LUV – By Our Lord And Saviour’s sturdy thighs, Christmas can be shitting boring. Ugh, 24 hours stuck in a fart chamber with all those people, droning on and on and on about how proud they are that you’re not dead and you know how to set up a wireless network, just because they squirted you out of their loins. Or insisting that you have a deep philosophical conversation of beeps and barks with their new Furby Boom, just because you squirted them out of your loins. Either way – mega bloody dullsville, amirite?!
Thank Batman and all the DC saints, then, for crackers! Crackers! The eardrum-buster, missile launcher and incendiary device, all in one convenient child-attracting-and-possibly-maiming shiny package! Crackers! Because Christmas dinner is nothing without pulling a cracker, then ten seconds later retrieving a set of measuring spoons that have been flung weightily across the table from Nan’s ocular socket, shaking off the vitreous humours and plunging them into the bread sauce! Crackers! Jesus wept, they literally have dangerous explosive material in them! Alongside a joke! And a crown! It’s like each one is a despotic pyromaniac starter kit, and if that idea doesn’t jingle your balls, then you’re probably already way along that path, gleefully flicking matches into piles of skulls, and good luck to you.
For the rest of us, it’s ten seconds of Die Hard frisson in an otherwise beige Love Actually morass of a day. Plus, I always win. So basically, if you’re round mine for Christmas, fuck you.
– Julia Blyth
HAT – Name me another product bought so widely by so many people and disposed of so comprehensively within a day of use.
Go on. I’ll wait.
Actually, no, I WON’T wait. Enough with the indulgence of these knick-knack-packed tubes of cack. Nobody owns anything that ever came from a cracker, except maybe the genuinely-useful thin blue measuring tape, whose rarity is comparable to that of the snow leopard. Even children loathe cracker prizes, because hours earlier they unwrapped a video game console that allows them to decapitate dozens of grown men with punishment-free glee.
The majority of prizes seem to have been intentionally produced to confound the elderly (the youngerly too; but mainly the elderly). Too often Grandad ‘wins’ a miniature gewgaw, which means you have to wincingly watch him try to manipulate it with his leathery fingers: a spinning top the size of a grain of rice, a yo-yo smaller than a rolo, a tiny padlock with a keyhole the dimensions of a spider’s anus.
Besides, who decided a civilized dinner in the season of goodwill required a familial contest of passive-aggressive physical might, the result of which is a plume of smoke and a lingering whiff of gunpowder? Why not just have an arm-wrestle, with the loser being the one whose wrist is slammed down into the brandied flames of the Christmas pudding? It would be cheaper, better for the environment and, let’s face it, funnier than any cracker joke ever written.
– Stuart Waterman