19 December, 2005

Scrooge mentality

Someone who sits across from me at work boasted today of how they wouldn't be getting up on Christmas Day "until at least 2 or 3pm". My jaw silently hit the floor. "How can you waste so much time, on that day of all days," I asked as politely as I could. "Because I can," he snapped, and went back to guessing the scores of the opening round matches in next summer's World Cup.

There's no answer to that. It's the same retort someone I knew at university used whenever I queried the motivation behind him staying up all hours the night before an exam, or wearing the same pair of socks 10 days running, or starting the day by polishing off the dregs of a can of lager he'd forgotten about 24 hours earlier. Then, as now, I had no comeback.

This kind of reaction makes me sound like a right Scrooge and, to be blunt, a miserable bastard. In fact, a fair few entries here paint a picture of me as somebody who'd like to deny as many people as many of their pleasures as possible. It's not meant like that, honest. It's just my way of articulating how a lot of what other people seem to enjoy I don't seem to enjoy, and how that manifests itself in an unhealthy degree of uncertainty and suspicion. More fool me.

I should say, though, that I wasn't alone in registering disbelief at my colleague's lazy designs. And surely Christmas Day is too precious to while away doing what you can do just as well on the other 364 days of the year. It is, after all, the only day when everything, absolutely everything, stops. The one day in the year where normal routine and ritual are not just allowed but positively encouraged to be put on hold. The one day when you can get away with motoring the wrong way up a one way street, as I discovered when I was learning to drive at Christmas 1993.

As a footnote, and to further dispel perceptions of me as a grumpy sod, the security guard on the gates at work this morning greeted me with a loud:

"All right, smiler!"


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