Christmas Tidings in Sugar Hill.

Why, in the name of Christ, Peggy wants to know, are people going around like blue arsed flies buying food like there’s no tomorrow? She’s convinced there’s some kind of a want in people around this time of year. The shops closed for two days, she says, and every óinseach in the country, apart from herself, of course, completely losing the run of themselves with food and drink and Christmas lights – and shops and garden centres charging an arm and a leg for Christmas trees that aren’t related to a tree, never mind a Christmas tree. Jeez, the woman is ranting non – stop since the 8th of December. If she were a character in an Agatha Christie novel, instead of a pensioner in Sugar Hill village, she’d be found stabbed to death long ago, under the mistletoe or dumped inside in a slurry pit or something. My head is only pounding from her, she’s been talking at me, like a fecking echo, since, like, forever, and for two pins, I’d stick the carving knife into her without a qualm, take my chances with the law and plead insanity because of the season that’s in it.

Now the fact that I’m fit to kill her doesn’t mean, of course, the woman hasn’t a point about Christmas and shopping and the total idiocy of the entire human race. For instance, I was inside in Super Value the other day and was actually physically knocked into the cereal shelves by Lourda Kennefick, taking a dangerous swing around the corner of the aisle, her view completely blocked by a mound of slice pans and barm bracks stacked up in the trolley in front of her. I mean, that woman is a complete basket case at the best of times but she’s so cracked at this time of the year, it would be an act of charity to lock her away completely for the duration of the holidays. And another thing, how  anyone is expected to listen to Little Drummer Boy, like three hundred times a day in all the supermarkets, without turning into a gibbering, babbling idiot, is beyond me. How the staff remain sane in the middle of all this is a pure mystery. Do they get paid extra for putting up with this persecution or what? Because if they don’t, they certainly should. Jesus!

And Midnight Mass on in churches up and down the country at 8 and 9pm! I mean, how in the name of Jesus himself, can you actually attend Midnight Mass at 8 o clock in the evening? Isn’t the whole point to have the ceremony at, like midnight, so we can celebrate the birth of Christ, who was nowhere near to being born at 7 or 8 pm in the evening. Peggy claims that Joseph, Mary and the donkey, were still trotting around Bethlehem like headless chickens, looking for accommodation at that time of the evening. And you might as well be trying to have a discussion with the gable end wall than argue with Peggy on theological matters. Not only that but you’d hear people asking each other across the street what time is midnight mass on above in the church tonight. Honestly, there are times when you’d wonder if man has learned anything at all from his existence in this world for the last couple of million years! And all this change because people are pissed drunk by 10 o clock and going in to mass, staggering and puking and fighting in the aisles, a total disgrace to themselves and a danger to everyone they encounter. Honest to Christ, do people never actually listen to themselves?

And when….?

What, is it codding me ye are?  Go away, ye simply can’t be fecking serious? Dora is after closing the video shop below in the village! But what in the name of Jesus will we do without Dora? Shure, that woman is an institution in Sugar Hill and beyond. I never remember the village without Dora and the video shop. I mean, I can’t conceive of the village without Dora and the advice and the dvds and the…..

Well, I’m almost speechless, so I am. Aren’t Peggy and Lourda just after arriving in the door now, like two pantomime dames, with the tears streaming down their faces and announcing that Dora, below in the Village Video Shop, is only after packing up her dvds, whoosing Seamus, the cat out from behind the counter for the last time, dispensing her final piece of advice, closing her doors for good and riding off into the sunset with a suitcase full of videos. Ah Jesus, not one of us saw that one coming. And there we were, thinking electing that gobshite Trump was the worst thing that could happen in 2016! Ah for feck’s sake, there’s only one thing for it. I’m bringing out the Irish whiskeys and we’ll drink a toast or two or three. Ah feck it, I can feel my own eyes filling.. I mean, like, Dora!


PS. To Dora, thanks for the memories, the advice, the bad film recommendations and so much more!!



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2 responses to “Christmas Tidings in Sugar Hill.

  1. Exellent as always, keep up the good work Mary…

  2. Thanks Loreto, obviously you survived Christmas then!!!

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