So, you’ve probably heard of the12 Days of Christmas index. There’s this banking firm down in the States that calculates the cost of everything in The 12 Days of Christmas every year. After doing a bit about it on the show, a co-worker said, “You should do that, but with the Bob & Doug McKenzie version.” Being easily impressionable, I decided to roll with it. And here we are.
For those just joining us, Bob & Doug McKenzie were two popular characters on SCTV. The brainchild of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, it was a response to a CBC edict that SCTV needed more Canadian content. Finding this request ridiculous, as the show was made in Canada with a predominantly Canadian cast and crew, Moranis and Thomas took every negative stereotype about Canadians and crammed them into two dimwitted brothers named Bob & Doug McKenzie. To everyone’s surprise, Bob & Doug became two of SCTV’s biggest breakout characters, and were everywhere in the early 1980s. Their popularity led to the release of a Bob & Doug album in 1981, called Great White North.
On The Nerdist podcast a few years ago, Moranis briefly told the tale of the album’s two hit songs, Take Off (featuring Geddy Lee) and The 12 Days of Christmas. Having got his start on Toronto radio, Moranis knew a comedy album needed at least two songs: the first one to get some airplay and thus publicity, and a second one for when people get sick of the first one. Since people usually get sick of the first one at around Christmastime, it helps if that second one is a Christmas song. And thus, the Bob & Doug McKenzie 12 Days of Christmas, which has been a perennial classic on Canadian radio ever since.
So, doing a little bit of googling and just wandering around Westlock, here’s the breakdown of everything in The 12 Days of Christmas by Bob & Doug McKenzie.
Day 1: A Beer…in a Tree
It was our sister station in Athabasca’s turn to host the Christmas party this year, and they held it at the Legion hall. While partying, I noted that the Legion charged $4.75 for a bottle of beer. And as for the tree, I paid $50 for a new, pre-lit artificial tree this year.
Day 2: Two Turtlenecks
While out and about last Saturday, I wandered into the Westlock’s hot spot for all the latest fashions, Arth’s Fashion Centre. I explained to the clerk what I was doing, and she laughed, noting that most youngsters these days are uneducated in the ways of Bob & Doug. We went over to the men’s wear section, where we found that Arth’s charges $32 for a men’s turtleneck.
Day 3: Three French Toast
It seems that whenever my family was on the road when I was a kid, we’d always wind up at Smitty’s for breakfast. Googling the Smitty’s menu, I see they charge $10.89 these days for a plate of three pieces of French toast. Bacon and eggs are extra.
Day 4: Four Pounds of Back Bacon
I visited the meat sections of both of Westlock’s grocery stores, puzzling over this one, looking for back bacon. And then, most of the pre-packaged stuff was in grams, and I started doing the conversions to pounds, and then I remembered, Westlock has a butcher shop! So I went back to work and got on the phone to the Westlock Butcher Shop. I spoke with Paul, and he tells me the Westlock Butcher Shop currently has back bacon at $9.99/pound.
Day 5: Five Golden Toques
Wasn’t sure what to do for this one. I mean, did Bob & Doug mean five toques made of solid gold, or made of a gold-coloured fabric? While browsing in Giant Tiger, the answer was made clear to me when I found a golden toque over in women’s wear. It looked to be a toque with some kind of rubberized, gold-colored coating. Anyway, it’ll work for this list. Giant Tiger wanted $10 for it.
Day 6: Six Packs of Two-Fours
It’s strange…this one seems to trip up a lot of people, so I had to google it myself. A “two-four” is a case of 24 cans of beer. Most out here in Alberta have never heard of such a term…must be an Ontario thing. For this one, I wandered into the Sobeys Liquor Store and had a look around. Not being a drinking man myself, I was baffled at all the many kinds of beer, and wondered what Bob & Doug would drink. I figured since the characters were created to play up Canadian stereotypes, the one with “Canadian” in the name would be the way to go. Sobeys was asking $47.99 for a two-four of Molson Canadian.
Day 7: Sevens Packs of Smokes
For this one, I just texted my mom, because Mom’s a smoker. Mom says she’s paying about $15 a pack these days.
Day 8: Eight Comic Books
This is another that caused me some trouble. While I do love my comics, it’s been a long time since I’ve bought any individual issues, as I stick mainly to trade paperbacks and graphic novels. And I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s not a lot of comic books on newsstands anymore, as comics are now all grown up and can only be found in book stores and comic book shops. So I decided to get on the phone to Happy Harbor Comics. For those who don’t know, Happy Harbor is the biggest comic book store in Edmonton, and they’ve even won several awards for being one of the best comic book stores in Canada. The friendly clerk I spoke to on the phone says the average cover price on a comic these days is about $5.50.
The Ramblings at the End: Donuts and Chainsaws
If you haven’t heard Bob & Doug McKenzie’s 12 Days of Christmas, the joke is they get tired after day eight and decide to call it quits. But as the music trails off, they begin to bicker about what else could have been in the song. Bob first mentions that they should have included donuts…a dozen donuts for day 12. “But maybe, go to a good bakery, where they give you a 13th free, and we could have 13 donuts for the 13 days!” says Bob. Well, I see that Tim Hortons currently sells a dozen donuts for $8.99, and $0.99 for individual donuts.
Cost of 13 donuts: $9.98
In response to this, Doug simply says, “Next year, you can get me a chainsaw.” Down at Peavey Mart, I found a brand new Husqvarna 445 e-series with a 2.79 cubic inch, 2.8 horsepower motor with an 18” blade for $479.99.
Cost of chainsaw: $479.99
Now, when they put together the 12 Days index, they include two numbers. The actual 12 Days index, which is the number up above, and the “Total Cost of Christmas,” which is the cumulative total. For example, that’s assuming that on the third day of Christmas they give three French toast AND two turtlenecks AND a beer in a tree. And of course, Bob & Doug’s 12 Days is unique in that they don’t change day 1 from “a beer” to “a beer in a tree” until day 4, when Doug points out “there should be more there.” We also need to factor in that they attempt to do day 12, but the pushy choir makes them skip ahead to day 5. So, taking all that into account, the Total Cost of Bob & Doug’s Christmas is….
There you have it. And as they say to wrap up the song, “Now go out to the store and buy some presents!”