Wednesday, December 24, 2003


There are few things that annoy me about the holiday season except for the expected cash outlay, being told to have a merry Kwaanza, the office parties, the overcommercialization, the loss of my favorite radio talk show hosts for about five weeks, cold-ass churches crammed with people who aren't there for the rest of the year and make those of us who punch the card every frigging week get there like forty-five minutes early if we don't want to be genuflecting in the parking lot, and the way that one freaky kid on the Charlie Brown Christmas Special dances-- have you noticed this kid? He's wearing a green shirt, and he is clearly a top graduate of the Al Gore School of Rhythm, as he his idea of dancing is to turn alternately side to side, sticking his neck out and letting his arms dangle practically to the floor. It's just not Christmas until that scene frightens and saddens me.

I also have Issues with certain holiday standards:

-"Up On the Housetop": Generally, the chorus doesn't bother me. The clicking is negligible. However, there's one verse in which a child named Johnny has apparently asked for, quote, "a whip that cracks." WHAT?! Is this kid a budding S&M addict? I really don't think Santa should be encouraging this type of behavior.

-"We Need a Little Christmas": Here's another rather troublesome verse, which includes the words "carols at the spinet." What the hell is a spinet, and why are we singing carols at it? It sounds like some sort of spinning wheel. Who owns a spinning wheel? Has someone properly festooned the spinning wheel for the holidays? Got to have a Billy Bass propped up against the spinet if you want to do Christmas right.

-"The Little Drummer Boy": Hate this song. Hate it hate it hate it HAAAAAAAAAAATE IT. Repetitive, obnoxious, depressing, and in general uninspiring, not to mention farfetched. If I'm the Blessed Mother, I'm saying, "Okay, I just went through childbirth between a cow and a dung pile, and if you know what's best for you, you're getting your stupid drum away from my son." Because babies LOVE drum solos.

Also, what was this idiot doing all by himself in Bethlehem? Did he miss the bus that was taking the rest of the high school band to play the halftime show at the Bowl? Stupid kid.

-Dean Martin's version of "Baby It's Cold Outside": This song rocks-- it is the most romantic Christmas tune I know-- and far be it from me to criticize The Dean, but God this version sucks. Dean sounds fine, but the woman's part is sung by.... a group of three women, which is disturbing at best and disgusting at worst. "I really can't stay! I've got to go 'way!" sung against one man, who's parrying with seduction lyrics-- uh, no. I don't even want to think about what's being implied here.

-Dean Martin's version of "Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer": Okay, close be it to me to criticize The Dean. You know you're in trouble when it starts out with about five guys going "Rudolph! Rudolph!", you start to cry when Dean refers to the title character as "Rudy", and by the time Dean starts doing that hideous white-guy hep thing where he changes the words AND the melody, the Exacto-knife is already in your hands and heading towards your eyeballs.

Lesser known, but still annoying songs:

-"Let's Have An Old Fashioned Christmas Polka" Riders in the Sky somehow found it necessary to foist this one upon the world, because when you think cowboys, you think oompah band. It makes me want to check my entire German heritage. Even before they get to the lyric that goes, "Where's the fiddle and the bass? Sam is gonna play his face!" I can't make this stuff up, people.

-The jingle-belled version of Brahm's Lullaby featuring some guy whistling the melody with the backing of a full orchestra. I don't know who's responsible for this song, and I don't know how long it's going to take me, but so help me God I'm going to find them and they are going to pay.

-Hep-cat version of "Away in a Manger" I seriously thought this was a joke song when I heard it, but no, it was being played on a verifiable radio station by a verifiable human who had been thinking that "I love thee, Lord Jesus, you're a cool cat/And take us to heaven to swing with thee there" was really going to rake in the advertising dollars.


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