Jingle Bells Chime In Something Approximating A Loose Jingle Bell Time


“Spoils” is an ugly word. I hesitate to say the word “spoils” in relation to anything fatherhood but, let’s face it, fatherhood totally spoils stuff.

Law & Order? Can’t watch that.

Any of those murder mysteries from Scandinavia, with the girls and the tattoos and those dragons? No sir, no thank you.

All of my vast repertoire of pedophile jokes? They were so scandalously funny when I was twenty-three. But alas, twenty-three joins the many, many things I no longer am.

Pretty much anything where a child is in any sort of peril is off limits There are parts of even the mildest Charles Dickens that I have to close my eyes for.

On the flip side, it’s always refreshing when something comes up that I once found abhorrent which fatherhood opens up for me.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I work hard for the money in the general field of theater. And if you read closely you know that every year around this time I work on a holiday show.

For said holiday show it is not uncommon for various middles schools to send their crème de la musical crème over to play a boldly arranged medley of Christmas carols (peppered, of course, with the occasional theme from Peter Gunn) during the pre show warmup.

These go about as well as you might imagine, what with sheet music being more of a jumping off point, rather than a rigid framework. And “in tune” being such a slippery and relative idea.

Nothing makes the case for silence as a basic human right like a poorly played French horn.

But strangely, for the first time in my life – including my own time spent playing trombone (poorly) in middle school band – I have to say I kind of love it. It took Rocking Around The Christmas Tree and Little Drummer Boy to realize it, but there was something so awkwardly earnest, something so…sweet about it.

When you consider what thrills the average father – the ability to hold one’s head up, sit unaided, have an extremely imperfect control over where and when pooping happens – maybe it’s not surprising that Christmas music played poorly a week before thanksgiving could brighten up my day ever so slightly.

Well, maybe not brighten up my day. Donuts brighten up my day. It didn’t contribute to my suffering. Let’s leave it at that.


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