Christmas at Crap Cottage – a black comedy in 3 Acts
The Shah – a dribbling goon, well known to all regular readers.
Moi – underpaid, overworked, under-appreciated, overwhelmed.
Daughter – Teenager – nuff said.
Son – slightly older but no more mature version of above.
Granny – think a posher, stone deaf version of Catherine Tate’s sweary Nan.
It is Christmas Eve. Granny is in residence. She is not sure why she is here but she thinks she may be visiting for Easter. The Shah is now on holiday – he invariably (and inexplicably) becomes irritatingly skittish at Christmas.
Me: Dinner’s ready – come and sit down everyone!
Children (fighting viciously): Shotgun not sitting next to Granny.
Shah: Anyone want a drink?
Granny: DEFINITELY! (Grabs proffered glass of wine, downs it like it’s a shot. Burps loudly). WHAT’S THIS? (Pokes food on plate)
Me: It’s Lasagne.
Granny: DON’T WE NORMALLY HAVE LAMB AT EASTER?
All in chorus: IT’S NOT EASTER – IT’S CHRISTMAS.
Granny: NO NEED TO FUCKING SHOUT.
(She then spies the Shah doing a hideous parody of a Hindi dance in the corner of the kitchen for no apparent reason.)
Granny: WHAT’S THE MATTER WITH HIM? (Refills own glass)
Me: How long have you got?
Children: (snigger wildly) He’s a mad fucker, Granny.
Granny: I'm not the Pheasant Fucker, I'm the Pheasant Fucker’s son and I'm only fucking Pheasants....ooh, hang on, that’s not quite right, is it?
Children (snorting so hard, Lasagne comes out of their noses). HAHAHAHAHA
Moi: (bangs head hard on wall). AAAARGH.
Granny: Refills glass again. And again. And again.
It is Christmas Day. Hungover teenagers are asleep. The Shah is once again dancing in the kitchen. It’s a sort of fish-slapping dance without the fish, he taking the part of Michael Palin. I ache to play John Cleese. Like this:-
The rest of the day passes without incident, mainly because I have taken the precaution of sewing a funnel into Granny's mouth which has made everyone a lot happier – especially her.
It is three days later. Extra visitors have arrived just in case I haven’t had enough of cooking, clearing up, gritting my teeth and smiling such a rictus grin that there are dried flies on my teeth.
Granny: I’m sorry everyone – the hospitality is appalling. I can’t offer you any-fucking-thing.
Me: Don’t worry – I’m doing all the cooking. It’ll be fine.
Granny: Oh good. In that case, how do you get a drink round here?
Visitors: Would you like to hear our opinion on world politics and medical ethics?
Me and the Shah exchange glances.
Me: Erm, not really – (scrabbles around hopelessly for a diversion) Um, where are you going on holiday this year?
Visitors: Blah blah blah blah blah
Shah: Pulls a face behind their back which makes me and the children snort with laughter.
Granny (half cut): WHERE’S MY FUCKING EASTER EGG?
Fades to black.
Happy New Year. I think.