I will never be able to hear "Carol of the Bells" again without thinking of rapper Snoop Dog.
Twelve years ago, I was a pledge in the Delta Tau Delta fraternity chapter at my college. One of the annual Christmas time traditions at the University of Southern Mississippi is the Chi Omega Sorority Songfest. It's their annual philanthropic fund-raiser, and it pits all the fraternities and sororities against each other in a contest to see which group is the best at singing Christmas Carols.
One of the songs my fraternity chose to sing was "Carol of the Bells." We all had to sing in the Songfest, it was not even a choice. Well, during one practice for the competition, a bunch of us decided to test our conductor's patience since he was trying ours. Instead of singing "Ding Dongy Dong" during the song -- as we were supposed to do, we started singing "Snoop Doggy Dog" instead.
He immediately stopped practice and chewed us out. We never did it again, but the damage was done. Every time we sang the song, he couldn't stop thinking we were singing "Snoop Doggy Dog."
Just imagine how that song would go if it had the following passage:
Snoop Doggy Dog. Snoop Doggy Dog. Snoop Doggy Dog. Snoop Doggy Dog.
Snoop Doggy Doggy Dog. Doggy Doggy Doggy Dog. Doggy Doggy Doggy Dog.
Doggy Doggy Doggy Doggy Dog Dog. Doggy Doggy Doggy Doggy Dog Dog.
Oh yeah, we won the fraternity division of Songfest that year.
If this Christmas tale only ended with "Snoop Doggy Dog," everything would be right in the world. But, alas it does not.
There was another fraternity, Phi Kappa Tau (the Phi Taus) who felt it was their right to win Songfest with a drunken display of stupidity. They just weren't very good. No, I'm serious. It was like a train wreck on the stage. College age men acting stupid, while half of them were off key and none of them were singing in sync.
Well, the Phi Taus were also sitting right behind us that night. While we performed, the arrogant group put an unidentified liquid on our row in the bleachers. I'm not saying it was alcohol, and I'm not saying it was urine. But, it was a liquid and they had been drinking that night.
Needless to say, we were fortunate because one of our actives realized what had happened. He stopped midway in sitting mode, and said "Nobody sit on the bench."
An ugly crisis was averted - for the moment.
Afterwards, we celebrated at our house. A bunch of well-wishers came by to mingle with us. Basically, sorority girls and friends of the fraternity. We were enjoying our victory.
Suddenly a pick-up truck came speeding by. One of the Phi Taus leaned out (why he leaned out so everyone could clearly see his face is still beyond me) and he screamed "Only [expletive for homosexuals] sing like that." Then something was thrown out of the back of the truck. It was hard to see at first, but a sorority girl in our front yard suddenly screamed "Duck!"
It was a shovel.
The Phi Taus were so upset about the loss, some of their more intoxicated members conducted a drive-by shovel throwing. Honestly, who does a drive-by shovel throwing to vent their frustrations at their rival?
My only guess is the guy had to be a redneck. You know you go to a college in the rural south when there is a drive-by shoving throwing.
However, we were possessed by the holiday spirit and did the right thing. We gave back. Our fraternity president took the shovel to the Phi Tau house. He handed it to the Phi Tau president and said, "Hey, ummm, one of your members left this at our place the other night."
But, the story remains with me 12 years later. Every Christmas, I remember the tale of "'Snoop Doggy Dog' and the Flying Shovel."
Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.