I feel really weird going to Calgary with no plan except for mooching off relatives so I’m trying to find events to go to… I looked up Carols by Candlelight since even though it’s cold there must be some equivalent, or something indoors maybe, but it turns out Carols by Candlelight is pretty much just an Australian thing.
But… where do you sing your Christmas carols… what do you do with your b list musical celebrities around Christmas season?? Just let them rot??
Australian Media outlets today were shocked to discover that under the new Asylum Seeker Policies, if Santa were to enter Australian waters on his sleigh, he would be seized and sent to the now strangely prophetic ‘Christmas Island’.
Tony Abbot was not able to be reached as he was holidaying in his summer house on Mt Crumpit, members of his office said that Tony Abbot wishes everybody “a White christmas”
“This actually did happen to a real person, and the real person was me. I had gone to catch a train. This was April 1976, in Cambridge, U.K. I was a bit early for the train. I’d gotten the time of the train wrong.
I went to get myself a newspaper to do the crossword, and a cup of coffee and a packet of cookies. I went and sat at a table.
I want you to picture the scene. It’s very important that you get this very clear in your mind.
Here’s the table, newspaper, cup of coffee, packet of cookies. There’s a guy sitting opposite me, perfectly ordinary-looking guy wearing a business suit, carrying a briefcase.
It didn’t look like he was going to do anything weird. What he did was this: he suddenly leaned across, picked up the packet of cookies, tore it open, took one out, and ate it.
Now this, I have to say, is the sort of thing the British are very bad at dealing with. There’s nothing in our background, upbringing, or education that teaches you how to deal with someone who in broad daylight has just stolen your cookies.
You know what would happen if this had been South Central Los Angeles. There would have very quickly been gunfire, helicopters coming in, CNN, you know… But in the end, I did what any red-blooded Englishman would do: I ignored it. And I stared at the newspaper, took a sip of coffee, tried to do a clue in the newspaper, couldn’t do anything, and thought, what am I going to do?
In the end I thought, nothing for it, I’ll just have to go for it, and I tried very hard not to notice the fact that the packet was already mysteriously opened. I took out a cookie for myself. I thought, that settled him. But it hadn’t because a moment or two later he did it again. He took another cookie.
Having not mentioned it the first time, it was somehow even harder to raise the subject the second time around. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but notice …” I mean, it doesn’t really work.
We went through the whole packet like this. When I say the whole packet, I mean there were only about eight cookies, but it felt like a lifetime. He took one, I took one, he took one, I took one. Finally, when we got to the end, he stood up and walked away.
Well, we exchanged meaningful looks, then he walked away, and I breathed a sigh of relief and sat back. A moment or two later the train was coming in, so I tossed back the rest of my coffee, stood up, picked up the newspaper, and underneath the newspaper were my cookies.
The thing I like particularly about this story is the sensation that somewhere in England there has been wandering around for the last quarter-century a perfectly ordinary guy who’s had the same exact story, only he doesn’t have the punch line.”—
Weirdly enough he actually says ‘cookies’ and the story is entitled ‘Cookies.’ It’s sourced ‘From a speech to Embedded Systems, 2001’ (yes I got out my copy of the Salmon of Doubt) so maybe that was a speech he did in America and translated for them.
When he uses this story in So Long and Thanks for All the Fish I’m fairly sure it’s biscuits, though.