Sunday, 27 November 2016

It's Got legs

So, it's just 27 days to Christmas. Not long now but the threat of Xmas has been looming for some time – my mother called in September to organise the family Christmas lunch. There are eight of us and each year it is a military precision exercise and logistical nightmare to bring us all together.

As there are eight of us, each year my dad suggests that we serve octopus for lunch so that we can have a leg each. This joke doesn’t actually work as half of us are vegetarian; but he still tells that same joke every year. My wife also claims she is lactose intolerant but it turns out she is just intolerant, especially of my mother’s cooking. Each year, my dad also tells the story of Asda joining forces with MFI – that 70s dodgy furniture shop. He muses “I bought a turkey there once but on the way home the leg fell off”.

The number of legs of animals we eat seems to be a recurring theme in my family. A few years ago it was my turn to cook Christmas lunch. I thought I would get one of those organic, free-range, corn fed, buttered, pine-fresh turkeys. Then I saw the price so I bought a cheap bird from Bovie Market. When I got home I noticed there was a leg missing, completely gone. What the KFC! But this was no freak avian monopod, it looked like the leg had been deliberately hacked off. Was it just to keep the cost of turkeys down or was it some macabre ornithological dismembering? And what happened to the other leg? Perhaps I just bought a retro ASDA/MFI turkey on that day in Bovingdon.

Some years later my wife and I where on holiday driving through the Cornish countryside - she had a soft top MG. We had the roof down and were enjoying the sun and the views. Suddenly in the rear view mirror I noticed a turkey coming up behind us. He was going fast and soon came up alongside. I looked down and noticed he had three legs. He put his foot down and sped off into the distance. I asked the wife if she noticed the three legs and she thought I was going seeing things. So to prove my sanity I raced off after the turkey. I spotted him ahead and noticed him turning off down a dirt track. I followed him and saw he made his way into a farm. I continued to follow and pointed him out just before he darted into a turkey coop, or whatever they are called. Then the farmer came out and asked what I was doing on his land. I said did you know you have a three legged turkey. He replied "yes I've hundreds of them what of it". That's amazing I replied you could sell them for a fortune - especially after the whole Asda/MFI fiasco. And he said "yar you're probably right but have you ever tried catching one of the little beggars".

On another holiday we happened upon a farm where I noticed a three legged pig. I asked the farmer why his pig only had three legs. He said "you see that pig there, one day I was out ploughing the fields in my tractor and I went over a rock and bumped my head - knocked me out cold and the tractor was heading for the far wall. That pig ran out of his sty, jumped in the tractor and brought it to a gradual halt before resuscitating me". Wow I said but why does he only have three legs? "Well you see that pig, well I was in big town at the market when my wife was pregnant. She unexpectedly went into labour and that pig there, he rushed up to the house, washed his hands (trotters) and delivered my first born. He even offered me a cigar when I returned". Amazing but why has he only got three legs? "Yes well you see that pig there. One evening a spark flew from our open fireplace and set fire to the hearth rug. The fires spread quickly and soon the whole house was ablaze - I was overcome by fumes. That pig there ran into the house and dragged me, the missus and our children out one by one over his little shoulder. He then pumped water from the well and put the fire out saving most of the house”. Unbelievable I said but please please tell me why he only has three legs? "Well" he said "when you have a pig like that you don't eat him all at once".

So back to the point of my blog, and there is a point somewhere. Well of course Christmas is not about the number of legs you eat, it’s about the family coming together, sharing a cracker, telling a rubbish joke and perhaps pulling each other’s legs. Merry Christmas everyone.

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