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Eat, Drink, Be Merry And Watch TV

Christmas Day was a lazy day chez nous. We spent the entire day doing our world famous couch potato impression as we watched all ten hours or so of the extended edition DVDs of The Lord Of The Rings. Despite the fact that we hadn't opened the DVD cases for at least two years, I was very impressed to find that the actors hadn't forgotten their lines. And they hadn't aged a day either. Quite astonishing.

We had awoken very early that morning. How early I cannot really tell because the clock in my bedroom is an undetermined number of minutes fast. The value of this number changes on an almost daily basis no matter how often I reset it. Electronic clocks are not supposed to gain or lose and I strongly suspect that my clock must have been assembled with cheap, possibly second hand, electrons in its components.

I turned the radio on. It was playing Christmas Carols.

While shepherds washed their socks by night
All seated round the tub
The angel of the lord came down
And they began to scrub

We three men of Orient are
One in a taxi
One in a car
One in a scooter
Papping his hooter
Following yonder star

I turned the radio off again,

"Bah Humbug!" said Harpo. "Where's my breakfast?" Then he bit me.

"I like Christmas Carols," said Bess. "Why did you turn it off? Oh, and where's my breakfast?" And she bit me.

"What time is it?" mumbled Robin.

"I don't know," I said. And so she bit me.

Bloody but unbowed, I made breakfast. A can of luxury cat food for each cat which, predictably, they hated because it was new, and smoked salmon, strawberries and champagne for Robin. Dry bread and water for me as punishment for doing something wrong. The weather was all my fault. The sky was blue, the sun shone warmly. Where was the snow, deep and crisp and even?

Good King Wences
Last looked out
On the Feast Of Stephen...

Probably his windows were extremely dirty so he didn't get to look out very often. Perhaps the last time was when Stephen, his next door neighbour, was having a barbecue and the Good King wanted to check out the guests in case the Bad King turned up. A quick spit and polish with the old windolene might be called for...

Distracted by such thoughts, I completely forgot that it was time to open the presents.

"Let's do it now," said Robin eagerly.

"Hurry up," said Bess. "I want to play with the ribbons."

"Do it immediately," said Harpo, "or I won't be answerable for the consequences. Remember that you aren't wearing any socks. Your toes are dangerously exposed."

And so there was a great unwrapping of paper and much untangling of ribbons.

"Oh darling," said Robin ecstatically. "That's just what I always wanted. Two front tyres for the car. How romantic!"

"And they are filled with nitrogen instead of compressed air," I pointed out.

"What does that do?" Robin asked.

"Absolutely nothing," I said, "but it costs an extra $20 and you get sexy, flouorescent green valve tops. Can I open my presents now?"

"Of course you can," said Robin and she watched in eager anticipation as I tore the paper from my strangely shaped parcels.

"Wow!" I said, in happy astonishment. "Two rear tyres for the car. I couldn't have asked for anything better. What a lovely surprise."

"They too are filled with nitrogen rather than compressed air," Robin pointed out.

"Look at the really, really cute green valve tops." I said. "If we brake too hard when we've been travelling at Mach one there's absolutely no chance at all of the excess friction causing the tyres to burst into flames now that we've got an inert gas in them. It makes me feel so much safer than I felt in the old days when we filled the tyres with compressed air which is only about eighty percent nitrogen."

"Yes," agreed Robin. "I also feel a lot safer now than I used to. Is it time to start watching Lord Of the Rings yet?"

Boxing Day was a repeat of Christmas Day except that we watched Season Five of Dexter. Harpo stared at it entranced -- he loves stories about serial killers and he was particularly taken with the scene where a cat was lapping up the blood of a gruesomely murdered corpse.

"I'd like to try that," he said to me. "Just lie down here for a moment while I tear your throat out."

One of the delights of Dexter is that while it is gruesome and horrible and dark it is also very, very funny in a sick sort of way. I admit to a certain guilty pleasure as I watch it, which makes it perfect for the Christmas season of course for the Christmas season itself is nothing but twelve days of indulgence in guilty pleasures.

And champagne.

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