Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I wonder If Chicken Licken plays the banjo? Remind me to ask Santa.

Santa Claus, you can be a vindictive sum'bitch.

As my grandpa used to say.

(Well, Grandpa didn't exactly call you a sum'bitch, just most of the neighbors, but I think he'd be okay with it. At one point the two of you were a lot alike, what with the beards and the bellies, and also my Grandpa liked to sit in his La-Z-Boy in the evenings and crack filberts, which are more elegantly called hazelnuts by people who don't have them littering their yards, and I hear you make a lot of holiday nutcrackers.  If you're originally from Arkansas, we might be related.)
Anyway, as you may remember from my "punch Santa in the nuts" post, I am not feeling too Christmas-y  this year, and probably you have removed me from your list.

Also, I know now you are trying to drive me insane.

See, lately, say...the last two weeks or so, just I've been laying my weary head on my pillow to sleep at night, I've been hearing something strange.  Sounds.  Almost a melody, but so faint, so indistinct that I've been thinking it's in my head.  I checked the radio, but it was off.  Same with computers, ipods, phones, old toys.  Nothing was making any noise. The neighbors windows were closed and dark. No cars with radio playing were driving by.  All is calm, as they say.

And yet, just as I lay down, there it was again, a sound best described as a chicken playing a toy piano in another room. Yes, Santa, I even checked the yard for chickens and pianos, and came up empty again.

(By the way, am I the only person who remembers chickens playing tiny pianos?  I swear we saw them at the fair when I was little. You put money in a slot, and the chicken would play the piano with its beak, randomly, until finally some chicken feed would roll out of the piano.

This bothers me so much I think I've even mentioned it in another post somewhere, and so I had to go research 'chickens playing the piano' because I was scared I made it up, and at first all I saw were a lot of pictures of cats playing the piano,  Apparently cats are proficient keyboardists.  Then, finally, I found two illustrious chicken pianists:

First, Beanie, shown here doing her homage to Liberace:

And Henny Penny, from the old days: / CC BY-NC 2.0

So nice try with the chicken thing, Santa, but Google called your bluff. Also, is that you in your off-season outfit?)

Anyway, last night, while I was reading Kathy Griffin's memoir in bed, I heard it again, only this time, it had a melody.

And this is why I know it's you, Santa Claus, messing with my head.  Because last night, the chicken pianist was playing "Good King Wenceslas".

Why, Santa, why?

The song played on and on, tinny and faint, and impossible to track.  GOOD KING WEN-CES-LAS LOOKED OUT, ON THE FEAST OF STE-PHEN,  played the chicken. Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat. Tink, tink, tink, tink, tink-tink-tinkkkkk....

It was impossible to concentrate on my book, even the part where a stoned Andy Dick performs a pants-less lap dance on an audience member. Tink, tink, tink, tink, tink-tink-tinkkk...  

My husband does not hear the chicken, Santa.  Only me.  Also, he informs me that the song is not "Good King Wenceslas went down, on the feast of Stephen", like I always thought.
I have to say I have a totally different opinion of the king now. 

Also, did you know that Wenceslas had really hot feet?  I looked it up.  He was a saint (a real-life Bohemian duke) because he would always go out barefoot in the snow to give money to the poor.  I don't know if he didn't have any snow boots, or he was always in a hurry or what, but he was definitely unusual in his cold tolerance.

According to the song, the king had a page who had to come along every night, and the king would order him around, saying things like "Bring me flesh, and bring me wine, bring me pine logs hither:

Understandably, the page was a little pissed about carrying all the flesh and wine and logs through the snow, and he would complain about it:  Sire, the night is darker now, and the wind blows stronger;
Fails my heart, I know not how; I can go no longer.

Still he didn't get to go home, because the duke/king told him to stop whining and just walk in the footsteps he was leaving in the snow.  The footsteps were so hot the page would stay warm just by standing in them:
In his master's steps he trod, where the snow lay dinted;
Heat was in the very sod which the saint had printed.

It's a song about hot sod.


So tonight, instead of focusing on Kathy's feud with Dakota Fanning, I'm going to be thinking about the Duke of Bohemia leaving a wake of steaming snow and bits of dropped flesh behind him, and waiting for music that only I can hear to start.

That's pretty diabolical, if you ask me.  I only threatened to punch you in the nuts, you know, it's not like I would have really done it.

At least make it a different carol.  Does the chicken know "The Little Drummer Boy?


Moooooog35 said...

Just be thankful it's a chicken and not a rooster.

That little shit plays his drums at all hours of the night.


And, yes, I'm looking at you when I say that.

Jules said...

Chickens playing piano is disturbing! And I could definitely see CATS playing the piano. I mean, they are talented AND sneaky. They probably sneak out at night to clubs and what not.

I also kind of find it disturbing that you're reading Kathy Griffins' memoir.

I'm not sure WHICH is more disturbing though.

diane said...

I would trade the banging next door for the chicken piano anytime. The banging woke me up at 8:a.m. this morning.
What IS that on the old guy's shirt? I think it is either a small owl or a big turd.

Prosy said...

but where is the creepy music coming from?

Kurt said...

I think I like your version of Christmas Spirit Best of All, Vic.

Sorry you've got a mystical, musical, invisible, space chicken. Those are like roaches when you turn the lights on.

Miss Yvonne said...

I remember those piano playing chickens! Every family vacation we took when I was kid involved Wall Drug and a stop somewhere to see one of those chickens.

I'm really upset that you haven't found the source of the plinky planky Christmas music. Did you check under your bathroom sink? Because I'm always afraid to reach under mine in case there is a wild animal under there. I don't know, I just am. Shut up.

kate said...

Does falling asleep while thinking about the Duke of Bohemia leaving a wake of steaming snow and bits of dropped flesh behind him, and waiting for music that only you can hear give you some seriously fucked up dreams? I know I always have some weird ones when I fall asleep thinking about crazy shit like the dream I had the other night about swimming through a battle during World War II after spending way too much time on the water level of Super Mario Brothers.

Ed Adams said...

If it's still playing after Christmas, then it wasn't Santa.

Not sure that's helpful, but it will help the doc when deciding which meds to put you on.

Eric said...

Maybe I'll train some fowl to play little synthesizers and call them DePeck Mode.

Steam Me Up, Kid said...

If you figure out the source of plinky chicken, let me know. I've got "mariachi band entertaining dinner guests in the distance" in my ears every night.

You have the best titles ever.

The Jules said...

That's the most irritating schizophrenic episode ever. At least if it's a voice in your head you can obey it. No-one's going to take orders off of a chicken playing the piano.

When we were at school and had to sing Good King Wencelas, we would ensure that the word "sod" was shouted at the top of our pre-pubescent voices. Hil-ar-ious.

On the subject of lyrics, we had to inform a friend of mine that the words to "Tie My Kangaroo Down Sport" wasn't. in fact, "Tiny Kangaroos Dance, Sport" even though prefer her version.

erin said...

Ba rump pa pa paaaaaaaaa....

Does Kathy Griffin talk a lot about her plastic surgeries? I bet that's a huge chunk of her book.

J. said...

I'm sorry about your chicken dilemma. Perhaps I can help by eliminating one culprit: it's not the largest Polish language radio station in the U.S. (unofficial motto: "All Polska Techno, All the MatkaF*cking Time") broadcasting from the old folk's home one block over and reverberating off the 100-year-old heating system in your home office. That's the sound we keep hearing at my house. At least, that's what my husband keeps telling me it is. If he's lying or just humoring me, I don't want to know. The alternatives are just too scary.

Soda and Candy said...

I need to know about Kathy's feud with Dakota Fanning. Is it because Dakota has dead eyes?

Also, your grandpa sounds cool.

Pearl said...

I DO remember the piano playing chicken. The poor thing was in a cage at Fawn-Doe-Rosa in Wisconsin, right next to the cage with the chimpanzee in it, the one who tried to pull my brother through the bars by his tee-shirt collar...

Now THAT'S entertainment.

Oh! And Merry Christmas!


Just.Kate said...

You've officially given me the Christmas creeps.

Chief said...

Merry Christmas!

Miss Yvonne said...

Thanks for posting Carlos Spicy Weiner's picture on your blog! I showed to Captain Carl and was all "See????" and he was all "eye roll". I think he's coming around...

Carolyn...Online said...

So I guess technically they call that a 'psychotic break'... you know, hearing the piano playing chicken and then blaming an imaginary man for the noise. But don't be alarmed - they make super fun drugs for that!

@eloh said...

I remember the chickens.. saw one that played tic-tac-toe once. I always saved my dimes so I could see the side show exhibits....sadly... they have not been politically correct in years and live on only in my mind. Well as best as babies in jars live on that is. Come to think of it... I wonder how the "girl in the iron lung" ever collected up her dough.

Summer said...

Ummm... that's so disturbing. However, I do remember the piano playing chickens. That last pic was definitely Santa in off season. I'm sure he'll lie about it, but it has to be him.