Mullet Mickey’s Taste Emporium

Our so-called columnist walks an ever-decreasing fine line between having a job and, well, how to put this? not having a job. Here he wins our Annual first mention of Xmas competition, by some distance…

Illustration: Joel Benjamin

Deck the halls with lovely baubles, fa-la-la-la-la, Chrimbo all the way! Right? Yeah?? Hello???

taps mic

Gaudy Christmas trees festooned with Sellotape-strangled presents. Public markets full of freezing parents huffing down Glühwein like it’s crack. Screaming children wriggling off shopping centre Santa’s knee because he looks like a fat toilet brush. Baste my turkey and call me Rudolph, it must be Christmas!

The more eagle-eyed reader may spot something wrong with this picture. We’re nowhere near Christmas. It’s not even harvest festival yet, a British tradition in which we throw tinned sweetcorn at pensioners. So what’s brought on this early outbreak of Yuletide yearning?

I was in Mullet Mickey’s Taste Emporium the other day, which is just my local grocery store, but Mullet Mickey, who’s really into fish, likes to make things sound more impressive than they actually are. I was after some broccoli because apparently it stops you getting bubonic plague. Ed from The Chemical Brothers was browsing the apples again. He’s always browsing the apples. He gets confused between Gala and Royal Gala and he just hovers between the two muttering to himself.

“Where’s the broccoli?” I shout to Mickey, who’s behind the counter trying to download ‘Fortnite’ to his Nokia 3310.

“Where’s the what?” says Mickey, and I immediately recognise the intonation in his voice. I sigh, and I rephrase my question.

“Where’s the Bonsai Florets Of Maximum Fun?” I ask.

“Along the left wall, just beyond the Christmas cards.”

And there it was. A rack of Christmas cards full of silhouetted wise men and glittery fir trees. The ink had barely dried on August, and my local grocer was already hard-selling Santa. Who buys Happy Xmas cards in September? Deranged people, that’s who. Psychopaths. Murderers. Dubstep producers. No wonder I couldn’t find the broccoli.

I squint at the Christmas cards. My eyes aren’t so good these days, but I’m pretty sure one of them shows a blurred photo of Devo limply pulling party crackers. I need to get a closer look.

“Excuse me.”

“What?”

“I just need to get a look at these Christmas cards.”

“Huh?”

“Can you let me past, please.”

“Is Royal Gala better than Gala, because I’m not so…”

“GET OUT OF MY WAY, ED.”

It has to be said at this point that Christmas and electronic music don’t have a comfortable history. Bleepy popsters Cascada once covered ‘Last Christmas’, which is a bit like Gordon The Gopher painting the ‘Mona Lisa’. And Orbital once did a Christmas version of their classic ‘Chime’, which is a bit like Leonardo da Vinci grabbing his ‘Mona Lisa’ canvas and shoving it down Gordon The Gopher’s stupid furry neck.

Maybe that’s why I never got to look at the Christmas cards – and I certainly didn’t manage to buy my broccoli. Ed from The Chemical Brothers wouldn’t get out of the way. He stood there weighing up apples, sniffing apples, nuzzling apples, whispering “YOU’RE my superstar DJs”. If anything, it was a bit creepy.

This was meant to be a column about the commercialisation of Christmas, about how it comes earlier every year, but how can I make a serious point when one of the world’s premiere dance music legends won’t get out of my way in a grocery store? I got stuck in a candy floss queue behind Jimmy Somerville once, but it’s not the same thing. Because of his fruit confusion, Ed from The Chemical Brothers has not only ruined this column, in many ways he has also ruined Christmas.

When December comes, you remember this, reader. Remember this well.

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