with Botham Squab

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The Hot Lunch – Botham’s Xmas Fist
Santa Claus you cunt.
Where’s my fucking bike.
I’ve been through all this junk.
And there’s nothing that I like.
I wrote you a fucking letter.
I came to see you twice.
You worn out geriatric fart, you forgot my fucking bike.
(Paul Hogan, 1988)

That is the way to come fourth on Celebrity Xmas Come Die With Me. Get the Cliff Richard impersonator (Lisp Richard) to sing that little ditty on the doorstep to your dinner guests, 
in-between the main course and dessert. Sorry to the Speech Hindered Impediment Trust (the £1000 first place winnings go to charity). I might have dropped the ball there… 

Incidently, Channel 4 cut the above from the final VT. Risk takers? My arse.

So then… Xmas. Xmasy Xmas. Oh Xmas tree, Xmas (sigh). Much is written, at this time of year, about Xmas; Xmas parties, Xmas nativity, Xmas football in the War, Xmas rush, Black Friday, Mad Friday, Xmas lights. Being turned on by lesser-known pantomime cows. The whole darn shooting match. It’s exhausting. Mostly though, it’s Xmas dinner on Xmas Day. 

                                                            Celebrity chefs and food columnists alike blether on about the easiest way to travail the mountainous route to the Ultimate, stress-free Xmas. Kirsty Allsop, bored of houses, 
                                                            is showing us how to create a perfectly home-made Xmas with perfectly executed Xmas food for lovely family members. All of them fucking happy, in Xmas jumpers next 
                                                            to warming log fires, using only stuff she’s found, out in her garage. Upscaling is it Auntie Kirsty? You cheap arse bitch.

                                                            Let’s call it ‘aspirational’ and leave it at that. Like most of you, I yearn for the perfect Xmas every year, and every year the bastard thing lets me down. It’s like supporting
                                                            Arsenal. Year in, year out. I end up with a Xmas that’s nothing like it is on the television.

                                                            Well, I’ve given up. This year I’ve done Celebrity Xmas Come Die with Me. For charity, for my friends in the Speech Hindered Impediment Trust ,and that’s it. I turned down the Food Network, Good Food and BEN. I can’t pretend anymore. I’m very sorry. 

The first rule of the Celebrity Chef’s Xmas is this: Don’t mention that Xmas involves the endless, tawdry boredom of spending an entire week with people you deliberately moved 
away from 20 years ago, constantly turning down the offer of a cup of tea every three and half minutes and smiling inanely as another Afro-Caribbean actor is referred to as a ‘clever 

Xmas is Auntie Jean turning up, as she does every year without fail, an hour and half later than she said, with Uncle Tony in tow, beer helmet adorned; head to toe in Country and 
Western chic. He’s been drinking solidly since 8 a.m. and carries a comb wherever he goes. He does not light up a room. Xmas is Mummy Squab moaning for an hour and a half, 
as she does every year without fail, that they are late, having prepared the Xmas lunch to perfectly coincide with this obviously-doomed arrival time. Daddy Squab, also drinking 
solidly since 8 a.m., ignores the waterboarding of Brussel sprouts and instead pretends to be interested in another sports biography. 

Let me tell you now of Xmas 1984. A little Botham Squab was 13 years old and as excited as any 13 year old would be at the growing number of glittery, wrapped boxes edging their way out from under the tree. Unbeknownst to little Botham, Mummy & Daddy Squab had decided this was the year he should come of age. At the starting post of his adolescence now, Squab was too old for toys as gifts. Little Botham wanted a
                                                        battlefield for his army men, just like the one in the Argos catalogue, complete with an open plain and surrounding hills for the tactical massing of troops. He had done his ground
                                                        work, left catalogues open at the right pages, pointed excitedly at adverts on the TV, drifted innocently along the toy aisles in supermarkets. He hung around near the army
                                                        battlefields shelf while pointing out how interesting it looked. He had made his desires as clear as they could possibly be. 

                                                        Little Botham received a mass-produced oil painting of a Spitfire by that renowned artist, Barrie Clark. Eagar, obviously, to fuel 
                                                        little Botham’s increased interest in being creative, Mummy Squab had visited the ‘Art’ section of Kays catalogue. 

                                                        Cruelly, the painting lay there in the build-up to Xmas, wrapped in a large rectangular box. It was easily mistaken by little Botham 
                                                        Squab for a 100cm x 65cm military battlefield. That is, until he unwrapped it.

It was 1984 that Xmas died in my heart.

                                                        1984 was also the year that Mummy Squab decided to grill a melon as a starter and place a glace cherry on top.

                                                        It was 1984 that the Xmas turkey was acquired from a ‘bloke at work’. The thing was duly delivered on Xmas eve evening in a bin liner by a toothless man driving a Land Rover.  
                                                        “Are you the poacher? Is it dead?” It was dead, but that was as far as it went. Mummy and Daddy Squab then spent the entire evening plucking and gutting it in a makeshift abattoir
                                                        within the now highly-tense family kitchen. Good. They deserved it. What goes around comes around Mum. 

                                                        It was 1984 that Uncle Tony appeared to sexually assault my then girlfriend, Michelle Moore: “It was 1984 Botham, people did that then.” (Uncle Tony & Auntie Mary didn’t last,
                                                        largely due to an apathy that went on for years when it came to fixing radiators. This coupled with Tony’s enthusiasm for touching waitress’s bums and predicting, out loud, that 
                                                        they would ‘go like the clappers’ saw their marriage off. The times were changing and women simply wouldn’t put up with that shit anymore. She 
                                                        divorced him and Tony now lives in a caravan in Hastings).

So what can I write, in order to save you from my Xmas hell and, like all my contemporaries, give your Xmases a seasonally festive show-stopper that wows your guests?

Nothing. Personally I’m buying a packet of Colman’s bread sauce at Budgens and a bargain bucket from KFC (the day before, I’ll keep in the fridge so the bucket can be easily reheated in a 
                                                stress-free, laid-back way on Xmas morning). 

                                                I then suggest you lock your door, tell everyone you’re dead and spend four days wandering around the house in your pants. Crying at ‘Home Alone’.

                                                What is Xmas anyway?

                                                - Xmas is Brian Turner in a festive jumper.

                                                - Xmas is amateur drinkers ruining the pub. 

                                                - Xmas is Alistair McGowan announcing who he’s going to impersonate just before he impersonates them.

                                                - Xmas is lying about how much you love Xmas.

- Xmas is recently estranged fathers turning up at family homes and slaughtering their ex-wives and children before turning the gun on themselves.

- Xmas is filling your car boot with all the useless gifts you’ve received and driving home to find places to stuff them, out of sight, in your flat.

                                                    - Xmas is being forced to stand in the same room as Daily Mail readers.

                                                    Two men, over 70 years old, in Santa hats, drunkenly arguing outside the Five Bells at three o’ clock in the afternoon while a pair of children with learning 
                                                    disabilities look on. 

                                                    THAT is Xmas.

                                                    Now go away.

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