The Twelve Days of Christmas –
by ‘Her Indoors’, Rosie Amber & Terry Tyler
On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…..
Eleven Pipers Piping…..
You know what, I look back to the day when I received those three French hens, and I think, they were the halcyon, trouble free times of long ago. Three French hens; I can’t believe I ever thought I had problems. In fact, if you said to me right now, “Darling, I’ve bought you three French hens for Christmas”, I’d say ‘”Thank you very much, they’re lovely.” A lot more lovely than the ELEVEN geezers up in the back bedroom playing—well, I don’t have to tell you what they’re playing, do I? I reckon you can hear ’em in the next postal district. I put ’em in the back bedroom ’cause it was the farthest away… what’s that you say? They’re nice and traditional, seasonal, like, for the New Year? Okay, yes, a nice bagpipe for two for five minutes after you’ve sung Auld Lang Syne, very nice, I agree, but it’s a long time until January 1st….
I’m just off down the shops, darling. I won’t be long. How many pairs of earplugs do you think I should get?
Ten Lords A-Leaping…….
Don’t say anything. Honestly, just don’t. You want to know why I’m drinking the cooking sherry at five o’clock in the afternoon? I’ll tell you why. I got home from the carol service not twenty minutes ago, and what did I find? Ten flipping Hooray Henrys doing leapfrog in the garden! I reckon they’re drunk. What was the idea behind this little gift, then? Are they supposed to amuse me? Keep me entertained while I’m doing the washing up? I dread to think what’s going to happen when they lay eyes on them nine dancing ladies; we’re going to have courting couples all over the house! We’ll be knee-deep in gymnastic toffs and high-kicking harlots! How am I going to explain that to your mother when she gets here on the 23rd, eh?
Pass me the sherry….
Nine Ladies Dancing…..
Oh, you’re home, are you? I can see you, sneaking up them stairs, carrying your shoes. Oy! Downstairs, NOW. Will you please explain why there are a total of nine—yes, NINE—young women doing the can-can down the back passage? You can take that smirk off yer face! Go and have a look, they’re kicking their legs up and down and showing their frillies—oh, no, but of course you already know what they do, don’t you, because you ordered them off Amazon! Well, you should’ve seen ’em all, tripping out of the van; the driver had to help them all down, and one of ’em was whining ’cause she’d laddered one of her stockings, and then they were capering around in the street, like a load of shameless hussies.
This is brilliant. Just brilliant. From now until Twelfth Night I’ve got to squeeze past them every time I want to get to the kitchen. Right saucy mares they are, too. Dancing girls, indeed. Well, we all know what that means, don’t we?
Eight Maids a-milking……
At last, something useful. Well, I thought so when I first unwrapped ’em, anyway. I thought to myself, I can ship these over to Cousin Joe’s, and he can put his feet up on Christmas Day for the first time in forty years on Christmas day. Eight’s probably a bit over the top for the modern automated milking machines, even so. Actually, I don’t like the way a couple of them have been looking at you. They seem a bit…familiar. Where exactly did you get ’em from? How did a married man manage to turn up with not one but EIGHT pretty young milkmaids on the eighth day of Christmas, eh? Or is milking only one of their many ‘skills’? Oy—where do you think you’re going? You’ll stand here and you’ll tell me exactly where you found ’em before you go anywhere, Sonny Jim!
Seven Swans a-swimming…..
Oh, that’s great. Just great. So I’ve got to spend Boxing Day cleaning out the pool, have I? Hey – hang on a minute. Don’t swans all belong to the Queen? I’m bloody sure that’s right, I read it in our Jenny’s encyclopaedia when I was helping her with her homework. So where ‘ave you nicked these from, then? Buckingham Palace? And does it mean we’re going to get the Swan Patrol knocking on our door, come December 27th? I’m ringing the old bill up now, I am, they can take ’em back. Well, I’ve got four of ’em swimming in the bath, two in the tin tub and one in the sink – how am I supposed to do the washing up? I tell you what, mate, you’re getting worse. A present for each day of Christmas; yeah, nice idea, but a new pair of slippers would have done just fine, honest….
Six geese a-laying……
Well they saw you coming down the market didn’t they? Dum-dum, geese lay in the SPRING, not at bleedin’ Christmas! Meanwhile, I’m going to have to find somewhere to put ’em, aren’t I? Along with the partridge, and the doves, and the hens and them other noisy ones—what is it with you and birds, anyway? Haven’t I given you enough hints with them pages I left open in the Argos catalogue? Since when did they sell GEESE in Argos?
Five Gold Rings…
FIVE? What are you feeling guilty about, eh? One would have been quite sufficient! About time too, how many years have we been married? I tell you what, it still makes me go hot and cold after all these years; I’ve never felt so ashamed, having to borrow our Ivy’s wedding ring just to get wed—I notice you didn’t forget to go on your stag night, so how come you forgot to buy my wedding ring? And now you turn up with FIVE… what, is it one for each ear, one to go round me neck and one to stick through me nose, or what? Tell you what, sunshine, you can take four of ’em back, and get me summat useful with the money. A new set of saucepans would be nice.
Four Calling Birds….
“Now listen here, this neighbourhood has a good reputation. Have you heard the stuff they’re coming out with? Only yesterday her at number twenty-seven told me that they’d been squawking—well, no, I can’t repeat it. Why couldn’t you have got me a pasta maker like a normal husband? Or one of those ice cream makers, I fancy one of them. Instead, what do I get? Four more feathered friends with mouths like a bleedin’ sewer. Pardon me French; well, it’s rubbing off on me, ain’t it?”
Three French Hens….
“FRENCH? Don’t tell Uncle Bill, you know what he has to say about the French! And what’s wrong with a nice Rhode Island Red, might I ask? They have a good laying reputation and we could enjoy a nice fresh egg for breakfast once they’ve settled down. I don’t know, you don’t know the meaning of the word ‘practical’, do you? Dare I ask if you thought to get a fox proof hen house? And I don’t want them scratching up all me plants. I tell you what, if they ain’t paying their way by Twelfth Night, you can ring their necks and stick ’em in the freezer. Yeah, and pluck and draw ’em, too. No, no, don’t look at me like that, it was your idea, weren’t it?”
Two turtle doves…
“Well, thanks a bunch for that one, would you pass the Nurofen? Headache? Yes, I have got a headache, thank you very much. I haven’t had a minute’s peace from their cooing. Coo, coo, coo, all day long, I can’t hear meself think! Cute? Well, yeah. For about five minutes. But ‘cute’ don’t cut the mustard when you’re clearing up bird sh*t, and you could have asked the geezer in the pet shop if he’d got any with a volume control!
I tell you, me nerves are frazzled! I’ve got the window open—you did know I’m allergic to feathers, didn’t you? I’m freezing me bits off—sorry, what’s that? Where are they, you ask? Oh, dearie me, I must have left the cage door open. Whoops-a-daisy! I’m sorry, honest I am. It was an accident; ooh look, there they are, up there….”
And A Partridge in a Pear tree….
“Are you having a laugh? Have you looked out of the window and seen the size of our garden lately? I wouldn’t insult postage stamps! We already have two apple trees, a lilac, and several rose bushes jostling for position with the buddleia— where exactly were you thinking of planting this pear tree? And what do partridges eat? Have you even looked that up? Eh? Eh? Have you? No, I thought not! I don’t like the way it’s staring at me, neither, it’s got a right sneaky look in its eye—oh, great, and now it’s decided to hoover up all the bird food I put out for the sparrows, like an industrial suction machine, no less! And I’m sure the number of cats sitting on the garden fence has doubled, they’ll be doing their business in the garden and all sorts. You just don’t think, do you?”