Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ode to Saint Nick

Twas three months before Christmas
and all through the town
folks were out walking
and running around.

The weather was great
Fall had JUST started
but the warmth of summer
had not yet departed.

Isabel and I took a ride
to the store
To buy bread and milk
and several things more.

We entered the store
and felt right away
something was wrong
on that warmish fall day.

Nothing jumped out at us,
not right off the bat
but both of us felt it,
simple as that.

Isabel said to me,
“Daddy, let’s go.”
I should have listened,
knowing what I now know.

But rather than turning
and leaving the store,
we went further in
so I could see more.

We walked past the produce
and then by the bread,
not finding one thing
to account for our dread.

Down aisle three,
then past all the beer
when what to our wondering
eyes should appear

But the source of our worry,
the cause of our fright,
the bane of my life
both by day and by night:

High over the coolers
and right next to the grills
was an inflatable Santa
that gave me the chills.

He was inside a dome
made of clear plastic
and his presence there
made me think thoughts quite drastic.

His suit it was red
and his smile it was glowing,
for inside his ball
I swear it was snowing.

“That’s not the worst”
I thought to myself.
“He’s sharing his orb
with a spinning young elf.”

We took a deep breath
and dared to step closer;
from six feet away
it looked even grosser.

Santa was fake,
as fake as can be!
The snow it was Styrofoam
any fool could see.

Both Belly and I
were shocked and amazed
“WHO put this up?
Surely he’s crazed!

“The weather is hot,
It’s only September.
Junk like this
shouldn’t appear til December!”

We came up with a plan
right there and right then
to get rid of this Santa
and his little elf friend.

We hid in the bathroom
and waited for quiet
and hoped while we waited
that no one would buy it.

At two we snuck out
and crept through the aisles
nursing our grudges
and wearing our smiles.

The store it was empty
there was not a soul
to stand between us
and our crass plastic goal.

We got to the ball
and quickly unplugged it
and then to our car
we ploddingly lugged it.

Its size was a problem,
inside it would not go.
Instead of the van
we’d taken the Volvo.

Quick as we could
we tied it on top,
fleeing the parking lot
determined not to stop.

As we drove I was nervous
and full of unease
Then looked in my mirror
and saw the police.

I said to my daughter,
“Slow down or go faster?”
She said, “floor it, Dad!”
And that led to disaster.

We turned and we swerved
and we drove like Al Unser
but try as we might,
no good, we were done, sir!

We could not get away
we could not go faster.
Because aerodynamically,
Santa’s a disaster.

We were arrested and booked
and sent home on bail
and the news made the papers
it never does fail.

We stood before the judge
to give her our plea,
we had no choice but to say
“Holiday Insanity.”

The judge she was kind
and she understood,
but still what we did
to her was no good.

So she cut us some slack
saying, “I think you deserve this—
you two must do
community service.”

“Community service,
that’s not so bad,”
I thought to myself
and felt sort of glad.

But then she gave details
and I couldn’t conceive it!
Neither Belly nor I
could quite believe it.

We had to dress up
as an elf and old Santa.
(She had a sense of humor-
that I will grant you.)

We had to sing carols
and raise lots of money
dressed in our costumes--
which was not at all funny.

But wait til I tell you
the worst part of all—
we had to do all of this
in a big plastic ball.

So fake snow is blowing
and we’re trapped in plastic
all ‘cause we flipped
and did something drastic.

So if you see Santa
‘fore you think you oughta
take my advice-
both you and your daughta

Get out of that store,
just turn and run
go out for a walk
in the early fall sun.

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