Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Christmas miracle

Cue Wayne’s World too-doo-loo flashback music

Me, singing along to the radio: Rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum......gee, I wonder what a “pum” is, anyway.....

Jenn and I are in her car going to her parents’ house for Thanksgiving, and after much searching, we managed to find the lone station playing Christmas music on the radio.

Jenn: What a pum dork. I’m pretty sure it’s just filler.
Me: Filler? In a Christmas carol, where every word is a gem of meaningfulness? Nay! Plus they have the word “rum” in there, so obviously those are all meant to be real words. Maybe they meant “pim”, and it was a typo in the carol scroll when the Wise Men jotted things down. Rum pa pim pim – a drink of sorts, that’s it. Pim’s is a champagne or cordial, right? See!

Jenn seems to be developing some kind of nervous twitch in her eye – I guess the holidays can be stressful for some people, but me, I just like to roll with things as they come along. I might suggest that tactic to Jenn later when she’s a bit more relaxed.

The next song that comes on has some weird synthesizer crap, and is something I’ve never heard before.

Me: What ho? What happened to our Christmas carols?
Jenn: You don’t know this song? It’s really popular.
Me: Umm, not in the Midwest, apparently. I’ve never heard it before – and in Chicago, the stations start cranking out the Christmas tuneage starting about September, so we hear them all.
Jenn: See, listen – “simply having....wonful Christmastime...”
Me: “Wonful”? What kind of word is wonful?
Jenn: Well, it’s supposed to be “having a wonderful Christmastime” but all those syllables don’t fit in there so they just smush it all together.
Me: You’ve gotta be kidding. This....this is a heinous song. Hey, can we pull over for a second? My brain just escaped this effrontery to common decency and went looking for cover in that cranberry bog over there.

I reach over and change it to another station, having formed an immediate, visceral, primordial hatred of this song, which I assume is sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks – or at least that’s what it sounds like. Shudder.

Later that day

We’re hanging out in the kitchen, getting the turkey and trimmings prepared, Christmas music playing in the background. Suddenly I hear the telltale notes of a synthesizer, and look up, like a deer caught in headlights.

Me: Oh god, it’s that song. Make it stop! I really can’t stand this song.

I think that was when Jenn’s family first started falling in love with me.

The rest of my time in Boston, I find myself lunging for the radio whenever that particular piece of tripe comes on. But out of curiosity, when I get back to Chicago, I decide to look up the song, to see if it’s just me or if everyone shares my sentiments. Which is when I discover the impossible: this thing is a song by Paul McCartney?? Wow. I guess we have the rest of the Beatles to thank for keeping HIM reined in all those years, huh?

And no, it’s not just me. Here, a transcript from an NPR show on “Christmas songs you loathe” –

SEABROOK: Can you sum up a Christmas song you don't like?
Mr. LANSING: "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time" by Paul McCartney.
Mr. LANSING: He is normally a very good melodist and normally really writes a good tune, but that song is meandering. It's got synthesizer leaps everywhere.

(Soundbite of song, "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time")

Ms. AMY BAYLOR-CASEY (Listener): It's the soundtrack to hell.
SEABROOK: This is Amy Baylor-Casey of Meredith, New Hampshire.
Ms. BAYLOR-CASEY: I swear, the devil is standing there to greet you with an '80s keyboard strapped to his chest, playing horrible, echoing notes and singing...

(Singing) ...simply having a wonderful Christmas time.

(Soundbite of song, "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time")

Sir PAUL McCARTNEY (Singer): (Singing) Simply having a wonderful Christmas time.

I rest my case. And just so you can experience this mockery for yourself, here you go:

You may be wondering where the “miracle” part of all this is, and that, my dear friends, is this: that there is a song that completely blows away in its awfulness the previous top contenders for worst songs of all time. Namely, anything by Huey Lewis and the News, and the godawful Jefferson Starship or Starship (or whatever they started calling themselves in their later evil incarnation) song We Built This City. Now that is a miracle. Merry Christmas!!

On a separate note, I have my brain MRI scheduled for tomorrow, and while I’m not saying I’m super-excited about this appointment or anything that could finally give me an indication of what the hell’s going on with FBE......I do wonder if the homemade brownies for the MRI crew are enough, or if I should throw some Christmas cookies in there as well? Gaily festooned with ribbons, of course. Nope, no excitement here whatsoever. Is it Friday yet??

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think I realized how much you disliked that song! Good luck tomorrow - keep me posted!