Inside looking out: What my true love gave to me
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to listen to holiday music. The original songs I loved as a child are still played and I marvel how a tune like “Jingle Bells” has been remade so many times. Even Hall of Fame rocker Eric Clapton has produced a heavy electric rendition of what was originally a soft jingle of the bells on a one-horse open sleigh.
Some songs still make me cringe ever since I was a kid putting one strand of tinsel at a time on our balsam tree and wondering if I was good enough for Santa to come down the chimney of our house. To borrow a movie line from Jack Nicholson, “I’d rather stick a needle in my eye” than listen to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” again. It’s one of those annoying melodies that gets stuck in your head, and come January when I’m taking down all the decorations, my brain will torture me with its repetitive nonsense.
Somebody last year with too much time on his hands figured out that “my true love” spent $34,558.65 for the gifts I’m getting over the 12 days. Let’s start with that craziness.
I’m not sure if his math is right because my true love gives me the same number of gifts for each of the 12 days, which then becomes a multiplication issue. For example, for each one of the 11 days, she gives me another two turtle doves, so I would get a total of 22 of those cooing birds.
I’d get 42 swans a swimming, 42 geese a laying, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, and 12 partridges, each perching in one of 12 pear trees. That totals 184 winged creatures! Let’s now add 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids a-milking and 40 golden rings. I don’t have enough bedrooms, enough money or enough property to house and feed 140 people and take care of 184 pets.
Let’s see what other problems I’m going to have with the 364 presents I’d be receiving over the 12 days. Now each goose can lay up to 10 eggs, giving me the possibility of 420 eggs that could hatch into goslings.
The 36 calling birds are calling what? They’ll make a lot of noise for sure to upset my neighbors. One French hen can lay five eggs a week, so 30 of them might give me 150 eggs weekly and 600 for a month. The 22 doves shouldn’t be a problem until one of them dies. Doves mate for life, so I’ll have at least one very depressed bird to try to cheer up every day.
Twelve partridges will forage on the ground for food, leaving the pear trees to grow plenty of fruit. I can deal with that.
I’ll have my own backyard boogie when the 12 drummers bang their drums and the 22 pipers play their bagpipes. Their music will keep the 30 lords leaping over the excrement made by all the creatures. I’ll have to construct a large stage for the 36 ladies who will be dancing to the drums, the bagpipes and the very excited calling birds.
The 40 maids a-milking will force me to build a huge barn for the cows I’ll need to buy to keep the girls busy. With all the eggs and milk I’ll have, I might as well open up a dairy farm. I’ll have to excavate two lakes to separate the swans from the geese, because there is some evidence that swans are very territorial.
If you think about these holidays of horrors, I wonder if my true love is really my true love. Mmmm?
To be honest, if she really loves me, then she can write me a check for the $34,558.65 and I’ll pledge my heart to her forever. I’ll take the 40 golden rings, too, and pawn them for cash at the local gold and silver store.
In the meantime, I will never listen to “The Twelve Days of Christmas” again and be thankful that for me anyway, there’s really only one Christmas Day.
And yes, I guess I had too much time on my hands to figure all this mess out and write this column.
I’m looking out the window now. Is that a FedEx guy walking up my driveway carrying a partridge in a pear tree?
Rich Strack can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.