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A Final Visit from Saint Nicholas (Hobson's Choice 23-Dec-1991 0957)

{ed From Mad Magazine}

               A Final Visit From Saint Nicholas   

    'Twas the night before Christmas and one thing was clear--  
    that old Yuletide spirit no longer was here 
    inflation was rising; the crime rate was tripling;  
    the fuel bills were up, and our mortgage was crippling; 

    I opened a beer as I watched TV,
    where Donny sang "O Holy Night" to Marie;   
    the kids were in bed, getting sleep like they should;   
    or else they were stoned, which was almost as good. 

    While Ma with her ball-point was making a fuss  
    'bout folks we'd send cards to who'd sent none to us;   
    "Those ingrates," she thundered, and pounded her fist;  
    "Next year you can bet they'll be crossed off our list!"

    When out in the yard came a deafening blare;
    'twas our burgler alarm, and I hollered, "Who's there?" 
    I turned on the searchlight, which lit up the night,
    and, armed with my handgun, beheld a strange sight. 

    Some red-suited clown with a white beard immense
    was caught in our eight foot electrified fence; 
    he called out, "I'm Santa!  I bring you no malice!" 
    Said I, "if you're Santa, I'm Telly Savalas!"   

    But, lo, as his pressence grew clear to me, 
    I saw in the glare that it just might be he!
    I called off our doberman clawing his sleigh
    and, frisking him twice, said, "I think he's ok."   

    I led him inside where he slumped in a chair,   
    and he poured out the following tale of dispair;
    "On Christmas eves past I was jolly and chuckling,  
    but now 'neath the pressures, I fear I am buckling."

    "You'll note I've arrived with no reindeer this year,   
    and without them, my sleigh is much harder to steer;
    although I would like to continue to use them,  
    the wildlife officials believe I abuse them."   

    "To add to my problem, Ralph Nader dropped by   
    and told me my sleigh was unsafe in the sky;
    I now must wear seatbelts, despite my objections,   
    and bring in the sleigh twice a year for inspections."  

    "Last April my workers came forth with demands, 
    and I soon had a general strike on my hands;
    I couldn't afford to pay unionized elves,   
    so the missus and I did the work ourselves."

    "And then, later on, came additional trouble--  
    an avalanche left my fine workshop in rubble;   
    my Allstate insurance was worthless, because
    they had shrewdly slipped in a 'no avalanche' clause."  

    "And after that came an I.R.S audit;
    the government claimed I was out to defraud it; 
    they finally nailed me for 65 grand,
    which I paid through the sale of my house and my land." 

    "And yet I persist, though it gives me a scare  
    flying blind through the blanket of smog in the air;
    not to mention the hunters who fill me with dread,  
    taking shots at my sleigh as I pass overhead."  

    "My torn-up red suit, and these bruises and swellings,  
    I got fighting muggers in multiple dwellings.   
    And if you should ask  why I'm glowing tonight, 
    it's from flying too close to a nuclear site."  

    He rose from his chair and he heaved a great sigh,  
    and I couldn't help notice a tear in his eye;   
    "I've tried," he declared, "to reverse each defeat, 
    but I fear that today I've become obsolete."

    He slumped out the door and returned to his sleigh, 
    and these last words he spoke as he went on his way;
    "no longer can I do the job that's required;
    if anyone asks, just say, 'Santa's retired!'".  

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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