the state of things

 

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas #2

by Douglas Lindsay - 09:11 on 05 December 2008

Last night TPCKAM went down an escalator behind Viggo Mortensen at Heathrow Terminal 5. She didn't say anything, which is reasonable, because really, what are you going to say in that situation? "Hi, Viggo. These are dark days with an evil rising in the east. I feel the cold wind freezing the ground and many men will perish here tonight." Best just to keep quiet. I suggested she should have had a quick grope of his backside. She would probably have got away with it, and if she hadn't, she would have become The Woman Who Felt Viggo Mortensen's Arse, and how many years would she have been able to dine out on that...? That alone would likely have got her on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! or at least a space on one of its spin-off shows, I'm A Celebrity...Feel My Arse!

Anyway, she didn't.

Started rehearsals for the Christmas carol concert yesterday. I went along intending to be the guy sitting at the back strumming the guitar, but inevitably found myself singing. Sucked in. Not sure about the guitar-playing role, as guitars and church music just don't go. There's something horribly hippy and tree huggy about playing hymns of any sort on the guitar. It always reminds me - although they weren't singing a hymn - of the two folk at the first wedding of Four Weddings. Can't Smile Without You. That is going to be me, strumming Silent Night in the background.

Although this carol service won't be in a church, there's obviously that religious element. Despite the best efforts of the capitalist west, there's still no escaping Jesus at Christmas. Not yet. And acoustic guitars and religion don't go.

In previous years there has been an office party in the week before Christmas. Last year, however, several Poles complained that the party was happening at all. Apparently, and this was their claim, it's not right to dance during Advent, and you shouldn't be having fun. You should be miserable in the days leading up the Christmas.

Polish people being miserable? The very notion... Nevertheless, the lugubrious office enclave got their way, and this year there's no party. But there is to be a carol concert. And in the background there's going to be a guy with his head down strumming a guitar.

We rehearsed most of the usual suspects - Hark The Herald, Away In A Manger, Blah-de-Blah - with some Polish carols included. The choir, such as it is, is an odd collection of people gathered from around the office. There was the potential for tension, although none arose. But it did somehow have the air of an episode of Midsomer Murders, and if one of us turns up dead with a knife in the back at some point in the next two weeks, it probably won't be a surprise. I think we're all expecting to see DCI Barnaby stick his head around the corner at any moment.

O! Come All Ye Fathful. The second verse. And Lo! He abhors not the virgin's womb... What does that even mean? Well, all right, it means he likes the virgin's womb. But what kind of absurd line is that? He likes the virgin's womb? Why did the guy who wrote it, even think of that? And what happened to the verses where He abhorred not the virgin's cervix nor the virgin's Fallopian tubes?

And yet we unthinkingly sing this weird shit every year.

Christmas is a-coming and the egg is in the nog...


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