Christmas shopping is dangerous

Telly did a rerun of “While you were sleeping“. There’s the scene in which Sandra Bullock, engaged to one brother ends up with the other one under the mistletoe?

Do your Christmas shopping in my town, and you run the risk to also get more than you bargained for. Christmas shopping has become dangerous.

Since about two weeks and for at least another two, I need as many eyes as a peacock sports in its tail. It’s not the crowds. Recently, all roads into Antwerp had to be shut down because of the crowds, but it’s not that bad over here.

It’s not that we have hail, snow, ice, black ice, or anything wintry which turns roads and pavements into slides, too long for grown-ups. We’re having the warmest December since records began. It’s around +10C at noon and slightly lower during the nights. Santa will have to do deliveries in a t-shirt.

Of course, there are the regular and temporarily relocated pick-pockets and such. There are crossings in the middle of town which don’t sport traffic lights. Budget cuts, one presumes. At these spots, pedestrians, public transport and the occasional ambulance mill about in total chaos.

Due to the ongoing crisis, sales started weeks ago instead of the first week of January. So if you accidentally end up between the bargain hunters and last-moment Christmas shoppers, there is the occasional push and shove.

But I’m not talking about all this. It’s worse. Far worse.

Some jolly joker decided to frolic with the Christmas decorations. He, it must have been a he, put mistletoe in lampposts running along all the major and not that major shopping streets.

In fact, there isn’t a dead-end street or alley, which does not have lampposts decorated with bushels, yes bushels, of mistletoe! Real mistletoe, in bunches you won’t ever find in real trees. Birds don’t seem to mind this, nor certain representatives of the human species.

Any idea what this leads to?
So now you know, why I need eyes in my back, my sides, my whatever, as well as in the ordinary places.

When I do my Christmas and all other shopping right now, till about half way through January 2015, I slink around corners, sneak into doorposts, crawl along bare walls, look left-right-behind-above-ahead – and zip like lightning into Marks and Spencer’s or any of the other shops on my list. I look like some silly cat, scared stiff of unexpectedly bumping into a pack of kissing-mad bulldogs.

And if you are responsible for this, you wait and see what happens if I manage to hit you with my shopping bags. You won’t see stars, no: you’ll see fireworks!





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