The running of Christmas shoppers.

images Christmas shoppers

It has started early this year. The first case of a frozen Christmas turkey being fought over by two middle aged women. One wore a floral outfit, the other just jeans with a mixed coloured top that showed straining black bra straps of an estimated 20D size. The floral lady was wearing bright pink rubber moulded floppy sandals and the other normal strap-on sandals. Both were stout and somewhat formidable in appearance. I would not like to be smacked by either of them. That’s why I kept a distance and decided to observe rather than counsel them or mediate. I have yet to experience being hit by a frozen turkey!

Why they were in such a state while there were other turkeys available is just typical of this period of ‘peace on earth’ and sharing of ‘good will’. No period is more susceptible to shopper violence and fisty- cuffs than the few weeks leading up to Christmas. Just ask the police. Paddy wagons drive a steady trade of enraged shoppers and other merrymakers up and down to the glossy green painted cells of reflection and introspection. Why does it get to this? Is it pent-up expectations of unrealisable ambitions or a search for unobtainable happiness sadly lacking during non-Christmas months? It is normal, it is normal! If only we knew this.

Around and before Christmas nothing is further from normal. As the date of the 25th of December gets closer a maelstrom of shoppers will be seen swirling clock-wise around those meccas of consuming, the holy shopping malls. The heat is usually relentless and often 36C in the car park alone, where the two fingers up your bum has already greeted many fighting for a parking spot. ‘Holy night-silent night’ is now filtering through all speakers strung around everywhere. Bing Crosby is earning billions for Westfield and other conglomerates of consuming empires. The credit card bloat is showing up in peoples’ purple faces with all caution now thrown to the wind. An elderly man might be seen squatting outside in the shade of rows of entangled shopping trolleys being licked back to consciousness and revived by a friendly Jack Russell.

The food Court hallowed halls are packed with bodies regurgitating, grazing from polystyrene boxes. Huge jaws silently moving up down and sideways, chewing their cud. ‘Silent night- holy night’ ringing in their ears. Upwards and downwards escalators, huge shopping bags sliding over marbled floors. Puddles of yoghurt or pourable vanilla exploded on crazed floors fenced off by yellow posts and stripy ribbons. Still, someone slipped, broke a leg and is contemplating suing. An Ambulance is waiting outside now. Some shoppers have fainted and are being cooled down in special first aid rooms at the ready in anticipation of shopper fatigue and dehydration.

And yet, the best (or worst) is yet to come. That is the afternoon of the 24th of December. Hysteria has now taken over. A kind of high pitched Credit card swishing den has overtaken Silent night-Holy Night. A pandemonium stage has been reached. A flood of double packed trolleys, dripping with the most unlikable consumables, are being pushed and now descending upon pale looking cashiers. A mixture of Armageddon and Dante's inferno with a touch of Norwegian Scream on the Bridge has been reached. Children are being smacked senseless by overwrought,enraged parents at the end of their tether in need of a solid dose of Panadeine Forte. Howling babies with dummies strewn about like so much sparkle and glassy glitz. Things at around late night shopping at 9pm at the Holy Malls are best described as being in a state of the masses running amok or berserk. A solitary lonely gent, quietly sobbing in his folded hands is still being licked by his dog. Man's best friend in time of need.

And then, just as if nothing has happened, real peace and quiet has descended upon stretched-out sleepy Australian suburbia. Suddenly, like a cooling southerly blown on-shore from Antarctica, the Christmas has passed. Blessed relief. It is over for another year.

Silent night- holy night.

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24 Responses to “The running of Christmas shoppers.”

  1. Yvonne Says:

    Argh, you’ve described this Hades very well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The Boxing day specials are already being dusted off. Gettting the twinkering little lights to put along the ridge of the roof and around the remore Tilt-a-Door and then over the gate to adorn the petunias in the rockery and around the gnomes.

      Like

  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Gerard at first I thought that I was reading about Black Friday. That’s how shoppers behave here. But I read in the paper that Black Friday in my town was not quite so robust this year with crazed shoppers who just had to have that 54 inch TV or the set of Barbie dolls, etc. etc. I’ve never gone to the store on Black Friday except once to Pets Mart and there was not a mad crowd to deal with or I would not have gone inside.

    But this take on Christmas had me laughing so hard. You did this post up really good. Loved it. Now how about New Years Eve?

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Black Friday here is to commemorate a terrible bush fire. Not for shopping at all.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(1939)

      I think barbie dolls are still popular here but I am not sure as I haven’t followed them.
      Glad you had a good laugh and I’ll think of New Years Eve. May be a piece about a prawn chunder I had once on the train coming back from a painters and dockers New Year’s Eve party.
      Thanks for the suggestion.

      Like

      • Rosie. Says:

        A painters and dockers New Year’s Eve party? Well – there are some memories right there. I worked for the Seamen’s Union through a good part of the sixties. Similiar territory?

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, I was an expert at heights being born fearless of them. Dangling from swinging stages during late fifties early sixties was my domain. The prawn chunder on the train not one of my proudest achievements.
        Watch this space Rosie!
        How are things with you?

        Like

      • Rosie. Says:

        Easier – thank you Gerard.

        Like

  3. roughseasinthemed Says:

    Can’t say I’ve noticed any of that but as I avoid shopping at the best of times. Back in the UK everything used to tail off on Christmas Eve and shops closed early. Quite right too.

    Even when I was working with my parents on Christmas Eve (busiest day of the year) over the years I noticed shopping habits were changing so that we could actually get home quite early as everyone had shopped in the morning and gone home to get ready for whatever they were doing.

    Like

  4. Lottie Nevin Says:

    YUK YUK YUK. I’ll never fathom why folks behave like this. Christmas Eve is THE most special night of the year. That is when we decorate the house, pick holly and ivy, bring home the tree. Light the fires, prepare the feast. I cannot imagine anything worse than shopping or queuing or trying to grab a last minute ‘bargain’ in the sales. What’s wrong with these numpty’s?! as for Christmas in Spain……blink and you’ll miss it😉

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      If you blink here chances are you get hit with a frozen turkey or run over by a demented shopper. Ah, holly and the smell of spruce. The home-made fondant. Snow on the street damping all noise. Lovely.

      Like

  5. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    I thought one of the down-sides of the Christmas Season in the UK was the cold and rain. I’m beginning to see that as a positive plus in the light of you post.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Oh rain. We dance with great abandonment when we get rain. Last night a great storm, lightning flashes and claps of thunder. Put on Bowral Australia on you ‘weather’ IPhone’s icon in a few hours and you’ll share the joy.

      Like

  6. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I do most of my shopping online, and your wonderful post illustrates many of the reasons why. I don’t understand the frenzy, and I certainly don’t understand fighting over a frozen turkey. What will we look like to an alien race should they ever grace our earth with their presence? They’ll probably get right back into their spaceships and fly away as quickly as they can!

    Like

  7. Silver in the Barn Says:

    I’m so glad you have that little Jack Russell looking after you. Gerard, I laughed and laughed at this. One of your very best. How to choose what I liked best? First of all, the choice of music. Divine. Silent NIght. Holy Night. Indeed. The huge jaws chewing their cud in the food courts. Dying laughing. Falalalalala. LOL!

    Like

  8. stuartbramhall Says:

    I plan to avoid any retail stores other than food markets till after 1 Jan. I don’t need that kind of stress.

    Like

  9. berlioz1935 Says:

    I have no idea how you do it, Gerard. You seem to receive a Wifi signal from my brain. It is exactly how I feel at the time. When we were kids, and had nothing, Christmas was indeed a silent affair. Now it is a consumer spectacle, made in the USA. The freedom they are talking so often is the freedom to shop. I hope the second coming is not too far off.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I remember snow, fondant made by my father, the smell of spruce trees, ice skating, lovely food and family. The first Chrismas in Australia; the smell of beer, plastic trees with screw on branches and Bondi beach sand and heat. It is different but can be enjoyable after a while.
      Christmas in Europe too is now an orgy of spending money and shopping.

      Like

  10. Charlotte Hoather Says:

    I love singing Silent Night everyone loves it so much.

    Like

  11. chris hunter Says:

    The running of the Xmas shoppers, likened to running with the bulls? The post Xmas sales are certainly of that order where being trampled to death, or even gored is a distinct possibility – as relayed to me by a lucky survivor.

    Like

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