Dem's da Rules
It's very easy: So long as you don't hear "The Little Drummer Boy," you're a contender. As soon as you hear it on the radio, on TV, in a store, wherever, you're out. And you record your loss on the official reporting form, then tell us all about it on the Facebook wall, along with the time and place of your demise.
(Special note: You cannot be done in by anyone tricking you into hearing the dreaded tune or otherwise hitting you with it on purpose. Such exposure doesn't count.)
What's the time frame? The game begins the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) at 12:00 am local time and continues until 12:00 am the morning of Christmas Eve. The day of Christmas Eve, if you haven't been puh-rum-pum-pum-pummed, you win. For this year, anyway.
I won’t try to sugar-coat it for you, good people. These are Dark Times with initial caps. We’re only a month in, and already brave LDBCers are falling like Sunday Bills fans from the third deck.
On top of that, the new versions of the dread tune just keep on coming, from the likes of Pentatonix and Walk Off the Earth. (I purposely didn’t link those names, lest you click them and inadvertently step into the kill zones of their respective aural Claymores.)
Which is to say in my usual verbose manner that I’m asking you for a favor.
We’ve added a new wrinkle to the process this year. (Well, actually, we added it near the end of last year, but bear with me, please.) As the game grows ever more popular, keeping track of the ballooning carnage has become more challenging, and I was already a very lazy man who has trouble focusing to begin with. So we need some help on top of everything else you do for us.
If (notice I didn’t say when) you go down, by all means, please continue to comment on the Facebook wall and via Twitter so that you may be soundly soothed and/or mocked. It helps with our engagement numbers, and we do love us some engagement. But please also fill out the official recording form, thus feeding your data into a Google spreadsheet and making our lives just a tad easier.
I love you all like the little sister I never had. Even you men. Even you burly, hairy men. (Though I try not to picture you in flannel ‘jammies with feet, carrying your precious stuffed bunnies.) And with that love comes the responsibility of documenting your losses so that the fallen are not forgotten.
All of which, I repeat, is a very long way of requesting that you please complete the form should you meet with tragedy.
Thank you from the bottom of my rhythm-evading heart, and best of luck with your continued survival.
Let’s be careful out there.
Many thanks to Ms. Julia Skochko, a veteran LDBCer who went out too soon, but gave us some giggles in the process. The kids are all right. And sometimes parents should listen to them to avoid getting the entire family mowed down.
Friends, Facebookians, Drummer-Dodgers: it is with profound sorrow that I must inform you of our family’s elimination. A scant eighteen hours passed betwixt the start of the challenge and our downfall (Nov. 26th, 6 pm). I can scarcely bear to write it, but it was my own hubris that sealed our fate.
“Let’s go to the Christkindlmart in Bethlehem!”, I said. “There’ll be ice carvers, and glittery pinecones, and mulled cider ‘n’ shit!”
The children protested, bless them (“No! We wanna play Minecraft and smear Cheese Doodle dust on everything you love!”). We arrived, and still they attempted to save us (“This sucks! Let’s leave and try to startle the ice carver while he’s using his chainsaw!”).
Alas, the poor dears’ efforts were for naught: a fusillade of drumbeats felled us moments later as we supped in the Court of Foods. Even eggnog rice pudding and zesty Cuban flatbread taste like ashes in one’s mouth after such a horror.
Be not like me, friends. Arrogance is as useless as a glitter pinecone when contending with this Boy.
Forgive us for indulging in some survivor’s guilt, loyal LDBCers, but this past holiday weekend was a lesson in the power of positive thinking. Or the nonsense of negative thinking. Or not thinking clearly. Or something.
You know that scene in Pulp Fiction when the guy comes out of the bathroom and unloads his pistol at Jules and Vincent … and doesn’t hit them once? Me and Mrs. LDBC, friends.
We were visiting Papa LDBC in Jacksonville, FL, when we stumbled upon an impromptu free concert given by the fabulous First Coast Pops Orchestra. We can be a bit slow—well, I can, anyway—and we thought it might be plain old classics rather than those of the holiday variety. As Yoda might say, wrong we were.
It would have been rude (and boring) to leave at that point. So I sat back to await our demise. Mrs. LDBC, for her part, predicted we’d be fine.
And we were. They worked their way through wonderful renditions of “Silent Night,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” “The First Noel,” “Joy to the World,” “O Come All Ye Faithful,” and a host of others. But the dreaded Boy did not show.
I really need to listen to my wife more.
Others haven’t been so lucky, alas. Jack Emery Taylor was dispatched in the desert by a Christian prog-rock station. Deb Campbell was murdered awaiting a mammogram. (Hold the jokes, please.) Shari Golden never made it to Hebrew school. (I said hold the jokes.) And Jenny Runde got her bell rung while setting her alarm, never to wake up again.
That’s just a small sampling, and we’re barely into this thing. Seventy-five brave LDBCers have reported their losses on the official form, and if that stupid Pentatonix a capella version continues going viral, the form may well melt down. (You’ve been warned. Don’t click the link if you see it.)
Stay safe, friends. But again, if you don’t, please let us know via the official reporting form so that you’re included on the Memorial Wall, and stop by the Facebook page for equal helpings of sympathy and mockery.
Oh, and don’t forget to send along some of your kids’ holiday art for me to share. Amid the grief and bloodshed, we need the kind of cheer that only a child with a crayon or a set of paints can bring. (Send it along to the email address you’ll find here.)
Oh, LDBCers. It’s only the second day, and the blood-dimmed tide rises anew. Susan Campbell Beachy, Sean and Nikki O’Connor, Sarah Wenk, Lee Ann Shollenberger, Michael Santoro. We’ve already lost both veterans and rookies alike to the usual suspects—Bing and Bowie, Faith Hill, the Harry Simeone Chorale, Bob Seger. And our fellow warriors have fallen at home, in retail establishments, at live events, in the car, while ice skating, and even at the library.
Of course, my grief didn’t prevent me from once again shoving my mug into the trusty old iSight for a Skype interview with the good people of Good Day Sacramento, however. They cared enough to check in on how this year’s
struggle game is going, and they were able to patch me through from our East Coast Annex, better known as Mother LDBC’s house. So there’s that.
Anyway,as Mrs. LDBC has long said (or has said since at least yesterday, when she thought of it), may the odds be ever in your favor.
Thus, it begins. As of 12 am your time this morning (Black Friday, Nov. 29), it’s on—the fear is here.
Now, to paraphrase the noted philosopher Walter Sobchak, this is the LDBC. There are rules. So here’s a quick restating for easy reference and sharing:
Make it from 12 am the morning of Black Friday ’til 12 am the morning of Christmas Eve Day without hearing “The Little Drummer Boy,” and you win. As soon as you hear it on the radio, on TV, in a store or performed live—whatever—you’re out. And you record your loss on the official reporting form, then tell us all about it on the Facebook wall, along with the time and place of your demise. Be charming and creative enough, and we’ll also share it on the site, enshrining you in the Annals of LDBC Heroics, Tragedy, and Failure for all time.
And remember, you cannot be done in by anyone tricking you into hearing the dreaded tune or otherwise hitting you with it on purpose.
Again, live versions count, as do renditions and interpretations. (Yes, that means Vince Guaraldi’s “My Little Drum.”) Hearing it in TV episodes and movies is lethal, too, but parodies and samples are harmless.
Godspeed, LDBCers. Show the Boy who’s boss. And let’s be careful out there.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DON’T WATCH THIS WHILE THE GAME IS IN SESSION (BLACK FRIDAY TO CHRISTMAS EVE)! CONTAINS LDB! YOU’LL DIE! I’M MAKING THIS AS UNPROFESSIONALLY RED AND NOTICEABLE AS I CAN—OBNOXIOUSLY RED AND NOTICEABLE, IN FACT! ALL FOR YOU! (YOU’RE JUST LUCKY I CAN’T MAKE IT BLINK.)
In a sweat lodge years ago, I saw a man-sized turkey, a beauteous Miles Standish, and hordes of people running in terror from a small child. I refused to tip my spirit guide, insisting that it was nonsense.
I really need to trust my visions more.
It all turned out to be true, thanks to my appearance with the good folks of Good Day Sacramento this morning. (And apologies for the extra click to their site to watch the video; I’m not able to do the embed here.)
Black Friday’s just around the corner, people. Let’s be careful out there.
Nothing says Happy Holidays like off-kilter cards, and we here at LDBC Central are as off as off can be. As is our artist pal El Rey (creator of the delightful Drum Demon), who would like some help in choosing which of his designs to print and sell.
If you’re up for it, please take a moment to select your top-five favorites. (And five is all you can select since we’re authoritarian freaks.) If you have no ha’penny, no problem. You can find out how to download and print ‘em yourself here: http://mlkshk.com/p/VOEZ
Thanks, as always, people. And be ever-vigilant. Black Friday’s not far now.
Update: For some reason, the poll doesn’t seem to appear here or on Facebook if you’re using Chrome on the Mac, but Firefox and Safari render it just fine. Apparently, the good folks at Google fear the Boy as much as we do.