My friends, I am paralyzed by fear while penning these words.

The list of things we are not supposed to say keeps growing and now includes a classic Christmas song that is not to be sung, hummed or otherwise referenced, lest ye be branded a woman-hating scoundrel with bad intentions.

This one is a bummer because “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is a fun little song that’s impossible to stop singing once you get started. All it takes is some fool on the street remarking on the bitterness of the temperature and BAM! For the remainder of the day, you’re walking around singing this song — Both Doris Day’s and Bing Crosby’s lines — over and over until your office mates take a vote and decide to beat you unconscious with a Yule log.

We’ve all been hearing and singing this song five times per day in the weeks leading up to Christmas and nobody I know has been turned into a rampaging fiend because of it. But somebody somewhere has decided that its lyrics are offensive and so now we’re all expected to shun the song in a collective show of virtue. And those people who don’t? Well, I guess we know what kind of people THEY are, don’t we?

But it’s still Christmas and Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without its music. Your only hope is to try substituting the verboten “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” with something equally catchy and festive.

I’d suggest “Feliz Navidad” but that would get you accused of cultural appropriation.

“White Christmas?” Racist.

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?” Promotes bullying.

“Frosty the Snowman?” Glamorizes tobacco use.

“Santa Baby?” What, are you drunk on nog? If “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” is considered lurid, then this one is downright smutty. Try doing your Eartha Kitt number around the office water cooler and you’ll be hauled up to Human Resources before you get to the line about the light blue convertible.

Ask me how I know.

And if this flap over a 75-year-old song isn’t enough to wilt your mistletoe, the animal protection group PETA is also trying to get us a little closer to Orwell’s Newspeak by condemning a number of familiar phrases as anti-animal. Or pro-human. Something. It’s not always easy to tell with PETA.

Among the idioms the PETA folks demand must go away:

“Bringing home the bacon.” Instead, they suggest, “Bringing home the bagels.”

“Take the bull by the horns?” Why not say, “Take the flower by the thorns?”

“Kill two birds with one stone?” How about, “Feed two birds with one scone?”

They even have a helpful chart so you won’t forget what phrases are forbidden and how they should be reworded. I wonder what they would suggest as alternatives for “the horse you rode in on.”

I tell you, it’s getting so you can’t swing a dead cat without whacking some word, song, saying or custom that’s been around forever but which is now considered hateful. It makes speaking in public perilous. It makes offering a holiday greeting an exercise in guesswork — and posting on social media? What you throw up there on Tweetbook or Facegram of InstaWhatever might seem innocuous today, but if that very thing gets deemed offensive a year, a month or a week down the road, you might as well waltz yourself down to the Ministry of Truth and turn yourself over to the Thought Police for flogging.

If a 75-year-old song about a flirtatious couple pitching woo on a chilly winter’s night isn’t safe, I’m pretty sure nothing is.

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