Barry Smith: Of warheads and Christmas spirit |

Barry Smith: Of warheads and Christmas spirit

?Twere the night before Christmas

And in the White House

Not a creature could enter

(They’d detained a mouse)

The maps of Iraq

Were all hung up with care

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In hopes that the ground units

Soon would be there

Our warheads were nestled

All snug in the ground

While visions of firepower

Danced all around

And I in my cow hat

And black leather gloves

I felt like Slim Pickins

In “Doctor Strangelove”

On the lawn was the tree

All festive and Christ-y

But a war was a-brewin’

And I’s feelin’ feisty

When all of a sudden

Came a thump on the ceiling

I jumped out of my chair

And I started a-squealing

And I squealed and I hollered

And I shouted and hissed

“Terrorists! Terrorists!


A blatant attack

Once again on our soil

I called to my counsel

All united in oil

“On Powell! On Rumsfeld!

Give ?em all that you’ve got.

On Ashcroft! On Rice!

Uh … but not you, Trent Lott.”

“They’re up on the roof!

I can hear ?em a-clumpin’

We must save the country

Start shootin’ or sump?in'”

Then down through the chimney

The first one descended

Taking us by surprise

All alone, undefended

And there stood the enemy

It was worse than I feared

It’s Osama bin Laden

(You could tell by the beard)

He was dressed in traditional

Terrorist wear

Black boots and a pipe

And long scraggly hair

His eyes were insane

And his belly was swollen

And I yelled out in fright,

“Tackle him, Colin!”

And Powell, he clipped him

And they both hit the floor

(It’s my chance to speak Spanish!)

“Bueno, senor.”

And onto the ground

Spilled some stuff from his sack

“Don’t touch it,” said I

“It might be Anthrack.”

“Anthrax,” said Rumsfeld,

Correcting my verbage

“Whatever,” I said,

(With a bit of perturbage)

“Ho, ho, ho,” said Osama

As he rose to his feet

After Donny and Condi

Had frisked him for heat

“Ho, ho, ho?” I repeated

“What in tarnation?

Who here speaks Islamic?

We need a translation!”

But Osama, he chuckled

Like he’d just heard a joke

So I throttled his gullet

And he started to choke

“What’s he brought in here with him?”

I said over my shoulder

“Probably a nuke,

They just keep getting bolder.”

I held tight ?round the throat

Of this old scalawag

While Colin and Donny

Dug around in the bag

“Little tin horns,” Powell said

“And little toy drums.


And rummy-tum-tums.”

“Little dolls,” added Rumsfeld,

“That cuddle and coo

Elephants, boats

And kiddie cars too.”

“Kiddie cars?” I said,

Releasing Osama

“I got one of those once,

As a gift from my Momma.”

And I plopped myself down

In his big pile of goods

And I banged on that drum

Just as best as I could

And I blew on that tin horn

And rang on the chime

(And I hoped no one noticed

It was past my bedtime)

And Osama, unguarded

Slipped out of our sight

He got back on the roof

Disappeared in the night

But I heard him exclaim

With a slight mocking drawl

“Merry Christmas, America

And may Gawd help you all.”

[Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Monday and Thursday. His e-mail address is, and his very own Web page is at]

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