Mrs Viper has pointed out to me that my last post was rather dark. Personally, I thought that it was a light-hearted satire that used the tropes of horror stories to comment on a certain type of right wing attitude. It might not have come across that way. I do struggle to express my character sometimes. Essentially I’m a just a big teddy bear. Sadly, somewhere inside this teddy bear is a ball of ice, dirty needles and rusty razor blades. Don’t hug me too tight, I’m infectious!
Last night, the good Mrs Viper requested a Christmas list from me. That’s a tough one. I don’t really have that many material desires, at least not ones that I can afford to satiate. Yes, I’d like to live in a seventeenth century manor house. Yes, I’d like a swimming pool in a conservatory full of tropical plants. Yes, I’d like a collection of fossils, minerals and antiquities to rival the British Museum. When it comes to things that can be wrapped up for Christmas, though, I often draw a blank. I have loads of stuff already. I have friends and family who give me the pick of their cast-off clothes, I have a dear friend who gives me unwanted cosmetics (a man needs beard balm) and I have this wonderful lap top (the sellotape is holding it together nicely, thanks). What more do I need? I’m clothed, I smell wonderful and I have access to almost all human knowledge via the Internet. Have you tried the Internet? It’s jolly good.
Nevertheless, Mrs Viper wants to buy presents for me. Friends and family want to buy presents for me. Why do these people worship me as a god? Who can say? Perhaps the real question should be, why don’t you, reader? I’m keeping a list, you know. When my Reign begins, you want to be sure you’re on the correct list, don’t you?
I spent some time thinking about what I might buy if I had the money and was forced to spend it. Then I tried thinking of stuff that might be within the price ranges of my acolytes. After many hours of thought, I can present to you my ‘Wish List’. Email me if you give in to your true nature and wish to buy things for me. The final entry on the list is particularly for eccentric billionaires.
Anything from Geo. F. Trumper
https://www.trumpers.com/ is a supplier of very fine gentlemen’s grooming products. Every scent is superb. I particularly recommend ‘Wellington’, ‘Astor’ and ‘Spanish Leather’. The names might sound odd, but I can assure you that the perfumes are amazing. ‘Wellington’ does NOT smell of rubber boots. You can get the after shaves in glass bottles topped with a crown stopper. Classy, no? Beautiful bottles, beautiful scents. Have a good browse and find something that I’ll like.
Clothes from Charles Tyrwhitt
http://www.ctshirts.com/uk/homepage supply the best shirts that I’ve ever worn. I’m a freakish looking chap with a long body and gangly arms (picture an orang utan but with longer legs), but Tyrwhitt shirts work for me. They don’t just do shirts either, there are gorgeous silk ties and splendid sweaters that I would be glad to receive at Christmas. Damn, now I’m starting to feel like I’d make an excellent consumer. Shame I have no money. Feel free to message for my measurements. Maybe you want to buy me something, maybe you’re just kinky. I’m not here to judge you, I’m just here to have a good time.
Pipe Tobacco from Gauntley’s of Nottingham
From time to time, I smoke a pipe. It’s a filthy habit, I know. It’s also bad for my health. I don’t do it much, but when I do, I like tobacco from https://cigars.gauntleys.com . If it’s not pipe tobacco, I like Phillies Sweet cigars.
This is what Mrs Viper refers to as ‘stinky cheese’. I love it, especially at Christmas. If possible, it should come from http://www.colstonbassettdairy.co.uk/ . If you want to express even more love for me, treat me to a whole cheese board. I can recommend https://www.delilahfinefoods.co.uk/ .
Port and Single Malt Scotch
If I’m having Stilton, I deserve port to go with it. I’m not hugely fussy with my port, I can’t afford to be. I’ve never had a glass I didn’t like. Fortunately, I don’t have a connoisseur’s palette. Get me some from Aldi! When it comes to Scotch, any single malt will do. I like to try new ones, though I always come back to Laphroaig. http://www.laphroaig.com/default.aspx
Look, I’m not a snob. I can enjoy a Quality Street. If I’m wishing for sweets, though, these are the things that I like the best. Crystallised Ginger is an acquired taste, it’s pretty fiery, but I love the stuff. Marrons Glacés are candied chestnuts and they’re too expensive for me, to be honest. If someone wants to buy me some, though, go wild. Cherries in chocolate are damn hard to get hold of. I found the perfect ones some time ago at http://www.chatsworth.org/plan-your-visit/shop-and-eat/chatsworth-estate-farm-shop/what-we-offer , but I’ve not seen them there again since. A man can dream.
The real presents for me are books. This year I need to read Terry Pratchett’s final novel “The Shepherd’s Crown”. Since Terry died, I’ve been putting off reading his last work. He is an author who means an enormous amount to me and I don’t want his work to be over. I’ll be emotional when I read this one. I’ll also be happy to get anything by Neil Gaiman that I haven’t read yet. There’s a huge Wish List of mine on Amazon, but I won’t share it because I’m paranoid that you’ll use it to track me down and kidnap me before keeping me in a hole and telling me to put lotion in a basket.
Oolong Tea, Gunpowder Tea and Lapsang Tea
I love a good cup of tea, doesn’t everyone? My three favourites aren’t always available in super markets, so I go to http://www.birdhouseteacompany.com/ or http://www.northern-tea.com/ . If you buy me some tea, I’ll write a blog post about the tea and about you and about the healing power of love.
A Hamper from Fortnum and Mason
I love stuff from Fortnum and Mason, but I can’t really afford any of it. I’ve got a biscuit tin from there and some little tea samples. I went there for afternoon tea once, with the delectable and irrepressible Mrs Viper. If you want to spend six grand on me, follow the link! https://www.fortnumandmason.com/products/the-imperial-hamper?taxon_id=717
That’ll do, I think. Re-reading this now, it looks a bit pretentious. That’s probably because I am a bit pretentious. In all honesty, I’ll be happy this Christmas with a Chocolate Orange and a good book. I am very fortunate in having a loving wife, wonderful children, a couple of great friends and a supportive family. There’s really not much a Viper needs beside that. Well, maybe a really expensive pocket watch… I hope that you all you get what you want for Christmas (it’s better than getting what you deserve!).