Christmas With Colonel Sanders
Review By: Gringo

No festive celebrations are complete without this classic album spinning round on your record player. Like a record, baby! Right round! Well, okay, I'll be honest from the very beginning (oh, so truthful!), I've never listened to this album. I don't own a copy. I haven't even looked up the playlist on the internet, nor made any effort to buy it. But that won't stop me reviewing it. Oh no! I don't mind KFC, but I have a friend who absolutely detests it. He claims it's swimming in grease, carbohydrates, fat and all those other things that you're not meant to eat a great deal of. I'm inclined to agree with him, but seeing as the last time I actually ate any of Colonel Sander's crispy chicken produce was over five or six months ago, my memory of the poultry experience I underwent is somewhat faded. I was going to pay a visit to a KFC restaurant (if you can call them that) before writing this review, but then I realised just quite how pitiful that would be. The yokel behind the counter would ask "Chicken, sir?" and I'd have to say, "no thanks, I'm just doing research for a review of the Colonel's Christmas album". After being escorted outside by the police, I'd have nothing to show for my visit, so I didn't go.

I don't know if you've seen the television adverts for KFC that have been on recently, but the basic premise is to use a cartoon version of the Colonel - with a really over-done accent - to promote chicken. I've only ever seen one festive version of these adverts, which makes me wonder just what it was in the minds of the promotions department at KFC who thought "Hey, a Christmas album with the Colonel is a great idea!". Whilst I'm questioning things, did you know that Colonel Sanders wasn't even a real Colonel? I'd always thought of him coming from a state in the south of the United States, somewhere like Louisiana or Alabama. Instead, he was born in Indiana and his chicken empire began in Kentucky. Silly Sanders! His full name was Harlan Sanders, which is quite catchy. So where did the Colonel moniker come from? Apparently, after his poultry outlets and secret seasoning (hint: probably just a mixture of herbs) had become famous and made the bearded Harlan a lot of money, the then-Governor of Kentucky Ruby Laffoon (almost like Buffoon! Such humour!) gave him the honorary title of Colonel. Why? The reason was that Mr. Sanders - sorry, now Colonel Sanders - deserved it for all he'd done to promote the state's cuisine. Right.

But why name him a Colonel? Why not give him a cushy job that paid really well but meant very little work? Or even his own theme park? Imagine that. Sanders World. You could have things like Mount Coleslaw; which would be a really large, foul-smelling and awful-tasting log flume-type ride. However, instead of logs to ride in you could have huge, hollowed-out pieces of chicken. Imagine the fun as you hurtle down the side of Mount Coleslaw and get covered in the disgusting slop at the bottom! All the park attendants at Sanders World could be dressed like the Colonel too, regardless of height, weight or gender. It'd be a bit freaky to see a swarm of Colonels milling around, but who's never been creeped out by the life-size Goofy doing the rounds at the Disney theme parks? And if you're stuck for ideas for what to provide in the way of food and drink at this magical theme park, stop looking quite so hard. The answer's right there - KFC! You could have Wild West-themed KFC saloons and the like. Excitement! Actually, I'm going to stop thinking about a Harlan theme park before I take out the money to build it.

So, getting back to the point, what treats does the album Christmas With Colonel Sanders have on it? I don't know. I only found out the thing even existed when - out of sheer boredom, I promise you - I did a search for 'Colonel Sanders' on the internet's biggest flea-market; eBay. You know, the place where people think that the power of leaving 'negative feedback' is like some great, powerful technological bitch-slap that is going to stop you getting another worn-out and barely viewable Scooby Doo video. Not that the cartoon was incredibly easy to watch in the first place. Some of the earliest episodes induce a headache with their clashing colours, cheap animation and hopelessly easy-to-solve mysteries. However, the adventures of a canine crime solver have very little to do with spending the holiday season listening to a Colonel who made crispy chicken, so I'll move swiftly along. This album evidently has a red cover, with Colonel Sanders' beaming visage on the front. And just to reinforce the fact that it's a Christmas album, the Colonel is wearing a silly red-and-white Santa Claus hat and comedy white beard. Oh, wait. That was his real beard. Other than that, I can't tell you much about the album, seeing as I don't own a copy.

That's not going to stop me writing more nonsense, though. From a vague memory, I think that the album might have been a collection of Christmas-themed songs sung by talented people like Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby and all the other singers who get the dignity of being stuck on Christmas compilation albums with titles like The Best Xmas Party...Ever! In The World! Volume III! How the hell Colonel Sanders got himself involved with the whole process I have no idea. I don't think I really even want to know. I don't mind albums that lazily stick a lot of popular songs together on some incoherent play-list, but because I don't really know what's on the Colonel's album, I shall reserve judgement. I've been trying to think of any amusing incidents that might have occurred during a visit to one of Harlan's many KFC outlets, but I can't recall a single one. Just goes to show that the primary focus of the chicken empire is on eating, not entertainment. Although those self-serve ketchup dispensers are always good for holding down for far too long. And I know it's not KFC, but if they have the so-called 'Ice Cream Factory' at Pizza Huts in the States, they're real easy to jam in the 'on' position and leave running as you make your exit. Of course, it's not that I'd ever do that, or recommend it.

If you're already sitting with your head in your hands, weeping uncontrollably, don't despair just yet. There's two more paragraphs to go. The best time to get depressed would be after reading them. Deep breath, let's continue. Cheer up! Holidays are coming! That's what the Coca-Cola corporation feel the need to tell us, usually as far back as the beginning of November. And what does their Christmas consist of? If the adverts are anything to go by, a load of trucks of Coca-Cola making their way through some small towns, magically lighting up everything, ever! As for Colonel Sanders, whilst sadly he died back in 1980, his spirit lives on in the chicken his employees make and the music his special album contains. The closest I've ever come to sharing in the Colonel's fun is owning a horribly cheap facemask made in his visage. Yes, that's a very sad admission, but so is the fact that a friend's intervention was the only thing that stopped me buying a white suit and stupid black tie to go with the mask. Of course, I'd also need a chicken empire based in America, so my plans to be the next Colonel Sanders fall down at the first hurdle. Jump, stupid plans, jump! Over the hurdle!

This is the only celebrity-endorsed Christmas album that I'm aware of. Again, if I'd bothered to do the most minimal research and search the internet for some information, I'm sure I'd probably find a whole host of the damn things. There's probably a Sing-A-Long Christmas With Elmo in some store's bargain bin, no doubt next to the classic Spending Christmas At Liberace's House. I wonder if they played - or for that matter, still play - the Colonel's album at KFC restaurants throughout December. Probably not, because it's not a widely available creation. No CD exists of it, which is a crime in itself. How anyone can resist buying something that features a beaming Colonel wearing a Santa hat on the cover is beyond me. No, I'm lying again. I saw the cover of the vinyl version and resisted a purchase. It's probably because, despite its title, the album has very little to do with Harlan and his chicken conglomerate. If you get you hopes up for a version of some classic Christmas song performed by the Colonel, it's a safe bet you're in for disappointment. I've certainly never heard of a Sanders version of Jingle Bells or The Twelve Days Of Christmas, as much as I wish they existed.

I know I haven't written much about what's actually on the album Christmas With Colonel Sanders, but that's because - as I've already explained - I don't own it. Maybe one day I'll buy a copy and write a new review. Maybe, just maybe! Until that day, you're stuck with this insane rambling, I'm afraid (so afraid! The ghosts are out there, Gringo! Everywhere!). You see how nice I am? Rather than taking the easy option and reviewing something that I actually know about, I wrote however many damn words about absolutely nothing that you're now getting to the end of. Okay, it's not nice of me and I apologise profusely. Well, no, I don't. Regardless of whatever songs may be on this album, I'm sure that the Colonel's message would have come through loud and clear. And what was that message? To have a merry Christmas and eat plenty of chicken. Preferably greasy poultry covered in Harlan's secret spicy batter. Just think, a new trend could be started. The traditional turkey served up at Christmas-time could now be fried and coated in batter. They could call it Kentucky Fried Christmas Turkey. Or KFCT for short. Or they - whoever 'they' are, I have absolutely no idea - could just not bother. Which is probably the best idea.


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