Listen to each commercial closely and you’ll hear them. There: the rin tinn fuckulation of the ever-fucking bells. You’re not meant to listen to commercials like that, not with your full attention. They’re supposed to wash over you, to leave you with that unique feeling of chipper inadequacy. But sometime after Labor Day the marketeers start slipping in the bells, subtle at first, like global warming. Until, by mid December, they’re all you can hear. Ad agencies believe that December bells in commercial soundtracks are as potent as Barry White music on a third date.

Come on, baby,
Keep shopping it, right on.
You know I got what you need,
At bargain prices…

Seductive, possibly—there’s a time and place for everything. But why do the bells start before jack-o-lanterns have even had a chance to rot into orange sludge on your front deck? It was never like that in the old days, and there’s a hint of desperation to it now. Premature bells is like someone dropping Barry White on you when you’re not even dressed for the date yet, before you’ve plucked the encroaching monobrow or un-boxed the good underwear. No, worse: it’s like an interested party playing Barry White in the background when he calls you up for a first date.

“So, dinner? Thursday night?”

“Okay, that sounds… ah, what’s that noise? In the background?”

“Hmm… What?”

“Music. Is that music?”

“No. Well, I mean… I do have a little something on here, sure. You know, to make the call… sweeter.”

“Sweeter? Well it’s getting louder—I can barely hear you now. Is that… Barry White? You’re playing Barry White over the phone before we’ve even gone out? Isn’t that a touch optimistic?”

“Look, baby. We’re going to be a thing, you and me. In a couple of months it’ll be fully on, so I want to ease you into it now. Start early. Cuz I like it slow, you know what I’m saying? Ring a ding ding.”

The thing is, for me the bells—the jingle bells if we’re being honest—are more akin to the Psycho violin stabs. Rhee! Rhee! Rhee! Rhee! Now up to 50% off, through Monday! And before you know it, there’s some guy in a costume standing over you, watching the water swirl down the drain.

Well I’m done with that. Enough with the fucking bells, people.

Related Tales

» “Corrections” (03 of Mar, 2005)
» “Compulsion” (04 of Feb, 2005)
» “Saving Face” (15 of May, 2004)


  • LMAO!

    Bang on dude. I work at the Eaton Centre. November 1 the bells started and the decorations were up. Unbelievable. Back in tha day it was at least November 15th before you heard a peep. Now everytime I pass through Sears at lunch I hear another carol. It’s depressing. Unfortunately.

  • “quoth”


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Why do the bells start before jack-o-lanterns have even had a chance to rot into orange sludge on your front deck?