this one’s for tyte. :-)


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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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28 Responses to 616

  1. dennis says:

    My goodness your Sooooooo right. How irritating.

  2. Cameron says:

    You forgot the line at the returns counter. Nothing says ‘Thank you!’ than standing in line for an hour to exchange a gift for something you really want.

  3. zefi says:

    Are those smiles I see???

    That’s impossible!!!

  4. Carole says:

    This Christmas, my in-laws bought me a silver locket…in the shape of a bible(!) “Oh, you shouldn’t have…no, really, YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE!”

    I don’t know if I’ve been a little over-zealous in the past re matters of faith to prompt this bizarre purchase. Still, it will go with the diamante cross ear-rings they bought me a few years back…which have never been worn either. Luckily I can laugh about it with my bloke, but I’m actually quite annoyed that they have spent their pensions on something so naff, that I would never wear in a million years. I’d rather they’d not bothered or bought something safe like chocolates or wine or shower gel (not body lotion – never use the stuff and it just gathers dust until I get round to throwing it out!). But I couldn’t hurt their feelings by asking for a receipt to return them. As they are still unworn and in the original boxes, I will probably get rid of them for some charity fundraiser event, at least someone may benefit from them then.

  5. Carole says:

    I cannot tell a lie, we took ourselves off to the local Curry’s Superstore to, once more, lust over big monster TVs. We went through the sweaty palms, palpitations and shortness of breath routine but managed to resist the one that looked like a genuine bargain. So much for the sale of the century – and judging by the crowds, credit crunch my a*se! The bargains on home entertainment are not in abundance…someone has obviously told them that staying in is the new going out…or in my case, staying in is the old staying in! :)

  6. Boxing Day should be more about ‘returning’…

    I just had to take my friend to a retail park and the queues are huge – not just with people buying stuff with vouchers and in sales, but people returning unwanted or unsuitable gifts.

  7. Linus says:

    Mate of mine is temping for Zavvi at the moment. Apparently anyone who got one of their gift voucher card thingies for Christmas is now officially a creditor of Zavvi, can’t exchange it for stock, and have to wait for the administration process to be complete before finding out if they get any money back! Not fun.

    For me, Carole, staying in continues to be the old avoiding shopping it all costs =]

  8. dennis says:

    Carole I cant believe you are so ungrateful! I dont suppose we could do a Noel Edmunds and swap it for a silver bling chain I got from my inlaws? Honestly I would prefer that they spend it on themselves or buy me a pack of biccies instead. And credit crunch!!! You must be kidding I couldn’t move in town today for spending idiots with bags and bags of stuff!!

    Its a depressing sight to see Woolies close down and people lose their jobs but Im told if we dont spend then things will collapse!? Bizarre.

  9. Linus says:

    Some very eminent men of the cloth appear to agree with you, Dennis:


  10. Caroline Too says:

    There’s a new party game for New Year’s Eve…

    which shops will still be trading to take unwanted presents back to in the New Year?

  11. Dorian says:

    My theory is that these holidays will just dissolve over time, becuase honestly the pattern repeats itself everyday! The day after boxing day, the day after the day after boxing day…and so on and so forth until we’re back at Christmas and the commercialism hasn’t even abated…Eventually people are going to see that nothing sets Xmas commercialism apart from the commercialism of any other part of the year…

    Thanks for this one, Jon!

  12. i had an email from argos on christmas morning letting me know that their sale had started.

  13. James says:

    I work in Argos and trust me boxing day is more about returning! :p (well actually we did quite well on boxing day this year – I wasn’t there but I saw the figures, we put our names down if we want to work) But yeah this weekend I was put on Jewelery and there were quite a few returns. Mainline returns are up as well at this time of the year.

    So yeah returning as well as shopping needs to be on boxing day.

    I have become more uncomfortable this year with working for a company that relies heavily on the comercialisation of Christmas to keep on trading. I’ve only really realised this year just how much this is the case. Any company that doesn’t sucssesfully exploit this will end up closing sometime during the following year. It’s quite a scary situation we have found ourselves in.

  14. Mike says:


    I think you just returned my present.

  15. Robb says:

    Linus – sorry – lost interest at the string of letters “telegraph”…….

  16. subo says:

    talking of in-laws, is anyone else a wall flower while they take pieces out of each other? and do you have any tips on surviving a war of words?

    it’s made ‘Scripts People Live’ by Claude M. Steiner, come alive – especially the bit where he talks about how ‘Rescuers’ dismiss the potential of ‘Victims’ to achieve and self manage their own lives

    I wonder why I need to read such stuff, not that my family are any different, it’s just not so easy to guess how to play a dirty move as an in-law

  17. Mimou says:

    This ‘toon perfectly illustrates my chats with many people around this Christmas! Why on Earth are the shops open on Boxing Day? It’s still a hol-y-day? Here back home all shops have to close by 1pm on Christmas Eve (most close already on the 23rd) and don’t open until the 27th. Boxing Day’s meant to be a day of skating and seeing relatives for goodness sake!!! heh =D

  18. Mimou says:

    Dennis, our prime minister (that’s finland) just encouraged us to “keep spending” and consuming to keep the economy alive..It is indeed a strange,scary and weird situation! I’m sad to see Woolies go too :(

  19. Carole says:

    Mimou and Dennis – I, too, am sad to see the departure of Woolworth’s from our high streets. At 14 I managed to get a Saturday job in a branch in one of the less salubrious neighbourhoods of Liverpool. I remember the joy of getting my £4.65 wages at the end of the day after having worked like a little Trojan on the ‘pick ‘n’ mix’ or, if unlucky, floorwalking to deter ‘knock-offs’ (shoplifters). I remember with fondness the annual Christmas cheese of the ‘Wonder of Woolworths’ ads on the TV…ee, them wer’t days…

  20. dadube says:

    Just chiming in with the sad to see Woolies go. I would have gone in one during the summer when I was back in the UK if I’d have known it would be my last chance. Oh well, I’m wondering what other shops will be gone before my trip back at Easter???

  21. jonbirch says:

    there’s going to be a woolies shaped hole at the bottom of our road!!! a large’ish, good for the community shaped hole. big, big shame.

    mimou… yes, our government is saying the same. what a stupid way to run the planet! as people have said above though, looks like the consumer is out in force and number. the press seems to be talking up recession and lack of consumer confidence… prats, the lot of ‘em!

    thanks for the nice comments… you’re obviously as bored with christmas as i am. i bet i got bored first!!! :-)

  22. Anna says:

    Hehe, you should have seen the line for returns at Toys R Us! ‘Tis why they say ‘many happy returns’ on greetings cards.
    (sorry if the jokes been done – great minds think alike)

  23. Forrest says:

    Sometimes it helps to be too poor to do much in the way of buying into the holidy buying frenzy.

    Did get down a bit about not being able to get (spend money) on more things. Eventually decided imaginary shopping would suffice.

    Got wife and my dad each $10 aviation theme movies on DVD – dad Sky King and Penny; Kathy and early John Wayne serial collection. Mom a nice collector type puzzle. And for “merry christmas to me” me a history of the american airport book on sale for 1/2 off.

    Was quite satisfied to have at Christmas the roadkill rescue cat was given just before thanksgiving by my psychologist aND her staff. Cat had been saved from pile of dirt grease and oil at garage after apparently having been hit on road day or more earlier. Pelvis broken 3 places, nerve damage left rear leg, some serious abrasions, tail broken at base. Bonnie decided I needed that cat as a therapeutic animal and she and another paid to save his life.


    Right now he is much more important to me than stuff in a package.
    Yes, there’s frustration and disappointment, and, yeah, even depression, at not being able to do the shopping thing.

    But, then again, did work retail for over two decades, including F.W.Woolworth at Blue Ridge Mall in Kansas City, so I’m a bit burned out to start with on the shopping thing anyway.

  24. dadube says:

    For roadkill your cat looks pretty impressive forrest :)

    jon – haven’t you heard the saying “only boring people get bored”??! :P

    the middle east has got in with all the sales – although a big boo goes to Mothercare who put up their original prices and then reduce them so it looks like you’re saving more money. If they want to fool us they should remove the original price too – d’oh. Skippy and I didn’t spend anything on ourselves but the Popster now has some very cute red shoes and sleepsuits that fit :D

  25. Kim says:

    All best wishes for 2009 everyone, been luverly benefitting from your wisdom, experience and black humour!

  26. Laura says:

    Happy New Year you Asbo-ers you!

  27. I don’t feel that we go in for commercialism at Christmas in a big way compared to a lot of people. And interestingly we de-emphasise Christmas Day itself and celebrate Twelve Days of Christmas. This means that our little daughter gets 12 modest presents over the whole Christmas period – one a day, after lunch. For friends and family we buy mainly ethical presents that this year involved donations to an orphanage in Zimbabwe. As a couple we usually buy ourselves things that we would buy anyway or really feel that we really need. There were some good sales before Christmas and some good ones are still going on. For instance, we got some clothes for our daughter and some chocolate from Woolworth’s and still got a change for a fiver. Personally we feel that we have the balance about right. What do you think?

  28. jonbirch says:

    happy new year laura, kim and all! :-)

    yup david. it is impossible for humans not to consume. yours seems like a good response to so much over consumption. :-)
    most things i have owned were purchased at a healthy discount. i only ever buy clothes, dvd’s etc in sales or offers. except computers… but i need them for my livelihood. even then, i’m thinking of leasing and never owning one again.

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