I respect humor. Dabble in it myself. Often incorporate it into my blogs, articles and news releases. Swim backstrokes and freestyle in it as I love to entertain.
Who doesn’t enjoy making people chuckle, especially when you hit the grand slam, that jackpot with the initials LOL. Who doesn’t like to chortle? We all do!
But you have to be careful. What’s funny to some can go over like the proverbial lead balloon to others who’ll sometimes take offense at your making fun of what they hold dear, almost sacred, like Christmas songs.
In my local newspaper, The Palm Beach Post, there’s a fine columnist who sometimes flourishes a flamboyant sense of humor. Only this time Frank Cerabino might have overstepped some aged boundaries. Judging from a few reactions, did he misfire or were some of his critics just humor anemic? On a few of them, Frank’s creative fun backfired!
He was at a supermarket checkout one day when a song playing from overhead speakers seeped into his consciousness.
It was “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” which Frank dubbed in his popular column as “one of the more insufferable Christmas songs, a song that only gets worse each time you hear it.” Ouch!
And to start hearing it during the second week of November, he wrote: “Bah humbug, it’s too early for Christmas music.”
I thought that was funny as we were only approaching Thanksgiving, and already Christmas was in his crosshairs, but it sent him on a satiric sleigh ride, poking fun at some sacred songs.
“It’s not that I don’t like Christmas music. It’s just that one month of it is more than enough,” he wrote and then proceeded to make fun of a many others we all know and love.
He cited what he called offensive lyrics in”Deck the Halls” citing “Now we don our gay apparel. Fa, la, la. La, la, la. La. La. La.”
“Gay apparel? What about LBTQ apparel? And those “fa, la, la’s” come off as pejorative hetero stereotyping.” That made me chuckle.
Then he jumped on “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” citing its suggestion of Voyeurism. Infidelity. Possible Christmas Eve trouble when dad shows up.”
That was kind of humorous, too, but then he fires his comedy machinegun at “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” which I think for many went too far.
He cited as offensive lyrics: “All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. They never let poor Rudolph, join in any reindeer games.”
Why? He said the answer is because the song is about body shaming. “Themes of bullying throughout. Red ‘and very shiny nose’ a sign of advanced alcoholism leading to rhinophyma.”
At the very least, he said “Rudolph’s name in the song should be blacked out due to HIPAA medical privacy law.”
That was okay . . . I’m sure it made even the hardest censors smile!
But then he took humorous umbrage at “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” citing as offensive culprit lyrics “And so I’m offering this simple phrase, to kids from one to 92.”
Frank then humorously complained that “stopping at 92 years old leaves off a key Florida demographic. Letter of complaint to follow from the legal department of The Nonagenarian Society. Betty White to lead class-action lawsuit.” That got only a snicker.
Lastly was a Christmas Song with lyrics Frank called offensive: “The lights are turned way down low. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.” This he argues reveals narcissistic tendencies and callous disregard for others who may be experiencing hazardous driving conditions.
“Singer should be wishing for a tapering of snowfall and the speedy arrival of salt trucks and road plows.”
That was clever, but maybe too clever for some of Frank’s humorless readers, and staunch red nose reindeer advocates. And now comments started to storm in.
“It seems you are just too full of yourself. Get over it,” went a comment from Joseph T. “It’s not about you. Millions enjoy bringing an early Christmas spirit to our lives,” said subscriber Joe in the angry comments section.
“This article was insufferable,” said presumably some Martian subscriber. “I’d rather hear Christmas music than read this garbage again!”
Then another irate reader fires at the wild joker columnist calling him a “typical liberal who hates everything and whines about as much as possible. Put your mask on, move to New York, and shove the vaccine up your ….”
Ouch! I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Frank, yet couldn’t resist poking him a little myself just for the fun. As a PR guy, I seldom think it’s wise to piss-off customers, or in Frank’s case, his loyal base of Christmas ditty lovers.
So, I sent him this comment.
“Merry Christmas, Frank! See my gift waiting under the Christmas tree for you, my grumpy friend. It’s a book full of advice how to temper your ghoultide cleverness or you’re going to need yours truly for some Christmas Crisis Management.
“I suggest you tell your readers that for penance you’re going to watch Hallmark Channel night and day for two solid weeks.”
Holding back the tide
Finally, Frank wishes Thanksgiving had its own music, so we could hold back the tide of Christmas music at least until the end of the month. But Thanksgiving’s got not much musical about it, says flippant Frank.
“There’s no “All I Want for Thanksgiving is Gravy” or “A Calorie-ing We Go” or “I’m Dreaming of some White-Meat Turkey.”
Now that’s funny! So, frankly Frank, I would tell your detractors, “frankly my dears I don’t give a damn!”
Now how about “Turkey legs roasting in an open microwave.”
“What’s the matter with you, Madden,” I can almost hear him say. “You don’t roast in an open microwave. You heat or your Christmas satire blog bombs!”
And I’d say, “Frankly my dear Frank, I don’t give a damn!”
Besides an inveterate blogger, Tom Madden is an author of countless published articles and five books, including his latest, WORDSHINE MAN, available in January on Amazon. He is the founder and CEO of TransMedia Group, an award-winning public relations firm serving clients worldwide since 1981 and has conducted remarkably successful media campaigns and crisis management for America’s largest companies and organizations.