Sunday, December 07, 2008
It's our tradition!
I went Christmas shopping with my friend Rosey yesterday. It’s a special way of shopping which has become something of an annual tradition for us. Basically, I choose the presents that she will buy for her friends and family, and she decides what I should give mine. At least that’s the theory!
But yesterday we made fairly slow progress. As soon as we entered the mall we came upon this year’s ‘Biggest Ever Spectacular Santa’s Grotto’. What it consisted of was a kind of shed covered in plastic ivy where Santa resided, and a massive tree covered in twinkling lights. And there were lots of grinning elves and rabbits bobbing up and down in time with the festive music. The whole thing was overseen by a couple of girls dressed as fairies that Rosey really envied. Running around the outside was a brightly painted train filled with shrieking children and supposedly dragged along by a pair of plastic reindeer. Guess what? Rosey wanted a ride on the train.
I suddenly realised she was attempting to borrow a child from a somewhat alarmed young mum! I suggested that perhaps this was an unwise thing to be doing, and I said that as the whole shaboodle was for charity, there would probably be no objection to two adults climbing aboard and enjoying a ride. So that’s what we did. The only way out was through Santa’s grotto and Rosey was not best pleased when the grinning Father Christmas winked at her and asked if she would like to sit on his lap!
So on we went buying a gift here and a present there, and all was going swimmingly until Rosey spotted the Build-A –Bear Workshop. It wasn’t so much the bears that caught her attention, rather the row of cardboard signs hanging down from the ceiling. ‘Choose me, Hear me, Stuff me, Fluff me, Dress me’ they said. She was intrigued so in we went. At first she found the piles of limp unstuffed bears a little macabre! But she soon got into the swing of it and in no time found herself at the centre of a little girl’s birthday party which was taking place in the shop. As we were leaving she noticed that the woman working the stuffing machine was very well endowed, and suggested a little too loudly that the she had probably been sticking handfuls of the filling stuff down inside her brassiere.
It was just after that when old Ted plodded into view. Ted is a regular at our pub and was drinking there long before most of us were weaned off milk! As usual he was sporting his old tweed jacket with leather patches at the elbows, a flat cloth cap and a pair of creased trousers which were somewhat reminiscent of an accordion! Now Ted always likes to crack a joke the minute he meets you. Not a particularly funny joke, just a Ted style joke, and we always humour him by forcing out a timely peel of laughter.
There was an awkward situation a little while back when Ted came up to a group of us in the pub and told us that his wife Maureen had been atop a step ladder changing a light bulb when she somehow wobbled then fell to the ground.
Rosey started to giggle.
Ted went on to say that poor Maureen had fallen directly onto the cat which had been fast asleep in front of the fire.
Rosey began to chortle.
Ted then said that as a result Maureen had her arm in a sling and the cat was limping around with a leg in a splint.
Rosey errrupted into laughter. Until that was, she realised she was laughing alone – this had not in fact been part of Teds regular comedy routine, it had actually happened. Now that episode probably has a lot to do with the fact that Rosey is often unsure of the difference between fact and fantasy.
Well as I said, Ted appeared yesterday and said to Rosey ‘How long can you keep a turkey in the freezer?’
‘About six months’ replied Rosey.
‘That can’t be right’ said Ted. ‘I put mine in the freezer last night and when I looked this morning it was dead!’
I started laughing, but Rosey looked concerned.
‘Ted’ she said ’you shouldn’t put live turkeys in the freezer! That’s cruel’
Well, Ted pushed his cap to one side, scratched his head and started saying ‘Rosey my dear, it was............’
‘No Ted’ she said ‘there’s no excuse’
Anyway we soon got the misunderstanding sorted out and Ted joined us for lunch in the Wine Bar. We managed to finish our shopping before closing time and our traditional Christmas shop is over for another year. I wonder what she’ll get me.