That’s a cracker!


In 1847 Christmas crackers were invented.
As a child, in my south London flat, a disturbingly cheap cracker would sit next to my turkey dinner. As I grew older, so I realised what a massive disappointment its contents awaited me with its unveiling.
Coupled with the shock of the noise from the actual cracker (the cheaper the cracker the more likely you’d get second degree burns from the errant sparks) was a useless plastic toy.
For someone who takes pride in their hair, the thought of covering it with a flammable paper hat was abhorrent. When this occurred you hoped there’d be a temporary wig inside rather than a compass which was clueless about where magnetic north was!
Less than an hour after the last cracker had been pulled (despite the awaiting disappointment you still wanted to be pulling with an aged relative and thus claiming two-thirds) the remnants would be gathered up and thrown away, sometimes in a bin, sometimes, if your host was particularly myopic, into the cold meat and bubble for the next day!
The only evidence there’d been any crackers was the most elderly relative still wearing theirs who, when suddenly waking up, would ask which one was Morecambe and which one Wise? The answer being neither of them as neither appeared in The Great Escape.
I always knew that Christmas crackers were fundamentally wrong as you never saw the Queen delivering her message wearing one or reading, from a small piece of paper, that a mince spy is the person who hides in a bakery at Christmas.

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