ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Christmas Music and the Savage Beast

Updated on December 12, 2009
Photo Courtesy of Videovisionsla
Photo Courtesy of Videovisionsla

Whenever I think about that saying “Music has power to soothe the savage beast,” a particular Bugs Bunny cartoon episode pops into my head along with that crazy monkey organ grinder music. As much as I enjoy more current works of animation like South Park, Family Guy, Ren & Stimpy or Beavis & Butthead…the folk in charge of such masterpieces still haven’t been able to improve on the immortal Bugs.

Although it would give me immense pleasure to devote this entire blog to my cartoon hero, we’ll have to save him for another time. This particular piece is about music…and how if it isn’t the right music, at the right time, not only does it not soothe the savage beast, it is capable of making her go completely postal.

For those not into Bugs...the reference starts at 6:10 in this video

I’m not much of a singer. At least this is what I’ve been told by various friends, family and howling dogs. It’s not that I lack the desire. When I’m alone the fact that I’m tone deaf doesn’t bother me in the least. It’s when my head phones are on and I don’t realize just how loudly I’m singing that it causes a problem. It’s just not fair though that I should have to curb my enthusiasm simply because I lack an appreciative audience. So what if it makes his ears bleed…if I have to put up with hairy old men in speedos (not that I’m comparing my beloved to this sort of individual…because he’d never wear one of those banana hammocks) then is it too much to ask for a little leniency if I belt out a show tune once in a while? Besides I know all the words…

Which leads me to the strange episode at the local Michael’s craft store…

Tiny Bubbles (Shiny Baubles)

Recently I took up beading. I’m not sure why…it’s an exercise in pure torture. Perhaps when I was younger, my eyesight a little sharper and my hands a little less caffeinated it might have been a good idea. Now…even with a pair of the special Walgreen’s old lady eyeglasses, the miniscule hole in each tiny bead is barely visible and stabbing at it with an ethereal piece of wire is a hit and miss affair.

But I stray…

This new hobby of mine was my reason for shopping at this store on that particular day. I was looking for shiny baubles (which replaces the organ grinder music with that Don Ho song for those keeping tabs on the mental soundtrack for this piece) and not being able to make quick decisions, a fifteen minute stop has by this point stretched to well over an hour. It’s really a pleasant place to shop though. The employees are all polite, smiling and helpful, most of the patrons are my contemporaries (although none of them seem to be in the beading aisles), and it just always felt…happy…for some mysterious reason.

So there I stood, facing a vast selection of pretty objects…humming to myself, singing the words to a cheerful little ditty (in my head since I’ve become so self-conscious about my own voice)…my right foot tapping to the beat, when all of a sudden the woman to my left bursts forth in song…the same song running through my own head! “Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon!” she belts out rather loudly, totally oblivious to my presence and ability to critique.

I’m stunned…no, I’m appalled…no…I’m wondering why the hell I don’t have the balls to do what she just did. I want to. Perhaps we could harmonize or something…right in the middle of the beading aisle…two strangers enjoying a good ol’ Boy George tune.

I love the license plate placement...

But before I can act on this impulse, another woman comes be-bopping around the corner of the aisle, her shopping cart swerving dangerously because she’s flinging it to and fro like a dance partner. Like my beading buddy, she is completely unaware that she is singing unabashedly to the happy music being poured into our ears from the store’s sound system.

Irrationally, I look around for cameras. The idea that I’ve walked into a surreal crafter’s musical crosses my mind…

The strange thing is that during this episode, not once did either woman make eye contact with me. They were both blissfully wrapped up in their happy shopping experience. The realization made me smile…but I’m still convinced it was the music that caused me to over-spend.

While a person expects to be subliminally influenced by store tunes…the same cannot be said for places where we expect not to have the musical choices of others thrust upon us. Although I could rant about people who pull up alongside at stop lights with their music so loud it makes my car vibrate and cancels out the CD that I was enjoying…or perhaps I could complain about being trapped in a car for hours on end, forced to listen to every hair band song because my husband is in the mood to relive his adolescent years…I won’t. No…I have discovered something even more offensive than those two combined and it was this that stole away my normally cheerful disposition.

With my husband away on business, I was looking forward to a week of peaceful evenings. No television, no hair band music, no constant interruptions that always began with the words, “Honey look at this…” and usually ended with “You never listen to me anymore.” It was just me, the soft tapping of computer keys and the occasional bleat of a squeaky toy dying a slow, painful death by cat…a slice of pure heaven.

Boop...boop...boop...boop.  I think I hear Christmas music!
Boop...boop...boop...boop. I think I hear Christmas music!

Cats Prefer Techno to Christmas Carols

My coffee mug in hand, I settled before the computer for an evening of writing…but for some reason began having difficulty concentrating. There was a constant sound…not loud enough to be clearly identifiable but coming in at a nearly inaudible frequency making it even more annoying…and while I couldn’t be completely sure, it sounded suspiciously like “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” I cocked my head and deployed my super imaginary bionic ear skills (that’s right…boop boop boop boop), attempting to home in on the source. One by one, I picked up each set of headphones and place a cushioned muff to my ear. Nope…not that. Perhaps it was the soft humming emitted by the computer that, merely by coincidence, happened to sound like a traditional Christmas carol? I lean in closer…maybe…could be…no….no that’s not it either. Reaching deeper into the bag of implausible but still possible sources, I open my mouth to make sure that no stray radio waves are transmitting from my dental fillings. To my relief, that is not the case either. I give brief consideration to the cats but their disdainful unblinking stares disabuse me of that silly idea rather quickly. Besides…they prefer show tunes.

Having knocked off several obvious possibilities, it became necessary to actual unplant my ass and do one of those Grover “near-far” type of hunts to determine where the sound was the loudest in my home.. My search brought me right back to the starting point…which meant that…the sound was more than likely coming from outside the house. The dog gazed up at me from her position by the front door with a “Well, duh!” look on her face, patiently waiting for me to acknowledge the fact that she was having a rare Lassie moment.

I opened the door and sure enough…there seemed to be some sort of Christmas block party going on. The only odd thing was…there wasn’t a single soul in sight. Having identified the source of the irritating noise as from “someplace outside” and since it was still only 7:30 p.m., I figured I would just have to grit my teeth for a while and bear it. Surely it would go away soon…

I live in a cul de sac. My house is the second on the left, going clockwise from the bottom…sort of in the eight o’clock position. I really don’t know my neighbors…and to be honest, I really don’t want to ever know my neighbors. It’s enough to be able to smile and wave hello…but I don’t want to join them for any socializing because they scare me. The wives make Wonder Bread look unwholesome…which makes me think of that movie “The Stepford Wives” and then I think…”Poor Bobby”…so I lock my door and make sure my husband doesn’t get any ideas.

To be fair, I think I frighten them just a little too. My first day here, I drove up in my little convertible roadster, the stereo blasting a nasty Nine Inch Nails song, wearing a trashy white tank top and shorts...and when I waved a big howdy…only the husbands bothered to return it. Needless to say the invites to Tupperware parties are not rolling in…

But back to the Christmas music….it was still going. I couldn’t quite hear, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” followed by “White Christmas”…and it irked me that my wonderful evening was being undermined by the neighbor at the eleven o’clock position, Fat Dennis.

Normally, I wouldn’t pick on a person simply because of his weight…that would be cruel. However, when a particular person feels compelled to wear boxer shorts and boxer shorts only while cavorting on his front lawn before I’ve even had my first cup of coffee (and thankfully no breakfast), when that person is on the board of the HoA (the housing authority) and has written us up for such stunning violations as a weed in our front yard or a rusty pipe on the side of our house…well then fat is not the worst adjective I could use.

Now it is the opinion of this author that upon this particular occasion, Fat Dennis had over-stepped his boundaries as an omnipotent HoA member. Although some home decorating in the area can threaten to cause retinal scarring, I turn a blind eye (literally) to it and remind myself that it is after all Christmas, or Halloween, or whatever Hallmark moment has struck suburbia…I don’t want to be a party pooper after all. Fat Dennis, however, has taken home decorating to new and lofty heights! In addition to the blinking lights, the giant inflatable Santa and several reindeer…the self-important slob has mounted two large white speakers…one on each side of his garage door, facing the street.

As my blood pressure slowly rises, I attempt to rationalize this amazing act of assumption. I even try to excuse his rude behavior. Last year this time, the Fat Dennis family was out of home due to a fire. I’m sure that they are just so happy to be back in their house that they feel compelled to spread their joy throughout the entire neighborhood. Screw that. Actually, why was I surprised that a man who could burn down his own home by falling asleep with a lit cigarette would think that slapping a couple speakers onto the exterior walls and then playing Christmas carols like some demented DJ, was a good idea? Silly me. 

Photo courtesy of Dreaminofbeadin
Photo courtesy of Dreaminofbeadin
Oh no!  There's a woman in flannel jammies at the door!
Oh no! There's a woman in flannel jammies at the door!

By 9:30 PM, I’d run out of seasonal good will and I was working up a good froth as to how I was going to handle this audacious auditory assault (ha…worked in a bit of alliteration in this piece too!) “Joy to the World” was trumpeting loudly as I began my march…barefoot and clad only in my favorite black and red flannel pajamas done in a tasteful coffee mug motif…to Fat Dennis’ door. Full of self-righteous indignation I poked the doorbell and waited, arms folded…hoping the song didn’t end before he answered the door so I could pretend to have to yell over the noise…

Through the side panel window I could see Mrs. Fat Dennis clutching the front of her robe together, one overwrought fist holding the gathered material to her bosom. The dog barked…and she just stood there. I guess even in flannel pajamas I was a rather threatening apparition. I poked the buzzer again…a strong indication that like it or not…I wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Sadly, the final bold and triumphant note of the carol was slowly dissipating on the cold night air when Fat Dennis himself…wearing his favorite boxers, of course…answered the door.

“Yes,” he inquired politely.

Tight-lipped…mostly because I’d marched off in such a heated state that I’d forgotten to put my upper plate in…I replied, “I can hear it in my house. Turn it off…now” and then after a moment’s hesitation I added, “please.”

To my horror, the man actually whined. “But…it turns itself off at ten o’clock automatically,” he mewled.

I wasn’t sure how to respond to that, quite honestly. I was dumbfounded…shocked…and thought to myself…”that actually sounds sane to him.” Caught without a scathing retort, I had to resort to the only other means of intimidation in my possession. I gave him the “Mommy Glare.” Yes…all you women are nodding your head and laughing, while the men are experiencing a mild tremor of fear. There is no look as powerful as this one…but I believed this situation called for an extreme response.

Instantly, the tubby whiner went from wheedling to a hostile pout as if I’d just ruined all his fun. “Okay…” he said in a manner disturbingly similar to a recalcitrant five year old. With my point made, I spun around on my heel and marched home in the same manner as when I had arrived. The music cut off abruptly after taking five steps…which made me very happy.

So happy in fact…that I hummed “Silent Night” all the way home.

Author’s Note: It has now been four days since the incident and I am happy to inform my reader that Fat Dennis has seen the error of his ways and has since lowered his Christmas music to such a level as to remain completely inaudible…even when engaging my bionic ear.

Peace on Earth = Good Will Toward Men


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Hey there BP :) Everything is good on this end and now I'm all warm and fuzzy with that whole "favorite people" thing. How are you doing?!

    • blondepoet profile image


      8 years ago from australia

      Today I decided to come see my favorite people it has been so long. Hope all is going great with you. xo

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Ouch...I hope it's not your drink lifting arm! :) If it is, then I hope you are ambidextrous. Seriously though, I'm glad you are doing well and I wish you a speedy recovery.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Well you are right, it is 04.16am here, and I am just about still up. Been in hospital having an elbow operation for one night (wrote hub on the funny angle if you are interested), now recovering and a bit sore and stiff, but okay thanks.

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      LOL! So what have you been up to? Guessing that you might be still up even though it's probably past your bedtime.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Oh I so miss your humour when you aren't around :)

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Misty...maybe that's what truly frightened them ;)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile image

      Cindy Lawson 

      8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Wonderful Hub Spryte, I could just visualise you stomping across the street in your pyjamas minus your top plate, LOL Great stuff :)

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Shalini - :) I try! Thank you for your kind words and I'm afraid as long as I share a cul de sac with F.D. there will be other tales to share.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      8 years ago from India

      Lighting up HP with laughter again, spryte? Thanks for a superbly entertaining hub. Here's to many more Fat Dennis-like incidents to look forward to from you:)

    • spryte profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Arizona, USA

      Chris: LOL! Wonderful! You got the Grover reference!! :) Giggled as I imagined the look on the composer's face when you complimented him. Perhaps he was thinking "The Merry Go Round Broke Down" or something of that ilk...some people take themselves far too seriously.

      I'm a browser too! weakness is bookstores and animal shelters. Good thing I don't have one of those limitless credit cards or I'd live in a library with a thousand cats. :)

      Thank you Nemingha!

    • Nemingha profile image


      8 years ago

      What a wonderful, funny, and totally engrossing story!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      8 years ago from St. Louis

      Hey there! Okay, maybe you were just a teensy Scroogie? Loved the story. I too could just spend hours in a craft store. Don't know why. I hardly ever buy anything. Art stores are a totally different beast. I could spend days in them and I want everything. At least I have a few specific things I need so I don't leave just frustrated with empty hands.

      It's so true about music. I was doing an original musical once and told the composer that I loved the music - reminded me of cartoon music. He took this to be a great insult, and to me it was a tremendous compliment. I explained that cartoon music was so specific to the character it was associated with, that it really captured their personality. He accepted this...reluctantly.

      Among other components, the "Grover 'near-far' hunt made me laugh out loud!

      Good work. Fun and easy to get engrossed in, as is most of your work! Your pal.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)