Toasting my ancestors in Whamhalla

It’s December 1st,* which means it’s time for that beloved holiday survival game:


A black and white photo of the pop duo Wham! in all their mid-80s glory.

The rules are simple:

  1. The objective is to go as long as possible without hearing WHAM’s Christmas classic, “Last Christmas.”
  2. The game starts on December 1st, and ends at midnight on December 24th.
  3. Only the original version applies. Enjoy the ?#!$&%! out of remixes and covers.
  4. You’re out as soon as you recognize the song.

Now, you might remember me mentioning that I have a lot of CDs. (Like: a LOT.) As such, I think that no one will be especially surprised to hear that I also have a healthy number of holiday CDs.

So I usually go into each annual round of Whamageddon with a decent advantage, because I’m going to spend a lot of my time listening to my own collection of holiday music. Which means I can consciously program around that track for as long as I have other CDs to listen to.**

The main Whamageddon risks to me are when I’m out in the world where every store, restaurant and gas station has their own holiday playlist going.

Which is why I thought I had it sewn up for 2020.

Instead, I achieved Whamageddon at 2:58 PM, eastern standard time.

So what went wrong?

I hadn’t counted on the working-from-home factor.

I mean, a lot of the time I play my iTunes when I’m working on stuff, so to some degree I was counting on my usual ability to program around Wham! for a while. In fact, one of the perks of working at home during COVID has been my ability to have my music going during times I’m working on solo stuff—that’s a lot harder to do in Ye Old Cubicle Farm. The ability to play music for a couple more hours every day meant I was feeling pretty damn good about my odds of getting through all my holiday CDs by New Years. This past year, I think it took me till January 10th.***

And, obviously, I wasn’t nearly as worried about the chance of getting Whammed! out in the world. Cos I haven’t been out “in the wild” very much these past months, and I plan to be out and about even LESS, given the inevitable post-Thanksgiving COVID surges heading our way.

So I’d sort of counted on the work-from-home factor.

What I hadn’t counted on was the way Mr. Mezzo listens to Pandora and the Xfinity music channels during work. Normally, I can’t hear his tunes, because I’ve got my own playlist going on my computer. But this afternoon, I had only a few minutes between meetings, so I didn’t bother to start the iTunes. And I was tap-tapping away on my laptop, and grooving to the song from the other room, and then I clocked into what song it was.


So I’m out of the game faster than I ever have been before. Damn 2020.

Three beer glasses being clinked together in a toast.

Still, I can only hope that this is the worst thing to happen to me all month. In the meantime, I will spend the remainder of December toasting to others’ success in this game from the afterlife of Whamhalla.


* I am of two minds here: 1) How the hell did December come so fast?!? 2) Thank Gaia it’s finally here ‘cos 2020 has lasted about a century or so….

** Which, as already established, is a long darn time.

*** A LOT of CDs.


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