Christmas Eve spent popping headache tablets after neck and shoulders got VERY tense watching Paranormal Activity 2 with Lilsister in Mammy’s bed. We had one of those fancy blanket things that hangs off the ends of beds in only the best houses, which was convenient as we needed something to block out the tv screen, in case we actually saw any of the scary stuff on the telly. Didn’t hold hands as much as last time; Lilsister’s were too sweaty, but we did curl around each other to protect against anything that might jump off the screen, which meant I was in a giant human knot shape by the end (which was horrific, from what I can gather).
Slept fitfully afterwards but must have fallen asleep at one stage as was frightened awake by Lilsister having fullblown nightmare beside me which consisted of very faint but wailing sound of ”noooo, noooo” and legs and arms kicking and lashing at me. In my dozed state, all I could manage was to grab her by the head and try and shake her awake by saying ”it’s cool Braille, it’s cool,” and having her awaken, wide eyed and shocked to be in a midnight head lock.
The Day itself passed as it usually does, in a haze of mood swings, beers and catching up with the brothers and respective partners. Dinner was grand except the ham tasted funny. Well I thought it did – the pregnant girlfriend of Firstbrother inhaled her entire plate in about six seconds, beating even Lilsister, which is no mean feat. I don’t know her well, but the girl will fit in grand with the women in our family if that’s how she does her food.
Ended the evening in a STORM of killings after playing skins, or post-its in our case, where you put the name of someone on your drunken brow and attempt to guess their details through a series of questions, before realising you have no idea and you need to lie down. I think I got the name of every bloody soul diva from the 70’s and 80’s EXCEPT the required Chaka Khan which was very disappointing to Babybro who had placed the name there, as I usually hold myself up to be such a culture vulture of music to him. Firstbrother finally broke the confused spell by telling me that the name on my head had a record called after her, and the record was called ”Chaka Khan” – that wasn’t the name of the record, but I eventually picked up on his subtle signals.
It all went so well that we decided to do it again on Stephen’s night, so excepting Middlebro, we piled up to Babybro’s and Sisterinlaw’s house and attempted to play the awful Family Fortunes, which I had not seen since the eighties, but which, worryingly, Babybro and Sisterinlaw are big fans of, and therefore experts in. Anyway, if you have a life you may not know that the game consists of being asking inane questions, answering as best you can, and hoping that your answer is on the ”list”. If it is, happy days, if not, something else happens but I don’t know what because it was all too much for me. I paired with Lilsister and Middlebro’s aforementioned pregnant girlfriend, versus Sisterinlaw, Babybro and Firstbrother. Lilsister’s new man, Scarydancer, wisely decided to compere and was treated to five hours of tears, laughter, arguments and disownings for his troubles. He also nearly split up with Lilsister during their HALF HOUR argument over the ”what do you pay once a year” topic
Lilsister answers: ”tax” .
Scarydancer replies ”can you be more specific”.
Lilsister says ”no”.
Scarydancer (firmly) ”well you can’t just say ‘tax’ as there are different types of tax so you need to be clearer on what type of tax you mean”.
Lilsister (squinting eyes in evil way) ”WELL THEN IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE A PRICK ABOUT IT I can say car bleedin tax can’t I!”
Scarydancer has the ‘eeh enn’ buzzer thing that you hear on the show, and slowly, and quite deliberately, presses it. The buzzer sounds and he states that car tax is NOT on the list, and therefore, our group, which I think we called ”Bump” after the impending baby, or ”Mannilow” – I can’t remember, has lost this round. It is a crushing blow, and the words that come out of my sister’s mouth would not be heard in the Dublin docks after a night on the rum. This causes Scarydancer to throw down his answers and declare that if Lilsister is so unhappy with the way the game is going he can assist her by walking out and going home. I begin singing ”It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and this diffuses the situation somewhat, and we plunder on.
The night wears on and Sisterinlaw ends up hitting the tea due to fatigue, she’s clearly not in our family long and doesn’t have the stamina for fighting and capacity for hate that we all do. She’ll learn. Silly answers abound and Preggers interrupts Babybro whilst he is on a role naming things that he only has one of (nose, head, mouth etc) by asking him why he hasn’t mentioned his dick, and Lilsister wonders aloud why ”arse” hasn’t been mentioned either. Answer of the night goes to Firstbrother for stating that of things that would make an alarm in an airport go off ”like, old, historical shit” would be his guess. After confusing the lot of us, he began to explain that this could mean ”like, chalices” at which I queried why one would carry a chalice at the airport, would it be because one was too good to drink one’s tea from a mere mug? Cue further infighting and declarations of war.
By two am we were exhausted, and Firstbrother was weary of defending himself, after also answering to the question of ”things you buy that you use in the morning” as ”toilet”. It was a night of intellectual thrills.
And now it is the 27th, and Colin Farrell is on the telly using his Dublin accent which is always refreshing. He appears to be discussing horse tranquilisers so that’s nice.