At least Santa’s still real. We’ll ask him to scrub off one of Malta’s many blemishes next year

The Skinny | No. 171 - A Post-Apocalyptic Yuletide

What are we skinning? Our attempts at scraping together some Christmas cheer after we emerge charred and scarred from the post-pandemic year and a bit.

Why are we skinning it? Because a nation’s health and hygiene can be determined by the state in which slouches through Christmas and emerges from L-Istrina on the other end. 

THIS nation’s, specifically, you mean? Be honest: is there any other nation worth considering? 

Our utterly unjustified sense of narcissistic self-regard will never cease to amaze me. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, and lands all the more sweetly during the festive season. 

Thing is, you’ve alluded to L-Istrina... can it even happen this year? Why do you say that? 

Well, the president always seems to be looking for reasons to leave the country... That’s true. IVF one day, abortion the next... Malta is also a nation forced to remain on tenterhooks because its highest (albeit symbolic) functionary is prone to get mortally offended at the drop of a hat, resulting in him booking the nearest flight out for as long as the Bad Thing Du Jour falls under his office’s jurisdiction. 

What will be next, I wonder? Look, I don’t know what shows he’s watching, but at this point a mid-season twist in any drama that we’re ‘allowing’ to be beamed onto Maltese screens may scandalise him beyond all reason. 

And they say the young generation are the snowflakes. They’ve lived through a few recessions, a pandemic, the pall of the Donald Trump presidency and the rise of TikTok. They’re antiseptic to shock, at this point. 

We’ve deviated away from Christmas... Well, you did mention snowflakes...

Hardly the most ‘Maltese’ of seasonal features... With climate change, anything’s possible. 

Look, this really isn’t how I was expecting to welcome the first bona fide Yuletide after Covid’s done its worst. Neither did I, but here we are! A country torn apart by its last remaining taboo finally being put to scrutiny; an Opposition digging an even deeper grave than we ever thought imaginable (they will reach the Earth’s core and finally singe themselves out of existence, I suspect), the construction industry simply refusing to shake the country loose out of its vice-like grip, and – once again – a president perpetually on the very of a heel-turning hissy.

Ah well, at least Santa’s still real. That’s true. We’ll ask him to scrub off at least one of Malta’s many blemishes next year. 

Do say: ”Merry Christmas and a joyous new year to all of our readers. The Skinny may represent the snarkiest bit of weekly column inches you’re ever likely to find, but its heart remains a blood-pumping piece of realness.

Don’t say: ”Next year will be bigger and better for Malta. By which point it will get so heavy that it will finally sink into the Mediterranean Sea that has housed it for – let’s face it – far, far too long.