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Christmas with Professor Y Chucklebutty

"Some people are addicted to Christmas. When it's finished, they go through cold turkey for weeks". The Prof sends us a Yuletide message

Published on December 18th 2008.


Christmas with Professor Y Chucklebutty

BY jove Missus, it's almost Christmas, and what a tattyfilarious Christmas it is shaping up to be here in Liverpool.

We'll all be there at Liverpool One, our bright and breezeblock new shopping centre. Looking to see what we can't afford any more. How's that for a brand new shopping experience, Missus!

Manchester had a 90ft illuminated red nosed Santa on the outside of the Town Hall, while all we had was 5ft 7in red faced fireman on the inside. I wonder if he'll last to the end of his advent calendar?

What did you get in your stocking last year, Madam? No, besides varicose veins? Last year I got some bath salts. That's a marvellous thing, bath salts, you can stay in it for a week if you throw in some spuds and a few carrots. Mind you I had to get out for a leek.

What about some boiled onions? the gentlemen are asking. Just be careful the water's not too hot before you get in, Sir.

Christmas Day, what a beautiful day for dressing up as a turkey and saying "Anyone fancy a gobble?"

But Christmas, these days, ladies and gentlemen, is all about the kids. I can't keep up with all these crazes for new toys. The latest must-have! All forgotten about by Boxing Day.

Whatever happened to those Nicotine Patch Dolls, or whatever they were called? Oh I remember, the Cabal Patch Kids. Everyone had to have one, all just gimmick, supposed to be individual, ready for adoption just because they came with a little birth certificate. They even had the name of the parents on it.

Mother: Pearl Barley
Father: Unknown Swede

The next toy craze that all the kids wanted was The Teenage Mutant Ginger Turnips. Well GM crops were big news at the time.

I went all over the place trying to find them, and nobody had heard of them! It was just the same when those machine toys came out, the ones that looked like people but you could make them look like a car. That's it, Transvestite Robots! They'd start off looking like a man and then change into a mini.

The strangest one I remember was when all the kids were asking for a Bust Lightbulb toy. "To the Infirmary and beyond!" they were all yelling, and no wonder. They sounded very dangerous. To save a few quid, I collected loads of them to give as presents - a good mixture as well, 40w 60w and 100w. And do you know, after making all that fuss, they just scowled at me started pelting me with them! How was I to know?

I can never find half of these things in the shops, although I did strike lucky at Asda last year and managed to get the very thing my young nephew had been going on about for months: An Eggs Box. On Christmas Day he just sat there blubbing and saying, "But he promised." His parents were just as ungrateful. They threw me out of the house

I only found out later what my mistake was: You have to get games to go with it, by jove! So I put a couple of eggs, some dice and a few coloured counters in the post. That should do it!

I also got in trouble in TJs the other week, just near the toilets. The security man grabbed me for making lewd suggestions to a line of ladies. There they all were and I asked what they were doing. Well, they said, they were queuing up for a wee. I took one by the arm.
"Come into the gents there, nobody in there. Come on, nobody will know."

It turned out they weren't waiting for the toilets at all, but wanted to buy something called a wee box. It's interactive, apparently. You must still have to empty it somewhere.

But back to Liverpool One. All these new shops full of fabulous things that we used to be able to buy on Church Street before they boarded it up. And isn't it marvellous to have the brand new Debenhams here in Liverpool? Previously I had to go over to Manchester to shake my head and say, "No. There's nothing in here that I want. Madam."

Don't forget our old favourite, the Grace Brothers of the north, John Lewis. Not to be confused with Lewis's, you know, the one with the big overheads. Always caused confusion between courting couples waiting to meet each other. Should they be waiting outside Lewis's or the Vines pub?

You could hear them outside: "What did he say Mary? "Well it sounded like meet me under the big clock."

But the big worry for everyone, this Christmas, is the credit crunch. That's

why the January sales started last month. Although not at Woolworths. Sadly poor old Woolies has fallen victim to the pick n mix of market forces and will be replaced by pound shops and supermarkets. Every Lidl helps, as they say.

I wish all their staff well. They were always very kind to me and Mrs C. They never prosecuted.

It looks like Marks & Spencer's is in trouble too. Their main profits are in ladies underwear, but will they hold up in the current climate, has the bottom dropped out of the market, by jove? That's what they're saying in the gusset press.

Know your customers, that's my advice: the faithful shoppers who return time and time again. Yes I know most of them now are closer to St Peter than St Michael, but this year everything is going for a thong.

But you don't have to go to the big shops for a bargain, ladies and gentlemen. Last year I did my Christmas shopping at the European Markets, at this German perfume stall. Trouble was he couldn't speak any English. So I showed him a picture of the good lady and said "Gift, gift for the wife" He looked at the photo, nodded, tapped his nose and gave me a small green bottle. He wouldn't take any money. Funny man.I opened it on the bus for a sniff, spilled some on my coat and it burned right through to me vest! Did you know "gift"is German for poison? Mind you, she still drank it and asked for some more this year.

I like to keep Mrs C. sober until she's decorated the Christmas tree. She has these special baubles that she painted herself. Bought them from a car-boot in Belfast about 20 years ago. I keep telling her they are hand grenades but she won't have it. I had to hide the set of candles that came with them. That's why I always book into a hotel for twelfth night. By that time, she's run out of Croft Original and starts swiping all the decorations down with a brush handle.

Have you seen the Christmas lights in Church Street? I wondered if they could match last year's spectacular. Well that's exactly what they have done. Got them out of the cardboard box again and dusted them down.

You'd think they'd put some imagination into it. Manchester has a 90ft illuminated red nosed Santa on the outside of the Town Hall, while all we get is a 5ft 7in red faced fireman on the inside. I wonder if he'll last to the end of his advent calendar?

I know one thing for certain: this Christmas, there will be no over indulgence. We're not bothering with a big Christmas dinner this year.

I had asked Mrs C if she fancied a goose. After all, she always used to enjoy a good stuffing. "Leave your capon!" she'd yell, but she's a different bird these days.

No missus. Jam butties, cold cuts and a few bits and pieces will do.

Ahh, Christmas Day. What a beautiful day for taking all your clothes off, diving onto the table and saying how's that for laying on a cold buffet?

Just put your glasses on before you try to pull that cracker, missus.

I just hope we don't all end up sick like last year. It was all the fault of her sister. We thought she'd left us a big Yule Log on the table when we were all watching the Queen's speech. It turned out that big slobbering Great Dane she takes everywhere had jumped up on there and deposited it. I don't know why she married him.

So Missus, 2008, our special year, is drawing to a close, the Christmas Capital of Culture. In the words of our saviour, it's been like a Scouse Christmas. We'll get through it, we don't know how we are going to pay for it. There's no gold or frankincense but I like the idea of mayor.

See you all at the Pier Head in January for Karaoke night with Sir Simon's Last Rattle.

And by the way, Steve Coogan's just announced he can't make it, so it should be a laugh.

Now get to the shops quick! Tatty Buys everybody, Tatty Buys!

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

DigDecember 18th 2008.

I got one of those Cabal Patch Kids for my niece recently. She's lovingly called it Henshaw. I've no idea where she got that name from.

AnonymousDecember 18th 2008.

I don't know what to say after that!

Tricky WooDecember 18th 2008.

Has her Henshaw got a father named on the birth certificate, or is it more like the real one?

AnonymousDecember 18th 2008.

Very funny Dig!

DigDecember 18th 2008.

Yeah Henshaws parents are on the birth certificate. Chucky & Bride of Chucky.

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