Cooper Brown: He's Out There

'I push past the elf. Suddenly I'm in this tacky cave where the bearded one is sitting on his plastic throne'
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Uh-oh, Coop's in trouble again, and big time. It's just because it's Christmas. I like all the parties and stuff but I can't stand the frickin' fakery of having to give presents to everyone you've ever shooken hands with. You go out on a shopping blitzkrieg, throwing any old shit into your groaning basket, watching your credit card melt as you get more and more desperate to finish this whole nightmare. Crappy chocolates, unfunny books, horrible, cheap, box sets of spa stuff, more and more stuff by Ricky Gervais (how much stuff can this guy fire out? He must have some sort of Damien Hirst-like factory line producing it). No one wants any of this garbage. No one ever asked for any it. Yet everyone has to go through this ludicrous rigmarole of "giving." I don't want Shit's Miscellany or bubble bath any other time of the year so what makes people think that I need some now?

It's just like the stupid system of "rounds" you have over here in bars. The idea is that "your round" indicates that you're being generous and buying everyone a drink. However, if you accept other people's rounds but don't buy "a round" yourself then you're accused of being a tightwad. The whole system is therefore totally false. It's not about selflessly offering friends a drink. It's about offering one whilst expecting one back otherwise they put a sign up in the pub telling everyone that you're a paedophile, at least that's what happened with me at Ben's local. It's just like this Christmas charade. Why don't we all just refuse to accept any present that is worth less than £100? That way everyone would be forced to decide whether they really wanted to give that person a present or not. Setting the bar at £100 would really sort the wheat from the chuff. Victoria's mum keeps using this expression, what does it mean? I know what the sentiment is but where does it come from? Answers on a postcard please to

I went to a hellhole called Whiteley's Shopping Centre to get my Christmas duties out of the way. It's a big mall near the Cooperdome and I was hoping that I could get everything sorted in one sweep. I have a clever plan for the in-laws. I'm going to tell them that I've given the amount of money that I would have spent on them to charity. They won't dare protest and I won't dare reveal that the charity is for the benefit of a certain Mr Cooper Dakota Brown Improvement Fund. Good plan huh!

I've got to start writing for a different paper. The very fact that I can announce my devious plans in here safe in the knowledge that no one my in-laws know will read it makes me slightly uneasy. Actually, maybe I should just get some new in-laws...only kidding, sort of. The father called this paper "the voice of Satan" last weekend. Anyway, I'm wandering around this consumerdome- Whiteleys, and I can't move for Arabs. It's like downtown Jeddah. I can't help wondering what it is that they're all shopping for? It's not like Christmas is going to affect them? I have a little sneak peek into Marks and Spencers just to check that our Levantine friends are not all stockpiling food and water. If these guys know something, then I want to be in on the plan. Everything appears normal and I return to Defcom One.

I go into this lingerie store. There's no point getting Victoria any as she'd need some hippo range of panties at the moment but I reckon that a sexy little set for Danielle, my assistant, could pay off in the long run. Her insane boyfriend is back in prison and she's been a lot nicer to me recently. I think she gets the Coop now and there's no harm in keeping the workforce happy. I spend 10 pleasurable minutes in the place before the assistant starts to give me that lesbian "what are you doing in here" look that normally forces me to buy loads of stuff to prove that I'm not on pervert duties.

I refuse to succumb to her deviant pressure so I leave and find myself under the central dome of the mall. There's a huge Christmas tree/grotto affair and there's a little queue of kids waiting to see Father Christmas. I have a brainwave. I'll go see the bearded offender and get a free present off him that I'll use to give to Victoria's niece. Genius, I think to myself. So I ignore the looks from a couple of Burberried single moms and stand in the queue. I finally get to the front, only to find this little chav elf who tells me that I have to be with a child to get in.

I push past and suddenly I'm in this tacky, blue-lit cave where the bearded one is sitting on his plastic throne. He looks surprised and asks me in a Cockney accent whether I have any children with me? I tell him that I've got one on the way and that he should just hand over the present as I have stuff to do. At this moment, the elf bursts in and tries to drag me out. I end up with the elf in a headlock and Father Christmas hitting me over the head with a plastic reindeer antler. Security is called and I am frickin' arrested!! I'm taken to a little mall prison before the police come and take me away.

I'm told that I have an anger management problem. I tell them that I have Christmas Rage and that they must have better things to do, like arresting criminals, but they don't listen to me and I spend a whole afternoon and night in a police cell. I now have another court date after Christmas. I've gotta write a book about this shit. If Jeffery Archer can get away with it then so can the Coop. Happy Fuckin' Christmas. Cooper out.;