If there was a day when I needed a phone call from Michael Heath saying ‘congratulations’ for the cartoons, then today would have been that day. There hasn’t been a phone call, an email, or a sniff of good news. For my health I think I’ll now stop checking The Spectator website for the competition announcement. I don’t think I could take the disappointment. Not today.
My lack of a blog post yesterday should have confirmed that it was a hard day but I enjoyed working long hours and I got a lot done. Today I’m not enjoying as much. In fact, it’s been a freakishly hellish Friday. I wish I could blog about it but I can’t. Today I really needed a friendly ear but there’s none to be had anywhere.
To clear my mind, I went shopping but that didn’t help. Not only didn’t I find a friendly ear, I was disgusted to see my local Tesco are now declaring that ‘there is nothing as good as Christmas’. I know. Horrible, isn’t it, to see religious persecution writ large in their seasonal advertising. I don’t know… To me it sounds just a little too much like they’re saying to Jewish people that Yom Kippur isn’t as good as Christmas, to Muslims that Christmas is far superior to Ramadan, to Hindus that Krishna Janmashtami is a mere distraction because there’s only one really meaningful religious holiday on the calendar. They’re shouting to Pagans: ‘Hey, you Pagans! Your Autumnal Equinox isn’t a patch on Christmas because there really is nothing as good as Christmas.’ I’d be surprised if Pagans weren’t offended. I think I can even hear their moonbeam wheat crystal ear pendants / dreamcatchers rattling as they murmur spells over their flagons of cider.
Of course, Tesco are not just talking about major religious holidays. They’re saying that there’s ‘nothing’ better than Christmas. So, a mother’s love isn’t as good as Christmas. National prosperity isn’t as good as Christmas. A small puppy just missing the front wheels of a loaded Tesco refrigerated wagon isn’t as good as Christmas and, to my ears, that sounds like Tesco saying that they wish that puppy dead.
The end of war isn’t as good as Christmas, feeding the starving isn’t as good as Christmas, and even world peace isn’t as good as Christmas. When Obama rings Putin and asks for complete nuclear disarmament and an end to all proxy wars, Putin will simply say, ‘Barak, that sounds like it’s the best thing ever but haven’t your forgotten about Christmas?’
‘Hot damn!’ cries Obama and slams down the phone as he reaches for a small puppy to throw under a refrigerated wagon.
But perhaps I’m not realising the full significance of what Tesco are saying. The beginning of the universe, the very Big Bang itself, which brought everything into existence including Christmas, even that isn’t as good as Christmas in Tesco’s all-seeing eyes. Humanity and civilisation means nothing to Tesco. Customer satisfaction isn’t as good as Christmas, heaving no horse meat in their burgers isn’t as good as Christmas. Damn it! Tesco themselves are not as good as Christmas, which I grant you is the only part of this which is believable. They’re definitely not as good as Christmas.
I mean, it’s not as though we’re talking about Asda…