This certainly has been a year of polls. Let me introduce you to one more and it has nothing to do with politics.
The Nielsen people asked 3,000 youngsters what they wanted for Christmas, Hanukah, and Kwanza. 48 percent of those under the age of 12 are wishing for an iPad. In the 13 and over, group that number was only 21 percent.
After observing the many teenagers around me, I’ve got a feeling that the number is so low because so many in the older set already have one.
Here’s a different poll taken a few years ago that I showed to Nicholas, the chubby, cheery Santa with a white beard who is working at a local mall.
Seventy-four percent of the several hundred Santas that participated in the poll tell us that little guys cry in their laps.
“What would you expect when a very young child is tossed into the lap of a huge stranger with a large beard just to pose for a photo? I’d be a bit frightened also if that was my first encounter with Old St. Nick.”
Ninety percent reported having their beards pulled on by some of the bigger little guys who don’t believe the beards are real. “It’s very painful to those of us who have genuine facial hair.”
Sixty percent are coughed and sneezed on up to 10 times a day. Here’s the convincer — 34 percent of the Santas are peed on regularly. Who’d ever think that little children could cause so much abuse?
“With all the excitement of seeing me, I really can’t blame those children.” Ol’Nick added. “What bothers me almost as much as the pee-pee bath is the reaction from the mommies. Most of them think it’s funny. They laugh and laugh. They now have a cute story to tell at their mahjong game. I’m smelly wet and they don’t give me a two dollar tip or even an apology.”
• • •
The English Christmas carol, the “Twelve Days of Christmas,” was first published in the late eighteenth century. Choruses refer to it as a holiday “cumulative” song because each verse is built on a new line added to the one before. They sing about the 78 different gifts such as two turtle doves, seven swans a swimming, and eight maids a milking. However, because of the repetition in each verse, there are actually three hundred and sixty four gifts over the twelve days.
Nobody knows if way back then anyone put an actual value on the different gifts “my true love gave to me.”
Today, the average gift-giver would have to significantly raise the limit on his MasterCard because, according to a reliable source, the cost to him can be as much as $107,000. That’s a lot of money.
There are several ways one could actually reduce his total. For example, the drummers can go. Do you really think she would appreciate 12 drummers drumming in her head while she’s trying to sleep late? Oy! Such a headache!
Add them to the 11 piper’s piping, 10 lords a leaping and nine ladies dancing? That’s 42 more noisy people jumping around your living room on day number 12. Such commotion!
And this business about French hens? Go to Waldbaums and buy her a chicken instead or you can scratch the whole thing and take her on a cruise.
I am StanGershbein@Bellsouth.net wishing you all happy, healthy and safe holidays.Read Stan Gershbein's column every Monday on BrooklynDaily.com.
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