Sunday, December 24, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 1 ...

    Another year draws to a close at the K.A.C. and as I gather my  wares together and pack up my  shiny baubles and bangles before my well-deserved rest, I'd like to leave you with one final story of the season.

      Earlier on in the K.A.C. (December 8th, to be exact), I told you the first of two stories with a common theme - radio from my youth. My first tale was about my moment of holiday fame with Doctor Demento - my second tale requires a bit of backstory explanation: As previously mentioned, I went to two military schools for eleven of my twelve years of secondary school education - my first school was from First Grade through Ninth Grade, then I graduated and tried public school for a year in Tenth Grade (which was a COMPLETE disaster as I couldn't acclimate to such a different system than the one I had grown up with), so I went back to a different military school for Eleventh and Twelfth Grades. The reason I mention this is so you can understand the importance of radio in my life at this time. To most people, radio is background noise: something you listen to while doing chores in the house or to pass the time in the car while you're driving. To us in school, it was our literal lifeline to the outside world. In my schools, we had almost NO access to television (only in the common area and for VERY limited hours, DEFINITELY not in the barracks), but were allowed a transistor radio. As long as you had headphones, you could listen to the radio after lights out. 

     I was in Eleventh Grade in 1974 and had a powerhouse of a portable radio at the time. Unlike the radio of today, where every station finds some music niche and plays that and nothing else (rock, oldies, country, classical, etc.), the radio of my youth actually had PROGRAMMING. For rock concerts, there was the King Biscuit Flour Hour (see the Wikipedia entry here: ; for comedy, there was the National Lampoon Radio Hour ( featuring a cast who would soon go on to much greater fame as the original stars of television's Saturday Night Live; for mystery and the macabre, there was the CBS Radio Mystery Theater ( (one of my personal favorites, that lasted for YEARS) ... and then there was the ONE show I would never miss, week in and week out, for its amazing flights of imagination - The Oidar Wavelength. It would air at midnight and was so odd I would sometimes wonder if it was real or if I had fallen asleep while listening to the radio and just dreamed it all.

     Like a number of my contemporaries, for many years I would mention this show to people and they would look at me with total blankness. Not only had they never heard of the show, some folks thought the basic premise was SO strange that I was making it up! Equally difficult was the fact that the show was only on for a few years and then disappeared. Here is the basic premise of the show, courtesy of Reverend Dan's Music For Nimrods: 

Sie (Cy) Holliday
   "The premise of the OIDAR Wavelength is that it is/was a musical program from the future, playing oldies from the 20th Century, and somehow, we back in the seventies were/are able to hear the program due to some space/time continuum. In between the (sometimes good, sometimes horribly horribly wretched) musical fodder, a mysterious announcer known only as "Programmer #9" relates twisted news and human interest stories from the future, the programs' present. It's kinda like Philip K. Dick doing American Top 40!"

     And THAT is as good a description of the show as I've ever heard ... and completely accurate! Fast forward to the present and my looking up The Oidar Wavelength on the Internet, as I sporadically do, to see if anything new had surfaced on the show. First, I finally found the true identity of the entrancing "Programmer # 9" - she was really Sie (Cy) Holliday, a radio DJ on KRLA Radio in Los Angeles and one of the very first female radio on-air personalities during the early days of AM rock radio and Top 40 countdowns. 

     Second, the same Reverend Dan had produced a miracle - a link to the Oidar Wavelength Christmas Special, exactly as it aired 43 years ago, on Christmas Eve, 1974, complete with the original commercials, including those for a NEW magazine called Playgirl! Sadly, since originally writing this article, the link to the Christmas Special has been taken down. But I do have another link with the transcription of a typical show along with some audio clips to give you a taste of the strangeness - click here!

      Pay special attention to the 'news flashes' from the future that Programmer # 9 relates - Oh, and last but not least, WHY was it called The Oidar Wavelength? Well, if you haven't figured it out by now, OIDAR is backwards for ... RADIO! 


     Last but not least, before we go, LizzieBelle alerted me to this article from two days ago on Mental Floss ... the topic? The Christmas Books which we BEGAN this year's K.A.C. entries with! It's an interesting, quick read that gives you a bit of the background of each story ... but remember, you read it HERE first!


     As always, thanks for joining me on another trip through the oddest parts of the holiday season. We'll do it all again next year at the beginning of December. Until then, stay well, stay safe and have a happy and healthy holiday season. Farewell! 


Saturday, December 23, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 2 ...

     For a number of years at the K.A.C., we used to run the Image Of the Year - during these last few years, I haven't really found anything that qualifies, so we're going to end with this sweet goat on Santa's lap instead - why? Because GOATS, that's why! :)

     So before we close down for the year, let's share some Christmas presents you can unwrap early, such as: 

    'Paul McCartney's Long-Lost Experimental Christmas Mixtape For Fellow Beatles' 

      OK, Christmas music, check. Now you need a nice blazing fire with crackling logs to set the mood even more ... oh, yeah, we've got you covered there, as well, with the all-new MST3K Yule Log (and yes, there's riffs, to boot) - over an hour of fun (hint: add your own space heater for the 'warmth' part of this video)!


     We'll close out today's post with a very sweet updated version of the 'Virginia' story, aka the 'Yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus' story that the New York Sun ran in 1897, 120 years ago. The Sun (UK) decided to try their hand at the answer if the same question was asked today --- and the resulting answer is just as enchanting. Good job, Sun - read it here! 


      Coming Tomorrow: Our final entry for 2017 - we hope to see you there!


Friday, December 22, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 3 ...

     With only three days to go, you're probably beside yourself with a HUGE list of last-minute things to do - we're here to take care of one of those pesky items on your list! Are you thinking back on your antics over this past year, SURE that Big Red has your number? Dreading that coal in your stocking which is a surefire sign you were NAUGHTY? Never fret, do the old run-around to the Kringle-meister and plead your case to any number of these OTHER gift givers from around the world - good luck! 

       You're probably also now out of time and grabbed something, anything to wrap up and give to that certain someone on your list ... and then realize you never remembered to get gift wrap! Stroll through these photogenic pixies for inspiration!

      Yeah, about what I said at the beginning of this article ... turns out Santa WASN'T who you should have been worrying about all this time - somebody ELSE knows all about you ... and ISN'T happy! Oh, well, in your last moments, enjoy A Very Godzilla Christmas!

      For what it's worth, you're not the only one freaking out over the rapidly diminishing time left ... your pets are feeling the stress, as well! Take a look at these poor pups and pusses who want the madness over!


     Return tomorrow for our penultimate posting ... and then we wrap it up (with a bow) for the year!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 4 ...

     December 21st - the Winter Solstice, aka Midwinter, the shortest day and longest night of the year. A time for Festival, to welcome back the return of the Sun and the slow but sure climb back to Spring and warmth.

    That's how it's SUPPOSED to go. But there are festivals and there are Festivals ... and if you live in New England as I do and were brought up on a heady diet of H.P. Lovecraft's tales, all set in the very area where you live, they take on a whole new meaning. Case in point: The Festival, written by Lovecraft in October, 1923 and published in the January, 1925 edition of Weird Tales. Inspired by his first visit to the seaside town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, it is a Yuletide tale like no other. The residents and the celebration are lacking only one thing ... YOU!
They await your pleasure at the link below:

     Usually I save my K.A.C. ghost story for our final entry on the 24th, but I'm running it early this year (with a BIG thank you to Gi Marie for reminding me of this tale) as I already have my entry for that date written - it is my favorite piece out of all this season's entries, another historical piece from my past with an audio component I was delighted to find completely intact after so many years. All will be revealed in just a few days. In the meantime, we will be back tomorrow to wrap up two more days of last-minute holiday madness with the final stragglers who want their moment of glory in our pages before we close down for the year. Back tomorrow with more!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 5 ...

     Good morning! Five days to go until the Big Day - looking over this year's entries, we seem to have paid short shrift to our K.A.C. mascot, Krampus! That just won't do, so we're turning over today's items to our Favorite Fellow - starting with this sweet pic at left - who knew Mr. K was such a softy? Well, I did, for one ... there's even Krampus Erotica! Here you go!

     In case you think he's turned over a new leaf and is slacking on the job, think again, and take a look at this BuzzFeed article entitled '21 Vintage Postcards of Krampus That Will Haunt Your Dreams'!

      Next up is this DELIGHTFUL poem that should be de rigueur reading this time of year. Prepare yourself for the timely tale of Krampus - A Holiday Message (and make sure to play it for ALL the bad boys and girls you know)!


     Last but not least, crank up your speakers for 8+ minutes of a real-life Krampus hoedown! Technically, it's a Perchten Parade by the group Seida Pass from Tyrol, Austria, but close enough ... I would LOVE to see this in person - ENJOY!


     Coming Tomorrow: Only Four more - join us!     

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 6 ...

     Six days to go! In the spirit of keeping everyone safe for the holidays, we dedicate today's entries to those watchdog organizations out there.

     And speaking of dogs, first up is the 'Holiday F-Dog' - watch the video and just THINK how impressed the new parents are going to be that you got this for their newborn! 

     Next is this article from the SUN about six ... umm, shall we say, 'love disasters' that can strike when you get TOO frisky. We're not talking about slipping in the shower or a hickey under the mistletoe - we're talking Life Threatening Disasters! From burst eardrums to strokes to ... what the broken banana at right represents, take a deep breath and read why the holidays may be the most DANGEROUS time of the year!

     Remember, it's not just the BODY that suffers this time of year - the BRAIN starts to go psychotic over the constant Christmas music! Just ask Santa Fluff at left ... or read this report:

      Finally today, we leave you with the Worst Toys of the Year ... these creations leave even F-Dog above speechless! The photo at right should give you a good idea just WHAT you are about to ... get ... into ... ahem ... never mind, just click the link already!


     Tomorrow: The Final Five begins!

Monday, December 18, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 7 ...

     Sadako and her Wishing Well reminds you there's only ... "Seven Days" ... (for Justin and all you other RINGU fans out there!)  :)

      For a chill that's more traditionally WINTER related, it's December 18th - and that means our annual visit with our favorite Dwarves Three - Hardrock, Coco and Joe! For the last 61 years (!) on this date, WGN-TV in Chicago has been playing this animated staple to let children know the Big Day is one week away (now if only we could get an animated Sadako reminding us)! Their song is a total earwig that once heard can not be unheard - don't fight it, just hit play and succumb to it ...

      And SPEAKING of earwigs, we dug WAY back in our Santa Sack - all the way back to 2009, our very first year of presenting the K.A.C., to bring back one of our All-Time Favorites ... Christmas Badgers! Crank up your sound for this bad boy and put it on perpetual repeat - you will have your cards wrapped and cards sent out in NO TIME!

      Why have ONE earwig for the day when you can have TWO? We'll wrap up our Aural Offerings with this Happy Krampus Quartet, courtesy of Filzmoos Power, and their toe (hoof?) tapping ditty - Enjoy!

     Coming Tomorrow: More Christmas Cheer as we come closer to the finish line - join us!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 8 ...

      One thing you've got to hand it to about ol' SC - he makes sure NOBODY gets forgotten come Christmastime and that EVERYBODY gets a present! What's that, Kong, old buddy? A Fay Wray doll? Yeah, you deserve it, ya big galoot!

    Today is Reader Submission Day, where we highlight items and pictures you've sent us over the past month, and this year's crop is a pretty excellent one, so let's dig in, shall we?

     First up (from Gi Marie) is nine pages of Epic Christmas Fails - I debated holding on to these and parceling them out over the years, but more and more keeps falling into my lap all the time and that seemed stingy - plus these bears were giving me the eye! Wallow on in and behold the Holiday Horror!

       Next, Christine sent in this truly fine article (from Peter Muise's New England Folklore blog site) entitled "Why The Devil Loves Christmas". It's a fascinating historical piece that bears reading - and it features these party animals to your left. Check it out!



      I found this next piece and put it aside for a future article, then friends mailed it to me as well, so here you go. The one piece of holiday tradition I've never covered (yet) is the whole Elf On The Shelf phenomenon that a number of parents put their tykes through each year, to make sure they're 'good for Santa'. I've seen simple elf arrangements and elaborate nightly rituals to see what Mr. Elf has gotten up to when everyone's asleep. I've also seen the blowback from angry people who've had it up to HERE with this pesky interloper and aren't going to take it anymore! Well, in this technological age, if you don't have the time for the nightly Elf scenarios, may we recommend this handy time-saver ... the Elf Dummy Child Surveillance Camera! Now you and your family can go all '1984' and have Mr. Elf report your child's bad behavior back to Big Brother (you know who we mean) instantly! Not only that, it also comes with 'Official Elf Reports', printouts to give to your kid that he or she has been naughty or nice ... the perfect Police State Christmas before they're shipped off for bad behavior! All set to traumatize the tykes? Then here you go!

    The jaw-dropping STAR of today's stories comes from my son Justin ... so this is on him! Christmas is also a time for love ... and weddings. For romance ... and weddings. For obsession ... and weddings. What's wrong with all that, you ask? May we present Ms. Amanda Liberty, a Leeds woman celebrating her engagement to Lumiere ... a 90-YEAR-OLD CHANDELIER! If we were giving out awards for the strangest story we've covered this year, this would be our winner! Gird your loins for this one - read on!


     Hey, you say, that last story really wasn't PC! Rather than apologize, just to make sure no one is offended for any reason, please read and follow these guidelines for a PC Christmas!


     Coming Tomorrow: We hit the one-week mark with the annual return visit of three of our best (if tiny) friends, plus ANOTHER earwig that we featured years ago on this page ... and more surprises! Join us!

Saturday, December 16, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 9 ...

     Thanks to everyone who sent me this - it's too good NOT to use for the K.A.C.! Speaking of hearts and things burning to ashes ...

     Our first story out of the gate is one of a rather 'unique' keepsake ornament you can now get for your tree. Anyone can put cremated Aunt Irma in a box that just sits around doing nothing ... get with it, folks! Add her to your yearly tree decorations! To read all about it (and maybe get ahead on haunting YOUR family's tree for decades to come), click on the link below:

          The good folks at Middle of Beyond (who have been featured in these pages more than once) return this year with a particularly stellar Tree Topper to do your tree up right, especially if you are a conspiracy theorist or 'contactee' - curious? Let's put it another way - what if the Christmas Star was MORE than just a star? What if it was a SHIP? And what if it brought forth ... THIS? 

     Have to have one for your tree? Here you go!




      Coming Tomorrow: Reader Submission Day, where we turn the weirdness over to YOU!

Friday, December 15, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 10 ...

     With only ten days to go, we turn our peepers to those wooly warmers that keep both the chill and good taste away - this year's batch of ugly Holiday Sweaters! Once again, Britain takes the lead with the world's worst jumpers (what they call sweaters in the UK). 

     A number of years ago, this wasn't even a thing - now, Ugly Christmas Sweaters are a global phenomenon, with offices and schools having yearly competitions over who can come up with the worst designs. I only gave in once to the madness to purchase my Krampus sweater (still the warmest piece of clothing I own and one I wear all winter, not just at Christmastime), so I can justify its existence. Consider these bad boys, though - brought out maybe ONCE a year for display and then put away again, never to be seen until the following year. If your tastes change, then what? Foist them off to Goodwill? Actually, the one here on the BU campus WOULD be a great place to drop them off, as the students would probably fight to the death for some of these designs. Truth to tell, I would love the Godzilla sweater at the beginning of this entry ... but they don't have it in my size. :(  It's always the way. So without further ado, let's start with the Sun's roundup of this year's stellar entries:

      Not to be outdone, the Tech Geeks have rallied with their OWN 'cryptocurrency' sweaters ... but you still have to PAY for them in old-fashioned cash! The link below tells you all you need to know (as well as shows you even more designs):    

           But the winner this year HAS to go to the primary school who sent out in their newsletter a notice to parents to have their youngsters come in with their Most Special Jumpers for Christmas Charity Day. The only problem? They didn't look QUITE closely enough at the sweater they used to illustrate the day itself ... and then the reindeer poop hit the fan! Rather than spoil the surprise, I'm going to let you click the link below and just imagine how well this all went down: 

    Last but not least, we just had our own Ugly Holiday Sweater contest here at BU where I work and here's a link to the fine selections. Sadly I didn't hear about this in time, since I would have gladly represented in all my Krampus finery for the occasion - but take a look at who was there!

     Coming Tomorrow: Ashes to Ashes, Ornaments to Ornaments ... and that's not the STRANGEST tale we've got - see you then!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 11 ...

     The tiny tots at left are here to let you know breaking news: we have a SECOND scrumptious (?) batch of Christmas Food Fails for you to peruse, with everything from Candy Cane Pizza (YUCK!) to Brussels Sprouts gin and tonic to ... say, just what the Hell IS that thing below, anyway? You'll find the answers here:

     But don't let those Food Fails stop you - there's always someone, somewhere who sees these horrors and says, "Hold my beer", and tries to top them all - in this case, it would be more appropriate to say, "Hold my pint". Pub owner John McGinn of The Fens has the locals up in arms over his newest Christmas pudding confection - not because of the look or the taste - no, because of the name! How bad can it be, you ask? Would you believe ... Santa's Dick? Read on!

     Moving away from all things consumable, we return to all things wearable. Yesterday we covered this year's new trend of Christmas Eyebrows ... well, it HAD to happen - why stop there, when you've got all that OTHER real estate all over your face that needs attention? Ladies and gentlemen, presenting ... Christmas LIPS! For more examples of how to make sure you're ready under the mistletoe for some memorable holiday osculation, go here!


     You know who could really use those Christmas Eyebrows and Lips? This poor university student Kelsey Hall who lost a bet and now has to dress up as a Christmas Tree for the rest of the semester! The moral of this story is be careful what you wish for! Read all about her plight below:


     Coming Tomorrow: Only 10 more days to go! The days are flying by and it's getting colder out - what better time to look at this year's collection of Horrible Christmas Jumpers (Sweaters to you), including one that went viral in a school's newsletter and caused a horrible ruckus ... bundle up and come back tomorrow!


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 12 ...

     Welcome back! If yesterday's ladder trees truly offended your delicate holiday sensibilities and you were like, "No way - I'm putting up a REAL tree!", may we suggest THIS charmer - it covers both the holiday AND the Death Of the Old Year!

     Speaking of all things dead causing a ruckus this holiday season, let's get in the old puddle jumper and see what havoc is going down in the UK. It never fails ... if I wait long enough, the Sun or one of the other tabloids comes out with story after story of fly-by-night holiday 'grottos' (think 'Santa's Enchanted Village' over here) that are done on the cheap to bring in the rubes and rack up the holiday pelf - stick up a few cardboard cutouts in an empty field, add some scruffy, mange-eaten reindeer, perhaps a slovenly Santa and you're good to go! And then it all goes wrong.

     Such as? Consider if you will (he said in his best Rod Serling voice) the case of the Racked-Up Rudolph. The Mall in Maidenstone, Kent, had this plastic reindeer head mounted on the wall as children waited in line to visit Santa, causing one six-year-old boy to go into hysterics thinking Santa had killed Rudolph! The Mall quickly removed Rudolph, the Dead-Nosed Reindeer, but the best part is the other parent's reaction to all this, including this classic comeback line:
“No wonder kids are growing up in a namby-pamby society if one complaint gets a plastic reindeer head taken down.” To read how this whole Holiday Horror Show went down, click here: 

     Too traumatic for your tyke? Not a problem, take him outside to see a Christmas parade instead! What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Ummm, well, when the headline reads 'Hamley's Christmas Toy Parade a 'shocking shambles' as kids get crushed and parents fight for a better view of Peppa Pig', you KNOW you're in trouble - read on!

     OK, one last chance, you say. The Mall was a disaster, the parade was worse ... let's scrap this whole mess and head out to Sheffield - they've got a new holiday attraction called Santa's Reindeer Puppet Parade - it's puppets, right? They're not scary! EVERYBODY LOVES PUPPETS! Uh, oh ... read it and weep!

     Breaking News! Minutes after I posted today's page, comes news of yet ANOTHER Winter Wonderland disaster - read all about 'Santa's Mudbath' here!  


Coming Tomorrow: Even MORE Christmas Food Fails and some late-breaking surprises! Hurry back and see!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 13 ...

     Welcome back! How did you do on our Kwiz from yesterday? Let's find out - the answers were:

# 1 - Bettie Page 

# 2 - Glenn Ford

# 3 - Idris Elba (also seen in the cartoon at left)

#'s 4, 5 and 6 - Bill Murray, Miley Cyrus and George Clooney

# 7 - Mary Tyler Moore

# 8 - Jane Fonda

# 9 - Jayne Mansfield

     # 10 - Ryan Gosling

     # 11 - Elizabeth Taylor

     # 12 - Robert Vaughn


     Tired of the tinsel? Pissed off about the pine needles? Had it with the holly? Don't want to deal with the crowds, the driving, the bickering over which tree is the Exact Right One, year after year? Have we got a solution for you! Chuck it all and get with the new, hot trend sweeping the nation - introducing Ladder Trees! No, I'm not making this up! Get with the hip, hot, new way to get your inner Kringle on for the holidays - no muss, no fuss, easy to set up and break down ... and it's good for the environment! Just take a stepladder, open it up, put boards of varying lengths across the midsection and you're ready to decorate! I'm rather partial to this entry, if only because their 'star' in top is a movie projector (which is rather brilliant, if you stop and think of it, as it would throw a bright light across your room ... and you could show Christmas movies!) - or as one article put it, it's a 'minimalist hipster's tree'.  :)

     Just to make sure you get the WHOLE gamut of choices available out there for ladder tree possibilities, I'm including links to TWO separate articles with plenty of picture ideas - what's that, you say? You only have a single ladder, not one that folds out? Fear not, we can even show you how to turn THAT into a tree - read on!

       If the whole minimalist tree jag is getting you down and you feel you're STILL not connecting to the whole Christmas season one on one, or that you need to make a more 'personal statement' on where you stand for the holidays, then step right up! Why stop with hipster trees when you can be at the forefront of this years' OTHER new trend? CHRISTMAS TREE EYEBROWS! (I'm tellin' ya, folks, as we get closer to the Big Day and I scour the Internet, some days these articles just write themselves!) - go the extra mile with these Santa Superciliums! Need inspiration for how to gussy up YOUR face? That's what we're here for - click below to 'brow'-ze:


     Coming Tomorrow: Put on your galoshes and your best slicker - we're heading across the Pond to once again visit Santa's Grotty Grottos in the UK. It's an annual phenomenon that never fails to amaze me and it goes Horribly Wrong Every Single Year! Come join us and look on in horror as these Holiday Hellions put the 'Blight' in 'Old Blighty'!


Monday, December 11, 2017

K.A.C. 2017 - T - 14 ...

     Two weeks to go, my friends! If you're still not feeling the Holiday Spirit, I've got JUST the motivational poster for you at left!

     For now, put aside your worries and put ON your thinking caps as we present the 2017 edition of Kringle's Khristmas Kuties at the K.A.C.! If you're new to the quiz, it goes like this: below you will see pictures of various celebrities in seasonal poses - all you have to do is match the names to the people! Grab some eggnog and your best pair of glasses and see how many you recognize ... they're harder than you think! Answers tomorrow!

# 1

# 2

# 3

# 4, 5 and 6

# 7

# 8
# 9
# 10

# 11

# 12