Today is the last day of the Christmas trilogy, otherwise known as Boxing Day. For you Continentals not familiar with island practices, tradition dictates that on Boxing Day you must have a boxing match with the first person you see after leaving the house. This morning was quite unfortunate for my Mum’s elderly 84-year-old neighbour, Alice. However I am pleased to report that I knocked her out late in the seventh round.
I know what some of you may be thinking. What an absurd tradition! And you would indeed be right. By and large traditions are absolute nonsense, and what makes them even more amusing is the fact that some people still cling onto them. Christmas Day is a fine example. If you ask people what we celebrate on Christmas Day, most of them will point to the fact that it’s the day Jesus Christ was born. And they would be completely correct in their thinking if it wasn’t for the fact that they are completely and utterly wrong. Jesus was actually born in April. Historically December 25th is actually a Pagan holiday.
This year I spent the 25th searching for the spirit of Christmas. What I can safely say, is that it was definitely not Tequila, Vodka, Whisky or Brandy. If the television is to be believed, the spirit of Christmas is ‘giving’. Sadly the vast majority of people believe that ‘giving’ is the responsibility of Santa Claus. And they would be completely correct in their thinking if it wasn’t for the fact that they are wrong. On my home island it’s about a visit from Father Christmas, and believe it or not, they are not the same person.
The point I am trying to make is that tradition is whatever you decide it is. If you want to spend every New Years Eve naked, standing in a cardboard box, wearing a lampshade on your head whilst singing ‘Yellow Polka Dot Bikini’ that is a matter for you, and you only. Just don’t expect anyone else to join you, after all, one man’s tradition is another man’s laughing matter.
It was a quiet Thursday afternoon. I was minding my own business when the bus stopped and a vision so horrifying I almost cried aloud clambered up the steps. Mormons.
These terrifying apparitions almost always hunt in pairs. They dress in a business like way to avoid people recognising them at first glance. Only a small lapel badge gives you any warning at all. They are undoubtedly pure evil.
These creatures are not selective with their targets, instead they opt for quantity rather than quality. They will approach you with questions about God. If you do anything other than run away screaming they will hang onto you like a horny rottweiler hangs onto a postman’s leg. Their mission on earth is two-fold. The first is to create a universe where everybody looks the same. The second is to eradicate any semblance of personality they encounter. Then and only then will Mormons actually have a chance of getting laid.
I felt them train their sights on me. I have witnessed it countless times. They always target the people who are alone. I turned my back to them and pretended to study the nearest window. I heard footsteps getting closer and closer. A tap on my shoulder. It took every ounce of willpower not to scream in terror. And then the question.
‘could you spare a few moments to talk about our lord?’
Our lord I thought. I didn’t know I had a lord, I was certain this was some kind of Jedi-Mormon mind trick. I tried to string together a sentence. It was no good. My lips were dry. No sound came out. Then I realised they were talking to me. There were words like Jesus, God and sin. I knew if I started to listen I would get off the bus with a white shirt, a tie and a side parting. In my head I tried to hum a tune to block out the noise and save the surviving molecules of personality which I had managed to retain in 30 years of my existence but the only song I could think of was Umbongo Umbongo they drink it in the jungle. The problem was that was the only line I knew. I could feel my blood pressure rising. If I didn’t act soon I was sure that all the spirituality and righteousness on the bus would almost certainly make my head explode. I took a deep breath, and caught the end of a sentence about someone dying to save us. I cleared my throat and asked loud enough for the entire bus to hear.
‘Sorry. Did you just fart?’
It was then I discovered that Mormons don’t believe in loving thy neighbour. They both scowled at me as if I was something they had trod in, one of them told me that I was crazy and then they both walked away. After giving it some thought I realised that they had a point, that I must in fact be crazy. After all I was the one who approached a complete stranger on the bus and tried to convince him of the existence of a mythical creature which lives in the clouds and made absolutely everything in the universe. I must remember to book me an appointment with a psychiatrist tomorrow.