We currently find ourselves situated smack bang in the middle of the festive gooch.
A gooch, for those of you that don’t know, is the area that exists between the testicles and the anus.
In this analogy, Christmas Day is of course the ballsack and New Year’s Day, the butthole.
This expression, I’m relieved, if not a little disappointed to announce, was not plucked from my own revolting imagination, rather something declared by my brother as he expressed his excitement on Christmas Eve about the forthcoming days; spent doing nothing more than shovelling various lumps of pork into his mouth, wearing nothing but his pyjamas, before work and sobriety and houses without Christmas Trees and restaurants without turkey on the menu became our reality once more.
I liked it, so I’ve stolen it.
We’re in the festive gooch. Arguably, the most wonderful time of the year.
The Christmas Eve chaos of KIDS, DOGS, EVERYONE GET OUT, GET DOWN TO THE CO-OP NOW WE NEED AN EMERGENCY FOURTEEN LITRES OF MILK, SIX TONNES OF MINCED PIES, TWELVE PARSNIPS, A NEW LIGHT BULB, SOME WINDSCREEN WASHER EVEN THOUGH NONE OF YOU WILL BE DRIVING UNTIL JANUARY, FOUR LOAVES OF BREAD AND PERHAPS IT’S WORTH TALKING TO SOMEONE ABOUT THE MERITS OF SWITCHING TO SKY BROADBAND BECAUSE VIRGIN MEDIA IS SIMPLY NOT CUTTING THE MUSTARD ANYMORE is over (and you’re still with Virgin because, no mum, our broadband speed is so not on anyone’s list of priorities the day before Christmas).
The Christmas Day carnage of GOOD GOD I KNOW IT’S A VERY MERRY DAY BUT YOU’RE STILL AN IRRITATING TOSSER EVEN COVERED IN GLITTER, GARY, FUCK MUM IT’S A FUCKING TURKEY YOU ARE NOT TRYING TO SORT OUT THE CONFLICTS IN THE MIDDLE EAST, IT’LL BE DELICIOUS HOWEVER YOU SODDING COOK IT, WE DON’T NEED TO WEAR FLAT JACKETS TO DEAL WITH IT AND IT’S CERTAINLY NOT WORTH CRYING OVER, NO, NO ONE KNOWS GARY LINIKER’S MIDDLE NAME FORFUCKSSAKE, WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME THIS, QUITE FRANKLY I DON’T APPRECIATE BEING MADE TO FEEL LIKE A CLINICAL MORON AS WE PLAY TRIVIAL BLOODY PURSUIT AGAIN (surprisingly enough, it’s Winston, by the way).
And we’re not quite at the point of promising the world to ourselves in the full knowledge that this January, like every January that came before it will be a string of disappointments as long and large as the necklace of horrible shells that your old great auntie gave to you a few days ago because she saw it and just knew you had to have it, either.
The annual pressure that comes with making plans for THE MOST AMAZING NIGHT OF THE YEAR; YEH SO I’VE BEEN INVITED TO FIVE PARTIES BUT I HAVEN’T COMMITTED TO ANY OF THEM (BECAUSE I’VE TURNED INTO THE SORT OF TOSSER THAT SPENDS THEIR LIFE WAITING FOR A BETTER OFFER TO COME ALONG), I’M GOING TO WEAR A DRESS THAT WON’T FIT ME AFTER A MONTH OF EXCESS AND WEAR SHOES THAT AREN’T COMFORTABLE TO GO TO A PARTY THAT I DON’T REALLY WANT TO GO TO ANYWAY SINCE IT WILL BE RIDDLED WITH PRESSURE THAT IS NEVER AS MUCH FUN AS I THINK IT’S GOING TO BE BECAUSE WE ARE ALL TRYING SO HARD TO HAVE FUNFUNFUN is present, but not yet suffocating.
We’ve basically got four days of no CAPLOCKS. We’re nestled snuggly in the festive gooch.
Sure, there may still be relatives to be found behind the sofa; waifs and strays who declare themselves to be staying for the whole festive period, drop-ins who thought a ‘surprise might be nice!’ (even though it never is) and odd amalgamations of people who had it not been for blind love/too many tequilas would never have come together trying to feign interest at the others’ bizarre pastimes. For those who are the byproduct of a divorce, there may well be a second turkey fiasco on the cards, there remains the stress of having to get on with your brothers and sisters all the time (so as not to upset your mum and invite a stream of ‘can’t you all just please get along, I can’t bear it and you’re going to ruin Christmas!!!!’) is testing you and the looming sense of ‘what am I going to make of my life next year’ is an omnipresent emotion; weighing heavily on your already bilious body.
But, it’s oddly pleasing, all of this stress; and relaxing in ways it shouldn’t be.
For those of us that don’t have to work, the prospect of simply not knowing what day it is is a treat that our anxiety riddled minds couldn’t fathom in the month of February and for those of us that do, there sits a haze of ‘what an odd time to be working’ atop most offices; commuters heading to work on deserted trains, much like they would should a zombie apocalypse have occurred overnight.
We find ourselves, rather perversely, hurtling towards a New Year with an impending sense of something resembling excitement; the workload we were so desperate to escape at the end of December feels almost exciting now; a challenge we can look at with fresh eyes and, most pressingly, new pants.
I’ve got new socks to last until the first week of January. New clothes to see me until at least the 29th. I’ve got no plans for the foreseeable which means a) I can sleep and read and eat, uninterrupted and b) when the time finally does come for me to see my friends again and make plans and exercise and work, I can do it with renewed vigour; with all the excitement of a person who found themselves so close to boredom that anything, by comparison, will be fun.
Exercise is a thing.
Probably thanks to the manipulative and sexist tactics deployed by the media, the pressure that arrives with January to BURN THE FAT, JUICE SHIT, CLEANSE THAT, DETOX THIS, LOSE A STONE, LOSE A COUPLE, RUN, SWEAT BREAKKKYOUURSEELLLFFF YOU REVOLTING TURKEY GOBBLING MESS is extraordinary, extraordinary enough, even, to invite caplocks back into the safe space of the gooch.
It’s disgusting, really, the pressure exercised over women to, well, exercise. This idea that we have somehow turned into a revolting BEFORE picture to be showed with a shameful sense of ‘christ you had let yourself go there hadn’t ya lovey” come next Christmas is something that plagues us and ultimately causes a lot of people a lot of misery at this time of year.
And whilst it is of course ridiculous, I’m forced to concede that there is a part of me that rather revels in all of that.
This chance at a fresh start, at the opportunity of joining the rest of the country on some sort of mass pilgrimage towards the mythical promise land of self improvement, it’s nice. It’s exciting.
At least, the thought of it is.
And that’s the true magic of the Festive Gooch.
It’s the place at which the promise land is dreamed of.
Anyone that knows anything about expectations knows that the reality is never as good as what we’d hoped.
January will arrive and I’ll miss the start of the pilgrimage, I’ll oversleep or something and then I won’t be arsed to catch up and before I know it it’ll be June and I’ll be fatter than ever and desperately looking forward to the end of the year so that I can pledge to be better when presented with my fresh start.
Hello, life, you painfully predictable cycle of hopeful misery.
But right now, from my lookout point, from the warmth and comfort of the festive gooch, safely cushioned by the tinsel-clad-testicles behind me, I am able to look beyond the arsehole that is New Year’s Eve into a bright and promising land of possibility.
I’m able to dream and to hope and to plan and I am able to do it from my own filth; dried skin flaking off my chin, spots matching me chocolate for chocolate, turkey exploding over my waistband with impressive vigour so that soon I’ll be ‘big bird that we’ll need to shoehorn into the oven’.
I’m a self-confessed pant dweller. I’m living in a gooch. I’m enjoying it.
No bloody wonder I look to January as if it’s a month in the Caribbean.
Anything, after a gooch, is paved in gold right???
This is the most wonderful time of the year.
Even though every thought you’ve ever had is punctuated with your mother saying something along the lines of “god guys, we really could do with a really good sort out in here…” about a room that has perhaps one pair of scissors not in their rightful place.