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Friday, December 13, 2013

"Same Old Lang Syne" Dan Fogelberg (1981)

I heard a Holiday radio classic early this morning, "Same Old Lang Syne" by the late Dan Fogelberg and it got me thinking.... 

Very pretty song for it's time, albeit a few of the lyrics are highly socially incorrect today.

Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve....

First, that's a very dangerous way and place to approach women. Standing behind her in the frozen food aisle and touching her on her sleeve is just enough distance for her to turn around and upside you with a family size box of Banquet Salisbury Steak that'll leave a massive bruise on the side of your head well into the new year if she doesn't recognize your face at first.

She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried....

Pay attention to the store intercom. If you hear Jessica Simpson's rendition of Jingle Bells being cut off and a grouchy cashier grumbling "Brandon...Clean up on Aisle 4.....Brandon, clean up on Aisle 4....", it's a good idea for both of you to stop laughing and pick up all the stuff she dropped.

We went to have ourselves a drink or two
But couldn't find an open bar 

We bought a six-pack at the liquor store
And we drank it in her car....

Maybe this is the only place on Earth where the grocery and liquor stores stay open longer than the bars on Christmas Eve. But in some states (In Washington State namely - especially on Christmas and New Year's Eve), the state patrol is out in full force with extra patrols looking for any mere sign of impaired driving. With a .08 legal breathalizer limit, one 12oz. can of Budweiser (if your old lover just drank it very recently) is enough to do her in. 

A six pack could get her up to a year in the slammer. Or at least two years of probation misery and a suspended license.

Any open container found in her car - even if she's perfectly sober and it's been under her seat and emptied long ago is enough to get her a healthy fine in WA. Even if she's parked out of the way and a cop finds her and asks to do a vehicle search (like what's your old lover gonna say to them? No?), she will get her vehicle searched anyway, like it or not. And if they find an empty, she's still gonna get hit with a big fine. And a mandatory field sobriety test.

Which means the only car you and your old lover will have to drink your beer in is a rusted out old piece of vehicular homicide on blocks surrounded by weeds in her backyard. And since the man she married was an architect. Who are not only wealthy, but very finicky about appearances. I don't think he'd be down with that kind of landscaping anyway. To say nothing of his wife messing around with an old boyfriend like that on Christmas Eve.

How's that for romantic reunions?

So your cheap choices on where to drink a six pack with your old lover when all the open bars have been closed on Christmas Eve (usually by 6:00 PM) are limited. This can actually be a blessing in disguise. 

Because most cheap motels here are usually open 24/7. Some motel units offer kitchenettes with refrigerators for your old lover to keep the frozen food she just bought at a safe temperature. And last I checked, you and your old lover can STILL drink beer in those. At least.

SUPER cheese points if the unit hasn't been redecorated since 1973 and includes a Magic Fingers king size bed. 

I once actually plunked $5 in quarters into one of these.

If you don't mind very basic cable TV, the crackheads next door and the potential of a nasty bedbug infestation these days, cheap motels really aren't so bad.

Just pay cash or make sure your old lover doesn't have a hitched credit card with the architect husband who kept her warm and safe and dry. 

But if she said she saw you at the record store and that you must be doing well (probably meaning you weren't trying to fop off your Clay Aiken CDs for the beer money), that too shouldn't be a problem.

Dan really should have written an updated Washington State version of this song. Yeah, it probably would have had at least ten or more extra verses (depending on the strength of the beer.)

Just an observation.....


  1. THANK YOU! I actually like this song, but every time I hear it I wonder what mythical city he lives in where the bars are closed xmas eve, but not the grocery or liquor store. I'm not the only one!
    PS Love your blog, especially the mentions of Seattle stuff ;)

  2. I really like this song a lot, but every time I hear it, I feel kind of melancholy. Your commentary on it is great :)


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