Merry Crapmas

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Rants & Guff

It’s three days before Christmas and, despite us agreeing to buy minimal gifts this year, the Yuletide Panic has descended. I’m frantically elbowing small children in the face as I force my way through the Christmas crowds of Grotford, searching for festive tat to pad out the measly offering of gifts I’ve already purchased. For me, it’s all about quantity over quality. BHS could be selling a frozen shit on a stick and I’d probably buy it right now.

Having kicked a granny in the shins and headbutted a toddler in my desperate panic to get within arm’s reach of the nearest shelf of festive pap, I snatch the first two things that grab my attention. What do I end up with? A novelty apron with giant tits on it and puncture repair kit. A fucking puncture repair kit. I don’t even know if they have a bike. It was a toss-up between that and a ceramic cock with a Santa’s hat on it.

Now, I could pop in to the middle-class warmth of M&S and buy a novelty reindeer torch with a built in compass for a fiver. But who wants to spend that on something that you know will end up in a bedside drawer for the rest of eternity; something so crap that it’s not even worth regurgitating as next year’s Secret Santa gift.  At least my cheapo stocking fillers can be thrown in the bin without a real sense of guilt.  I avoid the comforting glow of John Lewis and M&S and head for the high street, where a plethora of bargain basement stores awaits.

You see, this is what happens in a recession. The boutiques have been replaced with 99p stores. The independent craft stalls selling handmade gems of wool and wicker have been replaced with diamante Hello Kitty crap, shipped over from China. Even the local bakers has been replaced with a Greggs (now, I love a sausage roll as much as the next person, but I prefer mine to made at the hand of a pork-master, not a processed ball of scrotum and lips.)  

The empty high street stores have been replaced with a new breed of retailing – the pop-up shop. Poorly made vice-girl garments line the windows on mannequins that are always missing body parts and have a facial expression akin to being buggered by a donkey. The allure of the 1990s garage music blaring from the pop-up mobile phone stores is enough to make me want to pluck out my eyes and stick them in my ears. And that’s before I’ve even seen their chav-vom line of Ed Harvey iphone covers filling the shelves. There is always a whiff of desperation with these havens of retail shite –  buy your crap now, as the shop will be gone next week, once they’ve sold their last sweat-shop pashmina.

I will be eternally baffled by one such shop in Grotford that is selling not only cheap Christmas tat and children’s toys with loose parts that pose not only a choking hazard, but are an insult to any child with even the tiniest ‘shit-toy detector’, but also does a fantastic line in guns. And sex toys.  “Would you like an 14 inch Pussy-Punch dildo to go with your Santa mug, Madam. It’s only £1?” Oh, go on then, it’ll make a wonderful addition to Grandma’s stocking.

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