Day 4: Preppers and Pantsers and Playlists—Oh, My!

Fallen LDBCer Justin Kelly

I need to get something off my chest that’s bothered me for nearly four decades, people. Band Aid‘s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” grew out of good intentions, but what’s with the part where Bono sings, “Well, tonight thank God it’s them instead of you”? I mean, can’t we help those less fortunate than ourselves without an injection of, “Better you than me”?

Rest assured, there’s no such pettiness in this Thing of Ours. Some of us may inwardly celebrate the downfall of friends and loved ones and laugh at their expense, to be sure, but at least nobody’s singing about it.

On the contrary, many of us do our best to shield ourselves and others (OK, maybe it’s mostly ourselves) from The Boy’s reptilian kiss, employing various strategies involving when to visit stores, wearing earbuds, and calling ahead to see if restaurants are playing holiday music. Those people are called preppers, while those who throw caution to the wind and trust their fate to luck are pantsers (as in: flying by the seat of their pants). And no, I can’t take credit for that since I borrowed those terms from the author side of my life after LDBCer Lori Sly asked if we called those groups anything.

Thus, it’s the preppers you can thank for a slew of safe, LDB-free playlists created for your anxiety-free enjoyment this holiday season. Now, I do want to stress that I haven’t checked these over to make sure there isn’t any stray Boy venom hidden inside of any of them. So do your due diligence and check them yourself to make sure someone hasn’t inadvertently left some LDB in there or isn’t actively trying to Nickroll you. (I love that term, invented by Elayne Wylie, for those who apply the principles of Rickrolling to our annual tradition. And no, it wouldn’t count thanks to our “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule, but you have no way of knowing whether the creator did it on purpose or not. So check.)

One other thing to watch out for, as BE Eliza so presciently warned, is to make sure you have the auto-suggest feature (as it’s called on Spotify, though it may be termed something else on other services) turned off so that it doesn’t start playing random holiday tunes without warning once the playlist is done. Two people that I know of have gotten stung that way thus far.

With all of that said, here are the lists, organized in no particular order by contributor name, and we thank all those who put these together:

Prepper, pantser. The Boy is happy to harvest you whatever your approach. And as proof of that, we present the gallery below, which is a visual roundup of those who’ve been taken from us too soon. (And it’s but a sample; more than 100 have reported in as slain only four days in.)

And that’s it for this gray Monday. Continue to be ever-vigilant, and be kind to one another. But should you take a fall, please fill out the reporting form ( so that you’re duly memorialized at the end of the game, and feel free to contribute your own LDBC-elfie by adding it to a comment on the Facebook page or by tweeting and tagging @LDBChallenge.

Puh-rum-pum-pum-pum, people.

For Peter! (Or, as Anne Sussman suggested, for Pete’s sake!)

LDBC-Elfies: Defeated but Not Forgotten

  • Erin Hatfield
  • Chris C.
  • Karen Austin
  • Anne Sussman
  • Lynne Rossi Horiuchi
  • Mike Trapp
  • Susan S. Smith
  • Iris Gray
  • Laura Taylor
  • Samantha Diamond
  • Simon Dibley
  • Carolyn Loeffler
  • Dorothy Alger
  • Caitlin Phaiah
  • Rebecca Renfro
  • Andrew P. Donnelly
  • Ellen Bloom
  • Noel Tang
  • Justin Kelly
  • Keely Sanderson

A little help, if you can: once again, we’re battling the darkness that is The Boy by trying to shed some light on the situation. So if you’re willing and able to help this year, Americares is who we’re giving to this year.

As I say every year, there’s no obligation. Everybody’s welcome in this Thing of Ours, whether you contribute or not. But if you can, Americares is a great organization.

Please donate here.

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