TO cherish resentment is like drinking a bottle of brandy and hoping your ex's new boyfriend gets a throbbing headache and an upset stomach.
So I will forgive Father Christmas if he skips me again this year. For all I care, he and his reindeers can go to hell. And please, don't accuse me of fat-shaming.
I just don't like Father Christmas, plain and simple. With his appearance, it's a toss-up; our snow-white beards are, after all, styled the same way, and we are similarly built.
I just wonder. In these days of global warming, how does it smell under that coat?
Fat-shaming is not only undesirable, inhumane and inappropriate but also dangerous. Just ask my brother Hennie, once a fiery champion for the proletariat.
He told his daughters — then eight, six and three — that “Father Christmas" is code for “Fat Capitalist". And there they hit him with moobs and a mild heart attack. No, man. Not his daughters. The elves. The triple-burger-with-extra-sauce elves, to be precise.
These days, Hennie sings a different tune. He proclaims far and wide that Father Christmas and the Easter Bunny are a charade. Don't concern yourself with him. A new conspiracy theory every week.
He claims, among other things, that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Do your research, I tell him: it was the pope and the high priest of the Illuminati.
Leave that aside. Father Christmas. The point is, I have more respect for the Easter Bunny, who doesn't care whether or not I've been a good boy this year. Spoiler alert: I have.
The Easter Bunny plays an indispensable role in society. It's more than you can say for Father Christmas.
No one gives you a sideways look if you buy socks for yourself. But try it with Easter eggs, and on top of that, forget where you hid them for yourself.
When you return to get them, you're in the back seat of your daughter's Corsa on a wild hunt on the way to Vergelegen Mediclinic in Somerset West for a brain scan.
An hour and a half later, a doctor shows you on an X-ray how alcohol and drugs shrink the brain. I learnt an expensive lesson. In future, I'll hide my Easter eggs where people can see them.
Can we move on? I want to get to my visit to Johannesburg last weekend.
The kids spoiled me with a meal at a fancy restaurant, blah blah blah. The real thing that will stick with me is a walk in my old valley.
I stroll past the Pick n Pay on High Street, Brixton, and there I hear a mighty rumble. The earth shakes. Vendors sway, almost shaking out of their frames. Waves of heat rise from the asphalt. Pedestrians and pets hurry anxiously along alleys or behind disabled taxis. On the horizon… a troop of Harley-Davidsons. Menacingly in formation.
The Hell's Angels! Good grief!
The destination? Brixton Library comes to mind first, but then I remember it's a Sunday. So, probably the Full Gospel Church on Ontdekkers Road, I thought.
Nope. I got clarity when an Angel with screeching brakes stopped beside me, got off and thrust a teddy bear into my arms. He must have heard somewhere that I have been sleeping alone again.
That's when your brain clicks that it's the annual Toy Run, during which motorcyclists distribute gifts to underprivileged kids. I know because I participated in it in the distant past.
I wasn't a Hell's Angel. They looked down on my brother-in-law's delivery bike, a 125cc Suzuki, despite its spacious cargo box. It was strictly speaking a motorcycle. The Toy Run couldn't get rid of me.
My donation was a battery-powered puppy from my childhood. It used to bark. I forget what happened to its head.
The point I'm trying to make is that the Hell's Angels have not only beaten Father Christmas in the beard department but also in terms of goodwill.
His defence is that his target group is privileged little ones, and that, I admit, places greater demands on one's generosity.
Take this little guy, I estimate him to be about four and a half, who pointedly approached me at the mall this morning and insisted on a PlayStation 5 and an electric tricycle.
Does the little man have any idea how many hours the elves have to put into a tricycle like that? Not to mention a PlayStation 5.
♦ VWB ♦
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