Sunday, December 31, 2006

Dead Famous and Festive

Why do famous people always keel over on Christmas day?

This year it was a tie between ex US President Gerald Ford, and The Godfather of Soul, James Brown. Chirpy cockney comedien Charlie Drake was the token English "oh, was he still alive?" radio comedy star from the 1950's to croak it - but he peaked a little too soon and passed away just before the festive season got underway.

But what is it about Christmas Day that proves so fatal when combined with a certain level of celebrity status? Maybe this will prove the acid test of whether reality TV stars are true celebrities - if Jade Goody pops her clogs on the 25th, the case will be well and truly proven.

Maybe its all a conspiracy. James Brown dies sometime back in October, but had been kept in a large freezer somewhere in an industrial estate on the outskirts of Mobile, Alabama until it was time to wheel him out. And if Gerald Ford's death had been announced earlier that morning, maybe Mr brown would still be there waiting for next year ....?

And No-one dies on Boxing Day - its always Christmas Day.

Is this why The British Royal Family always open their presents on Christmas Eve - leave it until the next morning and there is a statistically significant probability that someone will have to accept 2 copies of the "101 uses for a Dead Republican" book ?

But the person I feel most sorry for this year would have to be Saddam. Looking out of his cell as they guards took down the decorations and started recycling the Christmas tree, for a while there he must have thought he had made it ...

Maybe Celebrities of a certain age should be made aware of this, and warned to be very careful whenever they start to smell turkeys roasting in the oven overnight or hear the sound of Jingle Bells.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Andy Smith (21) 3-0 Shi Yongsheng (Chi)

This is a scoreline from the first round of the PDC World Darts tournament from the legendary Purfleet Tavern in Essex.

But behind the simple and stark "3-0" scoreline lies a sad and tragic tale.

For Shi Yongsheng is actually China's greatest living Darts player.

The Champion, the torch bearer, the King of this Noble Sport of Darts to a nation of over one Billion souls.

He has flown across the world to the high temple of arrowerary in fashionable Essex, and taken his place proudly, upholding the honour of his people, and representing the abilities of the great nation of China and its "Communism with a capitalist edge" system to produce some of the most successfu drug free sporting people the world has ever seen.

No doubt millions - nay, significant fractions of a Billion - will have been on tenderhooks watching and praying for their hero to overcome the forces of the West and do the entire nation proud.

And instead, he now has to face the long lonely journey home, and no doubt undergo many weeks of debreifing by party offficials, and a rigorous interrogation from the press, all of whom will be asking him the same, painful question.

"So, tell us how you got beat 3-0 by Andy "The Pieman" Smith then?"

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Tiny Christmas Cards

Whats with really teeny weeney tiny Christmas cards then?

Every year, someone - and its never a consistent someone - decides that it is a great idea to send out the worlds tiny-est Christmas cards. Small, perfectly formed, always with a little glitter glued on - and in an envelope barely big enough to accommodate the stamp, never mind an address as well

But, this is one example where the postal service wreaks a strange transformation onto this gift of thoughtfulness and personal communication.

Inevitably, what starts off as...

"I know Christmas is a time of tradition, however this year I wanted to send out cards that show I am a bit funky, stylish, original and cutting edge. So, a tiny but cute contemporary card will fit the bill exactly. How Brilliant am I???"

..ends up - after a brief postal journey - in the hands of a bemused recipient who almost immediately - and without fail thinks...

"well, its clear that the person who sent this pathetic apology for a Christmas card clearly can't be f-cked to spend more than the bare minimum on cards and also wanted to avoid the mental hardship of making this any more personal a greeting than simply writing their initials. What a cheap - in both senses of the word - miserable old sod they are, and frankly I'd rather have not been sent a card than this insult to me, my family and the whole 2000+ year Judeo-Christian/Retail Frenzy festive tradition"

However, as the cards are swept off the shelves in January, under a fug of turkey flatulence and binned along with the unwanted cracker gifts that fell off the dining table, all of this is fortunately - usually - forgotten as an abberation of the season.

The time to really worry however is if you ever been sent a really really tiny Birthday card...