What is it about Christmas songs on a loop that is so depressing?
Every bar and restaurant you enter seems to have been sold a job lot of ditties that come under the single banner Festive Cheer to Make You Slit Your Wrists.
I loathe that ting-a-ling bell thing they like to use on EastEnders when the fake snow falls and everyone decides to go into Albert Square wearing their summer clothes. I can’t bear Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody, because Mandy and Alison in secondary school used to bully me, and Slade was their favourite band (Lead singer Noddy Holder’s wife once asked me why I always wrote negative things about him; I told her the truth).
I want to slit my wrists every time I hear John Lennon pounding out “War is over” because, quite frankly, John, love, it isn’t. Nice sentiment, but you were wrong.
I’m not a big fan of carols, either. Too many stables, too much straw, an excess of dodgy gifts (what’s a newborn going to do with myrrh, for goodness sake? Where’s the Peppa Pig of Bethlehem Macy’s when you need it?).
But I’m saving all of my wrath this year for Adele. Let me just say at the outset that I love her. She’s a great artist, a wonderful performer and a fantastic role model for young women. But this Christmas’s greatest hit, Hello? I have just one word to say about it: HELLO?!
As you can see, I have a lot more to say about it. Here goes.
Hello, it’s me. Really? Why the effing hell are you calling me? Why would you think for one nanosecond I would want “to go over everything”? Here I was, just getting over my disastrous love life (and, to be honest, it’s taken a good few years), and here you go, out of the blue, wanting to resurrect the pain.
Well, thanks a bunch. I was just on my way to the butcher’s to order the turkey leg (which is the only limb I can afford) when you rang. I’m in Slough. You’re in California, I see, “dreaming about how we used to be”. Well, you made it to California, didn’t you? I’m a train ticket inspector living in possibly the worst town in the UK.
I can’t even afford to pay my phone bill, so when you say “Can you hear me?” the answer is a definitive No.
And did you really call a thousand times? If you’d bothered to ring the operator, they’d have told you that my phone’s been cut off.
So you didn’t really try at all, did you?
That’s because you’re doing your effing dreaming in your California hotel suite with your phone bill paid for by your management.
There’s such a difference between us? You’re telling me. Hello from the other side? Thanks for rubbing it in. Did I ever make it out of that town where nothing ever happened?
If you’d bothered to Google me before phoning, you’d have discovered that I ended up in court for not paying my Council tax, did time for petty theft, and was rescued from the polar bear pit when I tried to kill myself at London zoo.
You apologise for breaking my heart, which brings me to the most crucial question of all: you’re not calling to ask me back, are you? So why, why, why, have you decided to bring it all up again?
So, Goodbye. It’s me.
No, I don’t want to meet to go over everything. It clearly doesn’t tear me apart anymore? No, it didn’t. Not until you wrote this effing song, and now I’m a mess again.
Keep Googling me. The obituaries.
I'll be under the heading Goodbye From the Other Side.