I usually don’t get caught up in the holiday hype – rather the opposite. Getting to the mall becomes harder than sitting through 5 minutes of “Johny Johny Yes Papa” (look it up, it’s fucking torture!) But this December is different.
At the Giant grocery store off Bay Ridge Ave in Annapolis, a crew of 3 (so far) Salvation Army bell ringers take shifts sounding off daily, collecting donations as they do every year following Black Friday. But one particular, and somewhat peculiar, man stands out. And I mean he stands out like a clean shaven, loose-fitting jeans sporting, carnivore in Portland. (That was a well written joke aimed at hipsters.) But this gentleman, in my book, shines a bit brighter than most. For proper context, we’re going to need a flashback and new paragraph.
Shortly after Thanksgiving, like everywhere else in America, the Chesapeake-neighboring town of Annapolis goes into full-on Christmas mode. Vibrant, seasonal lights coat the city and an invasion of bell toting carolers representing the Salvation Army set up camp in front of every grocery store. I, like many of you, notice them initially to later have my attention diverted by the next limelight-hungry group demanding my money for a good cause.
Abby and I wrapped up some grocery shopping and exited Giant, when an unusual ditty sideswiped us. A man singing the following stopped me dead in my tracks: “There’s a room where the lights won’t find you, holding hands while the walls come tumbling down…” I was in denial at what I had just heard. Yes folks, someone was singing in the correct key AND in rhythm with the bell! I’m telling you it seems as if the Salvation Army bell ringers got together and decided that the two previously mentioned skills are mutually exclusive. They most certainly are not. But since it’s the holidays, good cheer and whatnot, I’ll just put this in the nicest way possible…There’s the way this guy was belting notes in front of Giant and then there are the rest of the bell ringers who are complete shit.
When I paused, Abby did too. I asked her if she was listening to the song. She replied in her signature way, “Listening to what?” This just reaffirmed my original theory that this kid lives in her own little world and sound travels only on the outskirts of her ears, never in. I sang the lyrics I just heard and she immediately identified the Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” It was interesting watching someone break out of traditional Christmas carols and try something new for a change. I regretfully never talked to him to give him kudos for flipping the festive script…until last Wednesday night.
After weeks of subpar, tone-deaf bell ringing carolers, I finally saw him again the other night! This time I decided to approach him and ask, “Excuse me, sir, a few weeks ago were you here singing Tears for Fears?” He turned to me and replied, “YEAH, I WAS! Tears for Fears is one of the greatest bands ever!” He was an older gentleman, around 65, with the most contagious smile that ran from ear to ear after I initiated conversation. His response and overall demeanor made me mirror his smile. No embellishments In today’s article, as you can see in the picture above. (yes, that’s really him).
As I made my way back to the car, something came over me. I quickly dumped the groceries in the backseat and reached into the middle console and cleared all the change I had. I then jogged back to him and dumped every cent I had into that fire engine red bucket. I told him that I wasn’t a fan of this time of year in general, but told him he had made my year. He smiled again, wished me a Merry Christmas and I reciprocated.
I think about how Die Hard can arguably be the greatest Christmas movie in my opinion. Why can’t “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” be a Christmas song? In a time when Thanksgiving can be rejected by some and addressed as “the decolonization of native Americans” and “Baby, It’s Cold outside” is now considered “rapey,” it looks like a slot may have just opened up for a new holiday song. #ThanksMillennials
I’ve never heard of New Year’s resolutions being abandoned BEFORE the new year starts, until now. I said earlier this year I’d be taking a break from The Moron Editorial in 2019, but I’ve had a change of heart. So with that, I’ll be back in January 2019. Now go open presents or whatever the hell it is you do.