Seasons Not Greetings From a Mystery Guest Blobber by Colin Cotterill

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So anyway, this foreigner goes into the Lang Suan branch of Tesco Lotus with a machete and makes straight for the Christmas decoration counter. But does he commit havoc with the balls and baubles? No, sir, he doesn’t. He heads straight for Santa. Santa’s been bopping and nodding to Christmas carols since the end of November and I just don’t think he saw it coming otherwise he would have ducked. The foreigner, what we refer to here as a farang, only needed the one swing and Santa’s head was nodding and bobbing along the floor, decapitated. I have to guess the farang had been practicing on coconuts, so adept was he. Little children screamed, although they had no idea who that jolly headless midget in the red suit was. Cashiers in red Christmas hats with little bells on screamed and ducked behind their registers. The farang stands over Santa for a few seconds until the final circuit shorts and he smiles with satisfaction. The teenaged security guards in their scary uniforms have all mysteriously vanished. Tesco Lotus hadn’t needed actual security before. What they signed up for was the uniform and the opportunities it offered up with regard to the procurement of young girls. A mad westerner with a machete wasn’t in the job description.

The farang turned, walked calmly to the door and across the car park to his truck. And off he drove, being sure to smile at the security camera as he left. This, at odds with what the average overseas person might think, is not an uncommon event in Thailand. Some of the more ambitious department stores begin their Christmas carol background torture at the end of October. In order to Asianize the songs, they have them recorded by Thai singers, although not, I fear to say, in Thai. So our nervous farang shopper is greeted with, WEE WEE SHOE AMARI KISSMUTT, I SAW TREE CHIPS, AMWAY INNER MANAGER, WIN A WON A LAMB and the fact that Rudolf, perhaps due to the effects of globalization, HAD A VERY CHINESE NOSE. Is it really any wonder that our foreigner, already too unstable to live in his own country, feels a swirling sensation in his gut every time he goes shopping? That one day he and/or she might snap?

I’m not anti-Christmas myself. I just don’t believe it should be allowed to follow you around the world. I can’t recall the staff in our local Safeway in Wimbledon putting on a tagiya at Ramadan, nor was there any ball throwing during Hmong New Year. Christians comprise some .0004% of the population in Lang Suan and most of us are flagging, if not completely supine Christians. In fact I was born Church of England which is a sort of Catholic Lite. The religion you select when you really have to write something in the application form and you don’t want to be tested during the interview. I’m not offended religiously that Tesco plays badly sung hymns to urge me to buy Myrrh which is on special during the festive season. I’m offended that they bombard Buddhists and Muslims with Christian propaganda in an effort to increase spending. Nothing like a festival for dipping hands into pockets.

So, when the two officers came by last night and asked me where I was on December 20th, I told them I’d been at home watching re-runs of The Santa Clause on cable. They asked me if I owned a machete. I told them I didn’t. That was the extent of the investigation because naturally I couldn’t speak Thai and my wife wasn’t home to translate. And anyway, they were Thai police. If they’d been, say, Norwegian, they would have noticed we didn’t have a satellite dish, that my machete with a slightly charred blade was on the wall beside my chainsaw and my Norman lance, and that my wife was in the kitchen making mince pies. Fortunately, all of us farang look alike. So, yes, I do believe in Santa Claus, with or without a head. And I have no intention of wishing you all a Merry Christmas cause I’m mentally unstable. Fortunately, I’m a mystery blobber so you have no idea who I am. If you haven’t seen it already, here’s my Christmas present for y’all..

Have a nice Lithuanian Elk Patting Festival

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