Christmas Stories: The Eighties and The Love

Myself and Babybro looked disdainfully at the 80’s tribute band and declared almost simultaneously that the singer was NOT Freddie Mercury, as much as he believed he was.  He might be able to hit some of the high notes for ”Under Pressure” but poncing about in a white vest did not a legend make.  Luckily the guitarist, with a giant blonde centre parting, sunglasses and a complete lack of dancing ability, was more approachable and did a complete guitar solo at our table, finding the time to prop himself up on one knee at a chair beside me, so I wrapped myself around the knee and thanked the universe that nobody in the family was sober enough to remember to take pictures.  It would NOT have been beautiful, which was confirmed a couple of days later when Mammy printed some pictures from her camera, showing myself and Lilsister and our double chins, allegedly dancing in a way that was so horrific it made my face bright red, and made Lilsister bang a Christmas Cracker off her head, and make a face that can only be described as ”grimmacing”.

A DJ followed the band, who sweated so much they slid off the stage once the Aha and Madonna numbers had been belted out (for both of these numbers I rang Trevor, whom I found out later was just finishing an 11 day in a row shift at work, and who did not appreciate our attempts to hit the falsetto parts of ”Take On Me” (the cheek) at half eleven at night.  She also did not recognise our version of ”Into the Groove”, something I found most insulting).

Once the DJ cracked on with ”Billie Jean” (the tribute band not being stupid enough to attempt it themselves) there followed a dance off between Babybro and the Baker, with my flesh and blood pulling out all his MJ steps, and The Baker making a fair fist of some 90’s moves, before doing a rousing rendition of a Worm on the floor, which stopped the entire family in its tracks.  Fabulous stuff, and it was followed by what has pretty much replaced the Irish national anthem at Christmas time – the Pogues singing ”Fairytale of New York” which requires all participants to wrap about each other and sing whichever version they know best – the aforementioned smash hit of the Pogues, or the amazing Christy Moore acoustic strumming piece.

This brought the DJ’s set to an end, but Sisinlaw, quite drunk after a couple of bottles of red, declared Christmas officially ON, and we continued belting out the classics to each other which left everyone out of breath and sitting down, except for Babybro and Sisinlaw who kept on singing to each other, and therefore created one of the most perfect Christmas images in my wandering mind’s eye – the two of them, in their Christmas finery, parents of my much beloved Little Niece N, singing Christmas songs into each other’s ears, drunk on wine, beer and love, being the best parents and happiest couple in the hotel that night, and in the world.   They spun around the table, and we all sighed because we were in the presence of something quite as lovely as roast potatoes cooked in goose fat on Christmas Day.

Christmas Stories: When Santa Looked at Papabear Unacceptably

Well it’s the favourite and tackiest time of year in our little family’s calendar and to celebrate the entire clan booked a fancy meal in a nice-ish hotel that HAPPENED to have an 80’s tribute band playing on the night.   SWEET!!!  The tables in the room were all themed and whilst I fumed that we did NOT get the Madonna table I was somewhat appeased to find that we had been given ”Family Ties”.  I immediately pronounced Lilsister to be the Little Sister of the programme, owing to the actor Little Sister being a bit chubby, and Lilsister’s gut, whom she calls Fred, getting bigger by the day, due to Lilsister’s extreme aversion to healthy eating and exercise.

To get the festive spirit kicked off, I purchased a pint of the black stuff for Papabear, and he regaled me with a story of being in ONE of his locals for a Christmas beverage a couple of years ago, where upon the bar he espied a dancing Santa machine ornament thing.  I’m not sure why this particular bar would have a singing, swaying Santa, it being frequented by a particularly rough and militant crowd in the inner city of Dublin, but there you go.  Papabear was NOT impressed to find Santa bopping to some awful poptastic Christmas song, and resolved to block it out of his mind’s eye with several dirty pints, which he began to inhale.

Some hours later Papabear was seen yelling at the barman to tell that ”dancing prick” to stop staring at him (Papabear) or he would send ”it” back to the North Pole.  Unfortunately, the electronic representative of Christmas was left ”on” and Papabear became increasingly concerned that it was ”looking” at him in a way that was not becoming for the season that was in it.  Enough, thought my drunken father, who wandered over to the bar, and promptly headbutted Santa off his perch, where he smashed to pieces, and stopped singing.

This COULD have been a ”bah humbug” moment except that the barman said nothing, the patrons never noticed, and Papabear continued his Christmas, unhindered.

Burning BumBums and Steak with Singles

A very disturbing message from Scarydancer via Lilsister earlier this afternoon, which I THINK was morning for the both of them.  Calling from her jollidays house further into the suburbs, she told me that Scarydancer needed me to do him a big favour.  Being stretched out on the bed at the time, chilling to a number of Madonna ballads, I was highly uninterested.  ”What is it?” I dribbled.

”He needs you to call the fire brigade,” she confirmed ”as his asshole is on fire.”

It seems that too much consumption of three for ten euro beers at the pub near their jollidays house, coupled with a burger n onion rings meal, has given rise to feverish beershites which have caused much pain in the bumbum area for poor Scarydancer.  I winced inwardly, as I thought of my own several beer consumption last night, firstly whilst reading the paper and then more at Panties and Hangsandwich’s house, where I was fed an excellent steak and baked potato meal, and got to meet the only other single in Ireland aged over 35, a friend of Hangsandwich, who appears perfectly at ease with his lot.  It is a great relief to know that these people actually exist.  I DO have my eye on an unsuspecting 36 year old, but naturally I found out he is girlfriended, so I had to put my husbandcatching net away there.  Will it ever get an outing?  Tune in to find out.

The Madonna Car Sticker Bought in Cambodia

Last year, whilst trudging around Cambodia alone as ExHimself, based in Australia at the time, didn’t find the idea of seeing this aincent country appealing, I happened across an odd little shop filled with signs, musings and fancy quotations.  It was there that I saw what I believed to be a car sticker:

”IN MADONNA WE TRUST”.

There is nothing more to be said.  I immediately bought it and posted it back to Ireland, to Trevor, where I knew she would love and treasure it.

Unfortunately it turned out to be a normal sticker, not meant for a car at all, but Trevor prevailed and stuck it up on her new fancy double oven, in her newly designed kitchen, and promptly took a picture of herself, thumbs up, in front of it.

I received that picture in Melbourne, where I was alone, missing my mad family and wondering what the hell I was doing moving here with Exhimself, who, true to form, had promised much but delivered nothing once he got back into his homeland.  I cried when I saw the picture and missed my friend.  I showed the photo to Exhimself who declared that Trevor was too proud of her new kitchen and fancy double oven to ”ruin” it with a car sticker that had purple writing.  This made me very sad.

I stood in Trevor’s kitchen on Saturday night, on my fourth glass of prosecco, and screamed as if seeing that car sticker for the first time.  There it still is, stuck to her extremely fancy double oven (which also appears to have some sort of professional coffee making machine thing in it – is that possible?  Or was I on my eighth prosecco?) and there it will always remain, because Trevor loves it and treasures it.

I declared this story to both Trevor and Boo, and while Trevor made angry fist gestures and I spat out my hate, Boo retreated to the solitude of the living room and watched a home improvement show, I believe silently hoping we would both just get the hell out of his house.

Spicy Pork Chops Interrupt Serbian Mysteries

I’m TRYING to have an intellectual night in my room by blogging, listening to Madonna’s possibly best album (Ray of Light – it transends, people) and getting my brain ready to tackle the last few pages of my Kabbalist inspired mystery type story by the Serbian writer whose name I cannot spell (except the David part) which has been written without the benefit of paragraphs, so is just hundreds of pages of block text, and is quite difficult to follow.  Brilliant, but fuck do you work for it.  However never let it be said that it does not contain one of my most favourite lines ever in a book – our hero, being completely stoned and looking around for something in a kitchen, kneels down, and peers into something, where he tells me he felt ”my brain touch my forehead on the inside.”  This is fantastic, and should be a medical description of all self induced highs, be they drug, alcohol or naturally attained.

Anyway, here I am preparing myself for the superior onslaught of writing far better than I will ever achieve in my non-career, when Lilsister calls me from her mobile phone, worryingly, as I had left her in the living room ironing only moments before.  Do I want spicy pork chops for dinner tomorrow, she asks.

I don’t know, I reply, because I like mashed potatoes with my pork chops, but Scarydancer is cooking tomorrow, and he doesn’t like mash, and if he makes anything else it won’t be right.

What is Scarydancer putting with the chops, I ask, and Lilsister says she doesn’t know.

We both ponder a little in the silence.  I decide to throw caution to the wind.  Okay, I say.  Sure lash on the pork chops.

He’ll figure something out, she says back.

Where are you, I ask.

In bed, she says.

In the next room?  I ask.

Yes, she says.  I couldn’t be bothered getting out to ask you and Scarydancer is going to defrost the chops first thing in the morning so he had to know now.

Oh, I say.  That’s fairly lazy of you.

Yeah, she says.  But it’s Monday.

Prince Albert Gets Shafted, Madonna Sings the Blues and Aunt Jackie lives in Me

Monday evening in our little apartment, I have Madonna on claiming that ”you” don’t know ”What it Feels Like for a Girl”.   Lilsister is busy doing the ironing, because I won’t do it, and has her soaps on to keep her company in the living room.  Monday is her bad day, and in protest at its existence, refuses to shower – this is her stand, and she has been doing it for many years now.

Personally I just like to greet Mondays with a groan, try and get ready for work on time, go down to the tram stop and then scream at the five different validator machines for not accepting my stupid swipe card ticket thing, which is exactly what happened this morning.  People stared and I cried.  It’s Monday – these things shouldn’t happen.  It’s enough to make a girl not shower (but not quite, because I am not an animal).

The long and short of it is that my card is probably broken, and when I rang the dump that issues them, they advised me that they can’t replace it till the card is registered online (?) which I tried to do but the website kept putting in the wrong postcode and then spitting me out to the homepage (or ”spitting on me” as I explained to ”Pam”, the harried customer service person I ended up squawking at when I rang).  This means that Pam cannot cancel my card, nor refund me the money on it, nor issue me a new card, because I am not registered online, and I can’t register online cause the website is being updated, and keeps crashing.

Jesus fucking Christ what is the point in even typing out the words.

FINALLY finished training with The Worst Trainer in Ireland today, hurray.  I even passed one of his stupid tests which he makes us take because he can’t get erections until he sees people stressing out over his non-powers.  When he handed me the test with my 93% result on it, he said he was surprised I passed.  I asked him to explain exactly what he meant, and to maybe just come out and say what he was thinking, but I don’t know, he kept edging towards the door, maybe I had one of my scary faces on.  Doubt it though, I think it was morning time and I hadn’t had my tea yet so I’m not so tough at that stage.  I think.

We ”studied” customer care today, which involved Idiotman not reading from a large manual as we’ve previously had, but from a powerpoint presentation.  Great!  And we watched a video about the famous fish market in Seattle, because allegedly they have amazing customer service skills and spend the day playing catch with fish, so naturally this translates very well into our customer service rolls at the bank.  We also discussed empathy with customers, and Twatbreath talked about how he used to have long hair and piercings, and how he was treated badly at the bank because of his looks.  Doubtful this was the reason, him being a prick and all, but I let him go with it, until he began talking about nipple piercings, which naturally for the men in the room led to discussions on the different types of piercings and piercing methods for their ”Prince Alberts” until I requested permission to speak, and when granted, I said ”heave”, referring of course to the fact that I had had my tea, with two dry crackers and all of the above was about to come spewing out of my mouth.  This did not go down well with Fuckface and we carried on with the designated programme.  My stomach contents calmed somewhat, and the boys looked disappointed.

This didn’t stop one of the girls who sits to my left from breaking out into peals of laughter at the sight of my so-close-it-could-have-happened, heave.  This is a girl who just looks at my face and laughs into it.  It was a little disturbing at first, but now that I’m used to it, it’s actually quite sweet.  Now I look at her and am worried if she DOESN’T laugh.  She also keeps telling me, quite inexplicably, that I am ”exactly like” her Aunt Jackie, whose identity is a mystery to me, but seems to give my comrade some comfort, so it’s good to be of help.

ONE good example of good customer service today though – I cried to the kitchen staff that my vegetarian samosas came without any sort of dipping sauce, but bought them regardless, and attempted to dip them in honey mustard instead – a huge food failure.  As if in a dream, one of the staff then appeared half way through my complaining at my table to deliver a large plate of sweet chilli sauce – success at last!!!  I declared my love for her, and inhaled.  Sigh.