Silent Poker, Holy Poker

Every year I go caroling with some of the folks from my choir around the nursing homes in Northeast.  My choir does several outreach programs there throughout the year, but Christmas caroling is the most fun.  We sing a few basic songs, Deck the Halls, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, etc, and invite everyone to sing along with the ones that they know.  Then we take requests.  This year, a cheerful lady, let’s call her “Bluehair #1,” requested Silent Night.  To be sure, we just sang Silent Night.  But if she wants to hear it again (or forgot), well fine.  It’s Christmas.  Silent Night again.

Then another sweet old lady, let’s call her “Bluehair #2” raises her hand.  We call on her and she says, “Is it Christmas?”  To which my friend responds, “Does anyone know that one?  How does Is It Christmas go?”  To which I replied, “I don’t think that was a song request.  I think that was a question.”  We explained to her that yes it was Christmas, and that’s why we were here to sing Christmas carols.  To which she said, “sing Silent Night.”

Unsurprisingly, singing Silent Night four times in one outing (Bluehair #1 had another request) inspired a Federal Circuit Silent Night counterpart, reflecting on that occasional terrible oral argument…

Silent Bench

Silent bench,
Questionless bench,
Throw a bone;
Be a mensch.
Counsel jumps as a softball is tossed,
With no clue that he’s already lost.
End this pain and sit down;
End this pain and sit down!

Silent Judge
Questionless Judge
Can my words
Make you budge?
All that stuff in my brief is worth shit
If you don’t agree with it.
Just tell me what you want
Please tell me what you want

Poker tonight, 8pm, [——].  Don’t be silent!  RSVP.

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