Friday, 21 December 2012

Jingle Bells

“Jingle Bells, Convener.”
“Oh not you as well, Nigel.  I’ve just about had enough of all this Christmas cheer and YO HO HO’ing all over the place.  There’s really difficult decisions to be made in here and Christmas doesn’t make it any easier.”
“Yes, I’m sorry Convener.  The budget consultations will have left you with a lot to think about.”
“Yes, but it’s worse than that… I thought I would treat the Councillors to some cakes with their Christmas fly cup but there’s none of them can agree what they’ll have.  I think their choices are being affected by their political aspirations.  There’s one lot wanting Scotch Buns and another lot insisting on Empire Biscuits!  I thought I’d keep some of them happy by having a Battenberg cake, but it’s a job finding one with blue squares in it!”
“Well why don’t you have something more traditional like mincemeat pies or even ‘clootie’ dumpling?”
“No, No – that’s no use.  Gary Coull doesn’t like raisins and I can’t take the chance of him spitting them out!”
“Well perhaps you could compromise and get something else for Gary.  Do you know if there’s anything he particularly likes?”
“Well, he’s a native of Keith - so I think I’ll not go far wrong with a buttery”
“But a buttery’s not very festive Convener.”
“Oh, I’ll spread it with cranberry sauce and put a bit of holly on it.  That’ll make all the difference!”
“So do you have any other Christmas festivities planned, Convener?”
“Oh nothing’ much Nigel – what about you own lot, the officers, are they doing anything for Christmas?”
“Oh just the usual, a few office parties here and there – nothing too disorderly.  Of course Sandy Riddell will be off skiing again with the jet set.”
“Oh yes, I heard about that.  But then that’s nothing new - Sandy’s been going downhill for years!”
“Oh, very droll Convener – but are you all organised for Christmas yourself?”
“Well, I’m getting on not too badly considering that most years I do my shopping at the Shell Garage on the way home on Christmas Eve.  Mind you, I always think that you can’t have too many Winter Car Care Kits, but some people don’t agree!  So this year I’m more or less sorted.  I’ve got all the family’s and I’ve even got the hardest one of all!”
“Whose is that?”
“My mother’s!”
“Your mother Convener, why that’s remarkable.  And what have you got for her?”
“Well I didn’t need to think for long – she told me exactly what she was wanting – a Kindle Fire HD.  I told her that it wasn’t something for getting the Aga going but she said she knows exactly what it’s for and she wants to read some of these electronic books.  Not bad for 88 years old, eh?”
“Quite remarkable, Convener.  And, tell me, which books is she interested in?”
“Well, I’m not very sure – but I got them from Amazon for her.  I think one of them’s about knitting patterns or something like that.  It’s called 50 Shades Of Grey so I’m expecting a pretty boring jumper out of that!”
“Perhaps not as boring as you might expect Convener!  But what about yourself?  Are you going to be up to anything exciting?”
“Oh, no, Nigel.  Christmas is not the same when you’re getting on like me.  No children’s stockings on the mantelpiece.  No Santa Claus, oh I really miss him!”
“Bur Convener, surely you don’t still believe in Santa Claus?”
“Oh, abso-bloomin’-lootley Nigel!  Just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean that it’s not true.  Just take a look at our Annual Accounts – do you know what ‘Amortisation Of Intangible Assets’ is?  Not likely!  But that doesn’t mean to say that we don’t believe it, or that the Finance Officer doesn’t exist!  Yes, there is a Santa Claus – and I’ve seen him with my own eyes!”
“Seen him Convener?”
“Yes, I’ve seen him.  It was a long time ago now – when I was a young Bobby doing my duty as the scourge o’ Banff an’ Buchan, and stationed at Boddam.”
“You mean to tell me that you actually saw Santa Claus?”
“Well, I’m pretty sure I did – though I have tae admit that it was Christmas Eve and I’d been doing a tour o’ the village pubs just tae make sure they were all adhering to the licensing regulations.”
“And did you have a drink in any of these pubs?”
“Well it was Christmas - so I maybe had a small libation here and there.”
“Tell me – how many pubs are there in Boddam?”
“Well there were four pubs at that time, but I just thought I’d be sociable - so I did the ones in Cruden Bay as well!”
“And then you saw Santa Claus?”
“Yes I did, and I’ll tell you this – he’d a really red nose!”
“Perhaps that was Rupert, Convener?”
“No – it was Santa all right.  Listen, like all policemen have to do, I wrote it down in my notebook – so maybe I’ll put that in my blog next Christmas.  Right now I have to dash - I’m taking two or three days off to enter in to this Christmas Spirit thing.”
“Well then – Happy Christmas, Convener”
“Yes, and Jingle Bells to you and yours, Nigel”

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