This Old Chestnut is Still Roasting…


This is the time of the year when lots of people link to my Mel Tormé Christmas story. Its location on this site has moved so here's the new address for it.

I haven't checked lately to see if it's still so but it used to be the most-read page on this site owing to the tremendous number of links it gets each year. But it was also the most stolen thing. People often just copy it onto their sites and sometimes (not always) they credit me. Sometimes, they also do odd excerpting, including omitting the punchline.

I even had people take it and run it on their sites as if it had happened to them. I was especially amused by the rabid right-winger who copied it onto his site as if it was his account of his own experience. When I wrote to call him on it, I got a couple of crazed e-mails, full of words spelled in odd ways, that said basically it was a good story and he wanted to share it with his readers but he didn't want them coming to my site and reading my America-hating Commie views and since I was a Commie, I should have no objection to "sharing the wealth" and letting people take what was rightfully mine. Love that Christmas spirit.

The best part of the story for me, by the way, is that one of Mel Tormé's children wrote me a few years ago and said that Dad had told them about the incident and felt very touched and pleased by it. So I'm glad I helped make it happen.