Guests to Ruin Your Christmas Dinner
So here it is, depressing Christmas. Your family home is a menagerie of human failure and Alan Carr just shot himself while doing Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas Message. Still, it could be worse; you could be having Christmas dinner with any of these guys.
What they’d serve: Whatever “mum used to make back home”. Something nostalgic that proved they were real people with hearts of gold who hadn’t let fame change them. So, KFC.
Where they’d serve it: In a magical winter wonderland forest as part of a Sky Christmas special. They’re not cold because of their fur lined duffle coats. You are because you didn’t realise you were going to be forced to eat dinner from eight different angles outdoors.
What they’d talk about: They’d just shout Christmas related stuff at you: “Baubles! Santa! Jack Frost nipping at your nose! Chestnuts roasting on an open fire! Rudolph! HAHAHAHA!”, until you have an aneurysm and end up strangling Marvin as you scream “Shut the fuck up about Jack Frost.”
What he’d serve: Turkey that had been cooked on an industrial barbecue outdoors. No vegetables because “vegetables are for poofs” and anyway, they won’t cook in the industrial barbecue, which is the only thing he can cook on because it’s the only thing acceptable for a man to cook on. “Expensive” lager (Budvar) to be drunk instead of wine.
Where he’d serve it: On the patio under an enormous outdoor heater.
What he’d talk about: His “Kiss the Chef” apron and how you shouldn’t take its command literally. He’d say this, laugh a hollow laugh and then stare at you. “Bantering” with his fellow football pundits and his feeling that Britain was going to the dogs but he wasn’t exactly sure why. Long periods of silence. A brief conversation about what Gary Lineker’s really like, which is aborted when Alan tells you it wouldn’t be professional of him to say too much.
What he’d serve: A lean turkey salad with a bottle of sparkling water. Something involving goji berries on the side.
Where he’d serve it: In his cavernous hilltop LA mansion on a platform overlooking the Hollywood sign. You’d be surrounded by portraits of him done in different styles – but all with eyes that follow you – and there’d be “artistic impressions” of his penis in the bathrooms.
What he’d talk about: Small talk about the music industry and how he can’t stand England. He’d then leave mysteriously for 45 minutes, come back and wrap things up with a discussion of offshore finance options and the decline of The Ivy.
BAT FOR LASHES
What she’d serve: A nut roast. Cup cakes with fairies on them. Pumpkin juice. Mulled wine. “I like to make Christmas a little bit like Halloween,” she says, without laughing.
Where she’d serve it: Somewhere that looks really kooky and old, but then once you’ve been there for 20 minutes you realise all the furniture is from Ikea.
What she’d talk about: How her friend Kate – Kate Bush – might come by later. The different kinds of feather she likes to wear in her hair. North London house prices.
What they’d serve: Prawns. Massive fucking prawns. Some kind of lager or a wine that was “way better than anything you get in Europe”.
Where they’d serve it: On the beach, on a handmade table hewn out of wood from a nearby forest. You’d have to say you liked the table and then listen to a long, detailed description of how it was made, before admitting that you don’t know how to make tables or even chop wood.
What they’d talk about: How grateful you must be to spend Christmas in the sun, where you can eat on the beach and then go and have a bloody great life-affirming surf. How happy you must be to not be freezing your ass of. How awesome not being cold is. At some point you snap and tell the glistening images of health around the table that actually Christmas is about sitting inside while it refuses to snow, but at the same time remains quite brisk. You add that in the new year it’s OK to fuck off to Club Med or wherever it is you like to jet ski, but until then, you have to shut up, go back to Bradford and remain mildly but not excessively cold for a few days.
What she’d serve: Turkey, prepared by her and “me mam” (an unseen professional chef), none of which she eats. “Something yummy” for dessert, which never appears.
Where she’d serve it: On a nice, traditional tablecloth with the TV on in the background and a picture of Princess Diana on the wall.
What she’d talk about: Initially, how great everyone is. Then, three wines in, what a cunt everyone is. Things get more and more uncomfortable until you leave with her shouting, “Where are you going? You’re just like the rest of them,” at your retreating form.
YOUR LOCAL VICAR
What he’d serve: Goose, because it’s more traditional. Or hay from a stable because it’s what Jesus actually ate.
Where he’d serve it: In the “humble” refectory of the Church. This setting would lead to a lecture about the money-loving, toy-orientated culture we live in, followed by a request to contribute to the upkeep of the “humble” refectory.
What he’d talk about: A long lecture about how shallow you are. A pious tirade about how most people only go to church on Christmas day, followed by a nice, long talk about the true significance of Christmas (Jesus = born). He then gently suggests that actually it doesn’t really mean anything and that he basically doesn’t believe in God while you pretend you can’t see him gnawing on a Turkey bone.
What he’d serve: Aware of what you might say to the voters, Clegg goes for traditional Turkey and tries to stop his Spanish wife covering it with Paella or talking about the big Christmas Eve feast they had.
Where he’d serve it: In the kitchen, underneath pictures of Nelson Mandela, Paddy Ashdown and General Franco.
What he’d talk about: An endless spew of words about the Olympics, policy initiatives and his close personal relationship with Vince Cable, until – somewhere at the end of the main course – the spirit in him dies, he falls silent and spends the rest of the meal staring at the picture of Paddy Ashdown, tears silently rolling down his cheeks, his hands clenched into fists, his children scared.
What she’d serve: “Posh nosh”.
Where she’d serve it: In a purpose built, entirely metal kitchen on plates from the Come Dine with Me collection.
What she’d talk about: She’d talk about a bunch of really well known bands as if they were obscure first wave punk bands from Reading who began their life exclusively releasing cassettes on the Fuck Off Records label (hi, Zounds!). Then she'd nod piously to The Vaccines, before launching into an excited lecture on how exciting and real Mumford & Sons are. Watch her pirouetting around with a “glass of bubbly” in her hand, laughing maniacally to herself while you contemplate jumping through the window to freedom. Then the pirouetting stops and you have to call Holly Willoughby and tell her she’d better come round and make sure Fearne is OK.
Follow Oscar on Twitter: @oscarrickettnow