But Christmas makes itself impossible to ignore. One trip to CVS and you’re likely to come home with not only some useless homeopathic cure and a receipt longer than your boss’s Tesla, but a nasty Christmas earworm, some loathsome old Yuletide tune that your brain plays over and over again, maddening you until you lull your marbles to sleep with alcohol or a nice fattie.
That exact thing happened in our household over the weekend, as my main squeeze returned from shopping with a crippling case of Holly Jolly Christmas, a particularly treacly tune sung by Burl Ives, an avuncular old bastard who sang it for the last time in 1995. Despite his death, his Christmas carol lives on, infesting my brain like a prionic disorder, an Xmas version of mad cow disease, because I promptly caught it from her.
Unlike a normal illness, catching a Christmas earworm can be done over and over again. The girl and I transmitted Holly Jolly Christmas back and forth for days. Just when my gray matter had gone quiet and the sappy strains of Ives’ jingle had been stilled by my better neurons, or at least been replaced by a non-Noel song (the Muppet version of Don’t Fence Me In is one of my brain’s favorites) she would wander by humming the obvious thing, and I would be infected once more.
It could be worse--All I Want for Christmas Is You comes to mind, which I sincerely wish it wouldn’t. My girl and I quarantined ourselves from the rest of the neighborhood so the infection wouldn’t spread. To pass the time, and to keep Burl from yodeling in our skulls, we decided to come up with new names for the penis fish. This species had just made itself noticeable by suffering a mass stranding in Northern California. Neither she nor I had ever heard of it before, but it struck us both as immediately in need of a re-naming.
“How about Pecker Trout?”
“I think Schlong Bass.”
“Or Erection Eel.”
“Call them what you want, but they’re no doubt great bait for tuna.”
And so on. It was not the most uplifting conversation for two educated adults, but it kept Burl at bay. But any relief you get from a Christmas earworm is bound to be short lived.
I hear Grandma got run over by a reindeer.