Barry Smith: Yuletide rhyme |

Barry Smith: Yuletide rhyme

‘Twas the night before Christmas

All alone in my house

I was watching TV

‘Cause I don’t have a spouse

I was chillin’ with herb

(He’s as close as my brother)

Sinking into the couch

Watching something or other

With the TV a-blaring

And my head full of static

When all of a sudden

Came a noise in the attic

I bolted upright

Nearly swallowed my spliff

Could this be an intruder?

I was scared ” frozen stiff

And then I heard footsteps

Make their way down the stairs

And the door opened quickly

Catching me unawares

Behold, it was Santa!

Shoulda guessed it’d be him

He was decked out in red

With white fur on the trim

His big beard was wispy

Like a fine misty willow

But his belly looked lumpy

As if stuffed with a pillow

Yes, jolly old Santa

Like he’d leapt from my mind

There he stood right before me

(Man, this bud is the kind!)

But why use the stairs

For this auspicious meeting?

Oh yeah, I’ve no chimney

‘Cause I have central heating

“Ho ho … ho,” Santa stammered

“Um … ho, ho, and good golly.”

But his words sounded strained

And a far cry from jolly

‘Twas then that I noticed

A small note in his hand

He was reading a speech!

Like the whole thing was canned

And then down the stairs

Came a good dozen others

Each one dressed like the next

Like a bunch of twin brothers

They wore suits made of gray

And mirrored sunglasses

And they swirled around Santa

As if made of molasses

“Fan out,” hollered Santa

“Have a good hearty look

Search inside every cupboard

Every cranny and nook!”

And the suits went to work

Leaving nothing unturned

(While I swallowed the weed

That I hadn’t yet burned)

“Find him,” screamed Santa

“He’s the cause of my sorrow

I want him and me

On the front page tomorrow!”

“Cause I promised my daddy

And I swore to my momma

That by Christmas I’d have

Both Saddam and Osama!”

“So damn the amendments

It’s worse than you feared

We’ll flush out bin Laden

And shave off his beard!”

“And then we’ll have freedom

And peace will endure!

(Until we declare

Our next Bad Guy du jour.)”

Then he ripped off his coat

And he whipped off his hat

And removed his fake beard

Just as easy as that

He hunched slightly forward

Rubbed his hands as if greedy

His eyes shone like coals

Close together and beady

Clearly this wasn’t Santa

(As he wasn’t hirsute)

For now he was wearing

A jet pilot’s suit

A man dressed in gray

Came and stood at attention

“The place is all clear, sir

We searched where you mentioned.”

“We’ve got a big night, sir,

I suggest that we leave.”

Then he muttered “10-4”

In the cuff of his sleeve

But the man who’s not Santa

Said, “Just one quick question.”

Then he looked down at me

“Son … are you a Christian?”

Still stunned on my couch

(And still a bit high)

I gazed at faux Santa

Looked him dead in the eye

Though he looked cute and chimplike

His manner was caustic

I swallowed and answered

“Nope, I’m an agnostic.”

“Code Blue,” screamed ex-Santa

“Major terrorist threat!

Or is it ‘Code Orange?’

Damn, I always forget.”

They all turned for the stairs

And started to run

And once on the roof

Jumped aboard Sleigh Force One

“On Rumsfeld! on Ridge!

On Condi! On Cheney

On ” wait, who’s the black guy?

The one who’s so brainy?”

“On Patriot Act

On Pre-emptive Strike

On bombing whoever the hell

We don’t like!”

And I heard him exclaim

As he sailed through the air

“Merry Christmas, America!

All y’all others, beware!”

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

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