‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


By Jack McDermott


‘Twas the night before Christmas
And out on the track
I was doing some intervals
And threw out my back

My sweat-socks were thrown in
The bathroom with flare
The stench was enormous
But what did I care?

My pets were all nestled
In the cage in their beds
Visions of Celery
Danced in their heads

I drank too much brandy
And left on my cap
I staggered to bed
For a long winter’s nap

When out on the roof
There was such a racket
I needed some energy
And ate a GU-packet

Away to the window
I pushed out the screen
If the sight were not funny
I would think it obscene

A man in a costume
With a neat little grin
It looked like Tim Simpkins
But not nearly as thin

It was the Apocalypse
That was my fear
I saw a miniature sleigh
And eight tiny reindeer

He woke up the neighbors
Was clearly to blame
The fat man kept yelling
And calling out names:

Now Dasher, now Dancer
Now Prancer and Vixon
On Comet, On Cupid
On Donner and Froedrick

To the top of the hill
St. Nicholas had fits
To the top of the wall
They’re behind in their splits!

What happened to Blitzen?
Can he be home resting?
No! He’s suspended
He failed the drug-testing

And then, in a twinkling
I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing
Of each little hoof

As I drew in my head
My emotions a flood
Down the chimney St. Nicholas
Came with a thud

He was dressed in fake fur
From his head to his foot
He was coughing profusely
He was covered with soot

A bundle of presents
He had on his back
He cleared his throat gently
“You must be Jack.”

His eyes – how they twinkled
His dimples, how merry!
He passed on the milk
He has trouble with dairy

He pulled out his pipe
But did not light a match
He rolled up his sleeve
To show me his “patch”

He was happy – not jolly
It was quite a riot
He said his wife Sara
Put him on a diet

His Hair it was white
With a look of dishevel
He pricked his hand quickly
For his cholesterol level

He glanced at the house
And the scurrying mice
And pulled out his list
Of who’s naughty and nice

He spoke not a word
But went straight to work
And filled all the stockings
Then turned with a jerk

He looked once again
At the list — it was bad
A hole was now showing
From one fallen chad!

He took back the presents
A protest — I mount
I guess I had lost
The Florida Re-Count!

And laying his finger
Aside of his nose
And giving a nod
Up the chimney he rose

The reindeer shot off
At a fast little caper
With fresh furry legs
They’d been doing a taper

I heard Santa exclaim
Ere he drove out of sight
Happy Christmas to all
And to all a good night!