The thirteenth day of Christmas

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On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love said to me …

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I don’t want to seem ungrateful but …

The first partridge in a pear tree was … ahem … a surprise. No-one’s ever given me one of those before.

What exactly do you expect me to do with a whole tree? Plant it in the garden? Stick it in a pot? Chop it up for firewood? Go hunting for a very large vase?

And we do need to talk about the partridge, the poor thing. Partridges live on the ground, don’t you know? Interflora had to fix the blessed thing on one of the branches using wire and a staple gun. He wasn’t too happy about the situation. He produced a prodigious quantity of partridge poo on my best hall carpet.

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But that wasn’t the worst of it. You must have ticked the wrong box on Amazon. On the second day of Christmas, the postman brought me another bleeping partridge in another bleeping pear tree. And the next day and the next.

I’ve now got twelve partridges and twelve pear trees. If you want to get technical, that’s a covey of partridges and an orchard of pear trees. Yes, you can have too much of a good thing.

And what is it with all the birds? In my sitting room right now there are 22 turtle doves, 30 French hens, 36 colly birds (whatever they are), 42 geese and 42 swans. Not to mention that the hens and swans are plopping out eggs at a rate of one a day. That’s a total of 138 eggs.

If only you had given me a pig or two I could have cooked breakfast for all the band members.

Things started to look up when the gold rings arrived. Now, we’re talking. You can’t go wrong with a little bit of bling.

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As long as it is a little bit of bling. What do you expect me to do with five gold rings? And then the next day another five, and another five. I’ve now got 40 gold rings.

What are you trying to tell me? Do you expect me to wear all 40 rings at the same time like some blinged up gangsta in da hood? Because we ain’t got no homies in Surrey, bro.

Or … perish the thought … do you expect me to get some intimate body piercings? Three in each year, my nose, my lips, nipps, then all points (painfully) south?

I’m really sorry. You may be my true love, but I have to draw the line somewhere.

Then there’s the water. You specifically said “seven swans a swimming”. Swimming, my love, swimming. In the present tense. That means they are actually doing the swimming right now. And that means they need something to bleeping swim in.

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That might not be a problem if we lived in Venice or Cumbria. But there’s no water in Acacia Avenue, so Amazon sent us birthing pools to go with the seven swans. The drummers are doing high dives from the top of the rose arbour.

Then there are the maids. Don’t even get me started on the maids. You would have to say “maids a milking”, wouldn’t you? Eight milk maids would have been much easier, because then they could have sent us young ladies who are currently employed in the dairy industry.

That would not have been so bad. There are 40 of them now, but I’m sure we would have coped. Somehow.

But you said “maids a milking” so they had to come with something to milk. We’ve got eight cows, eight yaks, eight goats and eight buffaloes. Amazon must have run out of livestock around Thursday, because they’ve also sent us eight lactating maids who are expressing breast milk into bottles.

Could you possibly send some fridges? Either that, or we are going to have to go into the cheese-making business.

The neighbours have complained about the noise. The party has been going on for days now. It’s a bit of a racket with 22 pipers and 12 drummers. I don’t want to sound mean, but couldn’t you have sent … oh, I don’t know … a fiddle player or two? Maybe a couple of guitarists? A pianist?

The dancing ladies – all 36 of them – don’t seem too impressed by the choice of music. And they’ve run out of anyone to dance with.

What’s that? They can dance with the lords? Well, there’s a bit of an issue there. You did specify “10 Lords a Leaping”. Didn’t you know that the average age of the House of Lords is nine hundred and eleventy twelve? Amazon must have thought it was a typing mistake. They’ve sent us 30 Lords a sleeping.

They don’t seem to mind too much. I imagine they are on expenses.

I’ve done a quick count up. In total, you’ve sent me:

  • 184 birds
  • 12 trees
  • 138 eggs
  • Eight cows, eight yak, eight goats and eight buffaloes
  • 40 maids
  • 40 gold rings
  • 6 birthing pools
  • 36 nearly exhausted dancing ladies
  • 30 sleeping Lords
  • A 33 piece band
  • Several tons of guano.

What do you expect me to do? Lay on a musical show and serve omelettes and milkshakes in the interval?

And, before you ask, I am most definitely not having that pierced. Or those. Sorry, but no.

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I hope you liked the tie I bought you. Oh, and one last thing …

… you did keep the receipts for all these, didn’t you?

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