“Which do you want this morning?”, asked our coach at the gym, “Christmas music or no Christmas music?”.
Being offered a choice at Travis County Strength is usually a trap (or trap bar, haha LIFT joke). It just means you self-select which part of your body will most hate you as your day progresses. But in a good and healthy way. Not in a jeezy creezy ‘His Pain, Your Gain’ way — there’s a different gym box you can go to if that’s your thing.
But this being the last workout before the hols, the atmosphere was a bit looser this morning. To be honest, and sounding too much like Mark from Peep Show, the Christmas music that I most enjoy is Christmas Carols preferably sung by pre-pubescent boys in the choir stalls at Kings College Cambridge. But a rousing chorus of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ with me singing the descant was unlikely to see us through today’s workout. Our coach had come up with The 12 Workouts of Festivus ©® which, as with the song, involved a lot of tiresome repetition and then got quite messy and confusing around the milkmaids and swans part.
The bastards in the earlier class had apparently chosen a punk rock Christmas playlist and I was fearful that the only other suggestion might be a hideous country option. But it was worse than that. ‘How about Chance the Rapper? says the uber cool chick (personality uber, not rideshare uber). Before I’d barely had time to frame my features into an expression of horror there’s a chorus of yes and talk of a Chance the Rapper Christmas album. It has to be said that some of the murmurs of approval came from attendees of the previous class whose votes, much like large swathes of the British population earlier this month, should not have counted.
It’s not that I’ve never heard the name Chance the Rapper. Groundbreaking artist and all that but his name/job title combo makes me think of Bob the Builder (also a groundbreaker – ha I am still brilliant) which then makes me think of the show’s theme tune and lyrics ––
‘Bob the Builder
Can we fix it?
Bob the Builder
Yes we can’
––which I think was the inspiration for Obama’s 2008 election campaign and should probably be rolled out in its entirety for the 2020 election, as long as we can find an appropriately named Democratic candidate with friends called Muck, Scoop, Dizzy and Roley. All of whom could also be musical rapping contemporaries of Chance the Rapper. Fuck it, this post is going around in weird and repetitive circles. Much like this morning’s workout.
I was of course out-voted on the musical selection this morning which is only fair really as the token Brit and old person in the group. And truthfully, the music didn’t really bother me that much because it was hard to hear it over the cruel mocking soundtrack in my head ‘fa-la-la you’re getting old and slow, that’s right pick up the light dumbells. Fa-la-la-la-la. And a partridge in a pear tree’.
And really 53 going on 54 is no time to get back into rap music. In England I was one of the followers of the early pioneers of rap at the start of the 1980s. That’s right, Wham Rap! (the exclamation mark is original, not my addition). Subversive lyrics of the time included:
‘One, two, three, rap!
C’mon everybody, don’t need this crap!’
I got home after the gym and did a bit of research on Chance and found out that he ‘identifies as a christian’. Or in olde fashioned language, he is a christian. And jeezy creezy does appear in some of his songs (not literally) which means that when he puts baby into his lyrics you can never be quite sure which one he’s referring to:
Let’s do it for the baby, the baby, the baby’
Or slightly less ambiguously:
With some tig ole bitties, Santa is you fuckin’ with me?’
To counter all this Christian goodness I played my British Christmas playlist which is mostly just Fairytale of New York on a constant loop. But also includes a largely forgotten Wombling Merry Christmas. Admittedly not a patch on the earlier Remember You’re a Womble, but far better than Christmas in Smurfland.
And now I’m feeling homesick and desperately nostalgic for an England that hasn’t existed since around 1975, when it snowed every Christmas Day and nobody saw anything wrong with Rolf Harris, or with Noddy having a friend called Big Ears.
Thankfully, I’m delighted to see that the Lad Baby sausage roll team has once again scored a Christmas number one with I Love Sausage Rolls. It’s great to end the year with something to be truly proud of my home country for.
Happy Christmas Wrapping to one and all.