Enough of the endless struggle with inadequate computer ware. It’s taken me half an hour to turn the laptop on, fighting unnecessary start-up programs and unexpected grinding halts, only to be punched to the ground by the blue screen of death, not once, but indeed yes twice. Oh Lord, what is a man to do? Christ, why hast thou forsaken me and my two year old Windows Vista HP set-up? The blogging momentum has long gone after this computer strife bollocks. I was all excited about Christmas and Xmas and all that, ready to tap out a jolly nice ode to tradition and extended family and honest to goodness good times, but now thanks to inexplicable hardware headaches and software stress all I am able to provide is a bilious bulge of bullshit (and some bad alliteration).
I’m in Belfast where the snow is ankle deep and the roads are an indefinable stretch of grey sludge. We are her for Christmas, not for troubleshooting. There was too Christians (presumably they were Christians; they were all but labelled as such) standing in the town centre by a small table sparsely displaying books and pamphlets. White A4 paper was printed with the words “Bibles gospels free”. Usually the word free brings people flocking. I was massively tempted to get a free book and copies of the weird illustrated Christian tracts they couldn’t give away. What stopped me from going up and receiving my freebies was the terrifying sight of the two people giving them away. A lazy way of describing them (which is all I can muster) would be ‘like something out of the Addams Family’. Not like any of the main family members who enjoy the occasional evil (or even lustful) smile, but like Lurch or any other silent unsmiling background lurker.
These two women stood bolt upright, uncommunicating (with uncharacteristic good humour spellchecker has just tried to turn uncommunicating into excommunicating), unsmiling, entirely un festive, not a hint of the joyous or a jot of the triumphant... These peddlers of free gospels were terrifying devils incarnate. I wanted my free stuff (to add to my collection of religious ephemera), but these were easily the most unapproachable people I have ever had the misfortune to be glared at by. I felt as though if I had tried to speak or reach for my free book, clawed hands would have shot out from the folds of their heavy coats, tearing my veins from my wrists and using them as rope to draw me into the pits of hell. All in all, I judged it not worth the risk.