Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jiffy Pop Roasting on an Open Fire

Well, here it is Christmas Eve, and I'm officially sick of Christmas music.  It's been on the radio since Halloween, and in early December I made my cheery yuletide iPod playlist full of the holiday classics.  Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, fa la la la frickin' la.

If you listen to these songs long enough, the lyrics get stuck in your head.  I've actually started to analyze the meaning of some of these tunes, and I'll tell ya . . . it's starting to annoy me.  First of all, what the hell is figgy pudding?  And those little bastards singing, "we won't go until we get some", well, guess what kids?  I have no fucking figgy pudding, and if you don't go right Goddamn now, you'll be singing All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, because I'm gonna bust you in the chops with a petrified fruitcake.

My favorite Christmas song of all is The Christmas Song by Mel Torme.  I have several versions of this one on the aforementioned iPod playlist; Frank Sinatra, James Taylor, Vince Guaraldi.  By now, I've heard it so many times that I've probably over-thought the implications set forth in the lyrics.

Let's take a look, shall we?

The Christmas Song 
by Mel Torme

"The" Christmas song, Mel?  Really?  Isn't that a bit cocky?  I mean, I love ya, but there are lots of Christmas songs more popular than this one.  Some would consider Jingle Bells to be "the" Christmas song.  Others might go with Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  The point is, there are lots of classics and it's pretty much a matter of opinion as to which is the quintessential holiday ditty.  You'd have been better served to call this "A" Christmas Song, or simply Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, which is what most people think the title is anyway. 

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire
Jack Frost nipping at your nose

Okay, show of hands, who has ever actually roasted a chestnut?(1)  Marshmallows, of course.  Hot dogs, absolutely.  Jiffy Pop popcorn roasting on an open fire is simply divine.  But chestnuts?  And Jack Frost nipping at your nose?  If you're sitting in front of an open fire popping Jiffy Pop, the searing flame and popping embers will ward off any potential nose-nipping.   

Yuletide carols being sung by a choir
And folks dressed up like Eskimos

First of all, I think we're calling them Inuit-Americans now, aren't we?  And I've never seen a picture of an Inuit-American dressed in a red sweater with a goofy reindeer on it, or wearing a scarf festooned with puffy balls and jingle bells.  "Folks dressed up like friggin' dorks" is more like it.  Anyway, yuletide carols are more typically sung by little kids and drunken co-workers than by choirs these days. 

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright

I've always had a problem with the phrase "everybody knows".  People are generally stupid, so I don't think we can assume that EVERYBODY knows anything.  EVERYBODY doesn't know that you shouldn't drive 45 miles an hour in the fast lane.  EVERYBODY doesn't know that if you let TV and video games raise your toddler he's going to be eating paste in kindergarten.  EVERYBODY doesn't know that if you fuck around on your hot blonde wife with an endless parade of cocktail waitresses and then proceed to leave voicemails on their cell phones, you'll eventually have to forfeit a bazillion dollars in endorsement money and give up golfing for a while.  While some people are indeed aware that turkey and mistletoe help to make the season bright, I wouldn't dare assume that EVERYBODY knows that. 

Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow
Will find it hard to sleep tonight

Well, sure they will.  They've been scarfing candy canes and sugar cookies since Thanksgiving.  They'll find it hard to sleep until March. 

They know that Santa's on his way
He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh

When I was a kid, we'd always put a long pause after "he's loaded" to make it sound like Santa was on dope.  We cracked ourselves up.  The question here, though, is this: Is it, in fact, Santa himself who is in charge of the toy-and-goodie-loading?  It's always been my understanding that Santa's elves are the ones who do the heavy lifting.  Let's give those pint-sized lackeys some credit.  They're the ones busting their yuletide butts every year. 

And every mother's child is gonna spy
To see if reindeer really know how to fly

We've already established that they "know that Santa's on his way", right?  Well, if the kids are buying into the Santa thing, they may as well go the whole way and believe in the flying reindeer without having to go all James Bond and spy on them.  Just go ahead and give them the benefit of the doubt.

And what's with the "every MOTHER'S child?"  What, fathers don't count anymore?  What do moms have to do with Christmas, anyway?  They do the shopping, fine, but what woman is going to complain about "having" to shop?  It's what women do best!(2)  It's the fathers who have the real chore at Christmas, assembling bicycles, hanging the lights, and scraping unpopped Jiffy Pop kernels out of the fireplace. 

And so I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two

Apparently, Kirk Douglas and Olivia de Havilland can go screw themselves.(3) 

Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you 

Have a great Christmas, you Knuckleheads!  You know I love ya!

(1) Put your hand down, Moog, those aren't chestnuts.
 (2) Okay, it's what MOST women do best.  I'm sure there are exceptions.  Relax, ladies.
 (3) Kirk Douglas (b. 12/9/16) and Olivia de Havilland (b. 7/1/16) are both 93 years old.


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CatLadyLarew said...

Just try to find a radio station these days that's NOT playing holiday music. (We've established a policy at our house that if we absolutely must play holiday music, we don't play any Christmas songs with lyrics.)

Wishing you a happy holiday break with whatever you want to listen to!

Michelle H. said...

Actually, I haven't heard any Christmas songs this year. Of course, I listen to an alternative rock station. Hard to put Metallica's "Enter the Sandman" to "Deck the Halls."

Unfinished Rambler said...

That's my favorite Christmas song too...although I prefer the Nat King Cole version. I was thinking of "roasting" the song too, but didn't know how to do it. So glad you were able to pull it off. Classic.

Quirkyloon said...

Niiiice Mr. Knucklehead.

Verra, verra niiiiiice.

And now? Dare I admit? I can't stand this Christmas song. Ever.

Yes, I'm quirky that way. And strange too.

Eva Gallant said...

I loved that! lol Merry Christmas to you, too! All that love right back at ya!

Isabella said...

Ha -- very funny. I acutally did "see" chestnuts roasting on an open fire of a homeless person. Very disterbing!!!

If you want some good Christmas songs look up "Relient k" in iTunes.

Thanks for the chuckle this morning. Merry Christmas!!

lime said...

merry christmas to you and your family, and to mr douglas and ms de haviland.

Ivan Toblog said...

When is Christmas?

Brndoutw8ress said...

Great roast to THE christmas song! I am not a fan of this one personally but it made me laugh all the same! Merry christmas to you and your little knuckleheads!

ReformingGeek said...

We LUV you, too! Merry Christmas!

I'm not sure I want to "know" a turkey....

corticoWhat said...

I was going to just say "Bah Humbug" but it isn't very original and it would probably send you off on a "What-is-a-Humbug" post.


Nooter said...

m.c., k.h.!

Surfie said...

Excellent points, and I've also wondered about the "mother's child" and "one to 92" part. Have a wonderfully Merry Christmas!

Jenn said...

Yeah, as a one of the ladies on the other side of your second footnote, I appreciate the second footnote. But I also appreciate that you have now successfully gotten this song stuck in my head because now I can go and put on a real Christmas tune full of festive cheer and happy thoughts. That tune would be Mele Kalikimaka. Palm trees swaying? Now that's what I'm talking about! Merry Christmas!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Everybody knows... you're a fucking awesome writer.

Beth said...

Somehow, it is comforting to me to know that someone out there is going to over-analyze a song for me. Thanks for the breakdown of the lyrics.

If the songs don't go away soon, I'm going to be the one with the breakdown.

Merry Christmas!

Andy said...

Merry Christmas, Knucklehead.

otin said...

The funny thing is that I have actually roasted chestnuts! LOL!!

Merry Christmas!!

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

Uh, I roast chestnuts every year. Love 'em, in fact. I'm half British, and I'm actually required by law to roast chestnuts at Christmas. I've had figgy pudding, too (although I wish I hadn't). Well, nevermind. Merry Christmas to you, too, Knucklehead!

Anonymous said...

I want to quote your post in my blog. It can?
And you et an account on Twitter?

Joan said...

I've never had Jiffy Pop. Am I missing out? Loved your "everyone knows". So true.

jdemott said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

This is a great blog you have here. I have a humor blog as well which I hope will bring laughter to people around the world. Life is hard enough. I was wondering if we could do a link exchange. Please let me know if this is possible.

HilariousHeadlines TALK

Peter Varvel said...

Every time I got in the car I found myself counting down the days until KOST 103.5 went back to playing their regularly scheduled programs, LOL.

Suldog said...

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. There are actually very few I don't like, so long as they're played within an appropriate time frame; say, December 1st until the end of the season.

Anyway, MY WIFE and I have actually roasted chestnuts. Maybe we got some bad chestnuts, but they tasted like crap. Once was enough.

As for the "1 to 92" bit, that has bothered me ever since my Grandma passed that mark. She is now 104. For 102, I could change it and it still scanned - "1 to 1-oh-two". When she turned 103, I had to change the lyric...

"1 to 1-oh-three, Merry Christmas to thee"

... which sounded slightly stilted. Still, it was better than what I had to do this year, which was "1 to 1-oh-four, Merry Christmas, fer sure" which doesn't strictly rhyme, but my Grandma is almost stone deaf these days, so it's OK.

Nanc Twop said...

Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe
Help to make the season bright

I can't be the only gal that doesn't want to be stuck under the mistletoe holding some old turkey...

fyi - no roasting necessary:

Just poke those chestnuts once with a fork, and pop'm in the microwave for ~9 seconds each.

K a b l o o e y said...

Man, am I late to the party. But some of my best blog buds are here. Actually, I followed Reffie's link because I have a girl-crush on her, but you won me over when you nailed Mel Torme for his presumption. He's got a great voice and all, but he's always seemed waaaaay to smug. Dude's got a neck wattle and a bad toupe, but always seems to mistake himself for Sinatra.

K a b l o o e y said...

By the way? when I say "to", I mean "too".

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