With Mum in hospital with a severe and possibly terminal case of whiplash, Dad’s attempts at staging Christmas single-handed weren’t going well. Having recently broken his left arm falling from a ladder whilst hanging mini festive lanterns from the eaves, Dad’s literally single-handed attempt at removing the turkey from the oven – after a couple of tumblers of sherry – left the bird on the floor and scalding hot turkey juice all down Dad’s thigh.

“Aroooo!”, cried Dad piteously. Staggering backward, he slipped on stray potato peelings and stumbled out blindly across the corridor into the lounge, there tripping over Son 1’s unopened Scalextrix set and crashing into an overlarge and – to Bankstone News’ taste – over-lavishly decorated tree. Dad’s one-handed attempt at breaking his fall merely drove shards of glass ornament deep into his right palm.

“Yarrrrgh!”, yelled Dad, thrashing helplessly amidst a confusion of still-flashing fairy lights and electric-blue tinsel. Flames from candles knocked off the mantlepiece quickly set up a lively conflagration amidst the central-heating parched needles of the now horizontal Norway Spruce. Blearily perceiving his imminent imperilment by immolation, Dad struggled all the harder to free himself.

Tearing at the entangling wires and cables, Dad somehow connected with a live current and toasted himself in several ways simultaneously. Intently focused on their X-Box (Call of Duty Black Ops, if you must know) on the other side of the room, Boys 1 and 2 noticed none of this until, alas, it was considerably too late. Such is the fate awaiting many Britons as the dreaded 25 December approaches.

A shocking press release from Thirst4lawyers revealed this week that “Almost 20 percent of Brits will injure themselves cooking Christmas dinner” by which Bankstone News assumes they mean Christmas lunch. But 20%. That’s a lot. That’s one in five, isn’t it? Scary. The other four top five yuletide mishaps are tree ornament lacerations, falls from ladders, tripping over cables and (or?) fairly lights and decorations and burns from candles.

“The week’s [sic] leading up to Christmas can be quite fraught,” says Chris Rodgrasp of Thirst4lawyers, “however it’s important that we don’t get too carried away. Cooking the Christmas dinner is one of the biggest jobs we undertake” and “always ensure that fairy lights come with the required safety mark and keep out of reach of children.

London is the most dangerous place for Christmas accidents, Thirst4Layers’ survey found, and Norwich is the safest. The recent national census found that Norwich is also the most godless city in the country. Can this be coincidence? Answers up the chimney on a burning sheet of Garfield-embellished junior personal stationary, please.


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