Pretentious Creative Artist Disclaimer: Due to fiscal constraints, we regret to inform you the work you are about to read is unavailable in Spanish, French, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Pig Latin, Esperanto, or Poodle.
With apologies to Major Henry Livingston, Jr.:*
‘Twas the Night Before December 25th
‘Twas the night before December 25th, when all through the domicile (be it house, teepee, shopping cart, or refrigerator carton).
Not a creature was stirring, not even a sentient life form known as a rodent (which has every right to live free of evil humans).
The school-issued condoms were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that Planned Parenthood soon would be there.
The children of the multi-diverse family unit were nestled by Family Services all snug in their beds,
while visions of non-dairy, non-sugar, non-peanut, non-caffeine, non-transfats, non-threatening, non-taste broccoli plums danced “With the Stars” in their heads.
And my life partner in a hyperbaric chamber and I in my neoprene bubble
had drifted to sleep, with nary any trouble.
When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed (which I selfishly bought at IKEA while millions slept on grates and ate newspaper), to see what was the matter.
Away to the window where I feared that I’d spy
George Bush, Dick Cheney, or that Obama guy.
The moon, on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the luster of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a “little people” sleigh and eight height-challenged reindeer.
With a stature-limited seasoned-citizen driver, so lively and quick,
I knew it must be that Person of Androgynous Reknown, Nikita or Nick.
More rapid than bailouts, her/his coursers they came
and she/he whistled and shouted and called them by name (though not as subservients; rather as equals in mutual commerce exchange).
“Now Hillary! Chris Dodd!
Joe Biden and Nixon!
Al Franken! Al Qaida!
Osama, Bart Simpson!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now, dash away, but only if you’re physically able and don’t feel threatened by it all!”
As dry leaves before the hurricane fly,
which plugs up the levees because Bush wants you to die,
so up to the subsidized housing the hoofed business partners flew,
with the sleigh full of sinful capitalist loot and Nikita/Nick, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, I turned and I saw
Nikita/Nick and her/his attorney-at-law.
She/he was dressed in synthetic fur, from her/his head to her/his foot,
and her/his clothes were all tarnished with the tracings of soot
(a carcinogen which I knew to be the by-product of the evil exploitation of our friends, the majestic trees).
A bundle of toys she/he had tossed in a sack
and I KNEW I was liable if she/he busted her/his back!
Her/his eyes--how they twinkled! Her/his dimples, how merry!
Her/his cheeks like BOTOX balloons, her/his nose like a cherry!
It was obvious with him/her I should not be alone
this creepy, suspicious Michael Moore clone.
Her/his droll little mouth was drawn up in a frown
hoping he/she was not in the house of some government clown.
The stump of a pipe she/he had just for effect
as she/he sported a nicotine patch on her/his neck.
She/he had a broad face and a little round belly
that shook when she/he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.
(NOTE: the American Medical Association strongly urges a lifestyle which eliminates the existence of “little round bellies”, as they may lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, halitosis, driving heavy equipment while drowsy, and rickets.)
She/he was chubby and plump (see NOTE above), a right jolly old fairy/troll/forest nymph/dwarf/multi-diverse personage of varying-yet valuable-ethnic persuasion/wood sprite/lobbyist/elf,
and I laughed when I saw her/him, in spite of myself (although, to avoid being called racist, I said I was laughing “with”, not “at”, her/him).
A wink of her/his eye and a twist of her/his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
She/he spoke not a word, but went straight to her/his chore
and bought carbon credits from the troll named Al Gore.
And laying her/his finger on the side (not in) of her/his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney/window/teepee smoke hole she/he rose.
She/he sprang to her/his sleigh, to her/his team gave a whistle,
and they mutually agreed in committee to fly as equals away like the down of a thistle.
But, I heard her/him exclaim, ‘ere she/he drove out of sight.
“Happy Non-Sectarian Day-of-Observance-Which-Has-Nothing-To-Do-With-An-Established-Creed-Or-Dogma-of-Faith-Because-That-Would-Be-a-Heinous-Violation-of-the-Sanctity-of-the-Separation-of-Church-and-State-Because-What-About-the-Children-Dammit!? and to all a mutually-satisfying (as agreed upon in writing. In triplicate. By the ACLU.) night!”
*Evidently, Clement Clark Moore is the 19th century equivalent of any middle-school plagiarist or mainstream media hatchet artist. A classic since its 1823 appearance in the Troy Sentinel, ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas’ (as it was alternately known) was claimed by Moore as his own in 1837, conveniently after Livingston had conveniently passed away. In fact, Moore, who hadn’t written anything else of reknown, incorporated the work into one of his own books, Poems, in 1844! So, the next time you’re tempted to fret and bemoan our lack of journalistic scruples, just remember Moore’s response when asked if he had, indeed, written this most-famous of Yuletide poems: “Uh, yeah, whatever.”
Or, so I’ve read on the Internet. Because, after all, if it’s there, it must be true!