Friday, November 20, 2015

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays

On Monday, Nov. 16, at approximately 2:30 in the afternoon, I finally got a chance to put my plan into action. If you enjoy science and experimentation, please keep reading. If you don’t, well ... you can just be that way.

Science has always interested me. All kinds of science, theoretical and especially experimental. Regular readers of this column might recall my work with determining that iPads can be operated with a hot dog. Sometimes, science can be delicious.

In the workshop, my buddy (we’ll call him Glenn) and I normally listen to a classic rock station all day long. They play a lot of songs that were popular when we were in high school, and as everyone knows, that’s the best music ever. However, it does get somewhat tedious listening to the same stuff day, after day, after day.

Well, one day this station had a commercial advertising that one of their sister stations was already playing nothing but Christmas music, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week until Christmas. (I admit, it seems a little ridiculous since Thanksgiving is still a few days away.)

Following the commercial, I got this great idea to do my version of scientific, psychological testing. I decided that I would turn the radio over to the Christmas channel, and I would study just how long it would take my business partner to be driven to complete insanity. This was going to be fun.

For the most part, I like Christmas songs. I can listen to holiday music for long periods of time without being really bothered by it. I had no idea what kind of tolerance my buddy would have. Perhaps he was part elf and would really enjoy listening to Nat King Cole and Perry Como for a month and a half straight. I kind of expected that would not be the case, but I would let science be the judge. Man, this was going to be fun! If nothing else, I wouldn’t have to hear anything from Bon Jovi for at least a month.

To monitor the experiment properly, I would need clipboards, spreadsheets, slide rules and pocket protectors, and with any luck, a Bunsen burner. Over the following days and weeks, l would write down every hum, whistle, grumble and nervous twitch as Glenn was treated to the likes of Mariah Carey, José Feliciano, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and last but definitely not least - Patsy and Elmo. I was sure that a trip to Oslo, Norway, to accept a Nobel Prize would be in my future.

The other day, Glenn had to leave the shop for a few minutes to run some errands. This gave me the chance to put my planned experiment into place. I adjusted the radio dial and waited for science to come to town. I looked at Lambeau, the shop dog, and smiled. He licked himself.

When he got back from his errands and came in the door, Glenn was treated to the delightful tune of Andy Williams belting out his jazzy version of “Happy Holidays.” He stopped in his tracks, looked incredulously at the radio speakers and than at me. He looked back at the speakers and then again at me. This rotation of his head from the speakers back to me must have happened four or five times. He informed me that he evidently was not fond of Christmas music to be played before Thanksgiving. I explained my experiment and challenged him to be my Guinea pig. He shook his head and grumbled some bad words. Did I mention that this was going to be fun?

Upon the conclusion of “Happy Holidays,” the radio station jumped right into “Happy Christmas” by Sarah McLachlan. I don’t recall if I had ever heard that particular version of the song, but it seemed alright to me. It didn’t seem as though Glenn liked it that much. I think I detected some more bad words.

During the second stanza of the song, he looked at me over his sawdust covered glasses and said in the most earnest tone I have ever heard him speak, “We are not going to do this. I will quit coming here.” I could tell that he was not joking. I have never seen him so serious. I have never heard him say a more solemn vow. And I was in his wedding. Both of them.

And thus concluded the grand experiment. Approximately six and a half minutes after it started.

Well, since I work with Ebeneezer Scrooge, I guess it’s back to the old classic rock radio station. Hey! What do you know ... Bon Jovi.

Bah humbug!

You can contact Wallace at You can follow him on his blog at

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