Hello cheeky, you’re looking well. Not as well as me, obviously. Despite my mental turmoil, my physical appearance is almost painfully beautiful. Is it a blessing or curse to be this attractive? I’m not sure that I know. Anyway, enough about my fabulous good looks, let’s chat.
Christmas is over here at the Viper’s Hole. The decorations always come down for Twelfth Night at our house. Mrs Viper packs everything according to her ‘system’, then I haul them up into the loft. I’m not useful for much, but my long arms and powerful thews make me handy at heavy lifting. I can carry a washing machine unaided, I’m like a modern day Hercules. Not that I put a washing machine in the loft, that would be madness, I was just using an example of something bulky that I can lift. Please don’t get in touch asking me to help you move house, I’m booked up completely.
In the post-Christmas days of cold weather and dark afternoons, I find that I’m often more content than at Christmas itself. Nobody expects me to be cheerful. I don’t have to attend parties. There’s left-over ham and there’s still Christmas cake. I’ve got an unopened jar of Stilton that’s going to help me through the winter nights.
I also have time to enjoy the many gifts given to me by friends, family and my hordes of admirers. I’m surrounded by sycophants that are eager to win my favour, so I receive numerous luxurious gifts. You, dear reader, have the honour of glimpsing my Epicurean lifestyle. Look on and writhe in envy.
Yeah. That’s right. A BIG box of Parma Violets from my in-laws. These are an acquired taste, I know. You may not have a palette that is sophisticated enough for these. They taste somewhat like I imagine the perfume of elderly ladies in the 1930s would smell like. That’s a taste I enjoy. Don’t judge me, love me.
This is only a tiny sample of the tea selection that I was bought by my lovely in-laws. They know that I love tea. They bought me tea. This is what I want from people.
In-laws again. This is Rose syrup. I will be using it to make rose lemonade, rose jellies and rose confectionery. This is the sort of gift that ‘real men’ like to receive. Just so you know, I am a big, tough, slab of masculinity. I just happen to like Parma Violets and Rose Syrup.
This is a round glass. It wobbles, but it does not fall down, rather like myself. In the round glass is a (roughly) spherical ice lump. The glasses and sphericalish ice lump makers were gifts from my sister-in-law and her other half. They know that I like booze and round things. This booze is blackberry and apple gin that my mother makes. It is both sweet and strong, like me. It will leave you dizzy and fulfilled, also like me. It will make you feel filled with regret the next morning, again… you get the idea.
Comedy DVDs from my wishlist. Look at the titles. I could write them all out, but they’re in the damned picture! Just look at them. Do you like them? I don’t know why I’ve typed that question, I couldn’t give a tinker’s tiddle whether you like them or not.
Some books. I have not shown my comic because I forgot, ok? I forgot. I’m not ashamed of it, it’s a good comic. It’s “Overture” by Neil Gaiman. Look, I know the Pratchett book is for kids, but it was the last thing he wrote and I wanted it. Stop being so judgemental! The Mitchell books aren’t by that fella who is married to Victoria Coren-Mitchell, the sexy vole-man. These are by another David Mitchell. My sister got them for me. She’s clever and literate and stuff like that.
This chutney was made by my wife’s best friend. She also made a mug with my initial on it. I know, she’s probably in love with me. Sadly for her, she’s married, I’m married… it would be too complicated. This chutney shows her love. It tastes VERY good with Stilton. Have you noticed my delicate hands? Aren’t they slender for a man of my height and carriage? Surgeon’s hands. Pianist’s hands. My friend says they are ‘molesty hands’, but he’s mean.
Before we get to the ‘money shot’, I should point out that I had many other presents that I couldn’t be bother to stick on the coffee table and photograph. I had tons of Lego minifigs from my other sister-in-law. I had a very peaceful time of meditation when I built them. Then I let the children play with them and they mixed them up. My children are agents of chaos.
I also received a ‘Hulk’ mug. It’s huge and green and in the shape of the Hulk’s fist. It seems to mock my fine-boned hands, but it does hold a LOT of tea.
There was fancy Geo. F. Trumper ‘Spanish Leather’ aftershave, from Mrs Viper. She gave me sandalwood talc, too, so now I smell like an old man. A sexy, sophisticated old man.
I shan’t mention every other gift, it would only hurt you. Let’s get to the most absurdly opulent.
Three, count them, THREE watches. These are from my sugar daddy. They aren’t true gifts, of course, they’re cast offs. He gives me stuff so that he can buy more stuff for himself. The straps are made from ocelot, marmoset and mule. The faces contain a total of thirty-seven precious stones. The circular one has been blessed by a bishop, a rabbi and an atheist (for funsies). I know NOTHING about watches, these three included. According to himself, one was ‘cheap’ and the other two were ‘a bit more’. This could mean anything. Money doesn’t function in the same way for Sugar Daddy. None of the watches have batteries, of course. I would ebay them, but he’d find out and cut me off. He insists that I need a ‘watch wardrobe’.
What did my other friend buy me? Sod all. Our gift to each other is that we don’t do gifts or cards. I must give him a ring and arrange an evening at some point. You’re meant to see friends, aren’t you? I think that’s the idea.
So, there you have it. That was my ‘haul’. What a disgusting example of consumerism. By showing you this, I’m just perpetuating the obsession with material goods that is destroying our species. You now have aspirations and they will ruin you. Desire is the source of suffering. Purge yourself. Stand in the cold and realize that all you need is shelter, food and the love of your fellow beings. That will do for you. As for me, I’ll be drinking tea, smelling of sandalwood and wearing three watches on my slender wrists… all three of them…
Bless you, my children.