P&J Column 22.12.16

Christmas Time; niggle, moan & whine

Christmas is a time for peace, goodwill and thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves. But it’s also a time for rampant consumerism, over-eating and feigning enthusiasm at underwhelming presents; so we asked some of our regular contributors what they were hoping Santa might have in his sack for them this year.

J Fergus Lamont; arts critic

‘All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth’. This is the title of a piece of avant garde musical composition – very much in the vein of Schopenhauer – which might be considered the Magnum Opus of little known American musician, Nat ’King’ Cole. You won’t have heard of it, it has received little, if any media exposure, yet I consider it to be the most thrilling dissertation on dialectical materialism ever committed to vinyl. And I include in that Andy Stewart’s seminal 1960 meisterwerk, ‘Donald, Where’s Your Troosers’.

With almost indecent seasonal serendipity, it is also my own fervent festive wish, as my two front teeth were recently forcibly removed in an angry altercation with a parent who, for her own reasons, objected to my critique of the sadly inadequate performances I suffered through at the Holburn North-West nursery production of ‘The Very Hopeless Camel’. Two words; woefully immature.

I stand by that assessment, and my right to give voice to it, though I now accept I should probably have waited until the production had concluded before delivering it. At the time I considered mounting the stage to bring proceedings to an early halt was an act of mercy for all concerned. She disagreed.

Later, as my dentist informed me of the cost of the dental implants I now require, I wept.

Professor Hector Schlenk;  Senior Research Fellow at the Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science

As a scientist, what I want for Christmas is to see government by informed and intelligent people who take due account of scientific evidence when formulating policy rather than preying on the fears of the public.  Failing which, being frozen in a state of suspended animation until such a form of government has come into existence.   Oh, I know what you’re thinking.  “You’re living in dreamland, that’s a fantasy that will never come true.”  But I think it’s important to have faith in the future. Cryogenics is coming on leaps and bounds at the moment.

In the meantime, I’d like to see factual accuracy given a more prominent place in our culture. To that end I have taken the liberty of revising some Christmas carols: ‘Ding Dong Merrily On High, Up to an Altitude of 440 miles Where the Earth’s Exosphere Begins’, (second line: ‘but in heaven the bells aren’t ringing for want of a medium through which sound waves can travel’), ‘In The Bleak Midwinter, the Seasonal Average Is Now 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit Higher Thanks To Man-made Global Warming’ and ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Almost Certainly has Ehrlichosis and Needs to See a Vet’.

Ron Cluny; Official Council Spokesman

What do I want for Christmas?  A return to prosperity for Aberdeen and its citizens; prompt approval of the Council’s plans for improving the Haudagain roundabout; and an end to the needless antagonism that sours relations between local authorities and the Scottish Government.  The unprecedented bitterness that has attended the Brexit referendum and the US election clearly shows the dangers of demagoguery and unguarded political speech.  Ultimately, all of us in government – whether local or national – should be driven by the simple desire to improve the lot of our populous.  There really is no need for ill-temper, rancor, or division.  Well that’s what I say anyway.  No doubt the pudge-faced, tin-pot, pen-pushing poltroons in their gilded Holyrood bubble think otherwise!

Kevin Cash; Money Saving Expert

This Christmas, fit I wid like mair nor onything else would be for Sunty to fall into a lengthy conversation wi my pal Mick the Pill, fa I hiv briefed wi’ a detailed set of questions aboot reindeer avionics and modren chimney dimensions.  I would like him to dae this a short distance awa from the long wheel-based transit fit I have borrowed over the festive season.   And I would like him to be ower knackered fae daeing his deliveries tae turn up and identify the goods as his fan I sell the hale lot on Boxing Day at Thainstone Mart.  Ho ho ho!