Mince - why children throw tantrums during Christmas lunch

This is alarming if you are a child, particularly during Christmas dinner. You’ve had your turkey, you’ve dutifully chomped on a couple of sprouts, and now you are ready for dessert. Let’s hope it’s jelly and custard or even strawberry ice cream.

No, you’re having a mince pie with brandy butter.

Now, even as a child you are able to differentiate between what is good and what is bad and meat and butter doesn’t sound much like party food. It’s the equivalent of a punishment, like sitting on the naughty chair.

A child thinks: ‘I’ve behaved, I haven’t said Grandma smells of wee and I’ve eaten little green cabbages that taste like bogies. And now I’m expected to eat more savoury crap that’ll make me soil my nappy – and right above the waistband too.’

Time to throw a tantrum.

For years parents have been unable to determine what exactly is wrong with their kids at Christmas time. For pretty much the whole day their child has been the model toddler, so much so that they’ve even convinced themselves that their little angel could have a career as a child actor. Then, without warning, the pick of the progeny grows horns and demonstrates the kind of behaviour that only an exorcist would be able to tame.

If you want your kid to behave like he or she is destined for stardom in a fish finger advert refer to your dessert as a ‘Wonder Tartlet’, ‘Angel Pie’ or a ‘Sweet Delight’. Talk about giving them ice cream – even if it is vanilla – and watch their eyes widen, but for the love of the most holy God, do not say, ‘Mince pie’. If you do, expect to spend the next half-hour wiping most of it out of your eye, the carpet and you newly acquired velvet wallpaper that cost you a bank-account-emptying £30 a roll.

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Christmas Day

Thank the Lord for the Catholic church

Jesus was not born on December 25, he was probably born in autumn and the reason why we celebrate Christmas on this particular day is because the Roman Catholic Church told us to.

Now before you get all indignant and start heading down to the nearest church to badger Father Michael for an explanation, there has been a sensible, practical reason for the date-change. We never really celebrated Christmas whereas the Pagans had spent years and years drinking a lot, having sex and gorging themselves on turkey on December 25 to celebrate Bacchus – a Pagan God.

The Catholic Church was stuck on the sidelines every December 25 and it was starting to get mardy.  It thought that Pagans were having way too much fun so introduced Christmas on the same day. It wanted a stop to all this eating and drinking, and suggested we go to Midnight Mass instead. Centuries passed and now Christmas is a now time where we can all gather together, gorge turkey and drink too much. Good job the church intervened then.

I’m pleased the Church hijacked this date and stopped the Pagans in their tracks. If it hadn’t we would have probably had to trek down to some Godforsaken place like Stonehenge or Cerne Abbas on December 25 and I can’t think of anything worse than drinking mead, getting naked with ugly hippies and chanting cobblers for Mother Nature’s pleasure on a cold winter’s day.

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Toys R Us

Thomas: not to be found in Toys R Us

They’re not. In my research during a recent Godforsaken Christmas shopping trip this weekend I went to three Toys R Us stores – one in Brent Cross, one in Watford and the other in Central London – in order to secure a Duplo Police Boat for a three-year-old.

Could I find one? Of course I couldn’t.

Then I went to look for the Nintendo DS Littlest Pet Shop (Friends version). Could I find one? No I couldn’t. Then I went to look for a Thomas the Tank Engine model. Could I find one?…

That, for me is enough evidence to tell me that Toys, most definitely, aren’t Us.

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The man’s G-spot

Never, at any time, use an implement like this

While suffering a severe bout of man ‘flu this week I took a visit to the local GP to procure some pharmaceuticals that would stem the onset of death. The visit was enlightening since, in the waiting room, lay a pile of womens magazines jammed full of interesting information. To pass the time as I waited for my appointment I leafed through a couple, turning inevitably/immediately to the problem pages. In one publication there was an arresting question concerning the male G-spot so, as a way of imparting some helpful consumer advice for you I have decided to re-publish both the question and the answer concerning this very issue. I have ever-so-slightly paraphrased the response and, in a bid to head off any copyright issues I have cleverly disguised the name of the publication so you have absolutely no idea which one it is.

Dear Osmopolitan: 
Does the male G-spot exist, and if it does, where can I find it?
P. Belter, Hull

Irritatingly, the man’s G-spot is, well… up your arse, so for all you thrill-seekers out there Smelly Finger is the inevitable result. If you are a lone-gunman then there’s going to be a bit of waggling needed to locate this particular pleasure zone but be careful to make sure that you have released all the contents of the bomb bay first.

If you have taken the trouble to take a dump prior to your search you might need some Swarfega to make the whole experience less finger-up-your-arse uncomfortable. If you do find the spot and find yourself howling at the moon do your best to remember exactly where it was – it’ll make repeat visits much more tolerable.

If you invite a loved one to have a bit of a shuftie around the old rusty bullet-hole, again, do make sure the tunnel is more Metropolitan Line than Bakerloo.

There is, of course, a slim chance that, like the Woman’s G-spot, this is a myth and that the tradesman’s entrance is merely a place for you to release excess luggage, but we hope not, because it keeps us all in business.

Happy hunting.

I hope that helps. And, as way of extending my research while the nurse was taking my blood pressure I did ask her, if she was not too busy, would she mind, well, having a quick shuftie round the um, well, y’know…

She said no.


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The skill of Wii?

Bushey Manor: 1976

Every Christmas I get to play the Wii with my ten-year-old nephew and despite weeks of training prior to our session, he always wins. It is a tale of woe that only Australian cricketers can truly understand.

The Wii is a galling piece of technology but at least I have worked out why I do not excel when playing it. Apart from the fact that I generally lose interest after 5 minutes of… whatever game we play, it’s clear that the only technique you need for, well… whatever game you play, is a decent topspin forehand.

I am proud to tell you that I reached the final of the 1976 Bushey Manor Junior School Tennis Tournament having played my own unforgettable part in an ‘epic’ semi-final clash with the up-and-coming talent that was Paul Taylor, who possessed the most scintillating topspin forehand – a like of which you have never seen and are unlikely to ever see again – that the playground bookies felt sure would curtail my progress in this under-11s blue riband event.

My tactics were clear. I had decided to blunt this arcing menace with my mean forehand slice and it proved to be a legendary, historic ploy. With the match at a nail-biting 6-6 my guile undid Taylor’s ferocity and I was able to emerge as victor after a mesmerising tie-break. His heart was broken at the loss, and Ruth Gordon, watching adoringly as I shook my opponent’s hand, later agreed to show me her pants in the art cupboard as a result.

Now I think the excitement of the pant-reveal did cause me to lose concentration during the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of an imperious Nicholas Heafford in the final, but that’s not the point, the point is, I have never mastered a decent topspin forehand and when I do attempt this technique in any Saturday afternoon knockabout, the ball does one of two things: either it travels vertically off the rim of my racket and into the stratosphere or I plant it straight into the ground.

So, I have concluded that the Wii is only for the Paul Taylors of this world and it’s definitely not sympathetic to my natural style. I suspect that every Christmas Taylor is giving his son/nephew a right old whipping, desperate to ease the pain of 1976, while I, however, am stuck in perennial Wii mediocrity, constantly having my festive season ruined by a cocky kid in oversized Gap shorts.

So, in a bid to stop the rot I have been practising relentlessly for a Christmas Day match that will inevitably result in tears and Will Halliday, this is for you: at 3.30pm on December 25, 2010, you will be beaten… and the tears will be yours.

Sad isn’t it?

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DVD jacket blurbs

DVD jacket blurbs: all lies

Never read a DVD jacket blurb when you are choosing a film at the video rental store. Hyperbole features heavily, and if you do take the trouble to compare your selections you’ll be convinced that every film has won an award.

Everything is a ‘breathtaking and heartrending story that’ll change your life’ or if it’s an action film, the blurb’ll tell you that what you are about to watch is an ‘edge-of-the-seat rollercoaster’ that’ll give you a coronary. If it’s a comedy, however, it will be ‘laugh-out-loud funny’ or even ‘hilarious’. I want to see a DVD jacket that tells me there’s every chance the level of humour will force me to soil my underwear.

Let’s consider The Curious Case of Benjamin Button as an example. The DVD cover concludes: ‘… this is a time-traveller’s epic adventure into the joys of life, the sadness of death and a love that endures beyond time’, when it should read: ‘This is excrement, rent The Godfather instead.’

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