Stick a fork in me, I’m done until Boxing Day
WINTER, even in Queensland, can be a bleak period.
The days may be deliciously clear and warm, but they are short, and by this time of year the looming festivities at the RNA Showground serve as a portent of the howling westerlies to come, bearing with them this year's strain of the Ekka flu and other sundry varieties of exotic plague and pestilence.
It is also that time of year when there is little to look forward to in the way of public holiday long weekends, with just a lonely Queen's Birthday/footy grand final holiday between now and the end of the year.
In other words, it is only a few months until we can once again wage the annual war on Christmas.
We have survived the annual war on Australia Day. In fact, it is fair to say at this late stage that we may even have "saved" it for another year, despite a concerted assault from waves of black arm-banded cultural Marxists determined to destroy 'Straya and Western civilisation as we know it.
We have managed to navigate our way through another delicate Anzac Day period without too many people feeling forced to emigrate suddenly, or search for new employment opportunities, after exercising their free-speech options without the culturally appropriate groupthink.
Christmas looms large on the horizon, though … or should that be the end-of-year holiday season?
With our retailers kicking off the annual consumption orgy earlier and earlier each year, we may as well start digging the Yuletide foxholes now, for before long the likes of Kmart and Woolies won't even bother taking down the tinsel and plastic pine trees at all, instead just draping them in sheets for a couple of months while they flog chocolate bilbies and caramel-filled rabbits.
Soon talkback radio or some corner of the electric Google webs will break the news: Mrs Peabody's neighbour told her that her daughter's friend's children's schoolmates were given detention for drawing pictures of Santa in their maths exercise book.
Before you can say "raw prawn shortage looms", there will be front-page headlines telling us all about attempts to ban Christmas, and warning about the leftists taking over our education system and teaching our children to hate baby Jesus.
Just add right-wing bloviators - a pinch of Alan Jones, a cup of Lyle Shelton - and presto, instant moral panic, as the very fabric of our society risks being ripped asunder.
Soon there emerges evidence that Coles is selling collapsible plastic green things labelled pine trees instead of Christmas trees, quickly followed by rumours of a Christmas card ban in public service workplaces.
This will require a rearguard action to save our Christian traditions, fought by battalions of angry letter writers, social media trolls and boycotts of coffee chains that change the patterns on their disposable cups at the wrong time of year.
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in the confectionary aisle, we shall fight on the internet and airwaves, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the food court, we shall defend our flashing fairy lights, whatever the cost may be.
We shall fight to retain frosted images of snowmen on window glass, reindeer prancing across the top of the bloody bonbon display and Santa dressed up in furs while it's 38C outside, the tar is melting on the road and you can't hear the sleigh bells over the sound of overcooked airconditioning units.
It is coming. Sure as eggs in a short while we will have the likes of Peter Dutton warning darkly again that wishing each other happy holidays is "political correctness gone mad and
I think people have just had enough of it".
The irony in all these confected culture wars is that the brave defenders for traditional values and free speech are usually the first to attack those who take offence elsewhere, labelling them hypersensitive snowflakes who thrive on a culture of victimhood.
Forget to put the three wise men in the school nativity scene, though, and you'll be run out of town faster than if you suggest on April 25 that there may be other things that are also best not forgotten.
I'm over it. Pass the eggnog and wake me up in time for the Boxing Day Test.
Paul Syvret is a Courier-Mail assistant editor