A Peculiar Christmas Present

Here we are again, Christmas fucking Eve.  One of a number of days in the  year which I absolutely detest.  Christmas fills me with two specific feelings.  The first is the desire to vomit.  And the second is the desire to vomit.  As I have previously moaned about it I shall not continue on.  Instead what I wish to do is to share some good news.

Two days ago I received a piece of amazing news in the shape of an email which you can read below.

Good day my good friend,

Let me start by introducing myself. I am Mr Desmond Ibram, an accounts officer with
Bank of Africa here in Burkina Faso West Africa.

I am writing you this letter based on the latest development at my bank which I
will like to bring to your personal edification. ($9million) transfer claim in
to your bank account.

Pleaded, do reply for more detail on how we are going to proceed if you are
interested. And also you can contact me via me email: mr.ibramdesmond@gmail.com
Mr Desmond Ibram.

I was gobsmacked.  The first thing which surprised me was the fact that I have a good friend in Burkina Faso.  Having never been to Africa in my life, it comes as somewhat a surprise that I seemed to have made such a personable impression on someone.  The second thing which shocked me was the fact that I have a bank account with the Bank Of Africa.  Residing in Poland, it may surprise people to hear that in the seven years  I have lived here I am yet to see a single branch of the Bank Of Africa.  The third surprise is that my good friend Desmond ‘wrote me a letter’ which somehow arrived in the form of an email.  The fourth shock was the fact that someone wanted to transfer $9 million dollars into a bank account which I don’t have.  The fifth and final surprise wasthe fact that it appears that the Bank Of Africa do not have personal emails for their staff.  An accounts officer who contacts people via their gmail account is clearly a banker of solid integrity and quite obviously worthy of my trust.

It’s still hard to believe my luck.  I had absolutely no clue what I should do with such a vast amount of money.  The first idea related to Vegas and hookers, however the very thought sent a panic down my spine.  The idea of visiting a country which doesn’t speak my language made me feel physically ill.  I needed another plan.  What on earth should I do with $9 million dollars?  Surely with that much money I should be able to make a difference.  I could buy food for the starving.  I could donate it all to charity.  I could give it to scientific research.  The more I thought about it the more differences I realised I could make.  However one thing struck me with the force which only Yoda can use.

Rarely in my life have complete and utter strangers showed me such kindness.  Even now thinking about what Desmond Ibram did for me brings a tear to my eye.  There was only one thing I could do.

Good day Desmond old buddy old pal,

Let me start by thanking you for everything you have done for me.  I appreciate the fact that you are willing to transfer money into an account I don’t have with the Bank of Africa.  That in itself shows a great deal of trust on your part, and for that alone I will always be indebted to you.

I am sure you will be delighted to note that my personal edification was absolutely massive when I read your letter which arrived in the form of an email.  I was so edified I could hardly believe it.  Shortly after I read your email, my wife gave birth to our daughter.  We were so overcome with emotion and a burning desire to demonstrate our gratitude towards you that we have named her Desmond.

Forthwith we have decided that such a figure is too much for us to accept personally in good grace.  Instead we have decided to create the Desmond Ibram Fund, and we would like to offer you the post of President of the charity.  On the 1st of January a full-page advert will appear in the following newspapers:the Botswana Guardian, the  Post in Cameroon, Salongo in the Congo, the Ethiopian Herald, the Ghanaian Times, the Standard in Kenya, Mololi in Lesotho, This Day in Nigeria, Wal Fadjri in Senegal, Uhuru in Tanzania and the Zimbabwean in Zimbabwe.  Each advert will announce the formation of your charity with you at the head, containing your telephone number and your email address inviting people from all over Africa to contact you with grant applications.  The concept of the Desmond Ibram fund is to help people improve the lives of others and increase the quality of life all over Africa.  I have faith that an honest man with a decent job will make proper use of the money I am giving you and help make the world a better place.

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas.

Sir Bob Geldof

I can hardly express in words how fantastic it feels to know that I have done something so wondrous which is truly in the spirit of Christmas.  The fact that I, a struggling writer has had the opportunity to give such a monumental gift to people who need it feels fantastic.  It’s like live aid without the shitty song.  Just the feeling good bit for doing very little.  The very best thing is that the karma points alone mean that I am definitely going to heaven.  And believe me, I am gonna shake things up when I get there.

P.S.  If anyone out there feels like contacting my good mate Desmond to congratulate him, or thank him, or even a suggestion as to what he should do with himself please feel free to contact him.  As a trusted friend of his I am certain he would be delighted to hear from you.

The Meaning Of Christmas

There are only six calendar days left before Christmas eve and as usual I am yet to even begin shopping.  I could blame it on my inertia, or my schedule or I could even blame it on the boogie.  However I shan’t.  Instead I will blame it on the fact that I despise Christmas.  It’s hard to put my finger on exactly why as there are so many reasons which work in my eyes.  Whether it be the mythical attachments, the commercialisation, the nonsensical ‘family’ time, or even the giving and receiving of things which nobody wants.  The thing which annoys me most of all is the constant string of bullshit which people come out with regarding the ‘Christmas’, ‘Christian’, ‘Festive’ spirit.  There is only one true spirit of Christmas and that is one of pure unadulterated insanity.

By definition a ‘religious’ celebration for a man who ‘purportedly’ lived 2000 plus years ago, despite the fact there is absolutely zero evidence that he did is something straight out of the Da Vinci code.  The idea that Christmas is some kind of religious celebration is absolute nonsense and has thankfully  been long forgotten by most countries.

Which brings us to Santa Claus.  Who unfortunately is yet another religious icon.  Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th century Greek Christian Bishop who was renown specifically for giving gifts to the poor.  Saint Nick is most famous for giving dowries to three daughters of an impoverished Christian so they wouldn’t have to become prostitutes.  Is this the true spirit of Christmas?  Should we not give gifts to each other and only to women we fear may become prostitutes?

Another interesting aspect of the ‘Festive’ spirit is the active promotion of lying.  The Christmas lies begin with misleading our children to believe in a 4th century Greek Bishop who now is the proud owner of a courier service slightly better than UPS.  A bishop who despite being dead for almost 1600 years now delivers presents to every child in the world in one night by using a sleigh and flying reindeer.  And yet we expect our children to grow up respecting us.  What happens when little Johnny goes back to school in January and asks young Abdul or Jewish Jacob what they got for Christmas?  When they say nothing is Johnny going to reply ‘of course chaps, I forgot for one moment what a beautiful and joyous multi-cultural society we reside in.’  Sadly not as another lie we propagate means that Johnny will know instantly why they didn’t get a present.  Who hasn’t heard ‘you have to be a good boy/girl/alien if you want Santa to bring you a present’?   So now Johnny believes that his friends are bad boys.  And Johnny wonders what exactly it is they did which is so bad, after all he set fire to the neighbours cat and still got a present.

The promotion of lies is nothing new, nor is the manipulation of pliable ideals.  The fact is Christmas is no longer Christian.  Nor is there a fixed spirit.  It is a commercial concept which has been twisted to fit the epoch in which we live.  And that epoch is one of meaninglessness.  Christmas has been refined as a celebration over 300 years.  It can have meaning if you try hard enough.  It has whatever meaning you want it to have.  For me this year is about giving gifts to women who I worry may become prostitutes and lying to children.  And if that isn’t admirable I don’t know what is.