After finishing work early this evening I wandered into town with Miss 19, met up with my other half, and joined the growing crowd in the high street awaiting the annual “switching on of the Christmas lights”.
Years ago this spectacle was performed by the mayor, or some other local person of note – but then somebody decided it would be a good idea to get one of the various celebrities that live nearby to do the honors – to press the pretend plunger while somebody else flicks a power switch nearby. We’ve had Steve Redgrave (multiple Olympic champion), Russell Brand (multiple swear-box filler), and Mary Berry (cake making Bake-Off double-entendre champion) switch on the lights in recent years. Tonight’s celebrity was Ross Kemp – “Grant Mitchell” from stalwart UK soap opera “Eastenders”, and host of a number of investigative journalism type TV shows in recent years.
What can I say? We stood in the cold for twenty minutes and waited for him to stand on top of a double-decker bus in the middle of the high-street while some idiot fired pretend snow (read:soap) over everybody nearby, and the local radio played the cheesiest Christmas tunes they could come up with.
He eventually appeared, rambled on for a minute or two about how lovely the town and it’s people are, and then pressed the pretend plunger. And ONLY HALF THE LIGHTS CAME ON. I don’t know how I didn’t burst out laughing. I wanted to.
On the plus side, we stopped at the supermarket on the way home, and I bought myself a pizza for dinner. Go me.