There should be a comma somewhere in the title but... oh, never mind.
I had every intention of writing a warm, sentimental, cosy-on-up type of blog post today, I really did. Something that would have had you all scooting up on the sofa just that little bit closer to your loved ones. Something that would have had you nuzzling up to each other like mewling kittens of Christmas love.
And then Tesco rained on my parade last night. Not hugely. Not diluvian by any means. But enough to make me feel like Mr Tesco himself was pissing down my neck.
The wife and I do our shopping on-line. Have done for years. Why spend 2 hours dragging the kids around a superstore at the weekend when 40 minutes on the computer can get it all done for you and then one of Mr Tesco's Little Helpers will deliver it all to your door on the day of your choice at a time you specify?
It's a wonder of the modern age.
Not that it is not without it's little foibles and foul-ups. The chief of these being the "substitute game". This is the one where your personal shopper in-store can't find the exact item you have requested and so substitutes if for something similar or approximating or something barely genetically linked.
This happens quite often. Sometimes we keep the substitutes; sometimes not. It all depends on the ability of our personal shopper to think inside the box and not come out with something so leftfield you wonder if he/she has had one half of their brain removed for medical experimentation.
But the point is, if Tesco haven't got what we want they have always done their best to offer us a consolation prize.
Until last night.
The night our Christmas shop was due to be delivered. The night our big Christmas chicken was being delivered ready for the big day tomorrow.
The delivery guys arrives at 8.00pm. He unloads. There is no chicken. There is no chicken at all. Anywhere. We check the print-out of what we have ordered - just in case the error was ours. But no. The chicken is listed. Along with the size we specified.
The print-out informs us it was not available. And no substitute has been provided.
None at all.
Even the delivery guy is amazed that Tesco have done this. Isn't it obvious that this is the main component of our Christmas meal? What if we were old, infirm and housebound? What would we do for our Christmas meal then? Make do with a couple of mouldy old Garibaldis from the back of the cupboard?
Thank you, Mr Tesco. That was really helpful. That has really warmed the Christmas cockles of our hearts.
I know, I know. They'd probably sold out. Had none left in the store. But we'd placed this order days ago. We'd put our dibs on a chicken and, as far as I'm concerned, had reserved one. I mean, we pay £5 on top of the food bill for this service after all.
The delivery guy recommended we ring up and complain. Assured us that Tesco would be taking deliveries tomorrow and more chickens would be in stock.
I'm sure he was right. But Karen and I had lost our faith in Tesco. We just wanted our chicken now - safely there in our fridge where we could see it's cute little parson's nose slowly defrosting. We didn't want to play Christmas chicken with our chicken and leave it until Christmas Eve when Tesco might let us down again. 'Cos plainly Tesco didn't give a fig(gy pudding) whether we had anything to eat on Christmas Day or not.
So Karen nipped out to Asda. They had a chicken. A big one. And they sold it to us.
It is now in our fridge and Christmas is saved.
No thanks to Tesco, though.
Tesco - Christmas or not - you can cock right off.