Here is what traditional Christmas television teaches us: don't let stupid Uncle Billy handle your business' money EVER; always pick the tiny real tree over the giant aluminum ones because tree murder is part of the Christmas spirit; and for God's sake don't lick flag poles when it's really cold outside.
Unfortunately for Maddie Gilmartin, she chose not to watch at least one of those Christmas classics, and now she has paid dearly.
Last Thursday, Gilmartin got her tongue stuck to a flagpole.
Gilmartin, who, at 12, is well old enough to have watched A Christmas Story at least 15 times, decided "on a whim" to lick a flag pole. ("No 'sinister triple dog dare'" local TV station WMUR noted in its brilliant sub-headline.)
"It just kind of popped into my head, 'Hey what would happen if I stuck my tongue to a flag pole?'" Gilmartin told WMUR. "At the moment, I was like, it will come right off."
Gilmartin thought this because, as the report noted, she's never seen A Christmas Story. Her tongue did not come right off. It was stuck to the pole for a good 15 minutes, as she waved her arms trying to attract the attention of her father, who may or may not own a lamp shaped like a woman's leg.
It'll be six weeks before the swelling in poor Maddie Gilmartin's mouth goes down, which is nothing compared to how long it will take her classmates to stop making fun of her for being on the local news for licking a flag pole.
Meanwhile, Boston's WCVB tweeted the story twice, once with a "breaking" hashtag and phone alert:
Local girl gets tongue stuck to flag pole http://t.co/YcwXzGZDYr— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) January 5, 2014
It later apologized:
We'd like to apologize for sending an alert on a story about a girl who got her tongue stuck on a pole.— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) January 5, 2014
A technical error triggered the alerts to our WCVB app and twitter feed. We apologize.— WCVB-TV Boston (@WCVB) January 5, 2014
Uh huh. Perhaps Gilmartin, too, can blame her flag pole tasting on a "technical error."