Three wise men with unmarked packages

GREAT Scott, has the world gone mad!

No need to answer. The answer is yes!

I have just posted a Christmas gift to my mum in England. They needed to see my identification in the post office.

“But it’s me,” I said. “I come in every week. You smile at me and ask how my wife is.”

“Yessir, but we still need the identification. Just in case.”

I don’t blame the post office. They’re nice people. I don’t even blame the Customs people, who are afraid of what I might be sending in the mail. But it’s Christmas!

How am I supposed to celebrate this season of peace and goodwill to all men when my mum’s new knickers are being explored by specially trained sniffer beagle?

If she ever finds out she’ll wet herself. But I can tell you now she won’t be wearing those knickers when she does it. Not after they’ve been sniffed by a dog.

It’s an insane irony that we are sending gifts through the mail in a bid to bring peace and love a little closer, and we have to take notes in case we’re actually distributing death and destruction.

Soon they’ll reprint that little green customs form upon which they ask you whether you’re sending a gift or a sample.

Instead it will ask you to tick a box indicating whether it’s a bomb or deadly bacteria.

It might not have too much impact on my mum, who was expecting the knickers, but it has sounded the death knell for acts of random kindness. If you send a set of steak knives to a distant cousin in Winnipeg because you plan to visit there next year, but they weren’t expecting them, you could end up with the SAS abseiling through your bedroom window.

It’s kind of sad when you think it all began with three wise men visiting a baby, but I bet that if we actually knew, we’d discover they went through the same kind of security screening.

Herod, don’t forget, was eager to eliminate the Messiah before he grew old enough to start Messiahing.

I ask you… if you’d been Joseph would you have opened the door to three strangers carrying unmarked packages, without, at the very least, listening for the ticking? Except of course that they hadn’t invented ticking back then.

The reason I make jokes about it is because, actually, it has rather shattered my Christmas spirit. It’s hard to feel festive when you stand in a post office queue with a brightly wrapped and tinselly gift, showing your driving licence in case you’re a genocidal maniac.

Which is what the genocidal maniacs want, of course. The bastards want to spoil our Christmas!

Well it’s not going to happen. I have in the past successfully overcome drunken boyfriends, whingeing sisters-in-law, pompous neighbours and the worst Christmas TV adverts in the history of humankind in my determination to enjoy Christmas.

This year will be no different.

I have mailed my mum’s knickers. I addressed them to Osama Bin Laden. My mum will be disappointed I’m sure, but when the net is closing and Osama flies out in his private jet he can use her knickers to parachute to safety.

Pearce and goodwill to all mankind!