NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
'Twas the night before Christmas, and one thing was clear-
That old yuletide spirit no longer was here;
Inflation was rising; the crime rate was trippling;
The fuel bills were up, and our mortgage was crippling;
I opened a beer as I watched the TV,
Where Donny sang "O Holy Night" to Marie;
The kids were in bed, getting sleep like they should;
Or else they were stoned, which was almost as good.
While ma with her ball-point pen was making a fuss
'Bout folks we'd send cards to who'd sent none to us;
"Those ingrates," she thundered, and pounded her fist;
"Next year you can bet they'll be crossed off our list!"
When out in the yard came a deafening blare;
'Twas our burglar alarm, and I hollered,"Who's there?"
I turned on the searchlight, which lit up the night,
And, armed with my handgun, beheld a strange sight.
Some red-suited clown with a white beard immense
Was caught in our eight-foot electrified fence;
He called out, "I'm Santa! I bring you no malice!"
Said I, "If you're Santa, I'm Telly Savalas!"
But, lo, as his presence grew clearer to me,
I saw in the glare that it just might be he!
I called off our doberman clawing at his sleigh
And, frisking him twice, said, "I think he's okay."
I led him inside where he slumped in a chair,
And he poured out the following tale of despair;
"On Christmas eves past I was jolly and chuckling,
But now 'neath the pressures, I fear I am buckling."
"You'll note I've arrived with no reindeer this year,
And without them, my sleigh is much harder to steer;
Although I would like to continue to use them,
The wild life officials believe I abuse them."
"To add to my problem, Ralph Nader dropped by
And told me my sleigh was unsafe in the sky;
I now must wear seatbelts, despite my objections,
And bring in the sleigh twice a year for inspections."
"Last April my workers came forth with demands,
And I soon had a general strike on my hands;
I couldn't afford to pay unionized elves,
So the missus and I did the work by ourselves."
"And then, later on, came additional trouble-
An avalanche left my fine workshop in rubble;
My Allstate insurance was worthless, because
They had shrewdly slipped in a 'no avalanche' clause"
"And after that came an I.R.S audit;
The government claimed I was out to defraud it;
They finally nailed me for 65 grand,
Which I paid through the sale of my house and my land."
"And yet I persist, though it gives me a scare
Flying blind through the blanket of smog in the air;
Not to mention the hunters who fill me with dread,
Taking shots at my sleigh as I pass overhead."
"My torn-up red suit, and these bruises and swellings,
I got fighting muggers in multiple dwellings.
And if you should ask why I'm glowing tonight,
It's from flying too close to a nuclear site."
He rose from his chair and he heaved a great sigh,
And I couldn't help notice a tear in his eye;
"I've tried," he declared, "to reverse each defeat,
But I fear that today I've become obsolete."
He slumped out the door and returned to his sleigh,
And these last words he spoke as he went on his way;
"No longer can I do the job that's required;
If anyone asks, just say,'Santa's retired!'"
Rewritten without permission of course.