As with last year, Christmas was delayed a day until Boxing Day, when Helena arrived. Considering that nothing was open on Christmas Day, meaning that I had to plan ahead and have been faced with ever dwindling food supplies, I think I did well to resist the temptation to start on the Stollen Cake before she got here.
I had to get up early as well, so that I could wrap her presents. This year she had asked for a robot dog. His name is Wrex the Dawg, and he's certainly a character.
Of course, this is the robotic equivalent of a dog, so instead of Pedigree Chum he eats batteries - lots of them in several different sizes. He also talks, breaks wind, urinates noisily, and does more tricks than your average mutt.
For example, he can play dead: "I've been hit... it's okay... you go on ahead... don't worry about me... ahhhh...", before asking whether or not his performance rates an Oscar. He can identify obstacles so that he doesn't bump into anything. Unfortunately, this doesn't work when he's reversing.
After Helena had been here an hour I was praying that the batteries would quickly run out. Unfortunately battery technology has progressed a lot since I was a lad, and they still haven't. I've been a bit less irritated by him since she let me have a go.
There's a lot to be said for the mechanical version. It doesn't smell, it won't run up huge bills at the vet, try and steal whatever you're eating, and in a few weeks when the novelty has worn off and it's forgotten about it won't matter.
A dog really can just be for Christmas...