When the Red Red Robin Goes........

There seems to be a web site for anything and everything under the sun (remember the sun?). Want to know what day of the week it is? There’s a web site called IsItTuesday.co.uk where, for six days of the week, there is simply the word NO written on screen. Who thought of that as a business? Man Friday? 

How about finally finding out where Heaven is? Well, for a small subscription, a web site called Heaven.com will tell you the answer and also promises to notify you when Heaven comes on earth. To save you the cost of subscribing, I can tell you that the answer they give to the question about the location of Heaven is “it’s in the far reaches of the north”. Just next door to Santa then.

There is even a web site called TheUselessWeb.com which will randomly take you to a site that is guaranteed to be completely, unequivocally pointless. Do people not have jobs, coffee shops to visit, telescopes to view the new neighbours’ bedroom, or lives to lead instead?

Perhaps the site that has annoyed me most over the past week is MiddleClassHandbook.co.uk which is offering advice on what to put inside your round robin letter at Christmas.

In case you are one of the lucky ones and have never received these useless, boastful substitutes for toilet paper, certain people feel that they must update everyone on their youngster’s achievements and spouse’s pay rises each year by putting a letter inside their Christmas cards. These paper boast fests drive me mad and if I was king for a day the first law I would pass would be to ban them for ever. Actually, make that the second law I’d pass as my first would be to give Claudia Winkleman laryngitis. Nothing serious of course, just enough to turn down her volume to mute.

This handbook site gives advice on not antagonising people with boasts and accomplishments in your Christmas cards. They say it’s better to share “that spot on the platform you’ve found where you can always get a seat on the train in the morning”. What?

They also advise sharing “the time you saw that bloke from Gardener’s World in Waitrose”.  Why not just suggest sharing “bowel movements and types of wet wipes used” or, even better, offering “get a life; no one cares about you, your partner, your gifted offspring and award winning hamsters”.

I’ve always hated these letters with a passion so, three years ago, I decided to write a spoof one full of nonsense just to see if people actually read them. Only one or two friends actually did, the rest quite rightly put it straight in to the bin. So I wrote an even more absurd one two years ago and a few more said they’d read it and enjoyed it. That should have been the warning sign. By last year everyone on our card list had cottoned on and we started getting messages like “looking forward to your next round robin” or “really laughed at your letter”.

You see the problem though, don’t you? I’ve now created a rod for my own back and I have to try and write a funny letter each year, a ritual I swore never to get involved in. I’m so mad I may go in to Harrods and pull Santa’s beard off although, of course, I’m told he’s the real Santa so that wouldn’t work.

I usually put the finished round robin on here as my Christmas blog, so you’ll all get to see it soon, and I have already started trying to write it. But nothing funny has happened in the past twelve months and I’m struggling.

So, any suggestions gratefully received. Is there a web site for this? Please drop me a line and let me know. Just don’t put it inside my Christmas card, ok?