A local group is going strong five years running on hatred for a Christmas song.

"Everyone has that one Christmas song they can't stand," noted Ryan Janke. "For some people, it's Mariah Carey's, 'All I Want for Christmas is You', or Paul McCartney's 'Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime', or that one that just makes you turn this radio off when it comes on, but for a lot of people that's George Michael and Wham!, singing, 'Last Christmas'." 

Janke, one of the 'Whamageddon!' Facebook group admins, shared with us on how it all began.

"The idea this came out of an internet chat group about 10, 12 years ago, and really took off when a British comedian tweeted about it, and we've been doing it in kind of a circle here in Weyburn since probably 2018."

The rules, he said, are pretty simple, "you just try to avoid hearing the song, 'Last Christmas' by Wham! from the 1st of December until midnight on Christmas Eve, which is to say that on Christmas morning, once Santa arrives, you're home free and it's over."

To tag out, you have to hear the Wham! version of the song.

"It can't be a cover. It can't be one of the the Rylan James or I think there's another cover out there. It has to be the original by Wham!," he explained. "Now, some people like to play on 'hard mode', which means any version, even someone singing it to you, would count, but the official rule is it has to be Wham!. 

He said it's considered bad form to take somebody out, to 'Whamssassinate' someone, but it does happen. "In the last couple of years we've gotten a little more salty at it, when it happens by accident or 'by accident'."

"This has been the year of the Whamssassination."

Janke said it counts as soon as you recognize the song.

"So, one second would be enough, and it's harder than you think to make it to Christmas Eve without hearing it," he noted. 'It starts out rather easy, but then you start hearing stories about, 'oh I got Whammed at the grocery store', or, 'I went to wash my car and stepped out and was playing', or, 'I just turned on the radio'."

He said it's all in good fun, and is usually just a great excuse for interacting with others at a busy time of year. 

"A little excuse to say, 'hey I got Whammed!'. Everyone says, 'ohh!', you know, on Facebook or Twitter or whatever. It's a lot of fun."