Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Countdown Begins: With the final burst of this 'Indian Summer' still holding on by its fingernails, some half-wit spoilt the whole effect yesterday by reminding us there are but two paydays until Xmas, and only 85 days including weekends to Xmas Eve, when it'll be cold, dark, and miserable outside. Those paydays don't include the one most people have on Xmas Eve itself; which is the last one for an excruciating 5 weeks; making January the most horrible month of the year financially. Luckily, though, some of the local authorities have become wise to this. After finding out the hard way that the Courts and the bailiffs are unable to get blood from a stone, they realised that most people haven't got the money for their water and community charge bills in January, and need until the end of February to straighten themselves out. So they take their dosh over the remaining 10 months, thus giving us some brief respite whilst we lick our Xmas and New Year wounds and recover from our reckless and spendthrift 'let's have a good time and sod the expense' ways.
But Xmas is no longer about Snakes and Ladders, Ludo, Rhummy, Snap, or even Draughts like it used to be. And I know I harp on about it, but in my youth, at least we played games involving everyone; Mum, Dad, Gran, Granddad, and brothers and / or sisters. These days the kids generally play alone whilst staring at a computer or PC screen, wearing out their thumbs on a joy-stick / controller thingy which were not designed for such useage any more than they were designed to thumb phone keys for text messaging. And parent's don't seem to care as long as the kids "are happy" and "out of our way."
Xmas today is all about kids having far more than they deserve, with the adults running up bills either on the plastic, (but the recession is drawing a halt to that), or with the Provi man / lady; who are also known as Mr. or Mrs. Borrow A few Quid Now, but Pay Back An Arm And A Leg Later.
Now, Xmas is not all about presents in 2009, it's all about Batteries; the AA type, mostly; and I bet the staff in the battery factories around the globe are working overtime building up the stock. These days, everything but everything needs a battery, doesn't it, and if we run out of them, it's bound to be during those brief few hours when the shops actually do shut, and we end up buying them at a ridiculous price from the 'Open 365 Day's A Year' petrol station, (every town's got one!) to stop little Johnny bursting into tears when the last one he's got with a spark of life in it, fizzles out and dies. "Go and get him some more batteries!" Mum orders Dad, "we can't have him reading a book, or playing a board game, or watching the telly, he'll get bored; he's not happy unless his toys need batteries!" And virtually every toy needs one, doesn't it; and is there, amongst all the recycling / save the planet / stop pollution receptacles dotted around our towns, any to take and dispose of dead batteries?
They go to landfill.
Oh dear!