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December 23, 2003

A Christmas Poem By Dave Barry (First published in the Miami Herald in 1995)

'Twas the night before Christmas

Or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whatever religious holiday your particular family unit celebrates at this time of year via mass retail purchases

And all through the house

Not a creature was stirring

Except Dad, who was stirring his third martini in a losing effort to remain in a holiday mood as he attempted to assemble a toy for his 9-year-old son, Bobby

It was a highly complex toy

A toy that Dad did not even begin to grasp the purpose of

A toy that cost more than Dad's first car

A toy that was advertised relentlessly on TV with a little statement in the corner of the TV screen that said ``SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED''

Which was like saying that the Titanic sustained ``some water damage''

Because this toy had more parts than the Space Shuttle

And speaking of space, Dad was now convinced that extraterrestrial life did indeed exist

Because the assembly instructions were clearly written by beings from another galaxy

And these beings insisted on Phillips screwdrivers

And Dad could not find his Phillips screwdriver

In fact, he was wondering who ``Phillips'' was

And why he needed a different kind of screwdriver from everybody else

That was the festive holiday thought that Dad was thinking as he took a slug from his martini and attempted to attach Part 3047-b to Part 3047-c Using a steak knife

But other than that, not a creature was stirring in the house

Although Mom was definitely stirring OUT of the house

Mom was at the Toys ``R'' Us store

In fact, this was the fifth Toys ``R'' Us store that Mom had been to that night

In her desperate quest to find the one thing that their 5-year-old daughter, Suzy, wanted this holiday season

It was, of course, a Barbie doll

But not just ANY Barbie doll

It had to be the new model Abdominals Barbie

The one who came with her own little pink stomach-muscle-exercise device

It was the hottest Barbie doll of all this holiday season

Every girl age 3 through 12 in the entire United States HAD to have it

Or her holiday season would be RUINED

And so of course the Mattel Corporation

Which is run by evil trolls from hell

Had manufactured exactly eight units of this doll

And the very last one in the world was in this particular Toys ``R'' Us

Which means that the odds were against Mom Because on this same festive night thousands of other frantic parents had converged on this same store

Kind of like the flesh-eating zombies in the movie Night of the Living Dead

Only less ethical

The store was a war zone

Mom had to fight her way into the doll aisle

Where, wielding a Tonka Truck like a club She claimed her prize

And then, trailed by a screaming mob of rival parents

She raced from the store, leaped into her car and roared out of the parking lot

Barely missing the Salvation Army person

She raced back to the house, burst through the front door and staggered into the family room

Where she found Dad

Actually she found Dad's feet

The rest of Dad was under the sofa

A strange gurgling sound was coming from down there

Dad, now on his fifth martini

Was trying to strangle the dog

Which, Dad was convinced, had eaten Part 8675-y

And just at that very moment

Out on the lawn there arose such a clatter

That Dad let go of the dog

And he and Mom went to the window to see what was the matter

And what to their wondering eyes should appear

But Santa Claus, yelling the names of reindeer

"Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Vixen! Now . . . Umm . . . Now . . . Dancer!''

"He already said Dancer,'' observed Dad

"He can't remember them all,'' said Mom

"I think one of them is Pluto,'' said Dad

"Wasn't Pluto the guy who was always fighting with Popeye?'' said Mom

"You're thinking of Bluto,'' said Dad

"Now . . . Umm . . . Now Flicka!'' said Santa

"Flicka was a horse, that I DO know,'' said Mom

"Do you think the reindeer are wrecking the lawn?'' said Dad

"They're going up on the roof,'' said Mom

"Like hell they are,'' said Dad, who had recently spent $875 on shingle repair

But before he could yell at St. Nicholas to stop Down the chimney the jolly elf came with a plop

He had a broad face and a round little belly

That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly

Which was pretty gross

"What's so funny?'' asked Dad

"You two,'' said St. Nick. "Why are you getting all upset about toys? The holiday season isn't about material possessions!''

"Do you have kids?'' asked Mom

"Well, no,'' said Santa

"Hah,'' said Mom

"But I am beloved by children the world over,'' said Santa

"Well,'' said Dad, "you won't be beloved by our son if I can't assemble this toy''

�What seems to be the problem?'' said Santa, coming over to have a look

"I'm stuck on Step 824,'' said Dad

"Who wrote these instructions?'' asked Santa. "Martians?''

"Apparently,'' said Dad

"I used to be pretty good with tools,'' said Santa. "Hand me that steak knife''

"Sure,'' said Dad. "Care for a martini?''

"Heck yes,'' said Santa

And so he went to work

And after a while Mom and Dad, exhausted, went to bed

Leaving old St. Nick in the family room

He said some pretty unsaintly words

But he eventually got Bobby's toy assembled

And although he spent so much time that he was unable to visit the rest of the little boys and girls in North America

Not to mention South America, Europe, Asia and Africa

This particular household had a very happy Christmas morning indeed

When Suzy came downstairs and saw Abdominals Barbie

And Bobby came downstairs and saw his incredibly complex toy

Which he broke in under four minutes

A new holiday record

But it was still a festive day

Especially when Mom and Dad told the fantastic story of their late-night visitor

Which, at first, the kids did not believe

In fact, even Mom and Dad were not 100 percent sure it had happened

Until Dad got out the ladder

And one by one they climbed up to the roof And there they saw it . . .

As real as life . . .

A Holiday Miracle . . .

Reindeer poop.

(And $1,097.36 worth of shingle damage.)


THE END

Comments

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Okay.. I'm here.. even if I have to play by myself.

Always On My Mind
[Pet Shop Boys]

Dropkick Me, Jesus, Through The Goalposts of Life
[Bobby Bare] (and no.. that isn't a joke.)

*zips in*

*waves hi to kaf*

Every Day is a Winding Road
[Sheryl Crow]

Don't Cry for me Argentina
[whoever]

Ain't No Mountain High Enough
[Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell but definitely not Diana Ross]

LOL Jeff!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
[Pat Benatar]

Take Me Out To The Ball Game
[Yankees 10, other team 1]

Gimme, Gimme, Gimme.
[ABBA *twitch*]

Going to the Ch... oh, damnit! That's not the song title!

God Only Knows
[The Beach Boys]

I was going to add "Save Me O God, the Swelling Floods" But it sounds like I'm making light, when I don't mean to. So instead:


See You in September
[The Tempos]

Runaway
[Del Shannon]

Yellow Submarine
[Beatles]

Eep Opp Ork Ah-Ah (Means I Love You)
[Violent Femmes, from the Jetsons]

What?! It's a song! ...sort of...

You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
[Stevie Wonder]

Leaving Is the Only Way Out
[Shania Twain]

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'
[Nancy Sinatra]

NOT Jessica Simpson - duh!

Nightengale
[Norah Jones]

(Eleanor...the Jessica Simpon video is good with the sound off)

(The) Eagle and the Hawk
[John Denver]

Killing Me Softly
[Roberta Flack or Luther Vandross]

Soft and Slow
[Somebody or other whom I've forgotten]

Sweet Potato Pie
[Ray Charles and James Taylor]

Everywhere
[Fleetwood Mac]

(wait...the rules are that you use the LAST letter as the first letter of the next song, right?)

Yes, the last letter... OR the first letter of the last word. For Sweet Potato Pie, you could have used E or P

So, from your Everywhere, I could use the E... or, alternately, I could use the E. Clear?

So, I pick

Emotion
[the Bee Gees]

LOL!!! Glad I could give you so many choices.

New World Man
[RUSH]

Never Gonna Fall In Love Again
[New Kids On the Block]

Arithmetic
[Brooke Fraser]
links to music samples here if anyone's interested..

LOL Joshkr! Of course you would like it with the sound off!

Can't Buy Me Love
[Beatles]

Love for Sale
[Ace of Bass]

Slice Of Heaven
[Herbs]

Heaven or Hell
[Willie Nelson]

Love Hurts
[Heart]

Hurts So Good
[John Cougar Mellencamp]

Good Pain
[Live]

p.s. I'm not a believer in "good" pain. Pain sucks. Just sayin'.

Hey! what happened to my post?!

Take two:

Good Pain
[Live] (I think)

And for the record, pain sucks; there is no such thing as good pain.

Suuuuure, NOW it shows up, a half an hour later. Grrrr.

*hands Neo back her gruntle*

Please Please Me
[Cliff Richard{I think}]

As soon as I hit post, I realised I had it wrong...
please amend my post to read as follows

*hands Neo back her gruntle*

Please Don't Tease
[Cliff Richard]

*grunt, grunt*

Yea! I've been re-gruntled!

Having your gruntle and mine was a lot of hard work, Neo. I was so cheery, people were walking up to me in the street and slapping me just for the hell of it.

Take Me To The Mardi Gras
[Paul Simon {at the Shelter from the Storm benefit}]

oooh, that sounds like fun!

*starts slapping people just for the hell of it*

SLAP!

SLAP!

GRUNT!

Oops, my gruntle seems to have broken loose again; everybody run for your lives!

*runs screaming and ducking for cover*

September
[Earth Wind & Fire]

I was going to play "September Morn" by Neil Diamond as my next turn, then I read the lyrics! Verse 1& chorus talks about how they danced as lovers, and the time they spent together... then verse 2 talks about how she's all grown up now!!

WTH is up with that??? If she wasn't all grown up when you first began, it was illegal. And just plain ucky.
/ND Rant

Fine; now I have to go look up the lyrics to September Morn!

*searching for SOME way to make it less creepy*

high school lovers reunited several years later perhaps?

and, in honor of 9/11:

Remember
[just about every singer ever has done SOME song with this name]

oh... and

SLAP!

(for those who really deserve it)

*sobs & curls up into teeny tiny ball*

I guess not liking ND is a slappable offense in these parts.

*tries to avoid further slappage*

Rosie, Cracklin'
[Diamond, Neil]

LOL! Lt. Kaf? Do you have a guilty conscience? The slappage was only for those who really deserved it!

In the Rain, Singin'
[Kelly, Gene]

(do you ever have days when you can't put your finger on the reason, but everything just seems bass ackwards?)

LOL!! Laughing at my backward attempt! I don't know what I was thinking... or where my brain was. I guess I was thinking: heh heh, I said put my finger on it!

Can I call it N the Rain, Singin'? or does that even get me where I want to be?

*gives up*

Nevermind
[Red Hot cHili Peppers]

Dancing in the Dark
[Bruce]

Mind Games
[John Lennnnnnon]

You two should join judi's board and we can play this game over there. You don't have to really "join", just show up and post.
Crow's Nest

Games People Play
[The Alan Parsons Project]

Oh yeah, the best thing to do is immediately MAR (Mark All Read) and then check back later to see what's new. You'll find the active threads more easily that way.

[Sorry, Eleanor. Your post slipped in on me before I posted....]

Neo.. you can google ass backwards and bass ackwards and find some really funny pics. I tried to link to one of each, but apparently I'm comment potted lunch meat.

Dark Side Of The Moon
[Pink Floyd]

Okay.. I took too long to post.. ignore me and continue please

Night and Day (Ella Fitzgerald)

Can anyone play?

No, zoodle. People without computers, for example, are not able to play.

Reposting the rules of the game, and the many (many many) variations thereof:

New Rules:
1. We are now posting SONG TITLES
2. You can use either the FIRST LETTER of the last word, or the LAST LETTER
[Note: I think an unlisted variation is the first letter of the first word as well]
3. The, A, An, are OPTIONAL
4. You can use any other rule you can think of
5. There is (pause) NO RULE FIVE
6. You must have FUN

Variations:
Kiss Me Kate (OK... I know it's a musical, and not really a rock song at all. It comes under the exception in Rule 5, Section II, Clause G. Talk to my lawyer.)

Life begins at forty
Fernando (from the beginning of the last word, rule 46, sub-para 8, amendment 49(a) refers....

Bitch (rule 73 subsection X, part 3.7a.. If a song has a really good title you should be able to use it, disregarding all other rules)
[Note: another variation is the song has good lyrics, or the band has a really cool name]

Rule 74, subsection X part 3.7a is specifically designed for when you can't think of a follow-on, but you know the title of a really strange/rude/country song such as "Dropkick me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life" or "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed". These songs are also referred to as wildcards. You get one per day if you need it. These do not accumulate if you don't use them.

*new rule* if it's been two weeks since a song was used, (or it's a Taco Cat song) you can use it again. (rule 33 sub section B paragraph 1)
using this rule.. You Don't Know Me

*Using one of the many rule variations, or possibly all of them, or adding a new "Frank Zappa is Like Unto a God?" rule

*invoking Pregnancy Rule*

Ah. Thanks for clarifying that for me Lab!

"If Jesus Drove a Motorhome"
[Jim White]

Yes, it is, Lab! I was beginning to think you didn't like me anymore - and yes, it mostly is all about me! :-)

Eight Days a Week
[Beatles]

Annotation: (lawyer talk) If Jesus drove a Motorhome eight days a week, he'd be pretty friggin' tired

What Have I Done To Deserve This
[Pet Shop Boys]

D'ya think they might be Jewish?

So Many Things
[City High]

Stupid
[Sarah McLachlan]

(and why did Lab post If Jesus Drove a Motorhome when the last song was Night & Day. Shouldn't the next one start with either a D or a Y? *Confused*)

Zoodle, I refer you to the rules...
Rule 74, subsection X part 3.7a is specifically designed for when you can't think of a follow-on, but you know the title of a really strange/rude/country song such as "Dropkick me Jesus Through the Goalposts of Life" or "Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in Bed". These songs are also referred to as wildcards. You get one per day if you need it. These do not accumulate if you don't use them.
That's why Lab posted randomly and he can't do it again until tomorrow (which will be today for you.)

Don't Leave Me This Way
[Communards]

Which Way Will You Choose
[Randy Travis]

Easy come, easy go
[George Strait]

(Thanks Lt! I did read the rules Lab posted but I guess I missed that somehow.)

No problem, sweets.
If you go back to Lab's original Moat (which takes forever and a half to load), the rules are there.. we made them up as we went along. So if you find a song you really want to use, and it doesn't fit, you make up a rule to make it fit. Kinda like being President, but with more alcohol and better benefits (I bet he doesn't play strip jello Twister too often...).

One's All The Law Will Allow
[Luke Royer]

All the Small Things
[blink-182]

Things That Make You Go Hmmmmm ...
[C & C Music Factory]

Since we started naming the artists as well, I've had to do twice as much work, because I know the songs, but hell if I could tell you who sung which song!

Monday Mornin' Coming Down
[Kris Kristofferson]

But Kaf, don't you think it's more interesting to see the artist too?? I do :)

Down
[Blink-182]

I agree, El.. I'm just having a moan about the state of my brain. It could use a good dust. Except the dust just may be what's stopping it from falling apart. After reading that article about the Renee/Kenny split, I just want to use one of his song titles, so I may play a double card tonight.

Well. I'm zonked for the third night running. Only tonight I can go to sleep early, and it doesn't matter if I don't wake up for my alarm, or if I wake early.

*sleeeeeeeeep*

Sorry.. my brain went to fuzz.. I thought I was on the Nuked Meat Moat.

Never On A Sunday
[Nana Mouskouri] (I know I played this recently enouh, but I need the 's)

She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy
[Kenny Chesney]

You Don't
[Tricky]

Don't Go Breaking My Heart
[Elton John]

The Heart of the Matter
[Don Henley]

Matter of Time
[Berlin]

Bottle of Blues
[Beck]

Blue Eyed Blue
[Eric Clapton]

hmmmm, seems I should list all the pirate songs here. But it's too much work.

Bluebeard
[Combustible Edison]

Did I Shave My Legs For This?
[Deana Carter]

This May Be the Last Time
[The Staple Singers]

Time After Time
[Cyndi Lauper]

And.. because I'm really nice and I realise I shouldn't keep leaving things hanging while appearing to make a move...

Every Time You Go Away
[Paul Young]

You Better Go Now
[Billie Holliday]

Where Have All The Cowboys Gone?
[Paula Cole]

On a personal note: I wish I knew the answer *sigh*

Eleanor, you asked where all the cowboys have gone?

From what I gathered when I googled, I think they are all off modeling for g@y p0rn. Just sayin'.

Ever since she launched her incredibly successful "Save a Horse. Ride A Cowboy" campaign, most of the cowboys I've seen have been in Wolfie's Den. She keeps em out back, though. She'll share if you ask reeeeeal nice.

Going Away To College
[Blink 182]

College Horny Dog
[John Leguizamo]

Dog Poop On The Pillow (Where Your Sweet Head Used To Be)
[don't know, couldn't find it on Google.. ]

Ain't it always the way.. you kick one piece of **** out of your bed and someone deposits another.

Tell me you made that up, Kat. Tell me that isn't real. But if it is, do I go with pillow or be?

Wanna know the title of a song done by some guy singer that Tom likes but right this second I can't remember who the hell that guy is? It's very similar to the dog poop on the pillow song. Similar but different.

Neo.. I Googled Dog+Song Title... That song (which I presume is real), is on a list of best/worst country western song titles.. but I couldn't find the artist. By then it came under the exception rule for song titles that you feel you really have to use. So I did. I'll see if I can make it a little easier on everyone...

Pillow Talk
[Nina Hagen]

Rita.. don't have a clue which song you're talking about. Try the country western song database though.. it might be in there.. or google the artist name when you remember it.. or if Tom does.

LOL Now I'm waiting to hear who Tom likes and what hte title of the song is! And Kaf I can't believe that's a title. That has to be the best worst title I've heard (not herd) for a song I haven't heard.

and my contribution:

Talk Dirty to the DJs
[Mercedes]

Neo.. just for you

I want to write country songs.

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