The main character in Nick Hornby’s About a Boy takes special note of the first time in the year he hears a particular xmas song. Because his father made gazillions from a novelty xmas song, never had another hit and drank himself to death, he hates xmas. And I think, Ding Dong!, that’s me, I hate xmas, too!
I have tried playing this game of noting when I hear the first xmas song of the season. This year I yelled at a trio of eleven year olds for singing one in a car on Halloween, because they were throwing my count off. I mean, that can’t really count, can it?
I have not yet legitimately heard the first song, the first strains of cheer meant to make me wax all holiday and break out my Black Amex. Nevertheless, the race is definitely on. Last night the red, gold and green lights over Grand St. and Graham Ave. in Brooklyn were lit for the first time. I have grown to love these lights. Winter lasts about four months around here, sometimes longer. The holiday season, as irritating as it is in many respects, lights up my frigid, late night, wind battered bike ride for about half of that. I find myself actually enjoying passing beneath the glittering lights, where the streets were previously dark and desolate.
Now for the song. Which will it be? I am pretty much ok with anything except for Bob Seger’s version of “the Little Drummer Boy”. Think about it, all those thickly bearded p-p-p-plosives. Whosever idea that was, you are so fired from xmas. Ye Gods. It’s enough to make scrooges of us all.