Christmas Eve in Gotham

I’m currently in a fraught state of mind. I am in the flat by myself on Christmas Eve and I’m trying to find anything to do except play Xbox, for fear that without any supervision, nor any work to do whatsoever, I will start only find myself unmoved 12 hours later still making Batman run around looking for Riddler clues. Aside from missing L (she hopped on the coach back home but an hour ago), I’m quite liking this ‘flat to myself’ thing. I have already reverted back to pyjamas and slippers despite only donning a pair of jeans for a whole hour between 1 and 2, and unless my friends are actually around for a drink later, I won’t be changing out of them until tomorrow morning. The flat is clean, filled with food and booze and I can quite comfortably ignore the whole outside world for quite some time should I choose to. It is the time of year for this sort of behaviour and so embrace it to an extent I will. Though through a lifetime of being brought up with 80’s fears about computer games giving you square eyes I shall stay away from the Xbox as long as I can resist its glowing green eye, and instead stare at this laptop which no doubt has exactly the same effect.

Christmas Eve didn’t used to be like this. There was a solid tradition of all of our friends getting together and doing a steady drinking session in one of our several locals. This was due to a) youth, b) a consequent enjoyment of being outside when its cold, and c) most importantly, all our close group of friends being in the same area as we all grew up and stayed in North London. Various drunken antics would ensue and the next day we’d all wake up on Christmas which is easily (aside from birthdays) the best day to wake up hungover. Now, sadly, we are nearly all partnered off and so everyone disperses around the country as of the 23rd, and this year it is just myself and my friend Stefan still kicking about town. Stefan has recently gained a year’s membership to the Ivy for some unknown reason and so we did have some vague plan today of going there and pretending we were more important than anyone else, with further vague plans of somehow getting on the piano and singing merry songs with Stephen Fry and Brian Blessed. Maybe. However, investigation has proven that the Ivy is closed on Christmas Eve, for another unknown reason – they seem so full of vagaries. Perhaps they are too exclusive even for Christmas? – so instead we are both debating whether its worth just heading into Crouch End as a lone twosome (with possible addition of one other friend) to really hammer home that feeling that no one else is around at all this year.

So if we don’t meet I won’t be too sad. Instead it’ll help ignore that everyone else has fucked off and we are all clearly grown up now, and I refuse to indulge in such notions. Today has already started with a huge breakfast, Santa Claus the movie – a film which I now realise involves a strange bearded man picking up a homeless boy with the lure of a sack of presents. Hmm – and The Muppets Christmas Carol, which, if I wasn’t already, has definitely made me feel Christmassy. My last gig was last night in the delightful dry slope in Swadlincote to a surprisingly nice bunch of people meaning I’ve somehow escaped the Christmas gig season unscathed, and now I have nothing that ‘needs’ to be done. Except for search for Riddler clues all day and night.

If I can work out how to upload a thing I can’t upload then I will post tomorrow, not that anyone will have time to read it. So may I leave this blog here by wishing you all a very merry christmas eve, christmas day and boxing matches. I hope you avoid family fights/boredom/spotaneous combustion. I hope you eat until you die/pop/burst/are sick and eat more. I hope Prince Phillip doesn’t die so we don’t get a week of telly based around how great he was when is infact a huge bigoted racist twat. I hope the Doctor Who Christmas special doesn’t make us all so angry we break things. And I hope I find all the Riddler clues in a few hours so I don’t miss Christmas at my family’s by losing all concept of time.

Lastly, here is my own version of ‘The Night Before Christmas’ that I wrote when bored. It’s not very good. Enjoy:

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house,

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

This is due to their lack of opposable thumbs,

An evolutionary flaw that seems rather dumb,

And means meeces cannot hold wooden spoons,

Nor can most mammals, except for baboons.

But there were no baboons just frustrated mice,

Who couldn’t make cakes to bake or to ice.

The stockings were hung in the chimney with care,

While Aunt Betty caught hyperthermia with her legs now so bare.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

Mother and I wondered if it had been obscene

To lace their bedtime cocoa with tons of codeine

But better that then they get up at 6

The tediously overexcited little shits.

We just hoped that they wouldn’t be disturbed

By the mice in aprons and their wishes of herbs,

Cooking mice quiches and delicious miced buns,

If only they’d had opposable thumbs.

If they children see these mice whilst so high off their tits,

They resulting shock could cause seizures and fits.

But unavoidable this was, as there arose such a clatter,

When downstairs the mice dropped their entire Christmas platter.

Away to the kitchen I ran in a flash

There sat a mouse with a tiny moustache.

Covered in Christmas food,

All thrown in a mess,

Our M&S turkey,

Oddly squished in a dress.

A pink dress at that, and covered in flowers

Not sure who’d done it, but it must’ve taken hours.

‘What are you doing, tiny ‘tached mouse?’

I whispered so not to disturb all the house.

‘J’mapple Chef Bernard’ said he, and took off his hat

Not a chef’s hat, but a cap, and a cap rather flat.

‘ Pardon for the mess, monsieur but I have no thumbs,

so doomed was my attempt to cook for your tums.’

‘I wanted to make you all a Christmas treat,

For giving me quite so much cheese to eat.’

‘But we haven’t been feeding you Bernard’, for that I was sure,

Then I ran to the fridge and opened the door.

There inside sat an empty cheese plate, with a small mouse rope,

Attached to a small wooden grate.

The grate led down the side of the wall, into a small mouse hole, in the small kitchen wall.

It seemed that the mice had been using this route,

To scoff on our posh Brie, y’know the type made with fruit.

‘But the cheese wasn’t for you Bernard! You must understand!

It was part of our meal for tomorrow that we’d planned!’

‘You’ve ruined it all you rodent twat!

And it was at that moment I wished for a cat.’

‘The cheese wasn’t for us?’ said Bernard, a frown on his face,

‘But where’s our present then? We’ve searched the whole place.’

‘There’s presents for your wife, and for your kids,

presents for Aunt Betty and Uncle Sid,

presents for your goldfish, and presents for you,

but none for us and we live here too!’

‘This is the season of goodwill and hope,

too much wine, crap jumpers and soap on a rope.’

‘We wish to be included in all of that too,

Doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Christmas like you.’

My mouth was agape, aghast and agog,

I wondered if codeine had got in my grog.

‘But you’re a mouse! In the global scheme you must know your place!’

I exclaimed ‘your kind’s not as important as our human race.’

‘Oh really?’ said Bernard, ‘cos I’d say we’re better’

As he climbed up my trousers and onto my sweater.

He placed his mouse nose near my human ear,

And despite his small size I became wrapped in fear.

He started to whisper in a sinister way

All humanities wrong doings from the very first day.

He mentioned greed, famine, poverty and all of our wars,

Reality TV and open bus tours,

Jeremy Clarkson & Margaret Thatcher,

Religious beliefs and fear in the Rapture,

‘Overall’ he exclaimed ‘you are terrible beings’

‘Full of selfishness & arrogance without even seeing’

‘The effect that that’s having on the rest of the world

As you’re too busy caught up in your own social whirl.’

‘ Whereas us mice, what bad do we do?’

Carry occasional disease, litter your kitchen cupboards with poo.’

‘But really in the grand scheme of all things, is that really that wrong?

‘ When you have been so bad for so much for so long?’

‘If anything I’d say we should have presents not you,

whereas you should be forced to live in a zoo’

‘I bid you farewell and leave you this mess’

Then he left, hand in hand with the turkey in a dress.

I remained speechless, thinking what I had seen,

Before remembering, that there was a kitchen to clean.

As I scrubbed for the morning, I felt things had been taught

From Bernard’s diatribe and the things that he’d thought.

I thought about humanity and all of our wars, our reality tv

Our open bus tours,

Jeremy Clarkson & Margaret Thatcher, and awful 90’s band Cleopatra.

This all seems so terribly unjust,

With the planet like it is, with most people unfussed.

So many things to be fixed, so much wrong to undo,

And I started to think of all the stuff I should do

I would start immediately, making a change

Spreading all the words, orders to rearrange.

But first there’s something I must that must happen before all that crap

Next year, I thought, I’ll ask Santa for several mouse traps.