Matter of Laugh or Death
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS CRINGE
Ah, the Christmas season. My favorite time of year. Fa la la la la, la la la la. I love Christmas because it gives me the opportunity to show off my singing voice.
I don’t want to brag, but I have an excellent singing voice. Deep, clear, perfect pitch.
There’s only one slight problem: my wonderful voice only works within a small range of four notes. When I sing those particular four notes, I sound just like Jim Nabors (the singer Jim Nabors, not the Gomer Pyle Jim Nabors).
If the song contains notes above the four-note range, however, I do sound a little like the Gomer Pyle Jim Nabors—at the very moment Sergeant Carter is applying a size-12 Army boot to his backside. The screeching sound which emanates from my vocal chords causes people to cover their ears in pain, while all dogs within a half-mile radius come a running. Well, gollll-ly!
If the song contains notes below my four-note range, the low-pitched, guttural vibrations make the windows rattle. My wife also swears our microwave malfunctions whenever I sing low notes.
Since I’ve never studied music, I’m not sure which four notes are my good notes. They may be A, B-flat, C, and D—or they may be R, Q, T, and X-squared. All I know is, when a song has notes in my range, I belt out such beautiful music, people turn and stare in awe. But when I try to belt out notes out of my range, people still turn and stare in awe—the same way they would stare while witnessing a freight train slamming into a school bus.
During the year, I rarely get to use my singing voice. Before baseball games, they always play “The Star Spangled Banner.” I can handle the very beginning, “Oh, oh, say can you…” But that’s it. If I try to sing the next note, “See,” then the game gets forfeited because all the bats in the dugout crack—even the aluminum ones.
Another opportunity to sing during the year is that old favorite, “Happy Birthday.” But again, most of the notes are out of my range. Toward the end of the song, when you sing, “Happy BIRTH-day to so-and-so…” the note for the syllable “birth” is so high, when I sing it, the candles on the cake go out prematurely, all the children start to cry, and everyone’s watch stops.
As with baseball games, I’ve learned to keep silent at birthday parties.
The only other time I have the chance to sing is at church. But one Sunday, just before the opening hymn, the pastor announced, “When you sing, it’s like praying twice.” He then looked directly at me and added with a frown, “…but not for you.” I got the hint.
But now it’s Christmas season. Joy to the World!
No, no, I don’t mean “Joy to the World” is one of the songs I can sing—too many notes. I just mean, well, you know, JOY! I can finally sing something!
The most popular song of the Christmas season is the one song I can sing without fear: “Jingle Bells.”
Oh, man, what a great song. Only four notes required. MY four notes. “Jingle bells, jingle bells. Jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh. Hey! Jingle bells, jingle bells. Jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to ride in a one horse open sleigh. Hey!” (And quite profound poetry, too!)
Now some folks will argue that singing “Jingle Bells” 30 times in a row is boring. Not for me, especially when I’m out Christmas caroling. When you move from house to house, it’s not like the audience hears the song every time. (Well, actually, when I’m out caroling and really getting into it, the whole neighborhood will hear me sing “Jingle Bells” all 30 times—even with their windows shut tightly and their TVs turned up loud. I can’t help it, it’s the only time all year I get to sing.)
While caroling a few years ago, the other singers begged and pleaded to do a different song. “Fine,” I said. “You’ve been warned.”
We stood before a brightly decorated house and began singing “Deck the Halls.” Sure enough, when we got to, “…don we now our gay apparel, fa la la, la la LAA—” all the glowing Christmas lights exploded, sending shards of glass all over the neighborhood.
So, if you’re planning on going out Christmas caroling this year, I’d love to join you. Just make sure you don’t mind singing the same song all night long.
|Home||Current Faith||Current Funnies||Faith Archive||Funnies Archive||Contact Bill|