Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Christmas shopping

My educated readers: as a social commentator in training and dilettantish reviewer of life and the forms that it takes in this, the human era, I felt it was appropriate at this time of year to review the nerve-chewing frenzy that is the social phenomenon of Christmas shopping - in its pre-historic, involving-physical-effort incarnation that is. The time and place for my review was Brent Cross shopping centre in North London on the last Sunday before Christmas, where, soon caught up and carried along in the current of happiness-free automatons, I began with some tired observations on the shallowness of consumerism, and sprinkled my analysis with a few parallels between the chaotic and satisfaction-free search for the perfect object and the exercise of life itself, before finally moving on to a more extended meditation on a theme of whether (supply creating its own demand) any homo really – originally - wants any of this at all anyway - foetuses opting for oxygen over unlimited text messages; newborns having difficulty breaking down lip gloss into sugar and amino acids. The journey then took a left turn back to reality when I bumped into an attractive old flame of mine, laden with bags. She said “Rex baby, don’t you love Christmas”, and so, suppressing the urge to respond with polemics on themes of atheism/Judaism, bankruptcy, and misanthropy, I instead found myself confessing to having trouble finding just the right present to show the true depth of my feeling for my French cousins, which I parlayed into a joke about that depth perhaps equating to an itchy scarf, or a piece of off cheese. Two short hours later, and I had been transformed into the anti-scrooge, eyes glistening (indeed, almost weeping) in anticipation of the joy that the complete emptying of my wallet was soon to spread; person dripping with items that bore witness to my acute sensitivity to the souls, desires, or at the very least – clothing and furnishing predilections – of my nearest and dearest. And so it was that Lydia – who had agreed to be my elf for the afternoon - ventured, in Brent Cross shopping centre, that – given the strength of this now irrepressible instinct to sprinkle manufactured happiness on the world - one plausible (albeit genealogy-research-requiring) explanation for this transformation was that I, Rex, may be descended from none other than the great modern day messiah himself, the bearded deity of this festive season. Of course, I think we both knew that the psychology of the episode had more to do with her having dumped me fifteen months previously for – inter alia - having used a two-for-one voucher at Pizza Express for our one-year anniversary meal.

Merry Christmas, my educated readers, Merry Christmas.


1 comment:

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