It's early morning, a bit overcast and one can see ones own breath, hanging like steam in the cold morning air. Mister Higgins appears in his front garden, with his three stage ladder, twenty dustbin liners full of Christmas lights, a suitcase full of 24 Volt transformers and nine miles of four-gang extension cables. Mister Higgins ALSO has some mysterious NEW STUFF (still in its box), with which "he'll astound the neighbours". Mister Jenkins (over the road), has been rubber-necking through the upstairs bedroom net curtains, and realises that he's got a fight on his hands with regards to the total amount of bulbs/lamps per square centimetre that are going to illuminate their respective dwellings from October 1st through to about January 31st 2010. Mister Jenkins then clears out his loft and shed, and dumps seventy-three ASDA bags full of electric twinkling shit on his front porch. Goes and gets his ladder AND his own personal set of scaffolding, AND fifteen miles of electric extensions, AND his "Spectacular Set-Piece" - a twelve foot high illuminated, inflatable snowman that sings "We wish you a Merry Christmas* in a North Korean accent whilst simutaneously blowing pretend snowflakes out of its arse in a never ending recycled stream of polystyrene lumps. "F**k you Mister Higgins", mutters Mister Jenkins. Mister Higgins, meanwhile, is chuckling to himself as he ascends his ladder, clutching a four pound lump hammer and a bag of three inch nails. He then sets about hammering one hundred new "fixing points" into the brickwork of his semi, sending an avalanche of mortar, brick-bits and cement raining down into his goldfish pond. "You're not going to put the same f***in' Snowman out again this year?", thinks Mister Higgins. He shakes his head. "Loser.........." Mister Jenkins (not to be out-done) has wrapped a couple of Kilometres-worth of sparkling flashing lights, shaped like icicles around every bit of hedge and garden shrub at his disposal. He runs the extensions back through his kitchen window, unplugs the freezer (f**ck THAT.......not required for the next 3 months), and plugs half a dozen transformers into the vacated socket....but he's worried as to exactly WHAT Mister Higgins has got in the unopened box.....new one eh? He downs tools, gets in his car and promptly f**ks off to his local Garden Centre. Mister Higgins thunders on in an outside Christmas-Lights decorating frenzy. Hours later, Mister Jenkins returns, with a car topped up with a huge f**k-off box marked, *Made in the Peoples Republic of North Korea* *For Export and sale to thick English bastards only* *This way up* *Do not plug in* *Danger* *This Item is for Entertainment only and will probably kill you* *Manufactured in the Korean Province of Kai-Lok-Bin-Din-Wak-Da-Doo-Ron-Ron* Mister jenkins is now a very happy bunny. He bangs on his next-door neighbours front door. The door is answered by a one-hundred and five year old grizzled, wart covered woman called Doris, who suffers from advanced senile dementia and has been in a fucking world of her own since 1967. "Morning Doris - you old incontinent, pissy-nickered lunatic!", says Mister Jenkins. "Can I borrow all your spare f***in' plug-sockets again eh ? I've got no more spare capacity in my gaff !"", he enquires. "Naturally - I'll have to leave every one of your f***in' windows open all winter, so I can run all my extensions into your shit high hovel of a house..........but hey!.......you've f***in' lived this long...I'll leave you a socket for your three-bar electric fire anyhow, so I reckon you'll survive another cold snap!" Doris merely dribbles a puddle of salavia onto the front step and shuffles off back into the front room, where she can continue to barbecue her legs in front of her one and only 3-bar electric fire. Mister Jenkins feeds wires and cables in through her grimy windows and helps himself to some free electricity, at the same time making a mental note to liberate all the Claris Cliffe pottery from the kitchen cupboards on his next visit. Mister Higgins has nailed the equivalent of the Blackpool Seafront Illuminations to the front facade of his abode. There's cables every-f***ing-were, all winding their way down the front of the house, in through the letterbox to end up on a home-made wooden board that can house no less than six-dozen 12 Volt, 24 Volt, 240 Volt, 50,000 KiloWatt transformers, plugs, generators and RCD's. Mister Jenkins has sprayed his house with superglue, using his Cuprinol Fence Spraying Machine (which will go in the Green Wheelie bin on completion), and has flung a vast assortment of fairy lights and twinkling snowflakes at it. They stick to the house in a "Modern Art" sort of way. He hooks them up to the rest of the lights (powered by Demented Doris's electricity), and stands back to admire his work. Now for the "coup de grace". Mister Higgins and Mister Jenkins are each down to their last unopened cardboard box. This is the big one! Just WHAT have they kept in reserve with which to black- cat the other, and probably blow their respective consumer units off the walls and cause the local Electricity sub-station to spontaneously combust. The tension is unbearable as they set about the boxes with blunt Stanley Knives. The light is fading fast. The pair of 'em have been putting up lights since half-eight in the morning. Mister Jenkins cannot see what Mister Higgins is assembling, and Mister Higgins cannot see what Mister Jenkins is setting up in pride of place at the front of his garden. They put their ladders, hammers, nails, ASDA bags and bin liners away for the next three months, and nod politely to each other as they go back inside. "F***ing prick.......", thinks Mister Higgins. "Nob-Head W**nker.....", thinks Mister Jenkins. They each stand before the master *On* switch in their own kitchens, ready to send that ultimate Christmas *F**K YOU* message to their neighbour. <<<<<CLICK!>>>>> The lights all burst into life. The street lighting dims and the lamp-posts all explode in a shower of sparks. NOW - they both know what each others new Christmas light purchases are! There - for all to see, at the front of each household, is a life-size twinkling rope-light model of Seve McQueen, astride his famous motor bike, trying to jump the hedge/wall of Mister Higgins and Mister Jenkins front gardens. Steve McQueen - wearing a Santa Hat with a flashing Christmas Bell on the end of it, leaping desperately aloft - his motorcycle leaving a twinkling trail of fairy dust behind it, as the Waffen SS patrol (dressed as Santas little helpers) blaze away at him with Schmeisser sub-machine guns. Mister Higgins and Mister Jenkins both give each other the finger through the front room curtains before knockin' it on the head for the night. Christmas.....ahhh Christmas. You know it's not too far away when the Garden Centres get their Christmas displays out, you can hear fuckin' SLADE bawling out THAT record in every supermarket in the Kingdom, and *The Great Escape* is on BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, ITV2, Channel 4, 5, 6, Sky 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10, Cable, Playstation, X-Box, Ipod and is available as a free download. (Any resemblance to persons living or dead....or me and my next door neighbour are completely and utterly true) "Christmas is coming" "The goose is getting fat" "The Garden Centre's flogging lights" "And I want loads of that" "If I don't have a thousand more than him" "With which to light my place" "I'll visit him on Christmas Day" "And smash him in the face"