Friday, December 12, 2008

Mistletoe of Death

I'm sure you can probably sing along to songs like "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas", and of course, Jim's fave: "The Christmas Song". In each of those songs, there's a line about mistletoe.

Ah, mistletoe. We put it up in doorways so that unsuspecting lovebirds can smooch under it. That's also the site where we saw mommy kissing' Santa Claus (badum-cha!).

Why? Who's Scandanavian though, according to Wikipedia. Even Wikianswers is confused. I personally like the's explanation. It's all about the berries, baby.

Anyway, I'm sure it has something to do with "good fortune" or "love" or whatever.

But let's call a spade a

Now wait, I're upset. You don't want me bashing classic Christmas traditions and let me just say that these are just my humble opinions...and cold.hard.facts.

According to my new fave,, the word mistletoe is derived from Olde English my name is! (Not Monster Bash, my real one)...nice enough right? Wrong. The words "mistel" and "tan" translate to "Dung" and "twig", respectively. That's right: DUNG-TWIG. Mistletoe = dungtwig. And we all know what "dung" is. It turns out that Mistletoe is thought to be named after bird droppings on a branch. How romantic. Kiss under that!

Anyway, the plant itself, Phoradendron flavescens or Viscum album (depending on your location) for all of you biology-genus-species buffs out there, is a parasitic plant that lives on trees and kills them with their abundance. They're not totally evil though because animals do depend on them to help spread seeds and for food sources...but still...parasite plant. More info about mistletoe can be found at the mistletoe center.

The worst thing of all about that it can really kill you. If you ingest it, it can cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, DEATH, and "acute gastrointestinal problems" -Wikipedia. So don't eat it!

So in short, when you're sneaking a little smooch under that parasite with berries, don't forget just how spoOoOoOOoOoky mistletoe can be!


Jim said...

So...can you eat it?