2015 has been fucking weird, to be honest. It hasn't been nearly as good as 2014. 2014 was bomb. The World Cup was on and I just got shitfaced every single day and hung out at my mate's houses smoking myself to sleep. Now I have a job and I have get up for shit all the time and everyone is trying to explode everyone else and the ISIS and the FIFA and blah blah blah. Let's face it, it's been a roundly depressing year. Not for one man, though. For Mr Christmas, the year has gone like every year before since 1993. Namely, he has celebrated Christmas every day of it.
Mr Christmas, or Andy Park, is a friend of VICE. Last year we sent him on a triple blind date with Gavin Haynes, one of our premium writers, and a goth. But we didn't want to plunge The Spirit of Christmas himself into another sticky situation (unless by sticky you mean eating a lovely Christmas pud-pud!). Between planning his own funeral, where he wants Slade to play and the Pope to deliver his eulogy, and posting a Christmas card to himself every day, we got him round to do a little taste test. Mince pies, puddings and of course some party food, from Waitrose, Sainsbury's and Iceland. After rating each one on how Christmassy it was, we asked him about key points in the year, how they affected his daily drive for an eternal festive tiding and what he would do if he were Prime Minister. He also has a single out (he releases one every year) which is, I say without a shred of irony, actually pretty good.
Oh my god. That ain't a bad start. Sainsbury's you're winning. The fruitiness, very good. The firmness of it as well. I remember last year [we had] the kind of mince pies they crumble in your hand. These are very firm. I would say they were very Christmassy. They were very good. I can only buy mince pies up until the end of January, so I get a lady locally who makes them for me all year round. But they're as good as these pies, to be honest.
CONSERVATIVES RE-ELECTED (MAY)
Which was one hell of a shock to me because I had no idea they would get in. I honestly thought one of the green parties would get in, because we've had Labour, we've had Conservative, but they've done no good, I don't think. It's just the same sort of thing like people always say the Conservatives are for the rich, Labour are for the poor, they tried Liberal and Conservative together, that didn't really make much difference. I really thought the Green Party would get in, or what's his name, Nigel Farage, I thought he would do well. I was so shocked. So I actually voted for Nigel Farage and unfortunately it didn't happen. He was very upset, obviously, because he put his heart and soul into it. I mean David Cameron, alright he's there for a purpose, he does do a lot of good things but a lot of things I disagree with him about.
If you've got your family to Christmas dinner and they see some holly on the top like that, look, see that's good. It's nice to see a bit of a holly.
This is stronger, this has even more fruit than the last one. Oh wow! Yeah, there's certainly a lot of difference here. I'd say they're better than the Sainsbury's one. Sorry Sainsbury's! I think there are more currants in these. This is the Iceland one isn't it? I think it's got more currants in.
SEPP BLATTER RESIGNS DUE TO FRAUD ALLEGATIONS (JUNE)
That was a bit of a shock to me as well. Who would have thought he would have done that? On the fiddle, telling lies, making money behind people's backs, making decisions without consulting all the presidents of the FIFA – I couldn't believe he'd done that. How many houses has he got? How many fast cars has he got? He's got a Rolls Royce. He's got a great big Mercedes. Five- or six-bedroom houses everywhere. Loaded with money, but where's it all coming from? Let's hope he loses it – it's not fair. I've always wondered about that guy: when I saw him on the national news, or when the World Cup took place, I thought he don't look a very kosher guy, but that's all I thought. Then when that came out on the news, I couldn't believe it. It is quite upsetting, you know. Everyone in that football organisation trusted that guy. Even I did. I'm not much of a very close football fan but I do know what's going on. When you hear something that's happened like that, you think "Crumbs, all these people paying for tickets and all that stuff, they're supporting him in a funny sort of way, some of the money's ending up in his back pocket." Yeah, it's not fair.
To be honest I've never seen a mince pie that looks like this. I eat thousands of mince pies every year, as you know, but I've never seen them like this before. If you'd shown me that in March I wouldn't think it was a mince pie. But, the proof is in the pudding, or should I say, the proof is in the pie – let's taste it. Mmmm! Wow. Wow. Not bad so far. It's certainly different, that's nuts on the top there is it? I'd be in trouble if I had an allergy wouldn't I? It doesn't look Christmassy but it certainly tastes Christmassy. If I was going on taste only I think I would go for the Waitrose one.
GAY MARRIAGE IN IRELAND (MAY)
Well I think as the years go by, there's more gay people coming up front, admitting that they're gay and also lesbians as well. It's not the way god made us but if that's the way they are, so be it, let them be. If they're happy, let them marry – no problem. I don't think they're hurting anybody at all, so I'll go along with that, it's not a problem in my eyes. I entertain in pubs in clubs, and where I entertain – and I know there's lots of gay people go there – and they're friends, some of them talk to me. I make it plain that it doesn't bother me whether they're gay, straight, normal, I don't care. I am what I am. I'm not like that, but to me they're people, and it's what they want to do and it's what they are – nothing will change them on this earth. So it makes no difference to me and Christmas at all.
SAINSBURY'S MINI QUICHES
I think the Sainsbury's quiches look like normal pieces, nothing out of the ordinary. They smell nice and they certainly taste good. I just tried the cheese and bacon. Amazing. Really nice. Not very Christmassy though, but to fill a buffet spot up, I'd use them, if it's just to make a buffet look good, that's what I'd go for. Sainsbury's could have made them a little bit bigger, put something Christmassy on top just like the mince pies did. You could have a nut flavour, maybe have a little bit of turkey in there to enhance the smell. Very nice, but not very Christmassy. You could give me them in March and I'd eat them as normal. But December they should honestly be a bit more Christmassy.
RUBELLA WIPED OUT IN THE USA (APRIL)
I think honestly we should spend more money on things like you just said, rubella. I think eating a roast dinner everyday is good for you. Turkey is white meat, sprouts is vegetables, so is carrots, swede, it's all good stuff. The things that aren't so good for you are things like mince pies, Christmas pudding, lots of cream, lots of drink. But if you drink a little bit of wine or a glass of sherry, in moderation, you can't go wrong. And not only that, how often have you heard that a glass of wine a day is fantastic for you, especially red wine? Bear in mind I don't go out and have Chinese, Indian – it's always Christmas dinner, and I think it's good to always eat white meat, chicken or turkey or duck, it doesn't matter.
ICELAND LUXURY MINI COQUILLE ST. JACQUES
They look very unusual. Never seen them dished up in a shell before, but being a seafood I'd have thought... what is it, crab? I must admit, very nice. But then again, it doesn't look very Christmassy, and I don't think it is very Christmassy. But to fill a buffet space, it would look good. All in, I don't think that's very Christmassy at all.
REFUGEE CRISIS (ONGOING)
I feel sorry for the refugees that are trying to get in this country, because they've got no room to live in. I really do think, if I had a massive big house, I'd try and put some of them up, it would be great you know. It's so sad to see these people on the news. All they carry is a sack – that's their whole life. Because they've lost everything else, and it is sad. And I would do all I can to help.
They look like a Christmas tree don't they? They're called vol-au-vents you say? I think this would do it. It's got the looks and it's got the taste, lovely. I'm thinking that's it's nice, I could imagine eating these in people's houses over the Christmas period. It tastes lovely, tastes nice.
GERMAN WINGS, OR HOW OFTEN DO YOU FEEL THE STING OF SADNESS (MARCH)
To be honest, not a lot. I always try and wake up happy, I try and stay happy throughout the day. I make music, I do a radio show. I'm a DJ in a local pub and play the guitar, play in a bad, singing, playing with the guys. That makes me very happy. Going to nice restaurants, nice places, I like classy meals, I like having Christmas dinners and that. A real classy pub's fantastic. If I feel as though I'm a little bit down, I do something quick to boost myself up. And it works. Try it.
SAINSBURY'S TASTE THE DIFFERENCE CHRISTMAS PUDDING
It looks absolutely fantastic, really smells good, going to pour some cream on. Smells very fruity, very rich, but that's how a Christmas pudding should taste. O-M-G. Nice, very nice. Tastes good.
GREEK ECONOMY (ONGOING)
I wish I knew the answer to that question. Because if I knew it I'm sure the government of Greece would know it as well. So I can't answer that question, because how come it's only happened in Greece then? How come it hasn't happened in any other country? Can't understand that. Something's not happening there, is there, Greece. If they celebrated [Christmas] like me they wouldn't have time to get themselves into a turmoil. Maybe they need to boost up the turkey produce!
ICELAND CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Wow, I've got a funny feeling it's going to taste exactly the same! Mmm, it's a bit hotter. About the same as that one. Currants are bigger in here. Nice big currants. Look at the size of the currants. Wow. Yes, to be honest, it's a little bit weaker flavour-wise that the other one. Still a Christmas pud, still tastes good, I wouldn't say no to that. Still lovely.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT ISIS
Well that is... ISIS is a massive club, if you like. You don't know where they are, they could be in any country any time. You could see four or five ISIS people walk down the street, you wouldn't recognise them. You could put a bomb in Piccadilly, it could go off, boom. Next day could have a bomb in Manchster or Bristol, you don't know. I don't think we'll ever get shot of them. I don't think we'll ever get rid of ISIS. Because that's what they do. Who would have thought this problem in France would have happened. France blown up? 129 people dead? I really couldn't have believed it.
WAITROSE CHRISTMAS PUDDING
Here it is again, what I just said. That tastes the same as what I just tasted. Maybe a bit more doughy. [Orgasmic sounds]. Definitely more dough in this, more doughy, needs more chewing, but for looks it just looks the same as others. The doughiness makes it less pleasant. It's my least favourite out of the three. It wouldn't stop me from buying them, of course.
CHARLIE HEBDO (JANUARY)
Well sometimes I get questioned about this kind of thing and I get stuck for words. It doesn't change the fact that I still want to celebrate Christmas every day but my heart goes out to those people, injured, and some people died, and you know, it doesn't change people, we can't stop living, I still think we got to go on doing what we do, doing what we like doing. I like celebrating Christmas everyday, and it's not going to stop that but I do feel for people like that. Over the years a lot of people have come up to me and said Andy, it's about time you stopped celebrating Christmas everyday. People will think you're mad, you're crazy. But I don't care what they think. I'm having a good time and I meet a lot nice people through it. And I make records and enjoy doing all that sort of stuff. And it's got me well-known for some reason. No one will stop me doing it, no matter what, no matter what.§
So there we have it. Mr Christmas will not bow down to ISIS, and they sure as shit won't make him stop doing his thing, which is celebrating Christmas every single fucking day of every single fucking year. The food changes, the times change, the people change, but if we can put our confidence in one thing, it's that this mad cunt from Melksham, Wiltshire will be eating a roast dinner every day, and watching the Queen's speech another 8,000 times from now until eternity.