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The Legend of Mum at Christmas time

Christmas means we trek to the village to reunite with mum.

Well, we left last Christmas season and so there is an element of inevitability to go to the village. There’s an element of ticking the box. The long incessant calls from mum will finally be somewhat warded Mum’s are unique beings. There are certain things that define mums. All mums are hoarders. They have all passed with flying colours at Hoarding School. In their world stuff is often equated with happiness and contentment. Less is more is so not the mantra of the modern brainwashed mum. For instance if your mum does not have an old gift bag filled with other old gift bags is she even a mum. Does she deserve this prestigious title! Whenever I get to the village during the Christmas season I can never resist the urge to purge clutter around my mother’s household. This always leads to arguments and every Christmas my mum disowns me. I have lost count of the times my mother has disowned me. Mum’s role as the funder of return trips has never changed, will never change. 4 out of every 3 people that descend on the village during Christmas holidays somehow lose their ability to budget, their ability to subtract – the latter the only thing that happens to their bank account during this time of the year. Most of us are horrified to press that ‘do you require a receipt with this transaction’ at the ATM because we do not want to be saddened by the inevitable truth. When you are residing at mum’s place during this time you are expected to be some kind of handyman for things that you have no idea how to repair. Like there was this one time I was asked to repair a TV remote control unit. It was strapped with lots of tape and looked like it had just survived World War II. A serious project like this one requires all my competence and time to sort out. But my toolkit is limited in these issues. It is not like

when I am with my wife. With my wife the procedure is different. My wife tells me an object is broken. For instance, she may say, "The radio on my bedside table doesn't work." I wait several months, in case my wife is mistaken. My wife notifies me she is not mistaken. "Remember the radio on my bedside table?" she says. "Yes?" I say. "Still broken," she says. I conduct a preliminary investigation. In the case of the radio, I flick the switch and note that the radio doesn't go on. "You're right," I tell my wife. "That radio doesn't work." I wait 6 to 12 months, hoping that God will fix the radio, or the North Koreans will attack us and the entire world will be a glowing heap of radioactive slag and nobody will care about the radio anymore. My wife then alerts me that the radio still doesn't work. "The radio still doesn't work," she says, sometimes late at night. I try to repair the radio on the spot. Usually, I look for a likely trouble spot and whack it with a blunt instrument. This often works on radios. It rarely works on microwave ovens. With mum it is straight to whacking because I do not have the luxury of waiting for 6 to 12 months during Christmas holidays. Everyone who has owned a TV remote control unit knows that if it doesn’t work you whack it. Somehow this has escaped mum and I took her through a lesson of how to fix TV remote control units with a little smirk on my face. The result – a remote control unit broken into small pieces. Mum looked at me sadly. Perhaps it was dawning on her what a waste of school fees I was. And of course the unit was not thrown into the trash but stored safely with the hope that someone will eventually put it together. Hoarding tendencies just don’t die easily, do they? Alas!

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