A few days ago, I went to Which Wich? (yes, the question mark is part of the name) for lunch. Which Wich (the question mark is OPTIONAL) is in the same little plaza as Five Guys Burgers and Fries, which I briefly considered, but I decided to go for the healthier option and get a turkey sandwich at Which Wich. I walked in and immediately heard "The Little Drummer Boy".
Come, they told him, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
This baby's your new king, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
You have to give him a gift, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
But my broke ass is broke, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
How about I lay down some beats, pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
Suddenly I was gripped with the nearly overwhelming urge to NOT hear "The Little Drummer Boy". But I kept it together long enough to get my sandwich, chips and drink. I decided sitting in my car and eating was preferable to listening to any more Christmas music. On my way towards my car, I peeked in Five Guys for a minute, to hear what they were playing.
Classic rock! Music I actually like! If I hadn't decided to eat healthy, I could be sitting at a table and listening to the Stones, man!
I like some novelty Christmas songs, but when I go out in public I never hear any of the actually good ones. The only one that ever seems to get played is the one that has gotten old the fastest, "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer".
Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas eve
YOU can SAY it's ANNOYING when I SHOUT every third line instead of SINGING IT
But as for me and Grandpa, we don't give a shit
Where's Allan Sherman? ("It's a Nakashuma!") Where's Tom Lehrer? ("Hark, the Herald Tribune sings...") Weird Al? (Air raid sirens in tune with sleigh bells!) Even Bob Rivers? ("Now why the hell are they BLINKING?!") How about Jonathan Coulton? I'd love to hear "Chiron Beta Prime" at Quizno's.
But I went to Quizno's today, and they were playing the least interesting variety of novelty Christmas songs: celebrity novelty Christmas songs. I walked in and heard the Ramones singing something containing the phrase "merreh merreh merreh", the same way they'd sing "baybeh baybeh baybeh". Blaah. But it wasn't that bad, and I was getting tired of eating in my car, so I sat at a table to enjoy my turkey & Swiss. I heard a few more celebrity novelty Christmas songs, and I noticed that unlike real novelty songs, they don't actually make fun of the holiday. They're just, "Look, mom, I'm getting into the Christmas spirit on my latest album!"
Then I heard some teen pop cover of "Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time". You thought the original Paul McCartney version was nauseating? Imagine it with Auto-Tune, drum machine and a relentless sleigh bell loop. Uuuugh!! Fortunately, by then I was done eating, so I left.
Some novelty songs have been around and been popular long enough that they're considered modern classics, such as "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" or "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree". However, that one was ruined hard for me several years ago. I worked at an internet
Rockin' around the Christmas tree
For the fifteen millionth time
So my antidote to Christmas is not to say "bah humbug" or even to sing that Grinch song, of which Wikipedia lists no less than 31 cover versions, but just to get back in my car and play what I wanna hear! Right now I'm starting to work my way through Talking Heads' catalog for the first time in a few years.
Psycho killer, qu'est-ce que c'est? Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa...
(Note: not to be confused with "fa la la la la")