Santa Pause

It has become quite apparent that the appetite for others’
misery at Christmas is alive and rather unwell with a sniffling
cold, brought on by the current cold snap. It is winter. It gets
cold, and sometimes we have snow. Jesus, we’ve been wanting a white
Christmas and now we have one, we’d better all get on with moaning
about it, eh? I wonder if Jesus ever wanted a white Christmas when
he was a child? But come on, people, it isn’t the planet Hoth from
The Empire Strikes Back, with commuters swapping buses and trains
for wild Tauntaun beasts to get to work. Yet.

Street, Monday morning

The Daily
Mail-coined “third world” conditions at Heathrow and other UK
airports is all that is happening in the World. That is if by
“third World” they mean heating, electricity, TVs showing BBC News
(and therefore how bad it was around them!), with access to
Starbucks, and toilets, then yes. It was “third World”. Now
that the second runway at “the World’s busiest airport” has been
cleared and flights are taking off, there is a growing sense that
it isn’t really all that desperate a situation. The public
perception is that it is mainly people going on holiday for the
festive period, leaving the snow, ice and washing-up for a week or
two. Jealousy affects our sympathy glands at this time of year.
However, please pity those that long for exactly those things; the
tasks and traits we must endure as an anti-slobbing annoyance;
obstacles to try and stop us eating more Twiglets. I know a few
intrepid travelers and ex-pats who are trying to get back to the
British Isles, absolutely desperate to get back to the freezing
cold, the white-outs and the winter landscapes that at present
identifies this cherished land, and which it possesses in abundance
in it’s picture-postcard beauty.

the “third
World” – with Starbucks

Living in
supposedly-exotic places such as the Middle East, the things you
might start to miss can be alarming in their banality, yet can
swiftly turn to the torturous equivalent of Ling Chi, or death by a
thousand cuts: sausage rolls, pub beer gardens in summer,
drivers understanding the simple logic of roundabouts, hills (sand
dunes don’t count, pedants), people turning up within half a day of
their specified slot to either deliver or mend things, manners,
weather cold enough to make Bovril meaningful, etc. Not one of
these singular items will make a monumental difference to the
quality of life you have, but together they conspire to tease you
towards breaking point, unless you have no soul whatsoever. Of
course you miss friends, family, democracy, seasons, equality,
minor things like that. By emigrating for any period of time you
must confront those decisions and deal with the emotional
ramifications, but the small things can get to you after a while.
Another aspect of everyday life that the Middle East does not
posses, other than income tax, obviously, is a rail network. Or, as
the last few days have shown in Blighty, a rail netfail – it ceased
to work. Mrs Pause spent 8 hours on the Euston to Manchester
Picadilly Virgin Train on Saturday afternoon, evening and night,
due to the weather, normally a two hour journey. Without that delay
I might have strolled down Rue de Memoire for a James gig on
Saturday night, courtesy of my “fucking Delorian” (copyright
@theboygilbert), and with that I would have missed out on seeing
quite possibly the worst piece of television that exists: Take Me
Out. For those that haven’t seen it – and those that have would
have to be very bold, drunk or touched with the ‘tard brush if they
returned to it – it is a base-level dating show, on at primetime on
ITV, and presented by ‘comedian’ Paddy McGuinness. He isn’t
anywhere near as Irish as the name would suggest, but could easily
be the long lost brother of a man that is: Manchester United
‘utility man’ John O’Shea – a footballer who spends so much time
walking backwards, palm outstretched, that he might as well learn
to moonwalk. Offering words of apology to his team-mates after
another errant pass, he should complete the dressing-up game and
wear a white, sparkly glove that has the word ‘sorry’ written on
the palm. It would also save him the trouble of trying to be heard
over 70,000 supporters groans. Anyway, I won’t divulge any more
information on it, and therefore ruining it’s majesty of shite,
suffice to say that other names suggested by focus groups for the
show prior to broadcasting, but turned down at the planning stages
were: ‘Lowest Common Nominator’, ‘Looser Women’, ‘Human Fillet
Parade’ and the under-rated ‘Fuck Market’. Even the Tauntauns were

‘Sorry – for

Thankfully, however, the festive period is upon us and the
entertainment threatens to improve dramatically, as will the
weather. Eyes down for a two-week Radio Times, plenty of family, a
few mince pies and a large helping of meat. Have fun, see you on
the other side.



  1. Wendy · December 23, 2010

    best one yet, your musings never fail to entertain! Can’t
    wait for your New Year’s resolutions…

  2. Mike · December 23, 2010

    My God man, looking at Wendy’s comments I have to assume that there have been previous ranting ramblings ! ! And all this from a man in your position with such a heavy workload. Either you have found a very god assistant or you need to relax more, have sex more, even if its with yourself and definitely watch less Saturday night “Prime time Telly”.

    All that being said, I bloody loved it and have to agree with every single sentence, paragraph and point made, particularly the Saturday night “Take me Out” thoughts. But I think the key to making that show more entertaining has to already be in the name. If the idea of the game were indeed to take the ever gurning narcissistic pillock out, then it could be judged on the contestants imaginative ways of shuffling off Paddy’s mortal coil. Round could be to see how far the contestants could push a Bayonet into Paddy’s chest, throat, spleen etc etc. before moving onto a final round where prizes could be won and then used as weapons to bludgeon him repeatedly with, bonus points for guessing hpow much blood he loses each week ? ? Just a thought. In fact I could get used to these rants, its quite fun once you get started isnt it. What I would really like to see is a modern twist on the “X Factor ” format where rather than sing to the audience they have to wear a suit made entirely from meat and then fight off a fully grown grizzly bear…I dont know where Simon Cowel fits in but as long as its something to do with his entrails being used as “chum” to entice the bear onto the stage in the first place, them I’m fine with him being on the show..

    Anyway, I have probably said enough, Looking forward to your New Years musings on “Fucking Christmas….the Bastard turkey got burned, kids fought throughout the entire end of December, cant believe I am back at work already, what a total waste of money all that was…..Top of the league at Christmas though”

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