Friday, December 19, 2008

Why I used to think all tramps were Scottish.

When I was growing up, all the tramps that hung around the city centre, were Scottish. Or so I thought at the time.

All of them.

I have now realised that I was wrong to think that, as I shall explain. They did come from the north, but not from bonnie Scottishland.

But what is a real definite fact is that all the tramps (or homelessers, if you prefer the more politically correct term) were old, male, had beards, wore long shabby coats, and smelled of turps. Not one of em had a dog on a string.

They all seemed quite happy to be tramps as well, there was none of this guff about 'helping the homelessers'. They liked sleeping in bins. It was what we refer to nowadays as a *lifestyle choice*.

And they all always wanted 10p for a 'cup of tea' off young kids like me.

You could get a cup of tea for 10p back in the olden days. So it seemed like a reasonable request. They weren't trying to sell you a magazine that you didn't want. That you only buy so you can carry it about and show other people how *generous* you are.

But at the time, I did wonder if there was a Careers Officer in Glasgow advising young alcoholics that if they wanted to advance their careers in the world of hard drinking, the obvious *next move* would be to travel south, to say... umm Manchester? Y'know, it might be a good place for a man to live rough and carve out a career as a professional meths drinker.

Or that's how it seemed to me as a naive 13 year old walking through Piccadilly Gardens on my way to the record shop. But the thing I just didn't get - I couldn't understand how an adult could end up like that. The long white beard, raggedy red coat, sack full of belongings slung over his shoulder...

Now, that I am old and wise and drunk, I think I have all the answers.

Tis Christmas that is to blame.

Now with only days to go (exciting isn't it?) you can almost feel the rush of excitement everywhere. The shops full of happy shoppers, as determined as crackheads needing a fix. All wanting to buy lovely irrelevant nicknacks for people they don't even particularly like but are somehow unfortunately related to.

But for a a lot of women Christmas is a time to work. Women have to cook big massive roast dinners. Women have to bother about buying presents. Have to send out cards.

It seems like Christmas is all work for *mum*.

It seems like it is and, yes, it pretty much is. Cos men have it easy. Not Santa, obviously, he has to work. And there in lies the problem...

The man's job, going from my own perspective, which is the only one I have to go on, is to basically just get pissed. My dad was a pisshead, I've been brought up in the pisshead culture. And at Christmas it's positively encouraged. Drinking cheap champagne at 10 in the morning is fine, whereas at any other time of the year drinking cheap wine is not encouraged. You're supposed to wait until lunchtime at least.

So how do you think Santa feels, looking round at all those other men, having fun. Enjoying themselves, while he's got all that work to do. Everyone is gettin pissed & Santa is pissed off.

Cos Santa is a man that likes his ale. He can hold a jug of wine or two. He likes a flagon of sherry.

Santa: the alpha-male of the Christmas period. He's the only man working (apart from that nice Noel Edmonds busy giving out presents to kiddies in hospitals). And boy does Santa resent it. He is meant to be jolly, but he bears a grudge...

The rest of us, males, what do we have to do at Christmas?
  • Maybe go shopping once. At the most. Then stand around looking bored. Keep looking at our watches, make comments about football scores, and say things like, "Yeh, it's looks lovely. Get it. Definitely, just get it." Come on! It's expected. It gives women a sense of moral superiority. Gives them the chance to say things like, "At least try and PRETEND you're interested!" Women love saying that.
  • We don't have to really pretend we're interested in shopping. We just have to smile every now and again & agree to everything that is said. It's not an easy job, but iPods do help.
  • Being a man and enjoying shopping is slightly looked down on by society. It's a bit *gay*.
  • You don't even have to buy Christmas cards. Even if you receive them. It's not expected. *You're a man*. LOL. Don't bother giving a fuck, you're a man. LOL.
  • Sure, you're supposed to feign an interest in the whole Christmas thing on the actual day itself. Maybe help some little anklebiter assemble a Scaletrix, but you don't have to do much more than that. Drink, eat, snooze, watch Harry Potter, drink, eat, snooze, James Bond, drink, sleep...
Come on, I know what you're thinking, men have a role at Christmas. Men have to do stuff!!!!
  • They have to buy a present for their significant other. Probably best done when out shopping with the significant other. "Well I don't want to get the wrong thing! You know what I'm like. I'm hopeless!" ;0)
  • I'm also hopeless at cooking and washing up btw. And DIY in case any of that needs doing.
  • But men do have to go to the works' Christmas do and get pissed.
  • They have to meet up with their friends and get pissed.
  • They have to go round to relatives' houses and get offered a drink of whiskey at 11am.
  • "I don't mind if I do! Thanks Uncle Charlie! What? What you lookin at me like that for??? I thought you said - you - were gonna drive!? I thought you didn't mind about not drinking? God! Why do you have to cause an argument. Ok, I'll drive. Yes, I'm having a whiskey. And a beer. I'll only have a couple... Lighten up, it's only Christmas once a bloody year for God's sakes..."
  • And then there's some more drinking, just because.....
Look at the Royal Family as a for instance. As an example of how the British family works.

Prince Philip, for instance, he won't even help with the washing up. He won't even set the table. He won't do a thing till Boxing Day and - even then - he'll only play charades if he doesn't have to stand up. He's comfy in his chair, leave him alone.

Meanwhile of course the poor old Queen has to get up at 4am, put the turkey in, peel some tatties, make the stuffing, then wipe her hands, put a bit of lippy on and make that bladdy speech to the *Commonwealth*. With the accent on *common*. A woman's work is never done, etc.

Have a sherry, Liz, love. Put your feet up for a few minutes.

It's all go, isn't it?

"Have a sherry!"

If only.

The Queen's got the plum pudding to make - and - and - when she looks in the cupboard, there isn't any blinkin sherry left, is there?

Santa's had it all last night. Christmas Eve. Cos while he does his deliveries, what does the fat fuck want? A high carb snack to keep him going through the night? Some Powerade & a handful of Brazil nuts?

No. Santa wants his sherry.

In a glass or in a syringe, he doesn't mind. Mr Claus will mainline that sherry if he has to. He needs his sweet wine fix.

Yeh. Santa is a tramp in waiting. All tramps are ex-Santas. Think about it: the long white beard. The tarnished old coat held together with a big belt. The fat belly and the idea that it's pay-back time. Asking kids to give em 10p for a cup of tea. They're bound by the Code of Santa so that they can't reveal their true identies, but they're all bitter, twisted, resentful - out-of-work 364 days a year - unemployed Santas.

Those tramps in my youth, they weren't from Scotland, they were from Lapland....
See! Now it all makes sense...


  1. I am so not speaking to you. I haven't started speaking to you since I read the title. Gah. Which I think I read about ten seconds after it existed, I was checking out your blog for competitive purposes. Ho hum.

    Oh, big huge chip on shoulder about Scottish drinking habits.

    Oh, you slagged off Santa. Yes, there's fake santas all over the place, but the real Santa is a good man.

    Men do have a purpose at Christmastime: they have to remind women that it's not a big deal, that the world doesn't end if the turkey isn't bought by October. In some households the man is allowed to carve the turkey, but most women think they have more sense (when in fact their slothful other half has cunningly developed ineptitude).

    Men now have the internet to thank for making Christmas easier. They have a much easier job of feigning interest as things get unpacked from a box, none of this going to shops malarky. The only downside is the present for the significant other, but clever women email a link to the present they want from an online retailer and then everyone pretends it was his idea all along.

    Why do men complain so much about Christmas?

  2. See, I knew this would cause problems in the 'politically correct' climate we 'live in'.

    Pah. One day I will be bothered to write about Irish pissheads (they were mentioned in passing - they're famously worse - ahem, the Pogues?)

    And thank you for pointing out the turkey carving up of the dead animal thing. As a non-meat eater I forgot that.

    But the developed ineptitude thing is so true. Personally I'm not actually 'involved' in xmas this year so I'll just waste time blogging about it. In a virtual way.

    Best wishes for the season to all your kilts and kin.

  3. there ARE alot of homeless folk in manchester.. I gave one £2.50 last night. Hopefully he went to buy himself a drink. Some people frown upon homeless folk who go and buy booze, but me, nah, I appreciate the only way you CAN be homeless and happy is to be drunk/ stoned.

    this may be non PC - but screw it. Its christmas, I am going to pretend I can get away with saying it.

  4. I think you're allowed to give money to poor people, that's alright I'd say. If I was livin on the streets I'd want to drink lots of cheap sherry. My only fear is that it may be the future... I might enjoy the idea too much.