And I was largely successful. The most excitement came this morning as I was dozing in my armchair, when I thought I heard something coming from the snow dunes. What can I say: it’s a thrilling existence. Hell of a racket, though. It sounded like something was shaking the ground like it was a shag-pile rug, and scattering the snow like debris. Did I hear it? I think we’ve established that I’m getting old, and every sensory organ is packing up one at a time for the old folks’ home, so maybe I didn’t. Besides, when I heard this noise – that may or may not have been of phantom origin – I was still straddling the gulf between Sandman and Snowman, Barbados and Lapland, asleep and awake, so I wasn’t even in possession of the sound, deductive powers of Eamonn Holmes, never mind Sherlock Holmes. I thought maybe Margaret had dropped another tray of mince pies in the kitchen. She hadn’t. She suggested that my own nightmarishly loud snoring had woken me up. It’s possible. My snores sound like a plane-load of panicked, parachuting pigs making an emergency landing onto a passing convoy of motorbikes, just as God squats over their faces and roars out a planet-chewing fart.
Conditions were pleasant in the living room this morning, though, I can tell you. The fire was roaring and spitting by my side. Lovely, warm and stress-free. Screw excitement: there’s nothing quite like dozing off in your favourite chair in-front of your favourite hot fire, the newspaper crumpled on your lap and your slippers clinging to your feet like two tufts of toasty cloud.
Well, unless it’s that fantasy of mine where a naked, voluptuous model on a reclining chair awaits my descent down the chimney, legs akimbo, a cigarette dangling seductively from her ruby-red lips, greeting me in husky tones with the words: ‘So, Santa, let’s see if I can help you empty that bulging sack of yours.’
The fantasy always hovers in the air above my fire-toasted armchair, waiting for me to sit down and slip it on like a virtual reality sex helmet. Hey, I may play the part of Santa, but I’m still a man, right? I’m Frank McGarry: as red-blooded as I am red-jacketed.
It’s just a shame that Margaret’s idea of sex these days is extra clotted cream on our scones. There’s a euphemism in there somewhere, I’m sure.
‘Aw, look at you,’ Margaret’ll say as she catches me daydreaming (she thinks I’m daydreaming!), and spots the beaming grin plastered across my features. ‘What’s making you so happy, my love?’
‘I’m just thinking…’ I’d purr, ‘…of the happiness I bring… to the children of the world.’
As I mentioned at the beginning of this entry, my vow to remain cocooned in peace was only largely successful. I can always count on my bosses at Coca Cola to get my heart beating like the samba. I waited until Margaret was at the shop, and then tried phoning the bastards multiple times to discuss this Dwerg Neuken situation and how they’re treating the elves, and to vent a little of my anger (nobody calls me Mickey Mouse and gets away with it!), but if the phone wasn’t just ringing out, I was being assured by some automated arsehole that ‘my call was very important.’ So important that they completely ignored it about eighty-five times. A day of reckoning is upon them, let me assure you of that…