‘What do you want for Christmas?”
“You can’t want nothing for Christmas”.
“Well, I want to get something. What shall I get?”
“If you must get something, there is an anthology of Irish war poetry, ‘Earth Voices Whispering’, get that’’
It buys a couple of weeks without further mention of Christmas presents. The last weekend before Christmas is past, and the finishing post is in sight.
“What do you want for Christmas.”
“I told you”.
“Yes, and I got that”.
“You can’t have just a book of poetry for Christmas”.
“Who says I can’t?”
“If you were in Bujumbura, you wouldn’t worry too much about Christmas presents”.
“I’m not though.”
“You should go there and see how daft all this stuff is”.
“I know it’s daft, but what do you want for Christmas?”
Weariness sets in.
“Get me a ski helmet”.
“One from the place in town?”
“Yes, that will be fine.”
“OK. Are you sure?”
Of course, I have no desire for a ski helmet whatsoever. They only cost a Euro a day to hire. It will just be something else to jam into the baggage.
Ah, blast it!
There’s a story in Saint Luke that comes to mind.
In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
“For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ ”
Sometimes, it’s not hard to imagine how the judge felt.
She didn’t ask me what colour.
I didn’t really like silver with blue stripes.