Christmas Songs That Should Be Banned.

First of all, we need to stop calling them “Christmas” songs. Despite being about the Christmas, it ignores the other yearend celebrations and shows bias toward this blatantly Christian holiday. I suggest  “Popular Non-Religious,” “Holiday,” or “Winter Solstice” songs. To my knowledge, nobody has any objections to “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem (unless it has to do with contested borders or population counts in zero BC and what constitutes a “little town” … ie does that make it a “village?”)


WDOK radio in Ohio, USA, started this debate by deciding to pull “Baby it’s Cold Outside” from its playlist because a listener was offended by the lyric “say, what’s in this drink?” It could be nutmeg, but we should assume it is some type of drug, especially in the version where a woman is singing to a man.

Another writer, I’m not sure of the source, has begun a list of other songs of the season that should also be banned from the airways or if not, whenever you hear them you should put a finger in each ear and very loudly say “na na na na na na na” until the tune is over.

Here is what he/she suggested (with some editing by me) of which songs should be banned and why…

1. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus: Exposes a young child to adultery and PDA
2. The Christmas Song: “Folks dressed up like Eskimos?” Stereotyping Native Americans and making fun of their traditional clothing.
3. Holly Jolly Christmas: “Kiss her once for me?” Promotes unwanted advances
4. Santa Claus is Coming to Town: “Sees you when you’re sleeping? Knows when you’re awake?” The entire song encourages becoming a peeping tom and a stalker
5. Most Wonderful Time of the Year: Demands you “be of good cheer.” What about my right to be depressed during the holidays?
6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: Another sad tale of bullying in school with no punishment for the offenders.
7. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas: Forced gender-specific gifts: dolls for Janice and Jen and boots and pistols for Barney and Ben. Why should Janice be denied an uzi for home defense if she really wants one?
8. Santa Baby: Paints a sexist picture of a woman as a gold digger and “Come and trim my Christmas tree” lyric…we all know what she is really suggesting.
9. Frosty the Snowman: Sexist…should be Frosty the “Snowperson.”
10. Do You Hear What I Hear?: totally ignores the deaf community
11. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas: “Make the yuletide gay?” Just because this time of year we like to dress up, decorate, and host fabulous parties…there is no need for labels…and they repeat it several times.
12. Jingle Bell Rock: “Giddy-up jingle horse, pick up your feet Jingle around the clock” Animal abuse!!!…forcing this poor horse to run for 24 hours without rest or food and in winter, yet. “Rocking around the Chrismas Tree?” Very dangerous and gets the kids all riled up when they are already too excited.
13. Winter Wonderland: Parson Brown asking if they are married…what business is it of his?  Invasion of your personal space. And “We’ll have lots of fun with mister snowman until the other kids knock him down.” Vandalism!


Maybe if we changed the lyrics of these songs to more politically correct verbiage they would be more acceptable (and many more…probably all of them… need to be rewritten to the new standards).

Or we could just stop listening to popular Christmas songs and turn to Gregorian chants in Latin so we can’t understand the lyrics.

Or we could stop whining, evaluating, and assuming every word is sinister and just enjoy the music as we sit by the open fire (hopefully in a safe firepit on a non-windy day), roasting our chestnuts (is that dirty?), and toasting the new year (which has to be better than 2018) while enjoying our Hanukkah bush, Kwanzaa candles, and Christmas wreath, after donning our gay apparel (blame Deck the Halls).

In closing, Happy Holidays, May the Force Be With You, and finally, “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

Writing a Novel

quill (2)You have to be crazy to write a novel…and I’ve done it twice, so I should know. So why did I decide to start a new series of mystery books after fifteen frustrating years with the first two — writing, proofing, re-writing, proofing, looking for an agent/publisher, proofing, giving up on finding an agent/publisher, and agonizing over the need for never ending promotion? (Assuming you want somebody to read what you wrote).

The flip answer might be I write because I’m lousy at tap dancing, but the real answer is I like to tell stories.

I’ve been making up scenes and characters for as long as I remember, as well as reading books since I got my first library card at eight years old. I like to make people laugh too, so no matter how serious the story, you will find a lot of humor sprinkled into the action.

Example from Identity Check:  “Okay,” she said, “It’s your turn. Strip for me.”

“I don’t think so.”

“Don’t tell me you’re shy. I could put on some music and whistle loudly.”

“To be fair, I never got to see your act,” he said, throwing the clothes in his arms onto a nearby chair, “just the remnants.”

“All right, I’ll let you look, but only a peek. Normal men have been known to lose their sight at such a vision.”

“Have you been flashing down at the blind school again? That’s just mean-spirited.”

“For that cruel comment, you’ve forfeited your shot at a piece of heaven.”

“Okay, I’m taking off my clothes, but, I don’t want to hear any crude remarks from you.”

“Me? Never. Whoa–somebody let the stallion out of the barn.”

“That’s it. I’m turning off the lights.”

My new fictional YA series features a private investigator, nicknamed “Tracker,” that uses his Native American skills to solve mysteries (aided by his teenage nephew). I’m about 25,000 words into the first book about a murder that happens in Crater Lake National Park…and the suspected killer is Sasquatch!

People ask me, “How do you get your story ideas?” My first novel, “Drafted,” drew heavily on my personal experience of being drafted into the US Army during Vietnam…an adventure filled with terror and humor.

I can’t wait to see how it all gets resolved. I don’t do an outline when I write, although I have a vague idea of the direction the story is headed. My technique is to create characters, put them into a situation, and see how they handle it. I’m also big on action and stingy on description. I hate writers that spend three pages describing the wallpaper (unless it is smeared with blood).

Well, back to the computer…another 75,000 words to go…maybe I’ll write a few pages describing the wallpaper.

Fountain of Youth Discovered…

Fountain of Youth (200px)I’ve done it. I’ve discovered the fountain of youth. I have succeeded where Ponce de Leon failed.The fountain is in southern California. But, there are no sacred waters to drink; no special potions to swallow. All you have to do is move here.

Don’t believe me? Ask anybody out here who is not a native. When did you arrive in Los Angeles? They will likely say…”Oh, I haven’t been here that long. I think it was around 1989.”  And you will say, “Dude, that was 26 years ago.” And they will say, “But I look and feel the same as the day I arrived.”

There are several reasons I think L.A. is the fountain of youth: everybody exercises, lots of sunshine, emphasis on healthy eating habits, nobody smokes cigarettes, or lays in the sun, plastic surgery, liposuction, and the number one reason…no seasons.

That’s right, you may celebrate your birthday every year, but without any seasons, there is no sense of time passing. No changing of the leaves on a palm tree. No cancelled school days from snow. No cold winter’s nights in front of a fire. No spring awakening with plants and grass sprouting from the ground, Every day is the same!

I’ll use myself as an example. I moved here in 2008 and took this picture. Here is a picture I posted in 2015. Exactly the same!  CU Me Jobs1me2

So if you want to live forever and never change, come to L.A. or San Diego. Give me a call, I can recommend some nice neighborhoods.

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Richard Allan Jones is the author of the comic/adventure novel, “DRAFTED” and the soon to be released thriller, “Identity Check.”

Congratulations, You’ve Won a Million Dollars!!

cell phonesEvery time I answer the phone, it’s an adventure. Who will it be on the other end?  The solar people are regular callers, as well as the contractors who just happen to be in my neighborhood this week, or the professional fundraisers who kindly ask for me by name and wonder if a $100 donation to save pygmy anteaters would fit my budget. Sure every once & awhile a friend calls, or a receptionist confirming an appointment, but those are rare.

My favorite calls are from strangers telling me I’ve won something; a three-day Bahama cruise, a hundred-dollar gift card, a free wireless alarm system, a lawsuit from the IRS, and so forth. But recently I hit the jackpot, when a couple of good old boys rang me up and announced, “Congratulations, you have won $1,000,000!!” Here’s the way the conversation went:

Me: Hello?

Them: (in unison, almost a scream) Congratulations, you have won $1,000,000!!

Me: This must be a mistake, somebody called yesterday and told me I just won a million dollars.

Them:  (silence, then rattling of a call list)  ah…ahem…wait a minute…

Me:  Nah, fellas, I’m only kidding. You’re the first. Will it be cash or check?

Them: (a little rattled)  Aren’t you just thrilled to win?

Me: Overjoyed. Yahoo! Okay, what’s the pitch?

Them: Great. You have won an opportunity to get up to a 30-year million dollar home variable loan from the ABC Company at the unbelievable rate of 1%. What do you think about that?

Me: Wow, you are right. That is unbelievable.

Them: And what’s more, we don’t care about your poor credit rating, there is no paperwork to fill out, no closing costs, no pesky appraisals…we only require 1% fee to get this great deal, and then we send you the million.

Me: So I send you $10,000 and you send me $1,000,000, no strings?

Them: That’s right. We don’t even care if buy a home with this loan. We prefer a cashier’s check made out to Billy Bob Smith and mailed to P.O. Box 6969, Decatur, Georgia 67845.

Me: Why don’t you just deduct the 1% and send me a check for $990,000?

Them: (awkward silence)…uhh, no that’s against company policy.

Me: I kind of expected it would be. Are you calling me from a pickup truck by any chance?

Them: Damn it, Darrell, I told you to turn off the engine!

Me: Look, boys, this has been entertaining, but I have important things to do….like rotating the coasters on my coffee table.

Them: So you’re not going to send us the money?

Me: What do you think?

Them:  How about $5,000? $1,000 $50 bucks??

Me: You’re going to have to find your beer money some other way, because I’m turning your name, cell phone number, and P.O. box over to the police.

Them: (in unison) Damn!

Me: You all have a nice day now.

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Richard Allan Jones is the author of the comedy/adventure novel, “Drafted” and the upcoming thriller, “Identity Check.”     richallan-300dpi-3125x4167 - Copy


Alms For An Ex-Leper?

Monty-Pythons-The-Life-of-Brian-The-ex-leperA writer is suppose to write every day, right? But I have to be motivated by a topic to feel it is worth my time and yours. Do you care about which cereal I ate for breakfast this morning…I don’t and I was there. At the same time, I need to write on this blog more often to develop my writing skills, and give you, the readers, something interesting to peruse when the boss isn’t watching, or you are tired of looking at clips of cats doing silly things.

With that in mind, I’m sharing the headline from today’s paper where the L.A. City Council has passed a resolution to increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2020. Some 80,000 worker are impacted by this decision.

This is amazing to me on several levels. First, that the minimum wage is only $10 now. That barely buys you a happy meal, even with an employee discount. Secondly, that 2020 is only five years away. Who knew that I would live that long…the 21st century…era of Buck Rogers…and where the hell are all the flying cars. And finally, when I was earning minimum wage, back in the 60’s, they paid me a whooping $1.25 hour.

I know, inflation; the sixties were 50 years ago; new cars only cost $3,000; a cheeseburger at the golden arches was $.25, fries $.15, and the ketchup free.golden arches

But still…did I really work an eight-hour day and get paid only ten bucks…before deductions!  Was I insane or just didn’t know any better?  Some of my jobs were considered “fun” — like being a lifeguard or working as a DJ at a radio station, but seventy dollars for a seven-day week! …social security and medicare got more money a week than I did!

Back to our minimum wages in 2015…$400 bucks for a five-day week seems like a lot; but new cars cost $30,000; a hamburger at a west Hollywood restaurant runs $14 (with fries), although the ketchup is still free. These folks have to be thinking the same thing I did back in the 60s…am I insane? No wonder it is so hard to get people to drag themselves out of bed, face a hellish commute, and come home exhausted every night. Forget trying to save for retirement. money

So, Mr. Government Official, I say get these cheap corporations to pony up a decent wage that keeps up with inflation…don’t wait another five years to make this right.

As for me, I’ve picked out my corner, got a nice tin cup, a set of slightly soiled rags to wear, and a legible sign that reads, “Alms for an ex-leper.”

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Rich Allan is the author of the comedy/adventure “Drafted” now available on kindle at, as well as the soon to be released thriller, “Identity Check.”

Tips for Wearing a ‪Kilt‬ for the First Time

I present the following as a public service message for those who wanted to know but were afraid to ask.

Tips for wearing a kilt for the first time:    kilt-3

  1. Try to practice sitting, standing up, doing deep knee bends, picking up the pencil you dropped, and even getting in and out of a car.
  2. When you sit down make sure the front of your kilt falls between your legs to avoid embarrassment for anyone facing you. Warning! Don’t let your hand linger too long.
  3. When you stand up, sweep your hand over the back of your kilt to make sure the pleats are flat and no one has stolen your wallet.
  4. It is a good idea to make sure your sporran is weighted down. This is critical! Most sporting goods stores offer a wide choice of sporran weights in several sizes and colors.
  5. If a woman asks you if anything is worn under the kilt, you should respond, “Nay Lass, everything is as good as it ever was.”
  6. If you embarrass easily, you might want to wear your kilt with opaque tights or thigh-high socks with a tassel.
  7. Only wear on special occasions, like a wedding, while performing Hamlet, sale at Macy’s, Renaissance Fairs, or casual Fridays at work.
  8. Most importantly, have fun and enjoy all the attention you will get!

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Richard Allan Jones is the author of the comedy/adventure, “Drafted” ( and the upcoming thriller, “Identity Check.”