|Dangerspouse Rides Again|
Garage - Track
Dec. 23, 2004 - 3:40 p.m.
No, not Italians.
Amazing the diverse customs that spring up in different parts of the country.
I'm sure that both these fine ladies treasure their memories of vermin hung by the fire with care, but back when I was Dangeryouth our family celebrated the birth of Santa in a rather different fashion, one which I'm sure they would find simultaneously quaint and boring....
My mom was a horrible singer. A seriously terrible, terrible singer. As much as I loved my mother, I would have paid top dollar as an infant for front row seats to "William Hung Sings Yoko Ono" at Radio City Music Hall if it meant avoiding one of her goodnight lullabies. Seriously, she was kicked out of her church choir at age 14, the priest telling her to her face that she needed to repent because only one in league with the Devil could make noises like that.
Yet my mom sang constantly.
For 11/12th of the year it was primarily Show Tunes she raped, then burned to unrecognizable slag.
But during December...all Christmas, all the time, baby. As we would say in radio, she flipped formats midnight December 1st with no stop sets or spots scheduled til January.
She would screetch a capella if she had to, but she really preferred screaming along to her favorite holiday LP's. We probably had 35 of them arrayed neatly on the far left side of the record rack, and she would run through them one by one until she reached the end, then start over again at the beginning.
By the time we were 4 my sisters and I had the lyrics to all of them memorized, although unlike mom we were able to sing them without simultaneously being an aural rodenticide.
It's a funny thing when you're a kid. You can belt out tunes you like without ever realizing what the words you are parroting mean. And it doesn't bother you at all, if indeed it even crosses your mind that there should be meaning to the seemingly random phonemes you're happily warbling.
And so, at 4, 5, 6, 7 years old, a lot of the more complicated words get innocently garbled.
At least by my sisters and me.
And that has become our Family Tradition, now that mom is gone.
Over the years my sisters and I have managed to amass almost all 35 of those hoary Christmas LP's on CD. Thank god for the internet or we'd probably still be scrounging underground college campus used-cd stores for that last copy of Joni James' "Merry Christmas from Joni" and "That Holiday Feeling" by Steve and Edy.
Now when we get together, although we may only manage that twice a year these days, we always tote our individual parts of the collection and have a sing along, just as we did every goddam night in December growing up.
And we sing the songs the way we used to mangle them. None of us can imagine them any other way - it just wouldn't be Christmas.
I won't list them all, because most are just plain silly or nonsensical and would only get a grin from our small circle. But also because...I'm just plain tired and don't feel like typing anymore. Absurd tangles with The Law really have taken it out of me the past few weeks, and I think my body is finally trying to resolve the deficit I've been entering into the Sleep Ledger for the last month.
So without further ado, croon along with the Dangersons as they sing:
"Gloria, gloria, gloria, in eggshells you'll find him...." (At 6 years old you were taught god was everywhere. Even eggshells. Made sense to us. "In Excelsis Deo" did not.)
"Later on...we'll perspire...as we sit....by the fire...." (Who wouldn't?)
"He rules the world...with truth and paste..." (Which is exactly how a Just - and efficient - God would post his rules, right?)
"Have a Holly Jolly Christmas...it's the best time to drink beer..." (I strongly suspect my father had a hand in instigating this one.)
"Good King Wenchless went to town... (No doubt so he wouldn't be wench-less for the Feast of Stephan.)
And my favorite:
"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...Jack Frost nipping at your nose....Tiny twats, with their eyes all aglow...." (At that age we were still unaware that twats did not have eyes. Teeth sometimes, but never eyes. But more to the point, I think we garbled this one more because of an infantile inability to pronounce correctly, rather than mis-hearing the sung lyrics. And my mother, the complete sexual Innocent, just thought it was "cutsey" and would not ask us to edit it when we performed for neighbors and family. Some years later I was impressed to hear that my second sister had taught HER daughter to continue the tradition. Although I did manage to then create a chill between us when I secretly had her memorize and perform the expanded version: "Tiny twats, with their legs a-kim-bo, will find a hard pee-pee tonight....")
So there you are. Perhaps not as heartwarming as Poolagirl's Real Dead Rat ornament or Radiogurl's Live Rodent Festive Ball, but it's ours. That, and Tomato Eggnog.
Hey, it's a Sicilian thing. So bafangool!
Ooh - my favorite Slut With Funny Accent, hissandtell, is celebrating her 50th Birthday today! Why not stop by and tell her that her boobs still rock your jock. It seems to be important to her. Oh, and don't make fun of her insane bag fetish. She's apparently still able to wield a loaded wallaby.
May visions of sugar plumbers dance in your heads tonight, all!