Copywriting. Creative Direction. Branding. Content. I've got your words.

Holiday Party Small Talk


First off, has anyone heard "the Christmas Shoes?" This has got to be the most depressing song ever made. Long story short -- a dirty little urchin has saved his pennies to buy his dying mom some shoes on Christmas Eve. Now as if that wasn't sad enough, the jackhole at the checkout tells the kid that he doesn't have enough. So he turns to the next guy in line and asks him for some money, which he gets, EASILY.


"Sir, I want to buy these shoes…for my mamma, please….it's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size…can you hurry sir, Daddy say's there's not much time. You see, she's been sick for quite a while and, uh, I know these shoes will make her smile, and, uh, I want her to look beautiful, if mamma meets Jesus tonight."


So, there I am in my car, on the verge of bawling, and then I think -- hmm, what if it's an elaborate scam to get some shoes? Or worse?


Whoa. Sick Mom, Jesus -- WHA??? Kid, shouldn't you be buying some Robutussin or something instead? Should I even be standing next to you? Are you a carrier? Does your Mom have Swine Flu? Damnit! I'm just trying to buy some presents and I end up standing next to the damn Outbreak monkey. F to the M to the L.


Anyhow…Another year is winding to a close, and I still have some issues. Given, I've taken care of a great many this past year, but other ones have come up to take their place. None are fully worthy of their own rants, so I figured I'd put them together here as a list of topics. Hey, your fridge is gonna be full of holiday leftovers, so I didn't want your inbox to feel left out.


Besides, now is the perfect time for it, seeing as you'll probably be going to lots of parties and get-togethers, and will need things to make small talk over. Read, digest, and feel free to use them. I hope they help.


So, Wilson Phillips' first hit song was "Hold On," right? And what did they follow it up with? "Release Me." Listen here, chickies, make up your minds. Besides, when I tried to hold you all, the chubby one tried to eat my hand.


Speaking of forgettable pop artists, do you think Wang Chung is having fun tonight? When was the last time you "had fun tonight?" When was the last time you "Wang Chunged tonight?" I tried to Wang Chung once, but my mom told me I'd grow hair on my palms and go blind.


Who in the hell over the age of 10 or under the age of 50 still wears tightie whities? Because somebody is buying them.


Why is it everyone assumes that fat people are jolly? I don't know about you, but I've met some really pain-in-the-ass fat people in my day. Whiny, catty, annoying fat people. Don't they know that if they want to have any friends at all, they can't be fat AND annoying? OK, that was mean. But I was on a roll.


In case you were wondering what Otis Day and The Knights are up to, they're playing the main stage at Disney's Pleasure Island in Orlando. And they still rock.


There are between 15 and 20 rats for every person in New York City. (Shudder). No wonder it's the city that never sleeps. I bet Donald Trump has 47.


Why do we, as a people, continue to encourage Steven Seagal and Carrot Top? You know what? Put them on a pay-per-view special on a desert island. Seagal can kick Carrot's ass, then starve to death. We'll continue to work on Wayne Brady, who almost redeemed himself on "How I Met Your Mother" and "The Chappelle Show."


I say "…with my mind on my money," and you say: "…and my money on my mind." I knew you would.


Have you ever REALLY listened to "Rappers' Delight?" Oh my God, it's awful. I'm surprised that after that, rap was actually able to catch on. A hip, a hop, a hibby, a hibby hibby hip hip hop, and you don't stop the rockin to the bang-bang boogie say up jump the boogie to the rhythm to the boogedy beat? Kid, I'm only gonna say this once. Stay off the smack at work.


And as kids, we had some dumb-ass toys, like the easy-bake oven. Only Americans would come up with a way to cook cookie-sized cakes over a 100-watt bulb. The Russians were working on Sputnik, and we were making bite-sized bundt cakes.


Silly putty? Try convincing one of today's kids that this is a cool toy. I dare you. They'd probably eat it since it looks like GoGurt.


And then there were iron-ons. Remember those? Who was the genius behind this phenomenon? Hey! Let's make kids play with hot irons! That'll be fun! And, it never worked, even if you did ask mom to do it. It would bubble. It would end up on a wrinkle. Or, you'd touch it too soon and it would come off on your fingers. And even after getting burned trying to put a picture of Farrah Fawcett on your favorite t-shirt, all you had to show for it was a plastic blob that half fell off the first time it got washed.


Along the same lines (again, I'm bitter) were shrinky-dinks. Color, cut, stick in the oven. WHAT? Because my mom liked nothing better than me firing up the broiler to cook a piece of plastic. I'm convinced that both these toys were part of some conspiracy to control the population by burning children away. I had shrinky-dinks when I was a kid, but I never was allowed to put them in the oven. So, I was the only kid on my block to only have "dinks." No shrinky. Just dinks.


Yes, things were much simpler then. You could go out and get a gift for a kid without knowing what game system they use or how much RAM they have. We were content to sit around endangering our lives with fire, and hot light bulbs in plastic boxes.


Next time you're in an elevator, pay close attention. No one will look at each other. They'll all just stare at the numbers changing as you move from floor to floor. Want to freak people out? Get into a crowded elevator, turn your back to the door, and just look at everyone in there. It'll work. Guaranteed.


There is a fine line between a look with a charming smile, and the stare of a homicidal maniac. Most people at holiday parties cross this line.


So, that's it, discuss amongst yourselves.


Hmmm. I wonder if you could make shrinky-dinks in an easy-bake oven. I have lots of dinks sitting around.


That's the rant.


Originally published on my old humor blog, Kwam’s Rant

Kwame DeRoche