« Previous | Main | Next »

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.)



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Those are great song titles, Kaf! And my favorite is:
If The Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me
It's right up there with my most favorite (when I'm depressed) song line, which is:
I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
So I'm invoking Lab's "If it's a really cool title you can use it" rule here.

That's my contribution to the game. :)

My Funny Valentine
[Miles Davis]

I'm sorry.. I couldn't think of anything that tied in and it's 12:20am.

Valentine's Day Is Over
[Billy Bragg]

Over There
[Charles King]

There Ain't No Sweet Man That's Worth the Salt of My Tears
[Bix Beiderbecke]

Tears In Heaven
[Eric Clapton]

Heaven Or the Highway Out Of Town
[the Refreshments]

Town Without Pity
[Gene Pitney]

You Don't Bring Me Flowers Anymore
Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond

Each Others Throat

Touch Me
[Natalie Cole]

Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard
[Paul Simon?]

Day Tripper
[The Beatles]

yes neo, it's Paul Simon, and I heard him in an interview a long time ago denying that the song was about 2 gay guys (NTTAWWT)! Someone had apparently said that, and he said the thought never crossed his mind when he wrote it!

/end useless trivia that you can never forget

Sounds more like a couple of paedophiles than homosexuals, IMO! Not that I want to start that conversation with anyone...

Road to Nowhere
[Talking Heads]

Nowhere Man

(and neither of those thoughts had ever crossed my mind about me and Julio... I'm too naive)

That's why you're a neophyte..and we love that about you... not that I'd really thought about it until today, either.

Man Of The Hour
[John Farnham]

The Hour of Two Lights
[Terry Hall & Mushtaq]

this is kinda connected..

Silhouettes on the Shade
[Herman's Hermits]

A Whiter Shade of Pale
[Procol Harum] and [Annie Lennox]

(invoking appropriate rule)

(The) Pale Horse And His Rider
[Hank Williams]

Riders in the Storm
[The Doors]

Storming The Heavens

*warning.. please don't look up these lyrics.. it's a horrible evil-looking song and I wish I hadn't even used it, except that I needed the title...*

Heaven Help Us All
[Stevie Wonder]

All The Pretty Horses
[traditional.. apparently recorded by Olivia Newton-John at one point in time.]

(we sem to be getting safely away from the evil lyrics that I did not go look up)

Horsin' Around
[Prefab Sprout]

(yes that's the name of the band, and no I have no idea what kind of music they play so I hope I haven't wandered back into awful territory)

Sounds like one of those styrofoam-flavoured health foods, Neo. A quick check of Google shows the song is about marital infidelity. Apparently it's not worth the cheap thrill of the moment. Which I could have told him beforehand.

(stretching the rules a little - easy to do!)
(A)'Round Midnight
[Linda Ronstadt]

Midnight at the Lost and Found

Neo... I couldn't do it! So, in honour of the weather around here at the moment...

Four Seasons In One Day
[Crowded House]

[Harry Belafonte]

Oh, Donna
[Richie Valens]

Donna the Prima Donna

Don't Leave Me Now
[Pink Floyd]

Now That I've Found You
[Alison Krauss & Union Station]

You Ain't Going Nowhere - Bob Dylan

Is he under house arrest?

Nowhere Man
[can't remember and can't Google right now!]

[The Beatles]

Don't ask me how I forgot the Beatles. Ever since John went Yoko.. I mean loco and Paul went sappy, it's been too sad for words.

Crow's Nest. Home to many fun song games, and where I hang out, now. You get 10 free posts per day.

There are a lot different path ways to get some facts close to this good topic . But I suggest to buy an essay and custom essay or pre written essays using the good writing service.

« 1 2

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About The Miami Herald | Advertise