This appeared in the Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) Sat. Dec.26, 1992. I thought you might enjoy it if you hadn't already seen it. Happy Holidays! -- Bob D'Amore HAPPY SHOPPING TO ALL! ====================== by Suzanne Delcamp Asbury Park Press Staff Writer (Poem reprinted with author's permission) Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the counties, The people went shopping to return all their bounty. The shoppers -- so many! -- roamed warily through the malls, All seeking elusive discount Christmas balls. The children came, too, and broke out into grins, As they watched Mom return orange ties from Aunt Mims. The teens prowled the record stores; the dads looked for books. A horde of old ladies searched for marked-down crochet hooks. Away in the parking lot, nearby spaces were rare, Though if you drove far away enough there were plenty to spare. The malls were just bustling, the folks dashing to and fro, And the prospect of bargains made some shoppers glow. Then what to consumers' wondering eyes should appear, But a clearance rack of sweaters all made from cashmere. I smiled at the shoppers, so lively and quick, Everyone was eager to spend the money from St. Nick. More rapid than eagles, shoppers came and came, Some reciting the stores they'd visit, name after name. First Macy's! Then Caldor! And Herman's and Braddock's. And don't forget McCrory, Lord & Taylor and Wallach's! To the upper level! To the lower level! Thank goodness for the mall! Let's shop away, shop away, shop away all! And as corridors got crowded and the madness intensified, The shoppers greeted waiting lines that stretched out to July, Up to the counters the lines snaked inch by inch, But then when else is returning ever such a cinch? Then in the twinkling of an eye something opened up quite near, I stopped and I shook myself. An available cashier! But as I drew up my packages and was turning around, Someone raced to the register, beating me hands down. She was piled under packages, from her head to her toes, And the remnants of Christmas wrapping clung to her clothes. After shifting her bundle she began to unpack, That's when I realized they were all being taken back! Her eyes were glazed, her dimples anything but merry! Her face looked tired. Was she happy? Not very. Her small little mouth was drawn tight as a knot, And there at her side were several tired tots. She set down her packages, starting with the neon tinsel wreath, Then came the toothpick maker and some mechanical chattering teeth. The clerk eyed her wearily, but still the packages came, A ring rack, a poster, a plastic Great Dane. There was something funny about her, with her passel of elves, And I smirked as I watched her, in spite of myself. But with a wink of her eye and a twist of her head, I saw that once all this was returned there was more shopping ahead. She spoke not a word, just went back to her work. New play shoes for Willy, a new skirt for work. And then pointing a finger and rising up on her toes, She broke into a trot as she headed toward the bargain panty hose. As she sprang down the aisle, to her children she whistled, And they all flew behind her like tiny guided missles. But I heard her exclaim as she pranced out of sight, "Happy Shopping to all, and to all a good night!"
(From the "Rest" of RHF)