It's the first week of December and wouldn't you know it: Christmas is already ruining the lives of thousands of ordinary Dorset residents trying against impossible odds simply to get on with their daily lives.
Police throughout the county report traffic gridlock, children and the elderly are being brutishly pushed aside by consumers eager to seize a prized Christmas gift and banks are at breaking point as they struggle to cope with the escalating demands of e-commerce.
"It's as predictable as Corfe Mullen Academicals losing the Derby to Cripplestyle Celtic" says Corfe Mullen resident and lifelong Corfe Mullen Academicals fan Mavis Cripplestyle (82). "you'd think they'd have done something about it by now like widening the pavements or widening the roads or both but no it's the same every year", she said before pushing a small child into the oncoming traffic as she barged her way into the Corfe Mullen branch of Edna's. "I'm after a packet of sage and onion and they sell out you know", she added.
Local reporter and keen observer of the scene Lance Keene-Observer confirmed that 2017 looked like being a record for consumer spending as well as "directly-shopping-related-retail-based casualties" whilst a spokesperson for Buckland Reapers General Hospital said that their Accident and Emergency Team were on high alert following a near-miss between two pedestrians outside Hinton Martell's Threadbone Extra.
"I blame Jesus" said ex-Baptist minister and local Geography teacher Agge Nostick, "if only he'd chosen to have been born at a time of less inclement weather, there might have been more air to the whole affair. I think it's the sense of impending light to medium showers that does it. People don't want to get wet whilst selecting gifts for family and loved ones do they? June would have been better ... then again that might have been a bit warm for Christmas like in Australia. I'm an environmental determinist myself and that's incompatible with providential grace so Christmas is a problem area for me theologically quite apart from finding something for my mother. She's a difficult woman to please. Tiger Woods Scented Golfballs are not always the answer! You should have seen her face. Any ideas?".
Meanwhile Dorset Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave insisted that matters were under control. "We are fully manned, fully-prepared and fully-booked. So it looks like a bumper Christmas for us. Whilst I am here talking to you, can I recommend a Dorset Constabulary Naughty Advent Calendar to anyone looking for that special gift for a housebound crime-based pleasure seeker?" Asked about progress in the Fife Magdalen tree incident, Sir Rising suffered a bout of temporary vocal paralysis.
Dorset Constabulary Naughty Advent Calendars are available from all three Dorset Police Stations. Anyone providing information leading to an arrest can claim back 5% of the purchase price [offer ends December 24th].
Scenes of congestion, chaos and panic at four of the County's best known consumer hotspots. Shopping-related accidents are already up 0.3321% on last year.