Catching up with my friends after the Christmas break, the initial polite chit chat was about how everyone spent Christmas, and how their Christmas dinner turned out.
But by and large, most Christmas dinners seemed to be very successful.
However, surprisingly, and despite the many cooking programmes aired on the run up to Christmas day, quite a few people still seemed to have misjudged the cooking time of their turkey.
“That’s the third year in a row we’ve had to wait till half eight at night for our Christmas dinner,” my pal announced.
“And all because my mother-in-law forgot to put the turkey in the oven yet again!”
And I wondered how that was even possible given that it was the main part of the meal.
“Half eight?” I dared to state the obvious.
“You must have been absolutely ravenous by half eight?”
“We sure were.” My pal sounded less than impressed.
“Eventually, after many less than subtle comments, as we realised that the main course was nowhere near ready, she had the sense to serve up the soup.”
“Then…….……” my pal took a deep breath for effect.
“When we had just about finished the soup, she even had the cheek to go round the table and ask everyone if they had had enough soup, or …….. wait for it………… should she open another tin!”
“A tin, I ask you?”
I couldn’t help laughing at the tinned Christmas dinner soup and the forgotten turkey.
According to my pal, when she eventually got her meal, the turkey meat was so tough that her jaws were aching trying to chew it.
“I was so hungry I chewed and chewed, but it was so dry that I had to give in eventually and fill myself up with potatoes.”
“Next year we’re all going out for dinner," she declared.
Which, given the fact that her mother-in-law had scored a hat-trick with three disastrous Christmas meals, sounded like a very sensible idea.
In 2016 it seemed to me that just about every other day whenever I turned on the telly or the radio, the news flashed up that yet another famous person had just died.
Ronnie Corbett, Caroline Aherne, Victoria Wood, Rick Parfitt, David Bowie, and more recently Prince, Carrie Fisher, and George Michael. The list is as long as I can remember it being in a year.
But what I found disturbing was that many of the celebrities were what I would class as ‘young’ when they died.
According to the papers, there are many theories about the rise in the celebrity death toll last year, and one is that so many people of a certain age have died because they are classed as ‘Baby Boomers.’
Apparently between 1946 and 1964, there was a massive growth in population which meant that people in their 50s, 60s and 70s now make up a much larger percentage of the population than they did four or five decades ago.
“I’m just grateful Moira that I’m not a celebrity,” an unrecognisable large bloke on the train next to me announced to his partner who was scouring the latest newspaper headlines.
“Because celebrities have been dropping like flies this last year,” he added.
His partner scowled at him before making her point.
“Eddie, show some respect for these poor folk.”
She was getting her bit in.
“Famous or not, I’m sure their families will miss them just the same.”
But Eddie was on a roll.
“You see Moira, it’s all down to their excessive lifestyle,” Eddie pointed out.
“Because they have so much money, most of them live very unhealthy lifestyles and tend to overindulge.”
But before Eddie could finish is ramblings.
I surmised that Eddie’s partner Moira had had enough of his rants.
“Eddie, you are certainly no celebrity and you’re three stones overweight.”
She pointed out whilst glowering at his oversized belly.
“You’ve never done a single exercise of any description in your life.”
Eddie took a slurp of his diet Irn Bru as Moira continued.
By now me and the others in the train carriage within earshot were eagerly waiting to hear Moira deliver the final blow to Eddie’s quickly diminishing ego.
“You’ve just stubbed out your eighth fag of the day before you got on the train.”
Moira seemed to have gotten her point over loud and clear to her porky partner as they left the train before adding.
“The only way you’ll make the headlines Eddie is if you’re caught in and armed robbery.”
She spat out the words.
“Dead or no dead!”