The night before Christmas

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

with first person singular annotation, updated to the new Millennium

T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

    • (Well, there was a mouse once. Name of George, married to a nice little brown field mouse named Alice. Last Christmas, George and Alice went caroling at the neighbor’s. There they were, singing Jingle Bells in these squeaky little voices:


Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Jingle all the way. Oh what fun we’ll have…

    • At that point Zoe, the house cat as well as resident music critic ate George and Alice.)

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas would soon be there;

    • (Damn right the stockings were hung with care – four Christmases ago, suckers fell into the fireplace, caught on fire, generated a ton of smoke, and set off the fire alarm. The brand new fire system kicked in, spraying the entire living room with fire suppressant foam. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.)

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

    • (I let the kids eat way too much sugar. After they bounced off of every wall in the house, juggled the bulbs on the tree, played Frisbee with Aunty Jane’s fruitcase, and terrified the dog and Zoe the house cat, the kids finally fell into a sugar-induced coma. Whereby I put the little cherubs to bed and went down and had a stiff drink.)

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap.

    • (Mamma had a headache. Again.)

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

    • (Grabbing my gun, first.)

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

    • (Shutters? Sash? What the hell kind of English is this?)

The moon of the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave luster of mid-day to objects below.

    • (Street lights helped some, too.)

When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

    • (Shit! I knew I shouldn’t have dropped that acid in college!)

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

    • (It was on the news – John St. Nicholas, wanted felon and bank robber. Personally, I would have picked something faster than a sleigh for a getaway. Wonder where he stole the reindeer?

More rapid than eagles his courses they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comment! On Cupid! On Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!

    • (Ah oh – I think we just entered into “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s nest”. Where’s the Chief?)

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the courses they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas, too.

    • (Damn that stuff I took in college must have been good shit!)

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound

    • (Hey, we think something crawled in there and died a few weeks ago. Can you grab it on your way in?)

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

    • (Man, fur is just so yesterday. No one wears fur any more.)

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack

    • (Damn telemarketers will stop at nothing to make a sale.)

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

    • (And he was the scariest son of a bitch I’ve ever seen.)

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

    • (Having a little hashish, eh man? Okay, okay. I can dig it.)

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

    • (One word, bud: treadmill. Big time.)

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

    • (Hysteria will do that to a person.)

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

    • (Because I’m packing. A fully loaded 45 semi-automatic. One wrong move, chubby man, and you’re toast. And your little reindeer, too.)

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

    • (First acid. Then hash. Now the fat man’s snorting blow. Hell, I’d fly too.)

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

    • (And at that point I woke up and realized that I must have been dreaming. Yeah, it was all a dream. Except next morning when I went to get the paper there were these big piles of shit all over the lawn…)

Oh, yeah – Merry Christmas. And Happy New Year.

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