Jeff: Knock knock!

Jason: Sorry, Jason doesn’t live here any longer! Go away!


Jason: Oh, goddammit. Who’s there?

Jeff: Horst!

Jason: Horse? Jeff’s mom?

Izzat you, Jeff’s mom?

Jeff: No, HORST. As in Horst and Sharon Hartung, who recorded a Christmas album!

Jason: Who and who who?

Jeff: I don’t know. But it’s holiday music, so here we are.

Jason: I just Googled their names, and NOTHING GOOD came up.

Jeff: Hey, you remember those SNL skits featuring Will Ferrell and Ana Gasteyer as those middle school teachers who always sang at educational events?

Jason: I love those!

Jeff: Ever wonder what it might have been like if those people were real?

Jason: Oh god. Seriously?

Jeff: Serious as a Horst attack, Jason.

Jason: I just saw the album cover.

Jeff: It appears to be a random snapshot from a dinner party.

Jason: That’s AMAZING.

Jeff: Oh, you don’t know from amazing yet.

Jason: The hand above her head makes it look like she has an antler.

Jeff: I think that’s why they chose this for their holiday album.

Jason: These guys are totally swingers. You just can tell.

Jeff: The hair behind Horst’s head kind of makes it look like he has tiny antlers, too.

Jason: These two are into some real heavy shit.

Jeff: momentarily hypnotized by paisley

Jason: They’re into meth.

Jeff: They’re also into doing away with unnecessary spaces between words, hence today’s track: “Jinglebell Rock.”

Jason: I certainly appreciate the title of the album. Christmas Album.

Jeff: Well, you have to say this for Horst and Sharon Hartung: they don’t make promises they can’t keep. This is an album, and it does contain Christmas songs. Or is that Christmassongs? I’m not sure. Either way, we’re about to feel nostalgic for the Captain and Tennille.

Jason: So do you think Hartung is their shared last name, or Horst just goes by Horst, and he’s, like, the Sting of Oregon? The Pele of Nebraska? The Cher of South Dakota?

Jeff: Oh God, that’s an excellent question. Are they from Oregon? I could see them fitting in on Portlandia.

Jason: I like the idea of him walking around his town and people whispering to each other. “Oh my God, that’s Horst!”


Jason: “My Lady.” “Ball & Chain.” “You Again.” “So Hard to Live Without You.”

These are all songs written about YOU AND ME.

Jeff: “My Lady” begins with the line “She calls out my name, and I answer as I fall asleep.”

Jason: You just proved my point. Horst is writing the soundtrack to our relationship. I wonder…I wonder if Horst is just a figment of our collective imaginations?

Jeff: If your point is that both of us know more about Horst Hartung than 99.99% of the population, then I concede.

Jason: Maybe Horst lives inside both of us?


Jason: “In Jeff, Horst.”

Jeff: retches

Jason: I just cracked myself up.

Jeff: As punishment, we must all listen to “Jinglebell Rock.”

Jason: Yes, “Jinglebell Rock.” Weshould listen toit.

Horst and Sharon Hartung, “Jinglebell Rock” (download)

Jason: OH YES! YES!

Jeff: Christmas by Casio!

Jason: YES! This is perfect! Double-tracked Sharon!

Jeff: I feel as if I’ve boarded a Mellowmas cruise.

Jason: Harmony by Horst! Horstmony! Two Horsts!

Jeff: Oh, Jason.

Jason: Two Horsts! Two Horsts for the price of none!

Yeah! Another round!

Jeff: I love imagining the life of the person who signed off on adding this to the Spotify catalog.

Jason: Hee hee hee!

Jeff: They clicked the mouse button. Took a swig from their bottle of Old Crow. Eyed the gun in the drawer.

Jason: Contemplated Horsticide.

Jeff: cackle Is this the worst thing ever?

Jason: It sort of is. I mean, yes and no.

In one way, yes. It’s kind of terrible.

Jeff: Mostly yes, though, right?

Jason: Yes. But let’s look at it in another way: they are totally not misrepresenting themselves in the slightest. This is exactly what you expect to hear when you look at that album cover, and that kind of makes it oddly charming to me.

Jeff: Well, that’s true. They are Horst and Sharon Hartung, this is their Christmas Album, and they should definitely not give up whatever their day jobs are, so I understand where you’re coming from.

Jason: Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never listen to it again. But they probably go to parties and say “Hey! We recorded an album! And you can buy it on the World Wide Web!”

And their friends smile politely. And then they all hit the rock. And then Horst runs out of the house, strung out on meth, hijacks some passerby, steals his car, and drives it into the local pond.

Jeff: The localpond?

Jason: Horst is one dark dude, Jeff. You don’t know Horst.

Jeff: I’m okay with that.

Jason: Did you ever watch Twin Peaks?

Jeff: Twinpeaks? No, I never watched it.

Jason: Horst is Bob.

Jeff: I think it was about a detective who liked cherrypie, right?

Jason: Half of our readers will know what I’m talking about.

Hey, do me a favor — just listen to the first 10 seconds of “Happy Christmas.” No, not even. The first four.

Horst and Sharon Hartung, “Happy Christmas” (download)

Jeff: You son of a bitch.

Jason: Did you do it?

Jeff: Of course I did it!

Jason: Ha! You just got Horsted!

Jeff: Horstrolled!

About the Author

Jeff Giles and Jason Hare

Two people, separate rooms Trying to hurt the other Bound together by destiny Is there nothing they won’t do? Will we never see them through?

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