‘On Christmas Day/on Christmas Day/on Christmas Day in the morning’ goes the song, and beautiful it was at around six-ish - quiet, clear and warmer than the pre-Christmas week of cloud and rain.
It’s Christmas Day and a couple of 70-plussers are out for a walk down Julia Avenue.
In the opposite direction, coming from the traffic circle outside Santini Village, a young man seems to have the same idea.
Young and fit, he gets ahead walking quicker and we’re thinking the poor bugger has to work on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day in the morning.
And I’m right, he is working: a skelm who, less than 100m on and not 50m from our door, bends to untie and then tie both shoelaces while we perforce catch up.
I laugh and say if I were a younger man, I’d leapfrog over him just for the fun of being out and about on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day in the morning.
He’s waiting for us to catch up, surprises and shocks us by turning and running at me, stabbing my upper arm (with a screwdriver, I see later) while shouting: “Money! I want money!”
Then his hands are in my pockets pulling out nothing but a door key, a gate opener and a hankie. My only shouted response is: “No money! Not when out walking!” It’s about the only thing we got right that Christmas Day in the morning.
My wife sees this, thinks she’s next, throws the two bangles she’s wearing on to the thick verge. He sees and retrieves them while I’m still shouting about no money, intermittent with loud calls for help.
He grabs my wife’s hand, shoves it into his mouth and she screams as he tries to scrape or bite off her rings with his teeth. For the first time he’s on his knees, vulnerable, and I’ve got some of my wits back, thinking I can get a kick into his vulnerable crotch.
Too late; he gives it all up and runs off, followed by my shouts of him being a stupid bastard - that the police are gonna catch him. Yeah, on Christmas Day, on Christmas Day at six o’clock in the morning…
There’s a PS to this: Why was I so slow to do anything? Not quick enough to protect my wife? She, in turn, wonders why she didn’t shove her hand further down his throat and choke the bastard.
John and Heather Johnson, Plett