Mr. Jingeling On The Brain

The human brain is strange.  Why is it that I sometimes struggle to remember the names of people at my office but can recall — with sharp, striking clarity — every word to the stupid theme song of Mr. Jingeling?

If you lived in northeastern Ohio during the early 1960s, you knew Mr. Jingeling as a guy who appeared on TV around Christmas.  He was Santa’s top assistant, and he had a prissy hairstyle like that of the guard who answered when Dorothy and friends knocked on the door to the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz.  He carried a large key ring at all times, for reasons his song explained:

Mr. Jingeling, how you ting-a-ling,

Keeper of the Keys!

On Halle’s seventh floor, we’ll be looking for

You to turn the Keys!

Keeping track of Santa’s pack

And Treasure House of toys,

Wind-up things that Santa brings

To all the good little girls and boys

Mr. Jingeling, how you ting-a-ling,

Keeper of the Keys!

On Halle’s Seventh floor we’ll be looking for

You to turn the Keys!

It is mildly disturbing to realize that, indelibly imprinted deep within the crevices and synapses of my brain, is a theme song about a fictional Christmas TV character on a show that has been off the air for decades, sponsored by a long defunct Cleveland department store.  What the hell else is buried in there — that is, aside from the theme song to The Beverly Hillbillies?

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