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. And a new wrinkle for 2016 is what we’re calling the “Hoist with His Own Petard” rule: the person who tries to take you down is officially eliminated for the attempt. Don’t let them try to tell you they’re not playing. We’re all playing, and they’ve lost. Bullies need to go down in flames and shame.)

What’s the time frame? The game begins the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) at 12:01 am local time and continues until midnight, Dec. 23. If you haven’t been puh-rum-pum-pum-pummed, you win. For this year, anyway.

Day 8: No Respect

Beth Hayes Bailie and sons

The look on Beth Hayes Bailie‘s son, above, who may or may not have been trying to give us his best Rodney Dangerfield but succeeded all the same, says it all, fellow LDBCers.

The Boy does not respect us. At all. In any way. (No, not her son. The Boy.)

He molests us with Muzak. Silences us with Simeone and Seger. Buries us in a barrage of Bing and Bowie. There are more than 3,000 of us who’ve liked the Facebook page now, which just means a happier hunting ground for the little jerk. And with the growing numbers come the growing number of victims.

Your friends, neighbors, and loved ones. These are their faces and tales.

Joanne Carey Blanchard, who only wished to deal with some doggie things, but ended up being thrown to the wolves. (“It’s all up to you to rep for the Family now, Mom,” she posted—with a capital “F” in “family.”)

And a capital “F” for a much angrier word is sent The Boy’s way over and over. But he doesn’t care. He just marches on, tapping out his rhythm of doom.

Many have fallen prey to viral videos. (Appearances can be deceiving, especially when you’re laying LDBCers low right and left with your otherwise admirable social message.) Others have suffered double-whammies.

Christine Chase Sacchi: “So while I’m laid low, stunned, stricken, does he leave it at that? Can he not gloat in silence and let me pull myself together? No! Two songs later he came back in another version to trample me where I lay.”

More than 200 of us who’ll have an “L” next to their names in the game-end tally. (You know, the tally I’m always nagging about. The one that you’ll only appear in if you fill out the reporting form.)

Faces and names, friends. And on top of the chronological list of them is this year’s First Fallen, Craig Barker.

So stay alert. Step lively. And should you fall, post an LDBC-elfie to the page or, at least, report in via the form that can’t be mentioned enough.

Godspeed.

For Craig!

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The Holiday Season Has Its Non-Frightening Aspects, Too

Music: Bowl Singing drone by bubasounds

For all the terror that the holiday season has to offer, there’s the occasional beauty, too. You just have to stop and take note when you see it.

Even when it makes you late for a meeting. Especially when it makes you late for a meeting.

(Shot in front of the James L. Allen Center at Northwestern University.)

And now? Back to the fear.

The Darkness Drops Again

Don't Open LDB Inside

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.

Got it?

Godspeed, LDBCers. Show the Boy who’s boss. And let’s be careful out there.

How Did You Do in the 2012 LDBC?

Happy Sad Faces

So how’d you do? The Little Drummer Boy Challenge ends at midnight, your time, on Dec. 23rd. Now, we love seeing you brag or mourn, depending on your result, on the Facebook page. But it also helps us out quite a bit if you fill out this form to record your win or loss officially. So take a minute and increase your Challenge karma exponentially. — Mr. LDBC

Merry SNL Christmas: The Ferrell Fatalities

Will Ferrell as Robert Goulet
What about Bob? Will Ferrell as the deadly Robert Goulet

Perhaps the blame lies with Philo T. Farnsworth, who invented the medium. After all, last year, it was American Horror Story, and just tonight it was Will Ferrell doing Robert Goulet doing LDB on the SNL Christmas Special.

The dead piled up like cordwood. Anne Sussman, Jesse Blatt, Richard Arnold, Lee Ann Shollenberger, Steve Friedman. OK, so it was only five people, but still—kindling, at least. And poor Anne had already admitted she was jinxing herself by saying she was an LDBC machine. (Some may laugh and gloat, but not me, certainly. Not in public, anyway. Kudos to Hadley Taylor, though, for stepping over Anne’s corpse and heading to the future.)

Perhaps the correct spelling from now on is “Ghoul-et.” Or maybe Ferrell needs to change the name of his site to Funny and Die. Either way, it’s no laughing matter.

Godspeed, lost LDBCers. I guess it really was an impossible dream.

Sip-Slidin’ Away

Whisky Advent Calendar

Here at LDBC Central, we’re more Tiny Tim than Ebeneezer, so Mrs. LDBC and I can’t afford to spring for this bit o’ day-by-day enchantment ourselves. But I can’t think of a better way to ride out a good chunk of the Challenge.

(Oh, and a side note to you suspicious types. We don’t make a dime off of this link. It’s merely a public service.)

Puh-rum-pum-pum-clink!, people.