10 Fun Christmas Facts!


1. If anyone can hear you singing “Silent Night” you’re singing it wrong. The audible version is called “Audible Night”, for reasons lost in the mists of time!

2. Father Christmas is not Christmases real dad, he’s its step-dad, which is why he tries too hard.

3. The day after Christmas, December 26, is known as Boxing Day, because that’s traditionally the day when naughty children, fresh from their humiliating snub by Santa Claus, are put in boxes and posted to Hell!

4. The first Christmas was celebrated on December 25, 336AD in Rome, although the shops were full of decorations and Frozen calendars from mid-October that year!

5. The Puritans forbade the singing of Christmas carols. It was an odd move as nothing is guaranteed to suck the joy out of an occasion like singing all fifteen fucking verses of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”!

6. Artificial Christmas trees have outsold real ones since 1991. Artificial sentiment overtook actual emotion two years later!

7. If you added up all the gifts in the Twelve Days of Christmas, while on fire, it would still be more fun than singing it, and anyone singing it in the area would be jealous of you!

8. Christmas is the time of year that parents tell a little white lie to children: that Doctor Who is actually any good!

9. Scientists estimate that human vocal chords evolved around 50,000 years ago, and since then the worst sound any human has ever made is Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time”!

10. Atheists celebrate Christmas by singing carols such as “Hark! Nothing Sings”, “O Come All Ye Knowledgeable” and “Audible Night”!

Fact File #11: The Octopus

The octopus is the fourth most intelligent creature on Earth, behind humans, dolphins and my dog Chris. Honestly, it’s like he really understands what you say to him! And he looks really thoughtful sometimes. OK, he only got a 2:2 in his media studies degree, but he was quite poorly that June and to be honest he hardly revised at all.

The octopus got its name from seven-year-old Hannah Remington in 1986. She entered a Blue Peter “Name This Icky Glob of Whatever” competition and won a badge and some book tokens.

Contrary to popular belief the plural of “octopus” is not “octopi”, because the word “octopus” does not come from the Latin, it comes from a seven-year-old girl. The actual plural of “octopus” is “octopises”.

The blue-ringed octopus is one of the deadliest creatures on Earth. One dose of its venom can kill up to 26 people. Although, to be honest, all species of octopus are deadly, depending on how many of them you try to put in your mouth in one go.

Octopises are cold-blooded, like Ann Widdicombe.

Octopises have three hearts, which is three more than Ann Widdicombe. They are also better dancers, look more attractive in lipstick and, despite being millions of years old, hold more progressive views on homosexuality.

Male octopises have sex more times than Ann Widdicombe ever will i.e. once. They die shortly afterwards. Mating is brief, ugly and the female octopus will often eat her male suitor, which is kind of what I imagine sex with Ann Widdicombe would be like. I really must stop trying to imagine what sex with Ann Widdicombe would be like. I’d rather fuck an octopus.

Octopises rarely fart, as by the time they have worked out which leg to lift the moment has gone.

Octopises are masters of camouflage, and can transform themselves to resemble many other sea creatures using only stage makeup and a series of false moustaches.

You can buy octopises quite cheap but man, the replacement ink costs a fortune.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #10: Light

There is a light that never goes out: it is the little red one on my PlayStation 2. I really should unplug it when I’ve finished playing Bishi Bashi Challenge.

Light is both a wave and a particle. Dandruff is actually little particles of sunshine that have got stuck in your hair. That’s what I tell myself, anyway.

A smile can light up your face. So can lighter fluid and a match, but a smile is more environmentally friendly.

Have you ever wondered why different materials have different colours? Me too, but looking into it, it’s quite complicated and really, life’s too short. Just look at the colours. They are pretty.

Light can be dangerous: UV rays cause cancer, laser weapons are deadly and accurate and can be fired from space, and having a lighthouse dropped on you will frequently prove fatal. Lighthouses are often heavier than normal houses, ironically.

If we could somehow harness the energy my Mum expends on moaning about energy-saving lightbulbs we could light up Middlesbrough town centre for a week. We’d just need a righteous-indignation-to-AC converter.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #9: Giraffes

Giraffes have no tear ducts, so the only real way to tell if you’ve upset one is when they stop putting little kisses at the end of their text messages.

Giraffes evolved their long necks for a giggle. Irreversible evolutionary decisions should never be made while drunk.

Giraffes are vegetarian, but don’t bang on about it, or insist you use a separate grill when you’re barbecuing their beanburgers.

Giraffes have excellent eyesight, which they need to see if their shoelaces are untied.

Never play I Spy with a giraffe for money.

A giraffe’s natural enemies are lions, hyenas and vampires.

The knobs on the top of a giraffe’s head are called ossicones, and mean a giraffe’s choice of headgear is limited to the top hat or sun visor. Neither is a good look for a giraffe, but try telling them that.

Giraffe necks come in three varieties: straight, bendy and crazy.

A giraffe’s coat pattern is unique, and takes two hours to apply each morning, using potato prints and HP Sauce.

Giraffes are considered by naturalists to be among the worlds most fascinating animals, but you still don’t want to be stuck talking to one at a party. Yes, you are tall and acacia leaves are tasty, I get it! Jesus.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #8: Tigers

Despite their colouring, tigers do not taste orangey. If anything they taste of silently stalking death mandibles. With a slight cinnamon tang.

It is easy to tell the difference between an Indian tiger and an African tiger: an Indian tiger’s ears are relatively small in proportion to its head, whereas African tigers do not exist.

There used to be eight subspecies of tiger. There are now only five, plus Tigger, but there’s only one of him, a fact which he currently finds “wonderful” because the awful implications have yet to hit him. But they will, and when they do… bam, no more bouncing and singing, he’ll be with Eeyore down by the river, you mark my words.

Tiger saliva is antiseptic. It’s what Bear Grylls uses instead of Savlon.

The distinctive markings of the tiger acts as camouflage in tall reeds, grasses and the bedrooms of people who think they are way sexier than they actually are.

Once a tiger has tasted human flesh, all other foods become secondary and they will always crave another taste. We are like heroin or crispy aromatic duck to tigers.

“Catch the tail by the tiger,” sang the Fraggles. “Don’t,” sings me. Who are you going to believe?

A tiger’s most developed sense is its sense of hearing, followed by its sense of humour and its sense of fair play (never cheat while playing Boggle with a tiger. They get grumpy). Its least developed sense is its fashion sense. C’mon guys, it’s the spring season: orange and black again?

Tigers do not purr, although if they know a tune they’ll sometimes hum along.

Tigers enjoy Frosties, but will often buy the supermarket own-brand equivalent, becase they have no real conception of brand loyalty. One more thing which separates us from the beasts, along with abstract reasoning and the use of condiments.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #7: Polar Bears

Polar bears camouflage themselves by covering up their black noses with their white paws. There could be a polar bear standing in front of your fridge right now and you’d never know. In fact, there probably is. In fact, there definitely is. Run!

Contrary to popular belief, polar bears do not enjoy Fox’s Glacier Mints. They prefer to eat sea lions, fish and Werther’s Originals.

Polar bears are playful animals. You often see them in the zoo doing the Hokey Cokey, although for some reason they get stuck on the “in out in out” bit and never quite make it to the “shake it all about” bit. They are funny!

Polar bears are solitary beasts. They claim to be single by choice, but come on. Like that’s fooling anybody.

Polar bears are often portrayed as the innocent victims of climate change, but when was the last time you saw a polar bear buying an energy-saving lightbulb? Put up or shut up, polar bears.

I adopted a polar bear through the Word Wildlife Fund. She writes to me twice a year, which is nice. I don’t know what I’m going to say when she asks about her real parents though. It’s a worry.

The popular advert in which two polar bears enjoy a bottle of Coca-Cola was faked. CGI was used to conceal the fact the bears were actually drinking Fentiman’s ginger beer.

If you were bitten by a radioactive polar bear, you would not develop the proportionate strength and speed of a polar bear; nor would you gain any other powers, such as the ability to turn practically invisible just by covering your nose with your hand. You would most likely die quite quickly of massive blood loss and trauma, or slowly of radiation poisoning. That sort of thing only works with spiders, apparently.

God, if you think polar bears are so great, why don’t you go and live in one?

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #6: Hippos

Hippos feel pretentious when they have to refer to more than one of themselves as “hippopotami”. They tend to avoid other hippopotamususes for this reason.

They also avoid octopususes.

If you sucked all the fat out of a hippopotamus, you’d be very poorly indeed.

The hippo is Earth’s 4th biggest land mammal, after the elephant, the rhino and some Americans.

Hippos are closely related to whales, but they rarely visit or even send Christmas cards because they think the whales are a bit up themselves.

The word “hippopotamus” is derived from the Greek word “hippopotamus” which means “hippopotamus”.

Hippos are quicker than you’d think. They can achieve speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. Faster if they’re on rollerblades.

Hippos can be found in African regions south of the Sahara, and in zoos world wide. And I think I might have seen one in a wig working in the Greggs on Linthorpe Road in Middlesbrough.

Hippos are responsible for making me write two dubious “fat jokes” in this post. Hippos are a bad influence on me.

George out of Rainbow is not a real hippo. If a camp puppeteer tried to stick his hand up a real hippopotamus for a children’s TV show, there’d be hell on.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #5: The Vikings

Vikings had long hair, moustaches and spoke a bit like the Swedish chef off The Muppets. Ooh, scary.

Wednesday was named afer the Viking god Wodin, Thursday was named after his son Thor, Friday was named after his wife Freya and Saturday was named after Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were just named after days of the week.

If you see a Viking at a bus stop, do not get on the same bus as him as it is probably going to the snowy wastes of Asgard, no stopping. And the sandwiches are really expensive at Asgard bus station.

Contrary to what you might have seen at York’s Yorvik centre, Vikings were actually quite realistic.

Only one Viking helmet has ever been found, in a Viking grave in south Norway. It didn’t have horns, but it did have a little propeller on the top.

Vikings called their long ships “longships” and their long houses “longhouses”. This just demonstrates the basic lack of imagination which meant they couldn’t stay in on an evening and entertain themselves with a game of charades or Boggle or consensual sex; hence all the going out and rape and pillage and whatnot.

The word “Viking” came originally from the verb “to vike”, meaning “to have long hair, a moustache and speak a bit like the Swedish chef off The Muppets.”

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #4: Christmas

Be careful what you wish for, Roy.

Father Christmas is real, he just can’t be bothered.

Christmas is celebrated around the world as the time of year at which we give thanks for the many excellent 3-for-2 offers in Boots and Marks & Spencer.

The tradition of eating a turkey at Christmas was started by a goose.

In one of the infinite number of parallel universes predicted by quantum theory, it really is Christmas every day, and Roy Wood is curled up in the corner of a tinsel-filled room surrounded by fake snow and children in chunky knitted woollen hats, and he’s weeping glittery glam tears and whispering: “make it stop, make it stop, please Jesus for just one day make it stop.” And then the kids start singing and the band begins to play, and he weeps some more.

More facts next time, fact fans!

Fact File #3: Cats

Cats have nine lives, which is, like, nine more than me.

You should never pick a cat up by the scruff of its neck; always use the carry-handle concealed in its tummy hatch.

Cats have 290 bones in their bodies, which is 30 less than a dog but 290 more than a KFC crispy strip.

A cat’s normal body temperature is 101.5 degrees, and yet its heart is as cold as ice.

People who own cats live longer, have less stress, have fewer heart attacks, less friends and absolutely zero awareness of how little I care about that cute thing their cat did this morning.

Cats can see up to 120 feet away. The first rudimentary telescope involved Galileo putting his eye to a cat’s arse, and twisting its neck to focus.

Finding a room with enough room to swing a cat in can take a lot of trial and error, and several cats. It’s usually the ceiling that scuppers things.

In popular British sitcom Are You Being Served?, the character Mrs Slocombe would often refer amusingly to her “pussy”. Which is why whenever I hear the word “pussy” I think of Molly Sugden’s vagina. Which is a shame. A real.

If it wasn’t for cats jumping into boxes there would only be 600 videos on YouTube, and half of those would be of cats who had been put into boxes jumping out of them.

Cartoon cats are far more resilient than real ones. You try clouting a real cat in the face with a steam iron – you’ll be amazed at how messy and permanent the damage is, to both the cat and the iron, although the iron should still work ok.

Owning a cat is a good way of announcing to the world that from now on, instead of nice, thoughtful presents you’d actually like any old piece of tat with a picture of a cat on it for birthdays and Christmas.

My first childhood crush was on Catwoman. I still fancy her now but I worry that if I was going out with her, and my parents came round to visit, she’d spend the whole time sitting in the middle of the living room carpet licking her own arsehole.

More facts next time, fact fans!