A man is permanently stuck in daily post-Christmas small talk exchanges with his neighbour, oscillating between him confirming that he had a really quiet one this year, yes, it was strange wasn’t it, but quite nice, and his neighbour ironically suggesting that he actually went to numerous parties in obvious contravention of COVID-19 regulations.
‘On Boxing Day, while I was putting out the wrapping paper out into the recycling bin, I answered Jeff’s polite enquiry about how my Christmas Day was, confirming that it was just me and my good lady, and that we’ll be eating turkey for the next two weeks as we ordered way too big’, revealed Pete McBride, 46, from Daventry.
‘In response, he suggested that he’d snorted coke of his wife Deirdre’s bare back, before meeting up with a hundred or so people in the local. Of course, I clocked the sarcasm straight away – we’re in Tier 3 and meetings indoor with anyone outside your household is currently banned under government rules.’
The exchanges have continued daily, with McBride indicating that he’d stayed in on the 27th and had no appetite for visiting the sales on the 28th, but would probably need some bread tomorrow, but was it a bank holiday or a regular day, it didn’t really matter at the moment, did it, all days were the same. Jeff described how him and his wife had ended up singing karaoke to ‘Hi-Ho Silver Lining’ at the end of an another all-night lock-in at the Queens Head, and they were both just heading to an illegal rave in a poorly ventilated garage somewhere, where they expected to rub torsos with around 500 other revellers.
McBride is hoping that the New Year will bring a release from the conversational cycle, or at least the chance to switch to the more exciting ironic role in which he makes things up, as he is running out of things to say about things about his actual existence. ‘I’ve prepared an anecdote about me and my wife attending Jools Holland’s Hootenanny, where we sit 1.5 metres away from Dizzy Rascal and some Cuban instrumental collective in the crowd scene, rather than the requisite two metres,’ he said. ‘Deliberately outlandish and implausible, yet hopefully just as edgy as Jeff’s.’