Thursday, 6 December 2007

Lights and appliances

And while I'm on the subject of lights and appliances I'm just going to pause to complain about the lit-up tat that appears up our street every time it's Christmas.

Well, Grit, stop there. Because it's not just Christmas is it? Oh no. The junior Grits have been staring at Santa on a bicycle the entire year thanks to the idle sods at number 22 who couldn't be bothered to unscrew him from the wall after last year. Can you imagine that? We go down to the newsagent's on a sweltering day in July and there's Santa! Riding on his bicycle!

Well this year they've added a Santa climbing up the wall. I suppose we'll have the pleasure of that every time we go to pay the newspaper bill. No wonder I leave it until it's over eighty quid.

If only it were Satan - now that was a mistype, but maybe I'll leave it - if only it were Santa on a bicycle, then maybe I could cope. But no. There's more. Here's my evening walk of misery to the Co-op.

First sighting, blow-up reindeer lolling over a wall. Accompanied by a blow-up Santa on a blow-up sledge. What possible excuse can there be to do this to the neighbourhood? It's clearly deflating. They must have to blow up the reindeer daily. It's already got a broken neck and it's only half-past six. And Santa looks like his head's caved in.

Second sighting, lines of blue fairy lights strung up around a pebbledash wall. Call the electricity board. Either a power line's down or we have strayed to the set for the Evil Dead.

Third, completely revolting mish-mash of cheap crap flung about a back garden. There is no possible starting point. It is one of those bizarre heaps of lights that in someone's head might have some shape but in reality looks like an exploding blancmange. Some bits of it are flashing for added effect.

If this isn't enough to force me to drive the seven-minute walk for my Co-op bottle of beer, then hey! We reach number 22, and the perennial bicycling Santa! With his new chum, Santa! Off up the wall! Well come June I am going to push cabbage leaves through the letter box and run off.

But wait. I haven't got to the Co-op yet. At number 28 is a plastic Santa carrying a sack. He's clinging onto a window ledge. Some of his foot is dropping off thanks to him being thirty years old. But some people don't give up, do they? 'Santa Stop Here' signs appear at numbers 34, 36 and 38, all of whom are clearly engaged in some sort of warfare because number 38 has added plastic candles and a lit-up snowman.

And this is just the beginning. The worst is yet to come. Well the Grit family isn't joining this neighbourhood trawl of bad taste, that's for sure.

But obviously I'm not a kill-joy. I'll put up some some cute little lights around the front door which clearly will be tasteful and not crap. And of course I'll leave the fairy lights in the garden that I put up in 2002 and never got round to taking down. Well, I say, in summer it looks like an outdoor restaurant in Indonesia, so it's cool.

You see? Not a bit of Christmas tat in Grit land.

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