The Perils of Christmas Shopping

I posted this a couple of years ago…but the Christmas herd is moving again…and nothing has changed.


It’s that time of year when the herd is migrating, taking with them their luggage. It is a seasonal thing that tends to occur in the month of December each year. They pack themselves onto trains and buses with bulging bags, while at the same time struggle to control this sudden explosion of merchandise. This is, of course, Christmas.

But why this last minute rush? It is a little known fact that Christmas actually starts in October. I recently heard that this is the time that Mary went into labour – it was, quite obviously, a long and painful birth (3 months!) that culminated on Christmas Day. This was followed by Boxing Day, so called because after her recent traumatic experience Mary punched anybody who asked how she felt. Who can blame her, it would have been a bloody stupid question. That is my theory on why Christmas lasts so long and why shops start advertising so early, but I am also open to the proposition that it is a crass commercial strategy aimed at relieving us of our hard-earned cash. They give us three months to feel guilty that we will not buy as good a present for someone as the one we will get from them. Quick, spend more…and more…and more. But enough of this philosophising, back to commuters and their baggage.

If you commute and you are going to shop for lots of presents on one day, why would you take public transport on that day? Why not take your car into the city and pay for a day’s parking? Have you no thought for those poor people around you? Clambering on to public transport to squeeze into the usual tight and heaving throng, while at the same time smashing bags and boxes into unsuspecting commuters who have already had a trying day and do not need any more grief, is not appropriate behaviour. Don’t be such a twat and consider other people.

Just last week I saw a newspaper taken clean out of the hands of a zombie-like banker just as he was getting ecstatic over the financial pages, and also an errant box catching a smartly dressed lawyer flush in the face as she sat reading her book (after careful and considerable thought I think that even though she was a lawyer, it was still unacceptable to smash her face in). The person concerned was blissfully unaware of the carnage he was causing as he cut a swathe through the train carriage on the way to a seat, where he then proceeded to dump half his bags on the woman in the adjacent seat. What a tosser! It is people like this that take up enough space for three people when they stand on rush-hour trains, leaving worthy commuters like you and me stranded on a platform for another 10 minutes.

Perhaps there should be an extra charge in such circumstances, a Baggage Twat Levy that people have to pay to take their load onto a bus or train. Another option is that it could be managed the same way as they manage cabin luggage at airports – if you don’t fit through a specially designed frame, you have to jettison items of luggage until you do.

We should all remember that Christmas is a time of giving, but festive commuters should realise that this giving should not extend to giving your fellow commuters broken noses, bruises and permanent nervous tics. So, if you insist on doing your festive shopping on one day, just stay the fuck away from public transport. Take your car and cop the extortionate parking cost on the chin. This prevents others copping your boxes and bags on the chin and limits the havoc on the train or bus to normal levels. Better still, why not get organised and get your presents in ones and twos over a number of days  – it’s not rocket science!

Of course, once Christmas is over, we can start looking forward to Easter, which I believe begins in mid-January – the time when Jesus was actually killed. My understanding is that he was quickly interred and then resurrected, but that nobody could remove the rock to see if he had indeed risen. It took three whole months for a specifically constituted committee to decide:

a)    On the need to gather such evidence and find out for sure;

b)    That removing the rock that blocked the entrance to the cave was the best way to find out; and

c)    How to engineer the moving of said rock.

At least that’s my theory about why the shops start putting Easter eggs out in January…perhaps you have another one.

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon). Real name Peter Tapsell...just started off writing under a pseudonym and kept going.

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