richest and most socially
elevated." Merriment and high spirits filled the family's new castle.
The princess plotted to secure her position as the next queen, thus incurring
the wrath of the prince's conniving step-mother. Spitefulness and jealousy
threatened the perfect royal world. The step-mother asked a bad fairy to turn
the princess into a frog...or worse.
"Hear ye hear ye. The Duke and Duchess are expecting a baby." The untimely
announcement of the forthcoming birth of the prince and princess' first child
was proclaimed because of the princess' severe reaction to the pregnancy and
subsequent hospital admittance. The perfect image was threatened; there were
a few in the land who said her illness was the result of her being allergic to the
baby. No one could talk of anything but her confinement and she elicited much
But all was not well. An evil fairy influenced two foolish pranksters from the
commonwealth to play a childish hoax on the royals. They revelled in local
attention and made the decision to enhance their public profile. They rang the
private hospital where the Duchess was receiving treatment. The female
presenter impersonated the Queen in a silly accent: "Oh, hello there. Could I
please speak to Kate please, my granddaughter?" The other presenter might
have wanted to remind her: "I'm not certain she's her granddaughter." "Really?"
They barked like corgis.
The nurse on duty, a loyal subject, put the call through. No matter how many
good fairies were draw in, tragedy struck; three days after the call the
unsuspecting nurse was found hanging by her own scarf.
The entire kingdom was very sad. Her whole family was bereft. A famous singer
blamed the Duchess, others blamed the pranksters, others blamed the hospital,
whilst others blamed the nurse. A mass was held at the cathedral where the
royal couple married. An all pervasive gloom spread throughout the land and
the lovely nurse was buried in the far away place of her birth.
Not quite an auspicious beginning for the next royal child.