So far, I’ve bought the gifts, got the crackers and organized the Christmas lunch menu. It does not include pork dumplings. Thirty-three-point-three percent of those surveyed in our household are going to be disappointed.
It’s not the dog.
Furthermore, judging by The Girl’s Christmas present requests, this isn’t going to be the only disappointment come Christmas morning. Amongst the catalogue of gifts she has repeatedly requested and fully expects to unwrap on the day are these:
This Old Man: A windup plastic tape deck put out by Fisher Price, circa 1984. The Girl had one passed on to her by her cousin. It came with two tapes, one of which played This Old Man on one side and London Bridge is Falling Down on the other. The deck refused to play after being over-wound and disappeared after I asked someone to try and fix it.
Telephone: A blue plastic telephone which spoke with the most annoying adenoidal voice. It asked questions and when The Girl made her selection, the telephone would respond accordingly. The transcripts would have sounded like this:
“Can you find red heart…NO! Can you find red heart…NO! Can you find…” Ad infinitum – or ad nauseum, depending on who’s listening. It could easily have driven me over the edge.
Teletubbies CD: Even if I could find one of these, it’s unlikely I’d buy it. We’ve already got The Smurfs Go Pop! What more could we want?
Smurf CD: See Teletubbies CD above. We already own almost every Smurf DVD in creation as well – most of which feature the same episodes that have been cunningly repackaged and marketed under such titles as: Just Smurfy One – 13 Smurfy Adventures!
Pat Benetar Best Shots: God spare me. If you read my post Music, You Are My Obsession, you’d need no further explanation.
Chocolate: Really? I mean, seriously? She’s never asked for chocolate before. She’s diabetic, for cryin’ out loud. Christmas dinner is going to drive her blood glucose levels into the stratosphere as it is. Believe me, it won’t need jet boosters.
Games: Sounds simple, right? Wrong! There’s only one game she wants and that’s Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart. It’s a game that we already own, along with the second choice, which is Spyro the Dragon. Not gonna happen, Sweets.
Pauline: I don’t even know who Pauline is. If she turns up for Christmas dinner, she’s on cleanup duty.
Money: Now, I’m not entirely sure The Girl fully comprehends the concept of money. She sees it’s necessary for the acquisition of items from The Warehouse and the video store, but she doesn’t seem to understand where it comes from or where it’s kept. She’ll probably get money for Christmas, but it’ll go into her bank account. I doubt that’s what she’s got in mind.
Dead Cat: She already has a mangled toy cat named, appropriately, the Dead Cat. I suspect the relationship with Dead Cat is such that to truly appreciate a toy, you can’t do better than to have a backup.
Sooty: Sooty and Sweep featured in a British children’s television show by the same name and starred a small yellow bear puppet that never spoke, and a gray dog that squeaked. Their “puppet handler” was Matthew Corbett who stepped into the shoes of his aging dad and took over the show. I have yet to find a children’s television presenter with a greater abhorrence for his target audience. We have two of their videos. How some of Mr. Corbett’s vitriolic responses to those sweet little children’s comments ever made it to air is beyond me.
Sooty and Sweep still remain a favourite of The Girl, so it’s no surprise that she requests her beloved Sooty. Proved by the fact that I’ve fallen for this on at least four other occasions because she has four full-sized Sooty glove puppets in various states of dishevelment, two Sweep puppets, one panda Sue, and a pair of tiny Sooty and Sweep dolls. Even if I could find them – which I can’t – enough is enough.
So what do you get The Girl whose only requests are either unavailable, off the menu or potentially lethal? It’s never easy. This year she’s getting a PlayStation 3 snowboarding game that keeps going no matter how many times you crash and die; three colouring books, complete with pens and no crayons; a Pink CD because I like it; and a 1kg pack of Playdough that’ll no doubt transform from twelve bright, shiny colours into a sickly khaki glob within the first twenty minutes.
Merry Christmas, my little cherry bomb.