I love Christmas.
As well as the day itself, with all its traditions and trimmings, I mostly enjoy the build-up over the weeks beforehand, including several opportunities to freeze various appendages off while playing carols with the Menai Bridge Brass Band outside supermarkets (especially fun as a tuba player because you get to hug a large amount of very cold metal, which also happens to be a very effective collecting device for rain and snow).
One thing I don’t enjoy so much is the festive muzak they insist on playing inside the supermarkets at least a month in advance.
Actually, today (which is only one month until Christmas Eve) was the first day I noticed and was irritated by the sonic backdrop to my shopping, which seems a bit later than usual. Only one more month to put up with it…
Fortunately, I happened to pass the beer aisle and noticed a festive brew called “Bah Humbug” (an offering from the Wychwood Brewery, whose beers I generally enjoy greatly) on special offer, so I decided that a bottle of this would provide suitable compensation for having to endure the annoying tunes. (NB in case you were wondering, I did actually buy the beer – it didn’t even cross my mind to do otherwise and I don’t think I’d have been able to convince the store detective that they owed me a bottle in return for subjecting me to such musical torture!)
I suppose, ironically, this means that the muzak was effective, if only minimally so, in encouraging me to purchase Christmas-related products (which, presumably, is the reason they choose to inflict it on us – I hope they are not just sadists). I’d probably better not buy a bottle of beer every time I go shopping over the next month, as it wouldn’t be good for my wallet, my waistline or my liver. As a one-off, though, I thought it was a pretty good excuse. 🙂
Thinking about all this reminded me of a line from a Queen song, which I remembered as “reduce me to a muzak fate” and thought came from the song Death on two legs (on the Night at the Opera album). Checking up by listening to a handful of tracks from my collection of early Queen albums, backed up with a swift bit of googling for the lyrics, I discovered that it’s actually from Flick of the Wrist (on Sheer Heart Attack, so I was only out by one album) and the line is actually “reduce you to a muzak fake machine”. Still, I decided to keep my slightly mangled version of the line as the title for this post.