Once upon a time, I used to work at Christmasland. Christmasland was a shabby, disused warehouse that my father’s florist shop used to store massive quantities of christmas decorations. Throughout the year, it gradually filled up with cheap Chinese-manufactured plastic christmas trees and decorations, then in November, it opened to the public. It was my after-school job to run the cash register, and everything else for that matter, I was the only employee.

Working at Christmasland was sheer torture. That was not because of the crush of customers, most days we would be lucky to have one customer. The torture was from the Muzak. This was the real official Muzak, my dad purchased a tape loop with a 10-minute medley of christmas carols. I had to sit there hour after hour, with nothing to do but listen to the same damn christmas carols, over and over and over. I used to complain to my dad, couldn’t I turn off the music when there was nobody in the store (which was almost always)? He would reply, “the music isn’t there for YOU, it’s there for the CUSTOMERS.” I always thought that he proved my point, I could just turn on the music when the rare customer came in. He didn’t go for that idea.

To this day, I cannot stand christmas carols. Whenever I hear one, all the blood rushes to my head, and I cannot help myself from becoming enraged. I’m programmed to hate carols, like I was Pavlov’s Dog. I warn you, don’t ever play christmas carols when I am within earshot.

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© Copyright 2016 Charles Eicher