A Christmas Carol (1941) -- Audio, Eustace Wyatt as “Old Scrooge”
Okay-- maybe I’m regretting not putting “_____ as Scrooge” in the titles of these entries now. I could’ve sworn we were just at 1941! I’ll be sure to include in the wrap-up of this year a list of what we’ve covered, and especially which ones are which. I’ll even make sure going forward to put that in the title. Marley, please rehinge your jaw; I see now my mistakes!!!
“Eustace Wyatt…” now that… that name sounds familiar… by Gum, that name sounds mighty like one that would go on our “memorable Christmas Carol names” list! Nobody’s touching Asheton Tonge--not even Windham Guise-- but--
In fact, the next name is very familiar! This adaptation was produced, adapted, directed, and narrated, by Ernest Chappell, who so famously announced for “The Mercury Theatre” and “The Campbell Playhouse,” telling us about our favorite soup with a grin. Mr. Chappell’s Wikipedia page is sparse; his radio career included announcing for “The Adventures of Ellery Queen”, (who provided me with my middle name!), and later, on television, the voice of Pall Mall cigarettes. Long before any of that though, he trained to be a singer, and directed the first radio station in Syracuse, New York!
Quite an impressive, vocal life!
Deep at the very bottom, is this little section: “RECORDING--in 1941, Chappell narrated A Christmas Carol on an RCA Victor album containing four 12-inch records.”
No reason given why, but since Campbell’s had disbanded the Playhouse and Orson Welles had thrown his hat in the ring (unsuccessfully) against that rat bastard Boss JIM W. GETTYS!, I would wager there was a desire not only to keep the yearly Christmas Carol tradition alive, but also to get into some of the directorial side again, rather than speaking as a mouthpiece for corporate Soupmerica. The YouTube description only gives us a rundown of the cast and some of the crew, but does seem to substantiate that desire of keeping the yearly tradition afloat:
“1941 Victor Records Ernest Chappell Production
“[November 16, 1941 - Washington Post record review headlined "Dickens 'Christmas Carol' Tops Children's Yuletide Albums" by Jay Walz]“We turn for a minute to the Children's Corner where a large variety of things are being piled up, possibly for the help of Santa Claus. For example, Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is done up in an attractive four-disc Victor album which means you can have the famous Yuletide without reading it. Ernest Chappell who has been associated with the annual radio broadcast of the carol for several years, adapted and produced the piece for the records. He also narrates it with the help of a score of actors and musicians. It is all done with the utmost sympathy for the Christmas spirit, with the appropriate exception of the part of Scrooge who is played most villainously by Eustace Wyatt. Lew White supplements traditional Christmas tunes with original music, and plays it all on the organ. The album, G-29, is listed at $3.50.
“Narrator - Ernest Chappell
“Old Scrooge - Eustace Wyatt
“Bob Cratchitt - John McGovern
“Marley's Ghost - John Gibson
“Ghost of Christmas Past - Richard Gordon
“Ghost of Christmas Present - Shirling Oliver
“Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come - The Music
“Nephew Fred - Bud Collier
“The Solicitor - Craig McDonnell
“Mrs. Cratchitt - Helen Brown
“Tiny Tim - Larry Robinson
“Martha Cratchitt - Evelyn Devine
“Master Peter Cratchitt - Master Dickie VanPatten
“Belinda Cratchitt - Lesley Woods
“Belle - Lesley Woods
“Belle's Husband - John Gibson
“Two Men on the Street - Alfred Shirley, Burford Hampden
“Boy on the Street - James Donnolly
“Mary Merker - Soprano
“Paula Heminghous - Contralto
“Henry Shope - Tenor
“Walter Preston - Baritone
“Sound Effects - Charles Range
“Original Music - Lew White”
I especially appreciate that they credit our Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come to the one and only, The Music.
The recording runs about 40 minutes, and, as I am sailing once more into the unknown with an audio adaptation, lead on, Spirit of Ernest Chappell! Teach me what lessons you have to teach…
The Angles Hark to the Heralding Singers, Glory Kinging the Newborn Angel Harking Herald. I’ve heard this song too much, but that’s fine! It’s lovely nonetheless! And an organ brings us to the ballpark! The-- ah, no; it brings us to Mr. Dickens’ words:
“Marley was dead, to begin with.” The narration tells us about how dead Marley was, and I’m suddenly wishing I had a nice bowl of Campbell’s Soup in front of me to enjoy Marley’s death with. I appreciate too that, while Mr. Chappell pauses to introduce us to Mr. Scrooge, the organ anticipates how squeezing, grasping, the miser is with a “DUhhhhhh!...”
Scrooge’s office is where we find the man (“DUhhhhh!...”), keeping a red eye on his clerk Bob Cratchit in the next room! And Bob’s no Frank Readick here--he’s not dancing around letters and numbers like he’s got a hot date with Cindy from Trig class; he’s meticulously slow now, which is understandable after all when Ernest informs us helpfully that he’s just copying letters and records.
But-- Ah! The door’s open! “Mrry Chrsmss, Uncl!”, someone says; get closer to the mic, God Save You! There he is; saying a Merry Christmas to bb and Bob says A Merry Christmas, Mr. Fred, back; here we are then! Good, he’s up to the mic, finally, and--
Eustace Wyatt (who had a very interesting career in 40s films before passing away in 1944 at the age of 62), previously our Christmas Present in 1938, gives us a first impression of Scrooge that is rather… crotchety. Sort of like one of those grimacing old men who speak only out of the sides of their wrinkly mouths. But it’s also immediately commanding, which is key!
He’s quite cross to see his nephew! Impatient, and not letting Fred get much of a word in edge-wise. Fred’s a bit flustered, but does his best to speak slowly and reaffirm that Christmas has done him some good, and will do him good, and God Bless It--in a much calmer way than some other excitable Freds, which garners it some more weight emotionally to me! Bob’s feeling it too, and claps excitedly--
Scrooge growls him down as ever, and turns on his nephew with that oft-omitted sentiment about “wonder you don’t go into parliament!” It makes sense Eustace Wyatt would remember it when others we’ve covered hadn’t; Wyatt was born in England, after all!
“Come, dine with us tomorrow!”, Fred endeavors, and Wyatt snarls off-Dickens' “I’d sooner see you in--”
Thankfully, his unprintable words are interrupted by Bob wandering away from his microphone to put some more coal in the fire. “Put it back in the scuttle!”, Scrooge demands, and Bob sighs, holding the scuttle up to the mic and pouring the coal back in to reassure us that the station will remain upsettingly frosty this Christmas Eve…
Scrooge’s thoughts on marriage: “That’s the only thing more ridiculous than a Merry Christmas!” He’s very salty - it’s not 2022; give it 200 years, buddy! You’ll get there! You won’t have to take Marley’s name off the sign, promise. Nobody’ll bat an eye that you and he were roommates (oh my god they were roommates).
Fred anticipates one of War’s most popular songs about a hundred and thirty years early, asking his uncle, “Why can’t we be friends?” Scrooge, being uncultured in the ways of good 70’s music, replies with his usual grumpy, “Good afternoon!” Fred leaves, keeping his cheer in spite of his uncle’s growling very close to the mic, sir PLEASE I can feel the gristle of your unshaved chin, and I think I spied a wild “twaddle!” in all that grousing! They really are continuing the Campbell’s tradition :D
More organ music tells us we’re going into the top of the second inning, accompanied by harps. It’s a combination of instruments I wouldn’t have guessed would work, but they’re very pretty together. “Shivering Bob Cratchit,” Ernest Chappell tells us, and my immediate thought was the new action figure - Shivering Bob Cratchit! Get the deluxe version, kiddies, where he turns out his pockets and his last few coins fall out! Fun for all ages-- “in letting Scrooge’s nephew out, had let another person in.”
We get a “portly” charity-man, who sounds much less imbibed on festive goodwill than others who’ve come before. It’s a neat change; he sounds as if he truly were there to do business, and rather than being fanciful and doe-eyed, he’s more calm and collected, just representing a donation rather than a firm. “I have no doubt [Dead Mr. Marley’s] liberality is well-represented by his surviving partner.”
What the heck was that??? But before I can question when Scrooge became a gremlin, or if I should worry that there’s SOMETHING ON THE WING!!!, the charity-man just keeps going on, a professional after all.
Wyatt straddles an interesting line between the two camps of Scrooges who seem to have emerged thus far: the old and calmer, and the young-playing-old and vicious. You can tell he’s an actor with some years under his belt, but he also bares and displays a full set of fangs through this Stave I. This is aided especially by the level of seriousness through the other performers; if Fred or the charity-man is too sentimental, then Scrooge comes off as quite rude but more grounded. Here, they seem reasonable in their festivity, so Scrooge becomes even more unnecessarily biting.
There’s a neat tidbit in the exchange which I don’t recall from the book but which absolutely fits: “Besides! I don’t know for a fact that all you say [about the poor and destitute] is true!” “You might know it someday, Mr. Scrooge.”
The rest of this early scene plays out much the same as every other audio piece we’ve looked at from the last few years; Cratchit shows the gent out and donates what he can--Scrooge howls about shutting the door to block out the carolers outside--Cratchit comes back to work, sounding utterly drained, and we get into the doubling-down from Ebby about how it’s a rip-off to pay for Chrimbushel Day without work. The timing here is impeccable.
I swear to God--did I misremember; in the book, did Bob play Blind Man’s Buff too? Was it all the rage, buffing the blind man? Did he slide down the frozen hill 20 times??? I can’t tell anymore if I’m being gaslit by the Ghost of Campbell’s Chunky Soup or not. But at least the jaunty organ is consistent, whirling us into inning 3!
Wow, Ernest Chappell’s voice is very nice. It’s so rich. It’s like deep, molten honey. It’s the 40’s equivalent of Morgan Freeman narrating. You could listen to him read a phone book.
“Door seems to move everytime,” Scrooge grumbles, interrupting Chappell’s rich reading of Scrooge wandering through his dark yard. “Now it is a fact that there was nothing at all particular about the knocker on the door… except that it was very large.” Brag about it, why don’t you? “And Scrooge, having his key in the lock of the door… saw--” GASP! A NEW CA-- “Marley’s face.”
Thankfully, “Carnival of Souls” keeps its all-organ soundtrack playing, creeping us out further.
Scrooge, while spooked, keeps going, because he’s got no time for this! And when he closed the door--
BOOMMMmmmmmmmmm… a very spooky effect. This is probably the best “coming home” we’ve got, using the scripting from Mr. Soup’s House of Play but with that eerie, thin organ, and good sound effects sprinkled in. Even Scrooge’s muttering can’t bring down my mood--though his muttering, “heheh, NICE fire…”, almost made me burst a blood vessel trying to hold in a laugh.
I could’ve sworn I saw a Marley-cat! And as the organ pauses, we get the low, distant rattling, sending shivers up the spine, and coming closer, narrated by an increasingly frightened Eustace Scrooge until the harp crescendos and Scrooge keeps TALKING LOUDER, NO, ITS HUMBUG, ITS HEARING DAMAGE, AAAAAA
Marley blessedly interrupts with a howl that differentiates him immediately: not content to be passive, he seems both annoyed and urgent. He also, for once, sounds very aged. Like, crotchety aged, which the character should certainly be. And, through a combination of echo in the mic, and John Gibson standing away from the mic and half-shouting, we get a creepily distant voice this time. He cannot rest, after all.
Eustace lists off his favorite foods, and Marley’s yell of outrage is both short and surprisingly effective! The harp almost outweighs him, sadly, but we can still hear the utter indignation shine through.
“You are fettered… tell me why.” “I wear the chain I forged in life!.. It ain’t nothin’ but a heartbreak.” The book dialogue is wonderful, and I can’t stop chuckling at Scrooge’s occasional “EH” interjections, so we remember he’s there. The more this goes on, sadly, the more you get the sense that this is another plateau-Marley; that the performance is at a certain level of indignation, and due to technical or directorial design, he doesn’t get to really freak out at Scrooge about BUSINESS!
(It’s worth pointing out--every single review is 100% biased. I have certainly things I like for each character; I like Marley a bit howling and unhinged. That’s not how plenty of people choose to play him, and their takes are neat to see and hear, just not always what I hope for.)
Scrooge seems, too, a bit plateaued here, just in that “I think I’d rather not” interaction. It could also be a timing issue; we only have so much record left and can’t pause to have more emotive moments.
Like every single one of these audio adaptations (at least, it feels that way), we get done with Stave I pretty much a third through. I’ll imagine that we’ll finish up Stave II around halfway like the rest, and go from there--it gives each story a rolling effect of making it speed up the more it goes, which is nice, but I am curious why it’s set up that way. Maybe it’s something to do with what scenes are easiest to accomplish on audio; Stave I is just a revolving door of two or three voices, and does all come back at the end. Guess that answers that--I just always have a harder time pausing to get through to the ghosts, I suppose!
OH MY GOD, ERNEST CHAPPELL, GOOD ON YOU! Scrooge goes to the window and while we don’t get the Wretched Weeping Woman, Scrooge sees that the air is full of shackled phantoms. Overwhelmed, he goes to bed. Someone included it!!!
Ernest, like Mr. Welles before him, is standing in spirit at my elbow, and his voice is much calmer in saying it, so I feel a bit less worried he’ll judge me for the crumbs on my hoodie.
While Richard Gordon gives us a very emotive Christmas Past, the effect or quality or something in the microphone gives it an almost robotic quality, as if the fullness of voice has been dulled down to a single tone. “I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.” Long past? “No, Robocalls Past.”
Again, my biases. I always think of Chompmass Past as having a very fluid, full voice, like you’re pushing all your breath out with each sentence. But the change certainly makes the Ghost sound different from human, and, again, the performance is wonderfully emotive, unlike others that can be one-tone.
Scrooge has a good amount of mortal terror at falling out his window here, unlike others that sometimes sound a bit more confused. The music swells, then drops, and eventually returns--as if we’re back from our commercials. This is Ernest Chappell, announcing; Eat Campbell’s-- Oh! Not this time!
Scrooge is told he’s in the past, and for once doesn’t need telling that the shadows there won’t see him; he seems grimly aware of the rules, and miserable to be back. It occurs to me that Christmas Past saying “strange to have forgotten [the path to your boyhood school] for so long” is more in reference to his youthful ways? But it’s always been a weird line to me. I interpret things pretty much literally. I was sad to learn “Hotel California” was just about drugs or the music industry or whatever, and not a rockin’ Twilight-Zone hotel.
For as serious and grim as Scrooge sounds, the Spirits, the music and the announcer help keep it lighter-hearted, which makes for a good balance!
Scrooge’s “I wish… but it’s too late now,” is utterly miserable instead of wistful, which I love as a performance choice. It’s quieter, which makes it harder for audio, but it sounds more genuine. “Your lip is trembling,” Christmas Past says, “and is that a tear upon your cheek?” Something in the intonation made me think the next line would honestly be, “You gonna cry, little Scroogy boy?”
The misery in the performance also aids the idea that Scrooge is on a journey to redemption--he’s not joyous yet. It’s therapy; it’s not “I go and get better”, it’s, “this sucks, this sucks, okay, I’m getting healthier.”
Lesley Woods’s Belle is-- very far away from the mic; can we get Miss Woods to step closer please?! Miss Woods-- there we go--
She’s a somewhat dramatic Belle, but that’s perfectly fine, doing that Acting I breakup scene. Eustace seems to be playing young Scrooge as well, and he’s doing a good job of it, because I’m still uncertain if it’s him, though it sounds like the same character. He seems completely oblivious to everything, unlike the usual twinge of indignity or merry scoffing. She’s released him-- Oh, and her grip of the mic; Miss Woods! Miss--
It does make for a good audio transition back to Euscrooge and the Spirit though, as if the characters are fading in and out of the mist. And, despite his pleas, he’s shown Belle and the man he might’ve been, who sounds awfully cheerful. For the first time, Belle sounds cheerful as well, so this hubby gets a pass on bringing up that sour point of Belle’s life!
Eustace gives us a howling “HAUNT ME NO LONGER!”, and the Spirit leaves. Ernest chimes in that, “With the Spirits last words, Scrooge was conscious of being xhausted,” and I can imagine so, because he’s only been through two staves in 25 minutes and is facing down cramming two more ghosts and a redemptive YIPPEEEEE into 15 more minutes. Mr. Chappell, wasting no time, is ushered into inning 4--
Caring nothing for the dwindling runtime, we’re given a rundown of the scrumptious menu, before meeting Mr. The Present. Shirling Oliver (Christmas Present actors and memorable names, I swear!) gives us a Christmas Present that is jolly and down-to-earth. You wouldn’t expect the big lumberjack beard, but he does sound like one of those very confident guys who’s hosting a barbecue and invites the neighborhood to show off some very impressive grill skills. You might even toss the ol’ pigskin around, sport!
Scrooge hasn’t ever been to a backyard party, though. God, he sounds miserable and broken, knowing he’s got to go along with the Spirit. It’s a neat change, and one that I think works well for the character, though I’m glad it’s not the norm for Scrooge, because it is really miserable.
Shirling Present takes us to Bob Cratchit’s house and resorts to listing off the cast list, noting that we’re low on time. They’ve already eaten, it seems, because we get a gaggle of voices growing increasingly more excited reminiscing on the meal and the goose and oohohoo the goose and the meal and
By the way, in front of everyone, how’d Tim behave in church? Good! He wants people to see him in church. Why, whatever for, Tim?
WITNESS ME! …for the Lord, of course. Ah, bless you, Tim-- OH, MY PUDDING!
The harp plays us out and I think we didn’t even get to hear God Bless Us, unless Every One heard it in the gaggle of voices earlier? But we ain’t getting to hear it in the Future; Shirling Present tells us very matter-of-factly that little Timmy’s assuming room temperature next year D:
The dig about “decreasing the surplus population” is said almost as a jest back at Scrooge, making it even more upsetting, especially accompanied by his OH, THE MISERY.
But we go back to see that the pudding came out well (Mrs. Cratchit made sure the flour was right!) and Bob tries to toast Mr. Scrooge, much to his wife’s perpetual chagrin. Tiny Tim agrees with his pops though; “God Bless him… and Every One.”
I guess that counts?
The music brings us to inning five or maybe I’ve lost count-- either way, Scrooge isn’t a baseball fan, pleading with the Spirit to be shown no more! The inning fully changes over, and Ernest tells us about how their clothes sucked, much like Mr. Welles did. And, in keeping with tradition, Fred and his party are given the auditory middle finger. Sadly, so is the grand montage of all the world’s Chrimmis. So are Ignorance and Want, but they’ve been gone so long I’m starting to get ignorant of wanting them.
Christmas Yet To Come returns in Scrooge’s bedroom--a haunting figure that I’m sure someone in a Poe story would’ve married and then the narrator would be like, “Oh, no, my creepy aunt-in-law!”, when their uncle mysteriously died. I think I’m missing Fred and Topper’s shenanigans so much I’m resorting to my own storylines now.
Mr. The Music does a great job as Yet To Come; I think it’s a bassoon filling in for its voice, underneath the rushing sound effects? Either way it’s low and melancholy and weird.
“Here, on a common street? What is there for me to learn?” ANGRY SHIMMERING SOUND EFFECTS “. Yes! I’ll listen!!”
After the XCHANC men xchanc info, they go back to Bob Cratchit’s house, which is “so different!” Bob’s not renovating, but he does seem to have extra space there; one less chair-- Mrs. Cratchit is understandably crying, Bob is quiet and defeated in a very well-acted manner. Thankfully, we don’t linger, as the Angel of Music leads Scrooge on.
“A churchyard!.. Overrun by grass and weeds… so many graves… Are these the shadows of the things that will be? Or that only might be? Will you not SPEAK to me?!”, is lamenting, clawing, desperate. It’s a far cry from the calmer, more horrified Scrooges; this is a man teetering on an abyss. It’s great!
The harp and the organ try to bring us to inning six and “IT’S EBENEZER SCROOGE!!!”
Did someone have a hot poker ground between Eustace’s ribs? Someone check in on him; he’s either utterly fantastic or being pulled taut on a rack!
They took away the poker, good; his redemptive turn is similarly full-bodied and full-bellied and it’s so natural and so great to hear that I forgot to keep taking notes.
The WALK-ER sounds like an older boy. James Donnolly’s probably able to lift the whole poulterer’s shop himself!
The absolute creepiest piece of music in this whole piece is right here: Scrooge muses over giving the bird to Bob, laughs heartily about it, and the music laughs with him like voices of the damned trying to warble themselves into being. Blessedly we move quickly to the street to the charity-man getting his tuppence and then some.
Scrooge wanders the streets, taking it in, and goes to Forgotten Fred’s party. I wonder if there’s a guy there who’ll cheat at Blind Man’s Buff? We’ll never know. Either way, Cratchit comes in late, gets punked, gets some more money, and Scrooge’s turn here of being loud in his jollyness to overwhelm Bob but also keep the conversation going works very well for me!
The organ plays, signaling the end of the ball game, and as you make your way back to your cars, please remember to take your hot dogs and beer with you. Mind the steps! Scrooge was better than his word, you know. Tiny Tim was okay so don’t worry--Joy to the World! This is Ernest Chappell, announcing.
All in all, this is a version that I want to like a bit more than I did. This has a lot going for it--in fact, I can’t really think of any bit of the audio that doesn’t really work! The performances are fantastic: Eustace Wyatt’s Scrooge is singularly miserly and misery in turns, and his joy at the end feels so right that there wasn’t even a question of, “Well, did he earn it?” It’s an outstanding performance, and one that I might actually list as my favorite audio-Scrooge so far, which I really wasn’t expecting.
The Ghosts all do a fine job, and embody the otherworldly and intimate dichotomy very well. The background cast seems to fall shorter, but that’s also in large part because they have WAY less to do; Belle and the Cratchits do sort of get the short end of the stick here, with the Cratchits especially just being a clamor of voices for most of their scenes. Tiny Tim isn’t the most memorable, and you feel the weight of his death more in the sense of how distraught the parents are rather than how attached to the character you are.
The music, while not what I would’ve expected, is very good and oddly atmospheric. I’m amazed at what can be accomplished with a single organ--but then, Herk Harvey did show that a heck of a lot can be done with very, very little.
Honestly, my main drawback here is the pacing of the script, and what got omitted vs. what stayed. I’ve already discussed that I find Stave III the most important; it just bears mentioning that it’s kind of sad that all we got was a look at the Cratchits home life, and that it was a chaotic jumble of voices. It certainly seemed happy, atmospherically, just it didn’t hit the same as, “Oh, here’s just a street of London celebrating Christmas, and let’s look at a particular family as well.” As much as I ragged on 1938’s MGM film, Christmas Present there was a really, genuinely joyous affair. It also had the benefit of being much longer, though.
Focusing so much on Stave I and II is fine--I actually greatly enjoyed how Eustace played Stave II; being more pained by the remembered past than first ecstatic and then pained (because it’s realistic; therapy gets upsetting!)--but it just took up so much time, there wasn’t as much time for the rest of the story. Even Stave IV, which did give us the XCHANC, felt somewhat rushed, in large part because we couldn’t let Bob’s grief sit and breathe a little bit more.
Timing-wise, it felt slow until it felt too fast. Everything else-wise, I really, really liked this version. It’s another one where some of the comments remember it as their favorite, and I can certainly understand why! You’d be very well-off with this as the “yearly tradition” version; it’s extremely well-done, well-produced, well-acted, and well-directed. It can be listened to here, and I’m quite glad it’s available!
With only nine days to go before the Big Day, anyone with kids will see a HUGE uptake in good behavior, as the 'Naughty Or Nice' card is being thrown down by parents everywhere. This is definitely nothing new, as this scenario has been passed down for generations. My favorite hack on this theme (and one I WISH I had heard of when our main feature writer this year was little) was the Mom who told her kids she had a TOLL-FREE NUMBER to Santa and could call him Anytime to report their bad behavior and let him know he could skip their house that year! Siblings fighting after time-outs, etc? Reach for the phone! Somebody didn't do their chores? Is that a cell phone ringing in Mom's hands? And is she reading a number of a PLASTIC CARD as she dials???
Sure, it just may be a gift card or a gas card or whatever, but the terror is still there! Damaging to young minds, you say? Ummmm, maybe ... but also memorable, so much so that when a lot of them grow up and have kids of their own, they can't wait to try this out!
But now comes a new group of folks who want to do away with the whole concept of Santa's 'Naughty List' - which side of the Christmas Coin do YOU fall on? Read their argument below:
It's that time of year - no, NOT Creepy Doll Time! (Well, to be fair, it actually IS that time, too!) - I meant the annual Christmas Tree Debate - real or artificial. We're not even opening that can of worms here (we've lost this debate more times than some of us can count); instead, here are a few articles pertaining to both camps. First up, Team A (for Artificial) has the answer to the question, "Wait, you mean I need to CLEAN these things? That's NOT a 'pine-y' odor I've been smelling all these years?" Apparently not, kiddo! Read this and get up to speed:
Next, from Team T (for TREE, subset Living) comes 'The Overlooked Benefits of Real Christmas Trees'. Let the battle begin again between the contestants!
Back tomorrow with more!