This list/ list-poem is an homage to one of my favorite poems by one of my favorite poets, Michael Ondaatje.
His poem is called “Elimination Dance,”** and is based on a game (that I think he made up) in which something is called out that could happen, and anyone who has experienced the scenario must sit down.
The last one standing wins.
Anyone who has recently plugged in a set of ancient Christmas lights only to experience an electric shock so bad, it resets your clock.
Anyone that is a family member of the shocked Christmas light-checker who spent the rest of the day reminding your stunned relative that it hasn’t been 1981 for at least ten years.
Anyone who drinks eggnog straight from the carton every year without fail, and who also unwittingly walks around for an afternoon with a creamy mustache that smells like nutmeg.
Anyone who has ever laughed inappropriately at a very sad rendition of a popular Christmas song by Ernest Tubb.
Anyone who has sung a terrible version of this song.
Anyone who, in a fit of pique, roughly Scotch-taped a holiday present into an ugly red and green hobo baggie from the last of the holiday wrapping paper and then immediately regretted it.
Anyone whose last name sounds like a play on a holiday word, such as Merry, Kringle, or Bright.
Anyone whose witty parents thought it would be hilarious to name you something festive to go with your Christmassy last name— (e.g.– Holiday Merry; Christian Kringle; Light Bright).
Anyone who once undercooked or overcooked the Christmas dinner because you were exhausted from dealing with the relative who plugged in the set of crummy Christmas lights, a relative that tried to eat the children’s homemade ornaments, twice the night before, and once, today.
Anyone who has cried over the tree the cat knocked over the night before your family is due to arrive.
Anyone …. Read on, Reader!