Mild-Mannered Reporter

<CENTER>The Blight Before Chritsmas <BR><CENTER>(A Christmas Poem)

'Twas the night before Christmas and in our little hovel.

I was in the living room, about to grab a shovel.

Our 6-year-old was nestled all snug in his bed.

Until 4:30 a.m. -- when he would jump on my head.

My eyes barely focused because I was so tired.

Blankety-blank toy. "Some assembly required."

Mama was in bed but soon her serenity

Would be destroyed by a steady stream of obscenity.

She sprang out of bed in a flash, in a zip

To tell me I better calm down, get a grip.

"Your son is asleep, in his little pajama.

"And you're down here cussing just like your grandma."

(My grandma, by the way, was a very fine dame.

But her cussing put the average longshoreman to shame.)

"Im being quiet," I gritted. "As quiet as can be."

"But I can't find Tab D or Slot A and C."

"I knew when we bought this thing, I'd live to regret it."

"And you know the worst part? Santa gets all the credit."

"I could cut off a finger or something more tragic."

"And the kid's going to think Santa did the whole thing by magic."

Then I turned around and, oh, awe of awes.

There by the tree, it was him -- Santa Claus.

"I hope you don't mind," said he. "I let myself in."

"Which wasn't that easy. I'm not all that thin."

I said, "I can see where our little chimney might be quite a chore."

"Here's a hint for next year. We do have a door."

Santa just smiled. (He's a bit of a dork.)

But he kindly offered to help with my work.

He said, "there is no need for your colorful inflections."

"When all else fails, just read the directions."

"Just give them to me. Let me take a peek."

A few minutes later, he said, "What are these, in Greek?"

Santa made some low grunts and soon started fussing.

Just five minutes later, he was up to full-scale cussing.

He was no longer what you would call a jolly old elf.

"$#*@! toy!" he bellowed. "Let him put it together himself!"

Nothing I said could restore Santa's cheer.

"The heck with this," he said finally. "Let's go grab a beer."

Christmas, they tell, is a time to be merry.

With happy demeanors unflaggingly cherry.

However, it is easy to be full of such unbridled joy.

When you're not a dad putting together some blankety-blank toy.


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