Monday, 24 December 2012

Last Christmas

I wrote this story before I invented Steve but it has all the hallmarks of a Steve Rant. So in this rewrite, I've turned it into exactly that. As always I am interested to know if you think the rewrite works better than the original. (which is below)  Enjoy.
For new audio click here
“Oh, I hate this song,” Steve said as he took a large mouthful of beer.
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” Johnny said.
“It really doesn’t make any sense.” Steve ploughed on.
“It’s a song Steve, just a bit of romantic, seasonal drivel; it’s not meant to make sense.”
“It’s not romantic; it’s nonsense, pointless, gibberish. If you think about it for half a millisecond, you expose it as hogwash.” Steve went quiet and pointed to the speakers so they could enjoy George Michal’s mellow tones.
I wrapped it up and sent it.
“You did what now? You wrapped a heart up and sent it? That’s disgusting! Image opening that on Christmas morning. If we get over the grossness of that, it must have been a bit embarrassing; like when you’ve bought someone a diamond necklace and they’ve bought you a Toblerone. ‘Here’s my heart.’ ‘Oh thanks I’ve got you some bath salts.’  Steve took a mouthful of his Guinness.  “But what’s even worse was she gave it away the very next day, regifting gloves or alcohol is one thing but regifting a heart, that something else entirely. ‘Oh darling you’re giving me your heart.’ ‘Well actually, it’s not mine, it’s George’s. I thought you’d like it. “Lovely I’ll put it next to the kidney’s you gave me last year.’”
“It’s a song Steve,” Johnny repeated. Steve pointed to the speakers again.
This year to save me from tears I'll give it to someone special.
“That implies that last year he gave it to someone who wasn’t special. Why they hell would you wrap up and send your heart to someone who isn’t special?” Steve said.
“With a note saying I love you,” Johnny added.
“Exactly,” said Steve, warming to his task. Steve pointed to the air again.
Tell me baby do you recognise me? Well it’s been a year…
“This guy genuinely needs help. He gave away his heart to a woman who thinks he’s so insignificant she gives it away the very next day and then doesn’t even recognise him just 365 days later. And he obviously hasn’t learnt because he’s giving it away again, despite the fact that if she kissed him now he knows she’d fool him again. So he obviously still carries a torch for last year’s one but he’s giving away his heart to someone else who is apparently special. It’s nonsense.”

“Steve, you think too much,” Johnny said, and made his way to the bar.

The Original

'Oh I love this song.' said Mandy as we sat in a cafe drinking tea recovering from  a hard day's Christmas shopping. I searched her face for sarcasm and when I found none, I let out a groan and buried my head in my hands.
'What's wrong?' she looked genuinely puzzled; I knew this had to be our last Christmas.
'Have you ever listened to the lyrics?' I asked, my voice betraying my disgust.
‘Yes, they’re romantic.’
I shook my head, composed myself and started my rant. Poor Mandy.  
'They are not romantic; they are nonsense, pointless, gibberish. If you think about it for half a millisecond, you expose it as drivel. “This year to save me from tears I'll give it to someone special” the implication of that is that last year he gave it to someone who wasn't special. So, why the hell did he give this non-special one his heart? Surely a heart should be reserved for special ones especially if you are going to wrap it up with a note saying I love you. And why does he keep wittering on about how she'd fool him again if she isn’t special?’
Mandy looked like she was going to say something but she wasn't quick enough.
‘But that's not all, “Tell me baby do you recognise me. Well it's been a year it doesn't surprise me.” So George is giving his heart away on a whim, not to some person he's known for a while but to someone he's just met and for whom he’s so insignificant she forgets him within 365 days.’ I held my arms open as if that gesture helped proved my point.
‘Well, no wonder she gave it away the very next day, it must have been one of those really embarrassing moments when you’ve bought someone a diamond necklace and they’ve bought you a Toblerone.’
‘It’s a song’ Mandy said ‘Not all songs make sense.’
‘No, agreed but this one has more holes in than a Curly Wurly.’ I had no idea why chocolate bars were featuring so prominently in this rant.
‘I mean at the end he says “now I've found a real love you'll never fool me again” and he blabs on about this year giving his heart to someone special. Has this man not learnt his lesson? George claims he has a new love, so why is he hiding from his ex, not wanting to catch her eye and singing if “you kissed him now you'd fool me again”. To be honest if his new beau hears that, then she’s going to be giving away his gift-wrapped heart too.'
‘I think you are being too literal.' Mandy said.
'I know I probably am' I agreed, 'but a song should have some semblance of logic. The whole premise doesn’t make sense. Listen!’
The very next day she gave it away”.
‘Jesus, I mean, I guess it’s okay to regift gloves, or perfume but a heart? “Oh thank you Mary, how kind, someone else's heart, that will look lovely on my mantelpiece next to the kidneys you gave us last year.” absolute nonsense.’
The Wham song had finished to be replaced by that awful Band Aid one but Mandy didn’t look like she was in the mood to hear my thoughts on that, so I sunk my teeth into my Wagon Wheel and kept my counsel. 


  1. And I think the time is domingo to records this one :-)

  2. hhehe... I was in such a hurry that i ahven't noticed the magic of the spell check: should be "time is coming to record":)

  3. And how does Mariah treat men when she sings "All I want for Christmas" is you? Like sex objects! How can a woman have a man for her own? Does she think he will be her slave or something?:):)

  4. Petra Goláňová28 December 2015 at 09:22

    Personally I enjoyed both of versions the same. My brother and my sister used to listen to the song in the 80's so as it's a song of their fine times I'm not gonna analyse it with them :)