The detention of Kris Kringle |

The detention of Kris Kringle

Barry Smith

‘Twas the night before ChristmasAnd all through the house,You could hear CNNBlare the news they espouse.My tree all adornedRed and blue decoration(In a nod to our sharplyDivided great nation).When all of a suddenThere came such a ruckus,That I bolted downstairsTo see what the heck it was.And there by the fireplaceStood a man dressed in red,With a cowboy hat perchedOn the top of his head.His eyes were quite beadyLike two little coals,And seemed just a littleToo close to his nose.His ears they protrudedLeaving me but to think,”My God, Darwin’s rightIt’s the real missing link!””Ho, ho,” said the man,As his jaw went quite slack.Then he twisted and turnedAnd pawed at his back.All at once did I noticeThe bulky square packet,Protruding from underHis festive red jacket.He muttered aloud,”Darn thing’s outta commission.”Then he said to his sleeve,”Ya’ll repeat that transmission!”Then he gazed toward the heavensLike a good Baptist pastor,Like a hound dog awaitingCommands from his master.He cocked his head slightlyAs if trying to listen,Then he seemed to hear somethingThat made his eyes glisten.”Ho, ho, HO’s what I meant!Ho, ho, HO I declare!”He said as he gave meA well-rehearsed stare.”I’m Sandy,” he said,Then he gave a slight pause.”No wait, I’m Santa!That’s right, Santa Claus!””No you’re not,” I responded”You can’t fool me like that,You’re President BushI can tell by the hat.””Mayday,” he hollered,Once again to his sleeve.”My cover is blown,It’s time that I leave.””But where’s the real Santa?”I said with great vim.”What have you paranoid clownsDone with him?”Meanwhile, as they’d sayIn a comic book page,In a secret locationSanta’s locked in a cage.He’s been stripped of his dignityHis clothes and his hat.(They even took photosWhile he stood there like that.)Santa seemed hazy,A bit out of touch.(Electrodes on his “South Pole”Didn’t help much.)”OK,” said the agent”Don’t make us ask twice,Just tell us who’s naughty,And tell us who’s nice.””You’re the king of surveillanceand we want your list,So we can root outEvery last terrorist.”And Santa protested,”These aren’t terrorist cellsThey’re kids telling fibsAnd pulling pigtails!””They’re sweet and mischievousJust like Tom Sawyer,And I’ll not say a wordTill I speak with my lawyer.””Lawyer?” they laughed”Oh, is that a fact?I see you’ve not heardOf The Patriot Act!””You’re detained as a suspectedThreat to this nation.I’m afraid you’re deniedLegal representation.””What’s more we can keep youUntil we get through.At this point, Kris KringleIt’s them or it’s you.””Get with it, Old Man,Stop protecting the kiddies.Today they pull pigtails,But soon they’ll bomb cities!””We’ll get to them early,We’ll whisk them away.We’ll raise them as ChristiansAnd force them to pray.””Now give up the listOr we’ll find it ourselves.I bet we’ll have much betterLuck with your elves.”And throughout the nightThey commenced to condemn,In the strange name of freedom,And us against them.And somewhere in TexasStood a man on a roof,His country still loves himFour more years is his proof.He was heard to exclaimWith a hearty guffaw:”Merry Christmas, America,Yeeeeeeee Haw!” Barry Smith’s column runs in The Aspen Times on Mondays. His e-mail address is and his very own web page is