the state of things

 

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas #1

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:04 on 19 November 2008

I’ve been searching on-line to check availability of the new edition of The Long Midnight of Barney Thomson. Naturally it isn’t happening as quickly as I’d like. I did notice the other day, however, that already on Amazon they had a listing for two other sellers. The first one is, well, Amazon. I’m not sure why they do that, but it does appear to be their common practice. The other one is a company listed as MetroBooksUK, who are selling the book at £28.35.

£28.35? What on earth do you get for that? More jokes and a higher body count?

I tried to find them on-line, but I think the first Metro you come across might be a different mob. Whoever they are, their website opens with the blurb:

Metro has teamed up with amazon.co.uk to create the Metro Book Club - bringing you leftfield titles every month that will liven up your journey home. Each will be thoughtfully selected by the Metro Life team and lovingly discounted by Amazon.

Lovingly discounted... They're not doing it to make money, they're just doing it for you, the reader, as a public service.

The blurb continues:

As a Book Club member you can also swap views on literary topics with other sexy, book-reading types in our forums

Oh, for crying out loud...

Whoever it's coming from, I say, boycott the £28.35 version.

The Christmas lists have appeared. The kids started last night and then got up at 6am today to continue their good work. Two of Two’s list is peppered with the usual Plastic Crap Toys For Wee Boys, mixed in with such realistic aspirations as a phone and 5 or 3 cans of Red Bull.

After duping me into the rabbit two years ago, One of Two is trying the same manoeuvre. Number two on her list is Real Live Dog! Immediately after this, in brackets, she has added the words that lives! This gives the entry a wonderful 1930’s Boris Karloff feel. She doesn’t just want any old dead dog, some squashed mutt that we’ve found lying bloodied and twitching at the side of the road. She wants an actual living one. Underneath, in further brackets, she added or hamster. However, she failed to mention whether or not the hamster had to be alive, allowing us to nip along to the local taxidermists, while sticking to the letter of the list.

Many of the entries are preceded with the word real - real watch, real alarm clock - as if we are in the habit of giving her cardboard cut-out presents at Christmas. Buried in there is the entry, Real Chelsea kit! The real live dog and the real Chelsea kit are the only two items on the list which warrant an exclamation mark. An exclamation mark of silent desperation, as if she knows instinctively that there’s not a hope in Stamford Bridge that she’s going to get either of them.

All the same, it’s nice to have five weeks notice of the absurd demands of your children. If nothing else, it gives us plenty of time to mentally prepare them to not get any of it.

Although I might stump up for one of those cans of Red Bull.


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