It’s Christmas time, there’s no need to be afraid. At Christmas time.
This year, i’ve been thinking about presents, and what they mean. Imagine a little child’s face, beaming parents, handing him a gliterring, oval package. Baffled (As he asked for a PS3), the child goes from initial excitement and untamed glee, and declines…gradually, as the ripping of paper reveals a rough, browny surface.
His parents have thought about this long and hard. Believe me, up until this point, little Archie’s life has been nothing but fun and japery, as far as the young eye can see. He’s doing well at school, his dad and mum are lovely people, they own a 4*4, they’re a happy family, alright? Let’s get that clear. But one day, in the kitchen after a “It’s a wonderful life” style wife and husband kiss, they get it so, so wrong, for no reason at all.
Discussing what Archie would want, they go through the list..Ps3, Ipod, Small brick replica of Manchester United Football Ground, signed by all the players. The latter is rare, and it’s got “Here’s looking at you, Archie”, written in crayon by Ryan Giggs. Christiano Ronaldo has drawn a bee. Archie will love it! But wait…..what else?
Finally, they agree, and both smile at each other, dewy eyed, nodding silently, before embracing in Christmassy triumph.
So, going back to that actual day, Archie tears open the oval shape, bits are revealed, his dreams of a small model football ground, gone. Ps3, gone. What can it be, he internally thinks with increasing anxiety as his little heart grasps for any reasonable present shape that can be represented as a fucking oval. Glancing, at the other, fifteen similar shaped presents, all garish and laying like eggs under the tree, he starts to weep inside.
The paper discarded, Archie stares disbelieving at his first present. It’s a potato.
And you know what else? All the other presents were potatoes too. Every single one of them.