When Christmas Wishes go too Far, then a Little Further (Author’s note 7th edn)

by Callum B. Downes

Sexual harassment in the workplace, specifically butt pinching, must be up there alongside lower wages as the epitome of gender inequality in this modern age of so called forward thinking. Honestly people, why is it acceptable for my fifty-something year old supervisor to gnash her pincers at my masculine hindquarters, when her male colleagues are sharing bedtime stories with Ivan Milat for the same offense? Oh the hypocrisy!

Shift after shift, clench after colon blocking clench, the sneaky farewell gesture became her afternoon delight. An innocent pick me up after a hard days work. Oh yes, it was all fun and games until that fateful Christmas Eve, a day now and forever tainted by the recollections of this haunting account.

Behind closed doors with no one to cry to, the sex offending supervisor cornered me and before I knew it, we were locking lips. A common error, as both parties simultaneously attempt the obligatory peck on the cheek during a Christmas hug. Which brings me to the comparably awkward issue of the family Christmas dinner greeting.

There’s nothing on this planet I dread more than greeting my relatives on December 25th. Strap me to a heart rate monitor and let your mind boggle at the dizzying heights of my aerobic threshold. Here’s a list of some of the worst Christmas dinner greetings:

  1. Hugging the Aunty

A standard hug, but I never know whether to go for the peck on the cheek, often resulting in both parties rubbing faces together like some weird tribal tradition, and shouting “MWHA!”

  1. Hugging the Grandmother

First of all, I have to dislocate my vertebrae to reach her and then her lack of strength makes it feel like I’m merely resting on a corpse.

  1. Shaking the Uncle’s Hand

It seems to never end, I’m left without circulation in my right hand and it’s combined with the same old repetitive small talk… “How are ya? Good, that’s good, yeah good, hmmmm yep very good, ahhhhh good!”

  1. The teenage cousin

What are all the cool kids doing these days. Is it the hi-five? Is it the knuckles? No, definitely not knuckles! A subtle nod? Not even. Do I offer them a beer? Bingo! God bless Australia’s underage binge drinking culture!