PASS IT ALONG
on the Stanyan logo to subscribe to the McKuen Mailing List
Christmas Eve 2001: Photo by Edward McKuen.
©2001 Stanyan Entertainment Group
A Thought for Today
You will grow taller if you travel with
I’m wearing my old Santa cap
today for this holiday edition of Pass it Along and I’ve rounded up the
usual elves as contributors and co-conspirators.
SCARY BUNDLE FROM GREAT BRITAIN
Nicky Williams, our
staff-reporter from England (more a lioness than a cub) just sent this
yourself this Year (It's a jungle out there).
31 Brits have died since 1996 by watering their Christmas tree while the
fairy lights were plugged in.
19 Brits have died in the last 3 years believing that Christmas
decorations were chocolate.
British Hospitals reported 4 broken arms last year after cracker pulling
101 people since 1999 have had to have broken parts of plastic toys pulled
out of the soles of their feet.
18 Brits had serious burns in 2000 trying on a new jumper with a lit
cigarette in their mouth.
A massive 543 Brits were admitted to A&E in the last two years after
opening bottles of beer with their teeth.
5 Brits were injured last year in accidents involving out of control
3 Brits die each year testing if a 9v battery works on their tongue.
142 Brits were injured in 1999 by not removing all pins from new shirts.
58 Brits are injured each year by using sharp knives instead of
And finally......... In 2000 eight Brits cracked their skull whilst
throwing up into the toilet!
AND FROM OZ
Coral D, our intrepid and
slightly dazed (from opening all those boxes and baskets on Boxing Day no
doubt) Bureau Chief from Down Under, filed this report from the local
psychiatric ward where she in under medication. But singing.
AFTER CHRISTMAS CAROLS
SCHIZOPHRENIA: Do you Hear What I Hear?
2. MULTIPLE PERSONALITY DISORDER: We Three Kings
3. DEMENTIA: I Think I'll Be Home for Christmas
4. NARCISSISTIC: Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. MANIC: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and
Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Busses and Trucks and
Trees and Fire Hydrants and. . . .
6. PARANOID: Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me.
7. PERSONALITY DISORDER: You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna
Pout, Maybe I'll never tell you Why.
8. DEPRESSION: Silent Anhedonia, Holy Anhedonia, All is
Flat, All is Lonely....Pass the Mars Bar.
9. OBSESSIVE-COMPULSIVE DISORDER: Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell
Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle
Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock,
Jungle, Jungle, Jungle Tiger, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Southwestern Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle
Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Pringles Bell, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Great Ball of Fire, Jingle
Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle
Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bingle, Dingle
Stone, Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock,
Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell,
Hell's Bells, Hell's Bells, Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Jungle Rock, Sissors...Paper, Bell, Jingle Bell,
Jingle Bell Rock, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell, Jingle Bell Rock .......
....(better start again)
10.PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE PERSONALITY: On the First Day of Christmas My True
Love Gave to Me (and then took it all away)
11.BORDERLINE: PERSONALITY DISORDER:
Thoughts of Roasting you on an Open Fire.
12. SIMPLE MINDED:
If you do my mistletoe I'll do yours.
J. Wendt has also been hanging
with doctors over the holidays.
doctor had moved out to a small community to replace a doctor who was
retiring. The older gent suggested the young one accompany him on his
rounds so the community could become used to a new doctor.
At the first house a woman complained, "I've been a little sick to my
stomach." The older doctor said, "Well, you've probably been overdoing the
fresh fruit. Why not cut back on the amount you've been eating and see if
that does the trick?"
As they left the younger man said, "You didn't even examine that woman.
How'd you come to your diagnosis so quickly?"
"I didn't have to. You noticed I dropped my stethoscope n the floor in
there? When I bent over to pick it up, I noticed a half dozen banana peels
in the trash. That was what was probably making her sick."
"Huh," the younger doctor said, "Pretty clever. I think I'll try that at
the next house."
Arriving at the next house, they spent several minutes talking with an
elderly woman. She complained that she just didn't have the energy she
once did. "I'm feeling terribly run down lately."
"You've probably been doing too much work for the church," the younger
doctor told her. Perhaps you should cut back a bit and see if that helps."
As they left, the elder doc said, "Your diagnosis is almost certainly
correct, but how did you arrive at it?"
"Well, just like you at the last house, I dropped my stethoscope. When I
bent down to retrieve it, I noticed the preacher under the bed."
YULE LIKE THIS, ER, MAYBE NOT
It had to happen dept: Ellen
has discovered the ultimate holiday phallic symbol.
OH CHRISTMAS TREE, OH CHRISTMAS TREE!
WHY CHRISTMAS TREES ARE BETTER THAN MEN
1. A Christmas tree is always erect.
2. Even small ones give satisfaction.
3. A Christmas tree stays up for 12 days and nights.
4. A Christmas tree always looks good - even when it's lit.
5. A Christmas tree is always happy with its size.
6. A Christmas tree has cute balls.
7. A Christmas tree doesn't get mad if you break one of its balls.
8. You can throw a Christmas tree out when it wears out.
9. You don't have to put up with a Christmas tree all year.
10. You only have to feed/water it once a week.
11. It's always there to light up your life.
12. It gets turned on only when you want it turned on.
13. It always smells nice and doesn't pass gas.
14. If it needles you, you can toss it out.
15.It doesn't ask you to have little Christmas trees.
THE NEXT TO FINAL MOAN (ER, GROAN)
What a plot! Rita Bartlow must
think she’s writing for a sitcom.
Smiths were unable to conceive children, and decided to use a surrogate
father to start their family. On the day the proxy father was to arrive,
Mr. Smith kissed his wife and said, "I'm off. The man should be here
Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rang
the doorbell, hoping to make a sale. "Good morning madam. I've come
"Oh, no need to explain, I've been expecting you," Mrs. Smith cut in.
"Really?" the photographer asked. "Well, good! I've made a specialty of
"That's what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat."
After a moment she asked, blushing, "Well, where do we start?"
"Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the
couch and perhaps a couple on the bed. Sometimes the living room floor is
fun too; you can really spread out!" "Bathtub, living room floor? No
wonder it didn't work for Harry and me."
"Well, madam, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we
try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I'm
sure you'll be pleased with the results."
"My, that's a lot of.......gasped Mrs. Smith. "Madam, in my line of work,
a man must take his time. I'd love to be in and out in five minutes, but
you'd be disappointed with that I'm sure."
"Don't I know it", Mrs. Smith said quietly.
The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his
baby pictures. "This was done on the top of a bus in downtown London." "Oh
my god!!!!" Mrs. Smith exclaimed, tugging at her handkerchief.
"And these twins turned out exceptionally well when you consider their
mother was so difficult to work with." "She was difficult?" asked Mrs.
"Yes, I'm afraid so. I finally had to take her to Hyde Park to get the job
done right. People were crowding around four and five deep, pushing to get
a good look." "Four and five deep?" asked Mrs. Smith, eyes widened in
"Yes", the photographer said. "And for more than three hours too. The
mother was constantly squealing and yelling - I could hardly concentrate.
Then darkness approached and I began to rush my shots. Finally, when the
squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just packed it all in."
Mrs. Smith leaned forward, "You mean they actually chewed on your,
"That's right. Well madam, if you're ready, I'll set up my tripod so, that
we can get to work." "Tripod?"
"Oh yes, I have to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It's much too big for
me to hold very long. Madam? Madam?.........Good Lord, she's fainted!"
Hugs & Molly offer ‘The Coda,’
and not a moment to soon.
THE YEAR'S FINAL GROANER
has been one month since my last confession. I have had sex with Nookie
Green every week for the last month."
Green seems to be very popular with my male parishioners the priest
thinks. Then, he tells the sinner, "You are forgiven. Go out and say three
Soon, another man enters the confessional. "Father, it has been two months
since my last confession. I have had sex with
Nookie Green twice a week for the last two months."
This time the priest has to ask, "Who is Nookie Green?" "A new woman in
the neighborhood," the sinner replies. "Very well," says the priest. "Go
and say ten Hail Mary's."
The priest leaves the church wondering, who in the world is Nookie Green?
The next morning in church the priest is
preparing to deliver his sermon, when suddenly a gorgeously tall woman
enters. All the men's eyes fall upon her, as she slowly sashays up the
aisle and sits down right in front of the priest. Her dress is green and
way too short, with matching shiny emerald green shoes.
The priest and alter boys gasp, as the woman in the matching green shoes
and dress, sits with her legs slightly spread apart. The priest turns to
the alter boy and asks, "Is that Nookie Green?"
The alter boy's eyes are popping out of his head, as he replies, "No, I
think it's just the reflection off her shoes!"
REACH FOR THE SKY
Coral’s heart is in the old
west . . . Western Australia that is.
FASTEST GUN IN THE WEST
days of the Wild West, there was a young cowboy who wanted more than
anything to be the greatest gunfighter in the world. He practiced every
minute of his spare time, but he knew that he wasn't yet first-rate and
that there must be something he was doing wrong.
Sitting in a saloon one Saturday night, he recognized an elderly man
seated at the bar that had the reputation of being the fastest gun in the
West in his day. The young cowboy took the seat next to the old-timer,
bought him a drink, and told him the story of his great ambition.
"Do you think you could give me some tips?" he asked. The old man looked
him up and down and said, "Well, for one thing you're wearing your gun too
high. Tie the holster a little lower down on your leg."
"Will that make me a better gunfighter?" asked the young man.
"Sure will," said the old-timer. The young man did as he was told, stood
up, whipped out his .44 and shot the bow tie off the piano player.
"That's terrific!" said the cowboy, "Got any more tips for me?"
"Yep," said the old man, "cut a notch out of your holster where the hammer
hits it. That'll give you a smoother draw."
"Will that make me a better gunfighter?" asked the younger man.
"You bet it will," said the old-timer.
The young man took out his knife, cut the notch, stood up, drew his gun in
a blur, and shot a cufflink off the piano player.
"Wow!" said the cowboy, "I'm learnin' somethin' here -- got any more
The old man pointed to a large can in a corner of the saloon. "See that
axle grease over there? Coat your gun with it."
The young man went over to the can and smeared some of the grease on the
barrel of his gun.
"No," said the old-timer, "I mean smear it all over the gun, handle and
"Will that make me a better gunfighter?" asked the young man.
"No," said the old timer, ". but when Wyatt Earp gets done playin' the
piano, he's going to shove that gun up your ass, and it won't hurt as
THE LAST WORD
Today it belongs to SharonAnn.
the day after Christmas at a church in San Francisco. The pastor of the
church was looking over the creche when he noticed that the baby Jesus was
missing from among the figures. He hurried outside and saw a little boy
with a red wagon, and in the wagon was the figure of the little infant
He walks up to the boy and asks, "Well, where did you get your
passenger, my fine friend?" The youngster replies, "I got Him at church."
"And why did you take Him?"
The boy says, "Well, about a week before Christmas I prayed to the little
Lord Jesus and I told Him if He would bring me a red wagon for Christmas I
would give Him a ride around the block in it."
THE 12 DOWNLOADS OF CHRISTMAS #4
THE STORY OF THE POEM
When I write music to
accompany a poem I score it the way I would a scene in a film. “Bethlehem
BC” is more reportage than poetry and so it lends itself to this form very
The orchestra is The Royal Philharmonic again and this track was arranged
and conducted by Arthur Greenslade. This is from my 1975 “New Carols of
Christmas” LP & the CD of the same name released in 1995. Both are out of
print. I produced the music track in London and Wade Alexander produced my
vocal overdub in Los Angeles.
You could hear
the flapping of their wings
for some distance -
not a sudden rush
or panic made by masses
but a slow coming together
quietly in the air.
Then, following that yellow highway
that the star provided
into Bethlehem they came.
Slow. Slow. Quietly.
like snowfall making up it’s mind
before a winter downpour
And winter it was.
On the ground
we huddled - first in awe,
then in fright
thinking it miracle enough
that our important lives
should be interrupted
by creatures on a winter’s eve
who flew above us and beyond us,
to settle in the barnyard
at the other end of town.
(We make up miracles to suit ourselves
and so we knew these winged persons
had been sent for our amazement,
and not to please the cattle
in an unremembered farmer’s barn.)
Were you there?
But file into the barn they did
while some kept vanguard in the air
as though imagining they guarded
some important person
Some of us went home,
having seen them with no ill effect.
In the morning there’d be stores to open,
pigs to feed
and stories to enlarge upon
concerning what had happened
on the night before.
Were you there?
Words & music by Rod McKuen © 1967,
1971 & 1975 by Rod McKuen & Stanyan Music
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD
(A simple left-click on the
above link should start the download automatically. If you're having
problems, try right-clicking on the link and select "save target as....".)
I’ll be back tomorrow with
something for Saturday and Download #5. Sleep warm.
RM 12/27/2001 Previously