The Way Things Had Been

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Like I say, Christmas is all very well - coming once a year.­ But who wants to make a habit of it? Like that old guy.

It happened just a few minutes ago. I caught this young kid in my garden - pinching figs. Caught him red handed. Told him he ­was cop bait and no mistake. He sniffed and said his mother ­couldn’t afford fruit.

That was all very well. But they were my figs - not that I­ eat them myself. Can’t stand the stuff.

“You think it’s Christmas­? ” I yell at the kid.

“It should be,” says this old guy who pops up. Out of ­nowhere! “Christmas is a state of heart. For every day of every­ year,” he says. “If ­it was, life would be worth living again.” Handed me a R10 note, “for the figs”, he says. Then he vanishes.

I still have the note. But he was gone. Did you see him? A ­funny, stout man in a red suit, long white beard. Who the hell does he think he is­?

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