That peculiar time in the human calendar has arrived once again. Christmas. Thankfully for us guinea pigs it only comes once every twelve years. That's working on my calculation that each human year is twelve guinea pig years. This calculation also means that I spent two months in hospital with my male staff last week, but I don't really want to think about that. I've been trying to work out what Christmas is all about. This will be my second Christmas and I'm still no closer to understanding it. My male staff has been trying to explain it to me but I don't think it's helping.
He says that just over two thousand years ago this bloke Joe and his wife Mary were on their Christmas holidays in Bethlehem. Mary was about to drop a kid, and that was a bone of contention between her and Joe for a start because the kid wasn't his. He reckoned that despite being married for a while, he and Mary had never done the business. Mary said that an angel had visited her and told her that she would give birth, but Joe thinks it was probably the plumber. Anyway, my male staff says he doesn't know how they got to Bethlehem in the first place because if Mary was nine months pregnant there isn't an airline in the world that would let her fly - not even Garuda. Still, it was a while ago so maybe the regulations were a bit more relaxed then.
In any case, they must have booked online because their airport transfers never turned up and they had to walk all the way into town. Well, actually that's not quite true. Joseph managed to find a tout with a donkey which he hired and let Mary ride on it. Then when they finally got into town they found that their hotel had not been built yet and that the pictures on the website were "artists impressions". So now poor, naive Joe is stuck with a donkey and a wife who's nine months pregnant to a plumber with wings, a harp and a glowing white robe and has nowhere to sleep. He needs a drink really badly, so he finds a pub, ties the donkey up outside, goes in and gets a take-away six pack. When he comes back Mary is chatting to another plumber who tells her he has a shed at the back of his house that they can sleep in for the night. Joe knew he was a plumber because he had six inches of butt crack showing.
So an hour later they're ensconced the in the plumber's shed surrounded by bidets, taps, pipes and toilets. There's a lot of straw and a manger too. (Whatever that is.) There's also some cattle, sheep and a few chickens - the kind of thing you find in any plumber's shed. They'd hardly been there five minutes when Mary gives birth to a healthy baby boy. The cattle were lowing, which really annoyed Joe, but the kid didn't yell or anything, and that was the very first Christmas miracle. They were still stuck in the shed a couple of days later when some rich dudes turned up on camels bearing gifts. That is the dudes were bearing gifts - not the camels. Anyway, if they were that rich you'd think they'd have a car, or at least a bike. They handed over the goodies - gold, frankincense and myrrh. Again Joe was a little disappointed 'cos he'd really been hoping for a thirty eight inch plasma telly and one of those weasel toys that runs around the floor chasing a ball.
That, according to my male staff, is how it all started. Mary's kid grew up to be the Son of God and turned out to be a nice man but a rather unsuccessful politician who was rather badly done by one Easter thirty three years later, but that's another story. Ever since that that night in the plumber's shed mankind has celebrated the birth of this failed politician by bringing trees inside, getting totally rat-faced and eating so much that their trouser buttons fly off across the room, almost taking out Auntie Ethel's eye as she tucks into her seventeenth mince pie of the day. Of course these days Christmas begins in the middle of August which is when Joe and Mary first booked their holiday and paid their deposit. Apparently for a couple of days in December some people are quite nice to each other when they've finished fighting over parking spaces at the local shopping mall.
Merry Christmas One and All.