Mr B is studying the weather forecast with a grim fixation. There is an all-pervading air of gloom and doom stalking the living room.
For some reason, the days when the weather is set to be at its worst over the next week are the days on which we will be travelling here, there and everywhere to bring our very own brand of festive cheer (ho ho ho) to our nearest and dearest. It
is just a shame that not all of our dearest are nearest.
I tell Mr B that it could be worse. He could be Father Christmas. Witness the scene...
Santa is studying the weather forecast with a grim fixation. There is an all-pervading air of gloom and down stalking his North Pole hideaway.
“I can’t see us getting there, not if the weather is as bad as it says it will be,” he grumbles. The reindeer look up from the carrots they are chewing with startled expressions on
their faces. Rudolph’s nose glows scarlet with the onset of an anxiety attack. The elves steal worried glances at each other. Mrs Christmas, however, is having none of it.
“It will be fine,” she tells him, sternly, “You watch far too many weather forecasts. What will be will be. You are Father Christmas and you can’t get out of the Great Christmas Journey. It’s your job
after all. Who is going to do it, if you don’t?”
Father Christmas wonders aloud whether anyone would notice if he just didn’t turn up one year.
He could blame his non-appearance on the weather. Reindeer and elves alike are stunned into silence. Not so Mrs Christmas. “Don’t be ridiculous!” she tells the Tubby One crossly, “Haven’t the children been sending
you begging letters since the beginning of November? Haven’t the elves been slaving away all year to produce the Top Ten Toys of 2013 in multiples of thousands to keep the Amazon Jungle supplied? Haven’t the reindeer been participating in speed
trials and skid pad training since goodness knows when? And you’re going to let a bit of wind and rain ruin everybody’s Christmas! Shame on you!” (Mrs Christmas has quite a way with words. The elves applaud her silently and the reindeer nod
their horns appreciatively. Rudolph’s nose returns to a soft rosy red.)
Father Christmas says it is all right for her but he is the one that has to drive.
Mrs Christmas says she would be happy to drive part of the way, perhaps from the North Pole as far as the Milky Way when he could take over? Father Christmas mutters something uncomplimentary about women drivers. The reindeer, who have all been
on a Deerversity course recently, cover their ears to avoid hearing such political incorrectness.
Mrs Christmas says there really will be no problem if
they just take it easy. They can, perhaps, stop for a midnight snack at the services on the Milky Way? Father Christmas reminds her that they will be force-fed mince pies and glasses of milk at every house they visit over the course of the evening so stopping
for a milkyway snack doesn’t seem either sensible or necessary. As it is he will need to book in to the local North Pole Weightwatchers meeting in the New Year to try to shed some of the excess pounds he will pile on over Just One Night.
As for the reindeer, well they will think it’s their birthday with all those carrots left out for them at every house but, you’d better believe it, their tummies will be troubled. And a reindeer with a troubled tummy is – well, oh deer me...
By the way, did you know that tomorrow night at 17.57 the International Space Station passes from West to East across the sky? It will be an incredibly bright, fast
moving light shooting across the sky in just 3 minutes. You, of course, will know it’s the International Space Station. For everyone under the age of eight or nine, it will be Santa on his sleigh.
A bit early, you are thinking? No, Santa will have consulted the weather forecast for the umpteenth time and decided to make an early start.
Just like Mr B.