You cannot force happiness. But boy do we try. And we try hardest of all at this time of year. The festive season is a coercive free-for-all, where religion, commerce, carbonated pop and freaky fat men breaking and entering our homes all conspire to indoctrinate joy into our lives.

Is it any wonder that more people die at this time year than any other?  Statistics from the Social science and Medicine Journal have tracked natural deaths over 25 years and their studies show a 3-9% rise.  It seems we can will ourselves to die when we want to, and the most epic day of all is 25th December. Are you listening JC?

It’s not just us lay people who succumb to the festive day of doom. Big names throw in the towel too. James Brown, Eartha Kitt, Curtis Mayfield, Dean Martin, Charlie Chaplin & WC Fields have all checked out on the 25th (strange pattern here with legendary soul singers).

Of course, we could take the North Korean-esque approach and make it illegal to die of natural causes on December 25th, so as not to upset the greater good of the nation. But we’d have to dish out an appropriate punishment…yes, you’ve guessed it.


The latest in a along line of world endings is coming up on Friday 21st – to coincide with the end of the Mayan calendar cycle.

So far this year, we’ve escaped unscathed through Ronald Weinland’s prediction of May 27th, and June 30th plucked out of the deep and meaningful air by Jose Luis de Jesus. A local woodsman even teed up 12-12-12 as the great apocalypse.

At least December 21st is being backed by many doomsayer punters, although NASA are not taking bets and lining up proof 6 days in advance of us hiding in bunkers. For once it has nothing today with the third coming of Christ and almost everything to do with outer space. Yes, aliens or a supernova the size of Cuba. Quite where it’ll hit or they’ll land is of course, part of the suspense.

It made me wonder if we can conjure up a back up plan just in case NASA are being complacent. Something simple based on an old fable – I’m thinking Three Billy Goats Gruff. Yes, how about we dangle a bigger carrot of doom in front of our imminent visitors, be they mineral, animal, vegetable, or some other state of being. We reconfigure modern time to allow a 13th month in the year, therefore giving us the most unlucky date of all time. If this means robbing January 2014 to create a 13th month of 2013, so be it.

So at 13:13 on 13:13:13, our luck will run out big time and Armageddon will arrive, but at least we can run. To where, you ask? Just far enough away for a short while to avoid the crash.

Talking of which, does anyone have Felix Baumgartner’s number?


She never quite got to grips with make-up. Not she needed to look gorgeous in her job as a dental hygienist. Her one excursion into cosmetics ended with her applying nail varnish as mascara in a Weatherspoon’s powder room. Her eyelids welded open. She’d have been blinded, but for an off-duty fireman who walked in the wrong door. He prized her lids apart with a credit card and soap. They became lovers and 3 years later, gave birth to conjoined twins.


He took the train home from work every morning in his gabardine slacks and brass-buckled loafers. His yawn pre-empted the driver’s warning horn of the train by 2 seconds.

The day he dislocated his jaw with an over-yawn was the day the train derailed, killing one man and seriously injuring 17 others.

Maybe it was time to stop working nights.