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  1.  (253.1)
  2.  (253.2)
    Suddenly I see a purpose for being on Facebook.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
    As a retailer
    I love it and so should you Warren...

    The Black Gas trade paperback makes a great stocking stuffer for little children.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    Careful mon.

    If "very special episodes" of sitcoms and holiday TV movies have taught me anything, saying you hate Christmas is just asking to find yourself in a crappy adaptation of A Christmas Carol with friends and acquaintances cast as the three spirits, and before the closing credits you'll be laughing like a hebephrenic as you drive a bus full of orphans to see A Care Bear Christmas on Ice.
      CommentAuthorIan Mayor
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    Oh no you don't! Oh no he doesn't, does he boys and girls? does he?

    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    I want one of those. I'd hang it on my Xmas tree.

    I like Xmas.

    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
    I'm a retailer as well, but I fucking hate it. It should be some sort of torturable crime to even mention Christmas more then one week before hand. If I hear Jingle Bells one more time I'm going to shoot somebody.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    The notion that Christmas actually has anything to do with the birth of Christ for the majority is laughable. It's about druidic worship of evergreens, giving presents to others in order to receive presents from others, and home invasion committed by an overweight, thickly bearded man who is due native tribute in the form of food and drink.

    Next you'll tell me that Easter isn't a pagan soul-birth ceremony. Pfffft.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007

    At least Christmastide as a practice has largely fallen out of favour.

    Was in retail for longer than I'd like to admit. I remember when the Xmas decorations would arrive in August, followed by the Xmas cd in September. I used to store it in a locked filing cabinet, only to be played when the DM and RM's were in attendance.

    Customers would remark, 'why aren't you playing that awful cd the other store is playing?'. 'Because it's awful,' I told them.

    That grateful little smile.. it could break your heart, really.

    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    I feel really bad for retail folks this time of year.

    I went to a craft & hobby store a few weeks back. One of those places where the scent of potpourri hits you like a pretty-smelling 2 x 4 aimed at the nostrils.

    On the way out, I passed through an aisle where "Christmas village" knick-knacks were on display.

    These are those little diorama structures that look like the buildings in Thomas Kincaide paintings. I imagine batty old ladies collect them to set up displays in their homes.

    This year, the mighty Invisible Hand of the market and the inexorable march of technological progress has given the little people in the buildings VOICES. They talk about the snow and sing carols. There were DOZENS of these in the aisle, all babbling out of sync.

    I bet the clerks would really love earplugs for Christmas.
  3.  (253.11)
    Ditto. Christmas carols in October this year. Icky!
    • CommentAuthoreggzoomin
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    I'm sort of indifferent to Christmas, as a rule. I don't tend to do any shopping offline and I don't need much of an excuse to cook or eat nice things all year round. I only buy one present - for my parents - I don't have a TV or listen to the radio, so it tends to pass me by, in the main. The only significant difference is in my work - being a musician and general sound/lighting crew person, the theme of the events I'm working at changes.

    This does lead me to my point, if I can be considered to have such a thing. Recently I did a little job - the switching on of the Christmas lights at the Westfield shopping centre in Derby. This came complete with an appearance from Father Christmas and Justin Fletcher from "Mr Tumble," which I'm told is an extremely popular programme on CBeebies for those little weird non-humans - not possessing an idiot's lantern and being over five, I was unaware of its existence prior to the day. How bad could such an innocent job be? I routinely work with crowds of up to 20 000 drunken, baying rock fiends. Children? Nae bother, big man. We didn't even put in crowd barriers - really, how bad could it be, right? The BBC dude sings "Jelly on a Plate" for fuck's sake! It's not exactly Motorhead.

    Good god. About 5000 people tried to fit into the middle of a shopping centre, for HOURS before the show was even due to start. Being smaller than adults, many children could not see. Consquently, their parents moved them forward, so the little darlings could. This meant others could not see. Others moved forward. Very quickly, the crew and all the equipment are hip deep in screaming kids, who cannot see, are trying to get on the stage, around the back of it, underneath it and generally flooding the place. Screaming children make parents unhappy - if little Timmy is not having a nice time, you are a bad parent. This concerns them. Parents quickly become cross and then abusive about the fact that no thought was given to the fact that none of them are considerate enough to sit down. Abuse turns into shouted arguments with security. Security are forced to start removing people. The vibe turns ugly. It gets uglier as the showtime is pushed back by an hour. The man himself is upstairs, doing a meet and greet. The tension and crowd battles continues for the hour, until finally word comes over the radio, finally, that it's about to begin and he's on his way. Here we go.

    There are now so many people pushing forward that I'm being thrown into the mixing desk. Security are desperately trying to keep a cordon around us and the gear. This isn't a crowd any more, it's a fully blown mob. The baying of the Mothercare-clad hounds frightens me - I feel like a 6', 170 pound, tattooed rabbit being menaced by thousands of miniature pitbulls waving glowsticks and empty packets of sweets. The little fuckers are hopped up to the eyeballs on a dangerous combination of E numbers and CBeebies-induced adrenaline - essentially PCP for the under-fives. It's like Hillsborough with tinsel. We somehow soldier through - "Jelly On A Plate," "The Grand Old Duke of York" and "If You're Happy And You Know It" pass me by in a blur as I desperately attempt to crank a 10 000 watt PA system loud enough to cover the ungodly howling of the prepubescent hounds. Kindergarten Beatlemania. The rest of the crew, other than Pete the lighting guy, have retreated backstage and are now alternating between unhelpfully laughing and pointing at me and Pete, adrift on a sea of chaos, and cowering when they realise that the pack has seen them and might make a move their way, scenting fresh roadcrew blood. Eventually, after what seems like a time-dilated eternity, CBeebies chap concludes his set and I trigger the sleigh bell samples that signify the impending arrival of the chap playing Santa. He appears. There is a stage invasion. It's testament to his magnanimity and sheer grace under fire that he does not swat them in a fit of retroactive abortion. He announces that he will be in the grotto situated opposite shortly, I trigger a CD of Rat Pack Christmas tunes and mercifully, Justin Fletcher appears at the side of the stage to sign autographs. Less mercifully, it's OUR side of the stage. Pete and I huddle together in terror as the waves of the great unwashed engulf us. Security by this point are harried beyond all belief, desperately attempting to keep us and the kit safe as the mob fights and struggles and howls to get at their new Messiah. One man's head explodes from the stress of it all (OK, that bit was a lie). Finally, it's over. Fletcher retreats and the people ebb away. We are left, physically exhausted and emotionally shattered. I want to go back to doing death metal gigs, it's safer.

    In conclusion, then: FUCK Christmas. You people disgust me.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007 edited
    One of my local grocery stores started putting out Christmas decorations and candy BEFORE Halloween.

    I didn't even have my costume yet and the bastards were trying to sell me canned cookies shaped like trees.

    It's downright uncivilized.

    Edited to say: Damn Eggzoomin, that's rough. I've seen people go down in a death metal pit. They'd get picked up and carried to the edge, if injured. If anyone went down at the kind of event you describe, the poor thing probably would've been trampled. Ho ho ho.
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    In some euro country it is illegal to play Xmas music more than a couple days before as a health and safety issue.

    I saw one of those cop caught on video shows last year where some chunky drunken yank who undoubtably worked in retail went mad in a nativity/santa display with
    a giant candy cane. That fat drunk is my xmass hero.
    • CommentAuthorMark R
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    In theory Christmas is great.

    But them some greedy bastard decided to commercialize the whole thing and now it's gone to shit.

    I'm with you Warren, Christmas can go to hell.
  4.  (253.16)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    we are forced to listen to christmas music at work. and its not real christmas music, its Pop Christmas Music.

    One song is a rendition of Jingle Bells, where the lady sings it like 5 times too fast.
    utterly horrible.
    • CommentAuthorchezlyons
    • CommentTimeDec 10th 2007
    Christmas has its benefits. I usually get gift certificates which I use to buy comics. If anything, xmas is helping me support the medium.
      CommentAuthorJay Kay
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2007
    I brave the stores around that time to get something nice for my friends and family. The rest of it, the songs and the screaming children and the hulking soccer moms can blow my balls.
  5.  (253.19)
    you may like these.
  6.  (253.20)

    Beautiful post - thank you for making me laugh this cold and grotty morning.