Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A Floridan Christmas

N.B.: Richard Littlejohn is a newspaper columnist, author and occasional TV pundit currently working for the Daily Mail. He is known for tiresome, oft-repeated catchphrases such as 'You couldn't make it up' and 'elf n safety'. He is also known for being comprehensively 'owned' on TV shows by Will Self and Michael Winner (see Youtube!). His columns are lazy rehashes of Daily Mail editorial lines and urban myths. He lives in a gated community in Florida as a tax exile. His daughter Georgina also works for the Mail, where she rehashes the Twitter feeds of 'celebrities'. The following is a spoof, an imagining Of Xmas Day at Chez Littlejohn...

The front door of Richard's mansion swung open with a plaintive, musical squeak and the great pundit stepped forth into the Florida sun, halting on the doorstep to survey his festive surroundings. In his right hand, a cup of eggnog safely clutched between pudgy fingers, in his left a scrap of card loosely gripped. He swayed slightly, trying to focus as the effects of his liquid Christmas dinner coursed through his ageing blood.

'Ah, Chrishtmas in the Land of the Free,' he slurred, frowning as he tried to focus on the wrought-iron gates sprawled across the bottom of the road. 'None of your Pee Sheeh nonsenshe here. Here we can shtill shelebrate the birth of the lord and think about the true meaning of the feshtive sheazhon. Yule logs. Mishtletoe. Turkey.'

He slurped noisily from the cup and belched, before glancing at the scrap in his other hand. Tears filled his eyes as he thought of the time young Georgie must have spent hand-crafting this card, the love and care that she must have poured into its creation. The words Hapy Chrissmas Dad, scrawled in purple crayon, above a crudely cut-and-pasted photograph of a wheelie bin with an immigrant rifling through it. How brave of her, to forego coming home for the holidays, to remain in distant, socialist-wracked Blighty and finish her stunning exposes into the price of celebrity footwear and the debauchery of London nightclubs on New Year's Eve. He sniffed affectionately at the thought that the great Littlejohn journalistic tradition would live on through her, that she had somehow climbed to the lofty heights of one of Britain's top tabloids after only one emailed job interview. She had managed it all by herself.

A dark cloud seemed to cross his countenance. Herself. Self. Self. Why did that word send a shiver down his spine? He shrugged, drained the eggnog and turned, steadying himself momentarily before stepping back into the welcome sanctuary of hearth and home. Mince pies were yet to come, and maybe another cup of eggnog...

How good his life was, far from a country where the government was in thrall to big business, where people suffered to pay for corporate greed, where the health system was a lottery. 'Richard, old shun,' he murmured as he reflected on the success which his incisive and influential writings had brought him, 'You're onto a winner here.'

Winner. Winner. Another dark memory chuckled at him, causing his jowls to wobble, before sinking into a tipsy fog. Perhaps he should write a new column for Tuesday, a meaningful and insightful exploration of how the spirit of Christmas celebrated all that was good about the human condition.

'Dickie,' came his good lady wife's singsong voice from the kitchen, where she was gathering the leftovers ready for tomorrow's bubble and squeak, 'We just had an email from Mr Dacre. He says Merry Christmas, and could he have a thousand words about homos on his desk by Sunday night?'

'Shure,' he called back, 'I think I've got it on file from a couple of yearsh ago. He'll not notice the difference...'

In the lounge, the fairy on top of the tree seemed to wink at him as he poured himself another cup. Bloody fairies...

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