Children are built tough. Falling from heights, rope swings, first floor windows whist drunk at parties (oops, that came later…) – there’s not much that disturbs Homo infantius.
But come the festive season, an awful terror that strikes fear and loathing into most kids’ hearts (or in these harsher times, makes them think “Ohh shit – not again”) emerges.
The nightmare of the relatives.
It’s crap. You’ve been reasonably well behaved this year. The levels of random violence, rampaging and pillaging and general criminality normally exhibited by your youthful self have been remarkably restrained so far this year, and you still get this horseshit dropped on yo sorry ass (that’s me getting all street on you. Good eh? Innit.) Completely unfair.
But still it happens, and short of an outright riot a la Kaiser Chiefs style, its set in stone, you’re going and that’s it.
Frigging lovely. Stuffed in the back of the car, listening to Mariah arsing Carey again, off you go to the first target.
A horrible prospect, even in daylight hours. What she gets up to nocturnally now that she’s off-tag and the ASBO placed on her by the Court due to the arson threats has expired is anyone’s guess. And she’s a Hairy Mary. Indeterminate age, ranging between 85 on a good day to dropped dead, Lifetime Professor Emeritus of Olde Crone Studies, you name it. I once saw her cough so hard both her plates shot from her mouth and ricocheted off the cat. Dreadful.
We’re there. Doorbell. Doorbell. MONA! ANSWER THE FUCKING DOOR. Ah, yes. We affect entry to the premises. A cave, fit for a crone, tarry phlegm brown from years of smoking Bishops Scrotum rolling tobacco, condemned furniture; all enhanced by Auntie Mona’s unique perfume, “Eau de Ammonia.”
I let the parents’ get onto with it, trying desperately to be like the alien in Predator that utilises light-wrapping technology to achieve invisibility, but to no avail. Incoming! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON. DANGER!
Christ, the horror. The cold, clammy stinking embrace, the rasp of bristles older than time and worst of all – the kiss. Two wrinkled sacs resembling burst anal abscesses smothering my gob and leaving a trail of crusty slime any decent garden slug would take one look at and say “Shit dude, you NEED a doctor…”. Awful.
And gazing, fondly at me, from the back of her, are my ever-loving parents. You utter, utter, shit-eating bastards. I swear, on my soul, that I’ll get you for this. Oh, yes, I’ll wait. And best of all, Daddy-O, I’ll wait until you’re laying some serious pipe with Mommy Dear one dark and stormy night. Little Shaun will develop a terrible, inexplicable episode of night terrors so profound that they would put Freddy Kruger into therapy for months.
And whilst you’re consoling you poor ickle darling, thinking “Oh well, only another year till the next jump,” there be this big enormous, deliciously evil smile lurking on my face.
Game, set and match to moi. For another year, anyway.
And that’s just one glimpse into my childhood. No wonder I’m so fucked up now…
So Joyeux Noel kids. It’s all good.