Posted: 27 Dec 2000 My primary reason for being glad that the Christmas season is over: I will no longer have to listen to the Christmas music they played at woik. Admittedly, there was some pretty good variety there; some of my co-woikers seem to be Christmas-music connoseurs. Swingin' xmas music, classical, celtic, rap (surprise!), boring crap (a category which overlaps plenty with all the others), country... even calypso xmas music. Blues, jazz, etc. I am now familiar with 3 versions of "O Christmas Tree"; English-language version, German-language version, and bagpipe-language version. But they started playing it right after Thanksgiving. Even the good stuff started to get repetitive by about the 2nd day. By that time, I was starting to think that if I ever ran into that annoying whistling kid, he'd have to start wishing for his front teeth again. In pure self-defense, I began to analyze some of the songs. For example, it occurred to me, listening to "The 12 Days of Christmas" (not the beer-in-a-tree version) that this guy was getting an awful lot of birds for Christmas. I mean, *I* have never received even *one* bird for Christmas, ever, but this guy gets: 7 swans a-swimming, 6 geese a-laying (I'm not very clear on the days above 5, so I could be wrong about the exact # of geese and swans he gets), 4 calling birds, 3 french hens, 2 turtledoves, and a partridge. And he doesn't just get one partridge in a pear tree, either; he gets one on ALL 12 DAYS! That's: 1 partridge X 12 days= 12 partridges (in 12 pear trees) 2 turtledoves X 11 days= 22 turtledoves 3 french hens X 10 days= 30 french hens 4 calling birds X 9 days= 36 calling birds 6 laying geese X 7 days= 42 geese 7 swimming swans X 6 days= 42 swans for a total of 184 birds. Now, it strikes me that this could have been another version of the White Elephant (a gift so expensive that it ruins the recipient). He can't eat the birds because his True Love gave them to him; he can't get rid of them because you can't throw away a Christmas gift! Ever! I mean, what if the person who gave it to you should happen to visit you one day and notice that you don't have your badly-made 'craftsy' knickknack, or ugly figurine, or 184 birds around anymore? So the guy (it could've been a girl, but the person singing the song... over and over and over... was male, so I've got it permanently locked into my brain that way) who wrote that song would've had no choice but to keep caring for these birds. Bringing them food, changing the newspapers (or whatever) in the little birds' cages, taking the big birds (geese and swans, 84 count) on walks and making sure that their wing feathers are clipped so they can't fly away. Counting heads to ensure that none of them has gotten lost. Seeing his money slowly evaporate away, he has to spend so much money on food, equipment, vet bills, etc. He has to spend much of his waking hours on these birds. Since he and his true love come from so rich a background that they can give each other gifts like 184 birds and 40 golden rings, he's probably never had to work this hard in his life. Every day he's tired, filthy, he's got bird-poop all over him, he's bleeding from all the little nips and cuts the birds have given him. And the whole while all the lords a-leaping are jumping around him, making fun of him, having the time of their lives; and all the maids a-milking are laughing at him; and all the drummers drumming (I *think* the song has drummers) are making a godawful racket, night and day, keeping him awake at night, making it hard to keep a train of thought together... eventually, he'd have no choice but to throw himself into the nearest river (lake, whatever), where the weight of his 40 golden rings would drag him straight to the bottom. But whenever I started to think of depressing stuff like this, I simply realized: I have to listen to several more weeks worth of cheery holiday music just like this! Hoboy. One day, one of my co-woikers called me a 'grinch' for not liking xmas music. I told her that if I was a grinch, I'd better start acting like one, and steal Christmas. So I grabbed the CD player and started to make off with it. Plenty of laughter- they all thought I was kidding. Joel T.