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'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Clement Clarke Moore
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes - how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight:
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE NEW YEAR
The Ballad of Hannah and Leigh
'Twas the night before New Year, when Hannah and Leigh,
Had sat, as the clock chimed, to watch the TV,
Now, in silence, they gazed at the blank TV screen,
He drank his Bass beer and she sipped Irish Cream.
"Another year over," she sighed, "glad it's done;
"'Twas all rather hellish, it hasn't been fun,
"Truth be told, it was horrid the whole time, of course,
"For you just played golf while I worked like a horse.
"You do nowt to help and sod-all to inspire me,
"I don't get affection, like my sister Ivy,
"Her Welsh husband, Dafydd, treats her like a queen,
"All I get's: 'Where's me best shirt? Hell... is it clean?'"
"Now hold hard a second!" Leigh said to his wife,
"Strewth, Hannah, you haven't had that bad a life!
"I'll list all the kind, helpful things that I do,
"And tell me if one single word isn't true:
"Heck, I know I don't work, and finances are stiff,
"So you graft at McDonalds on thirteen-hour shifts.
"When I get home from golf, you're not back from work,
"And though I'm half-famished, I don't act the jerk
"When you beg to rest for a while before cookin'
"I spare time to comment on how bad you're lookin',
"And I nod: 'Hell, then take that well-earned rest, hon.,
"'And I'll take a nap, wake me up when it's done.'
"You don't wash the dishes right after the supper,
"Though a wife's supposed to be chief washer-upper,
"So I whisper: 'I know you're jaded, but hell,
"'Those dishes aren't just gonna wash up themselves.
"And when you complain to me constantly how
"You can't do all the shopping in one lunch hour,
"I take that on the chin and'll helpfully say:
"'Don't fret so, Hannah - stretch it over two days!'
"And, ok, I know that you get up at dawn,
"Which is why you're so dog-tired when mowin' the lawn,
"So I'll smile, 'Ok, stop for a second or two,
"'And you might as well get me a beer when you do.'
"I know that most agein' women like whinin',
"And I'd noticed how slapdash you'd got with the ironin',
"And I want to confess that I do realise,
"Women's hormones are hell, and I empathise.
"Hell, I've tried to keep cheerful and not criticise,
"And not be so harsh when I mention 'the thighs',
"A woman gets stroppy when she's overweight,"
"But I cope with this well. Hmm - I must be a saint!"
Leigh died with a split rectum that New Years Day
Up his back-end a golf club was thrust all the way,
'Twas a Calloway extra-long fifty-inch rammer,
And right next to this was a bloodied sledgehammer.
When Hannah was charged with the death of her mate,
The all-woman jury decided her fate
In three seconds, the verdict: "Not guilty, m'lud,
"The deceased sat, by accident, on his golf club!"
Now Hannah's a widow and she's rich as hell,
The insurance on Leigh's life had paid her damn well!
She has shoppers and chefs; she wears silk pajamas,
And this New Year's Eve she'll be in the Bahamas!