The Egg Is in the Nog…

I’ve had a lot of fun over the years with the old European legend that animals are given the ability to speak in human voices on Christmas Eve. It’s a treat after working with a cat who says only “meow” the other 364 days of the year. I hope you will notice, I did it again this year. However, when this comic strip ran in 2008, I received a very angry letter from a distraught woman who said her mother’s maiden name had been “Helen Waite,” and I had ruined her Christmas by abusing her mother’s name and memory in such a tasteless and vile manner. Now, I can’t take credit for the joke; I think Pliny the Elder perhaps could. I remember getting a birthday card from a girlfriend in high school which said, “I gave your gift to Helen Waite, so… etc.” I think the poor woman had heard the old canard so many times that she just snapped when she saw it again the funny papers. I hope she doesn’t see this.


26 thoughts on “The Egg Is in the Nog…”

  1. Merry Christmas to all. Thanks for the double helping of Ludwig’s Christmas Eve. And the Helen Waite gag reminds me of one that Red Skelton did in a taped show. He announced that a lady’s bag had been found and that it was turned over to a member of his staff, Helen Hunt. “And if you are missing a bag, ladies, you can go to Helen Hunt for it.” This was before Helen Hunt the actress got known, and I wonder how she feels if she hears this.

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  2. From me too. At the moment, I’m most of the way through Cambridge University’s Kings College Chapel’s live “9 Lessons & Carols.” Beautiful singing, beautiful story, lovely singing, various “received” accents, no really strange ones so far. [E.g., “Hear a Cornishman or worse”: My Fair Lady.] We’ll see. May listen again to rebroadcast at 5pm.
    Peace, Merry, Happy, … .

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  3. From: Home Office, Tempe AZ
    To: All Personnel
    Subject: Cutbacks
    The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole.
    Streamlining was appropriate in view of the reality that the North Pole no longer dominates the season’s gift distribution business. Home Shopping channels and Amazon sales have diminished Santa’s market share and they could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.
    The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO’s annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated and should take up the slack with no discernible loss of service. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has been cited and received unfavorable press.
    As a further restructuring, today’s global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:
    -The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree never turned out to be the cash crop forecast. It will be replaced by a hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance.
    -The two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are therefore eliminated.
    -The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French.
    -The four calling birds were replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked.
    -The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks appear to be in order.
    -The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day is an example of the decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that from now on every goose it gets will be a good one.
    -The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes and therefore enhance their outplacement.
    -As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching.
    -Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps.
    -Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords plus the expense of international air travel prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing the group with ten out-of-work police officers. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant because we expect an oversupply of unemployed officers this year.
    -Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music and no uniforms will produce savings which will drop right down to the bottom line.
    -We can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and other expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.
    -Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorneys association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a- litigating”), action is pending.
    -Lastly, it is not beyond consideration that deeper cuts happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if ‘seven dwarfs’ is a) the right number and b) changed to ‘the seven vertically challenged folk’.
    Merry Christmas (pending the ongoing lawsuits)!
    h/t OldNFO

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  4. A (Slightly Naughty) Christmas Story (sort of a counter to the “Helen Waite” joke)
    Leaving their office Christmas party, Tom, Dick, and Harry had driven only a short distance when their car hit a patch of ice on the roadway and flew off of a cliff, killing all three of them. They arrived at the Pearly Gates to find St. Peter staring at them sternly. Then he grinned and said, “I’m ordinarily pretty selective on who I let in, but since it’s 11:59 PM on Christmas Eve, I’ll cut you some slack. If you can show me you have something with you that embodies the Christmas Season, I’ll let you into Heaven.”
    Tom searched his pockets, but all he could come up with was his cigarette lighter. He lit it, held it up, and said, “A Christmas candle.”
    “That’s awfully lame,” St. Peter said, “but I promised to cut you some slack. Come on in.”
    Dick pulled his keyring out of his pocket, shook it, and said, with more confidence than he felt, “Jingle bells.”
    “Seriously?” St. Peter asked. “Well, I let Tom in on not much more than that, so come on in. What about you?” he asked, turning toward Harry.
    Harry pulled a pair of black lace panties out of his pocket and held them up. “Oh, come on,” St. Peter said with exasperation. “What do those have to do with Christmas?”
    “They’re Carol’s!”

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      • Thanks, Mark.
        Just back from picking up some ‘scripts for Jackie at Wally World. Noted a sign announcing they would be closed tomorrow so both their cashiers could spend the holiday with their families.

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  5. Jimmy,

    You may be in for a new round of complaints. 86 year-old Helen Waite, a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, of Irwin, PA, passed from this life November 04, 2019.

    With a bit of luck any family members that see your cartoon will realize that you were not commenting on either Helen or her death.

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  6. May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be… whatever color you like. Personally, I prefer blue skies, green grass, and warm breezes so I can wear my Christmas tee shirt. Love to all of you!

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    • Oddly, Ruth Ann, the forecast high for today here in this part of the Great Midwest is 69 degrees. As it is in my Neck o’ the Woods in the Deep South. So, t-shirt weather in either location.
      As the fat man said, “Merry Christmas to all…”

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  7. Oh, and as I recall, Johnny Carson used to do a bit on his show about “stripper names”. The only one I remember, for some reason, is “Helen Bedd”.

    A while back, there was a FB deal about “what your stripper name would be”… first name, the name of your first pet; last name, the name of the street on which you grew up. Mine would be Dixie Carter. (Say, isn’t that one already taken?)

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