Ho, ho, ho!

In Uncategorized on December 25, 2010 by grahamharrowell

The office mouse was much in evidence yesterday. Normally afurtive, secretive being he is rarely sighted (although he sometimes leaves a little evidence of his presence)scuttling around the skirting boards probably being most active at night when we’re not there.

It would appear that the local rodent community had organised pre-Christmas drinks or perhaps one of the neighbouring offices, where they are allowed such frivolity, had been having a Christmas party and our mouse had been round there draining the dregs from their discarded glasses. Either way he was unusually bold shunning the skirting, which he uses to get around the room only stopping to look at the humane traps which we pay a man to put down and pick up once a month and which the mouse never goes near, and climbing the telephone leads onto the desk and wandering around the work stations. Drink appears to have emboldened him. As on any friday evening in UK he was apparently hoping that a cat would turn up so he could squeak, “Come on if your hard enough.” Nobody could bring themselves to finish him off with the telephone directory and one person tried to tempt him into a paper cup which she held in one hand whilst dangling a piece of chocolate in front of his nose with the other. This failed since, being a bloke and not a girl he was able to resist the lure of the chocolate.

On the way I home I turned out of the main street with its Christmas lights and into our road which was deserted. No traffic, no people. Then, in front of me I saw a familar figure. Creeping out of a car all dressed in red, with a white beard, a stick and a sack of presents, there was Santa Claus! He made his way to our local cafe. This is a small one room affair with red check table cloths open from 0700 to 1900 and where you can have breakfast, lunch or tea, with wine or beer, you can buy your lottery ticket, your metro ticket, your cigaretted in packs of 250, watch the horse racing and place your bets. The local tramp, the dustmen and everybody else uses the joint which is open 6 days a week. Inside on Chritmas Eve the owner’s extended family had taken over the room which when not in use forms part of their accommodation. The children were all gathered and Santa, whose posture reminded me very much of the patron, was preparing to rattle his stick on the grille to announce his presence when the landlady, wondering what had become of him, opened the door and of course the dog, not fooled by the change of garments, wagged his tail in greeting. The surprise was spoiled. Santa roared, “Va-t-en, merde!”, and my idyll was spoiled.


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