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5:05 p.m. - 2002-12-16

HAVE A HOLLY JOLLY NERVOUS BREAKDOWN

For those of you who avoid the internet like the plague on the weekends, I updated both Saturday and Sunday with an award-winning saga about a quest. You can read those both here and here. It's not only an exciting saga, but it has a wonderful payoff in the end. And nobody dies. Unless you count this armadillo trying to cross the road while I drove 90 mph.

Soooo...I deejayed my wife's office Christmas party yesterday afternoon.

It's not often that you get such an array of rednecks assembled under one roof. To the naked eye, most people think there's only one kind of redneck in the world. Ahhh...but that naked eye would be mistaken. Or something.

You've got your rednecks that wear a baseball cap to church. You've got your rednecks that still favor the mullet because "Jon Bon Jovi has one" (Note to redneck: 1987 ended a few years ago).

You've got the poor rednecks with missing teeth and the rich rednecks with false teeth that pull them out of their mouths for laughs at Christmas parties.

"Hey y'all...c'mere quick! Cletus is go' pull his teeth out again and sing Ol' MacDonald! It's a hoot!"

Meanwhile, the poor rednecks seethe...wishing for the day that they could afford a set of dentures and be the life of the Christmas party.

By all accounts, I did a pretty good job. It's not like this is rocket science ... "Jingle Bells" followed by "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" followed by "Silent Night" followed by "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree". I mean...duh.

And who's going to tell you that you did a shitty job anyway? Most people just won't do that.

"Dude...that was bullshit. Not ONCE did I hear 'We Three Kings'. You call yourself a deejay??"

I LOVE this party deejaying stuff. Because there's absolutely NO pressure. When I did clubs, the job was to get people dancing and keep them dancing all night. That was tough. Some nights, people just didn't feel like dancing.

But parties? You're considered background music. Nobody's going to get up and cut a rug to "Silver Bells".

NOBODY.

And the pay is three and four times what I made as a club deejay for half the time.

Where I used to work eight hours a night and make $100....now I work less than four hours and make $300 and that was after cutting them a deal because my wife works there. Normally, it would have been a flat $400.

I think I became a God in one girl's eyes. She kept making requests and luckily, I had every single request and would put them on as soon as she asked for them.

Then she'd dance all crazy in front of me. Not really seductive or anything ... just dancing slowly by herself.

...Granted...she was probably six years old and had no inhibitions when it came to being the only girl on the dancefloor. But seriously...that's beside the point. The point is ... she danced and turned this shebang into a bonafide P-A-R-T-Y!

Susie said that the thing she got the most compliments on was my handling of the gift giveaway. Each year, the company buys all these nice gifts...27" TVs...trips to the beach ... DVD players, etc.

But they also get some gifts that would be nice, but are crappy compared to those gifts.

Like...oh ... a dozen poinsettias.

The first poinsettia, I tried to sound excited about.

"Congratulations, Robert! You've just won yourself a poinsettia! Something every home can use! Come on down!!!!"

That kinda crap.

By the 12th poinsettia, I had lost any enthusiasm for the gift and actually told the crowd "Sorry...but we still have one more poinsettia to get rid of. I apologize to whoever wins this when they were really hoping for that trip to the beach."

Anyway, it went good. My goal was to keep people there after the last gift was given away. In years passed...every single party....as SOON as that last gift is given away, people get up and BOLT for the doors.

Before giving away that last gift I made an announcement.

"In years passed, you people have made a mass exodus out of the Christmas parties like the building was on fire," I said. "This year's going to be different. Because I've saved the best music for last. We're going to dance and have fun and PARTY after that last gift is given away. So stick around."

Wrong.

Gave away the last gift.

And in FIVE F'N MINUTES....the place was empty. 335 people fought their way out of the building, into their cars and grumbling all the way home that they thought the prize giveaway was fixed.

It went well though.

Hell ... it paid for my son's Christmas. So I was the biggest winner of them all.

Well...technically Andrew's the big winner.

But you know what I mean.


After that, I headed to church for the Children's Cantata.

I believe Cantata is Mexican for "Train Wreck Of A Concert".

Susie is the director of the Children's Choir at church. She has 12 kids...none of whom are particularly interested in being part of this choir...all of whom have got incredible stage fright.

This year, there was little acting to be done. There were two adult narrators who told us what the kids were supposed to be doing. Then the kids would sing a goofy song that I could have written in five minutes with a bottle of Jagermeister and a Bible next to me.

"God is great, God is good, let's have a feast like we know we should."

The highlight of the program was one little four year-old Wise Man who kept lifting his robe to expose his jockey underwear.

Yep.

A little boy exposing himself during the Christmas Cantata.

That kid's going to have a reputation around that place until he either moves away or gets sent to prison for some bizarre crime.


I've got some bad news, kids.

There won't be any Pervy story for you tomorrow.

Apparently, now that his older sister is home from college for the holidays, she can watch him on Monday nights for the next couple of weeks.

Yes.

There is a God.

BUT...do not fret.

Y'see...Pervy's mom works with my wife. So Pervy was at the Christmas party yesterday.

And since he has the social graces of a mountain lion, he decided that he'd hitch his post with me at the Deejay "booth" and hang out there the entire time.

Naturally, he acted like he knew all about deejaying because that's his nature...he's a nerdy know-it-all.

"You need to play some Mannheim Steamroller," he suggested.

I just stared at the painfully androgynous creep.

Finally, he said what I knew he'd eventually say.

"You need to teach me how to do this," he blurted out.

Now... I'm not a practicing deejay anymore. I do the occasional party/wedding/bar mitzvah and that's it.

But I still hold the deejaying creed close to my heart and abide by its words.

And those words are "Don't ever teach a creepy little fucker how to do this shit and bring him into our semi-cool world because we'll kick your ass. Even if he's a relative."

I explained that it was tougher than it looked. The most important part of being a deejay that the naked eye doesn't see is the constant assessment of your audience and trying to judge what they would want to hear.

If you have a predominantly older white crowd, you play Jim Reeves and Mitch Miller.

If it's a young black crowd, you stick with Ja Rule and Jay-Z.

If it's a mixed crowd...Johnny Mathis and Ray Charles.

But you can't be too obvious about it. You don't wanna get on the mic and say "Here's a song by Johnny Mathis...a black guy that sounds white! That should make everyone happy ... right?!? Look people...I'm doing the best I can here! Some of you folks need to leave so we can tip the scales from one side to the other."

That's called "A Deejay Breakdown" and will get your Professional Deejays of America card yanked quicker than if you played Barry Manilow in a club setting.

(Poor Barry Manilow...he was a joke in the 70s and serves as an even bigger punchline today. You have to give the guy props for not french kissing the barrel of a gun by now)

Anyway...I was a cool Uncle and let my nephew "mix" a couple of Christmas tunes. The end result sounded like cars slamming into each other at full speed while playing Burl Ives on the car stereo ... but he was happy.

C'mon...I got sucked into the whole Christmas spirit crap. Cut me some slack, Jack.

So no Pervy tonight.

Man.

Christmas did indeed come early this year.

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