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Photograph by Tracy Bennett


St. Nick's Surprise

By Richard von Busack

'TWAS the night before Christmas, and all through the loft

Not a creature was stirring, thanks to Zoloft.

Shawn and Michelle, both clad in their drawers,

Watched domestic violence and foreign wars;

A Visalia toddler, run through a mangle,

The body count grim from the Sunni Triangle.

All their bills were stacked on the desk from Ikea

In hopes some rich Santa was soon to appeah.

As the TV news droned, the pair hung their heads,

All groggy and drowsy from Merlot and meds.

Then, from the front of their overpriced mews

Came a noise like a bass woofer with a blown fuse!

They jumped to the window to see if the thugs

Were burgling their cars for money for drugs,

But what to their narcotized eyes should appear

But a shopping cart lashed to eight unwell reindeer

And a little old troll so shabby and sick

They pegged him at once as Bad Santa, St. Nick.

His nose how it twitched, his eyes how they glazed,

Like a tweaker gone sleepless for 38 days.

He was clad in a red suit, as shiny and tight

As a colon packed firm from the Doc Atkins diet.

He lashed the deer forward with a Hot Wheels track

And shouted their names with each fresh attack.

"On Conner, on Rumsfeld, on Dumber and Slummer,

On Vomit, on Poophead, on Shivver and Gunner!

Through the security gate and privacy wall,

Now, dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

On the balcony, they parked, against express regulations

In the contract from the homeowner's association,

And into the joint barged Old Nick and his crew,

Who milled around looking for something to do.

Spying the Mac, Santa turned with a jerk

And spoke not a word, but went straight to his work.

"You're overextended," he typed with a sigh,

"And your credit card debt is soaringly high.

And your workload's too big, and your penis too small

And we have representatives ready to call.

I'm the former Secretary of Nigerian Money,

And the story I tell is not very funny.

My wife and my family were all hit by trucks,

And I need your assistance to reclaim my bucks.

You, too, can own the home of your dreams

With secret Egyptian pyramid schemes."

"Santa," said Shawn, with a furious stammer,

"We never knew you were a motherless spammer!

Dial 911 now, Michelle, here is the creep

Who's been clogging our email with guys sexing sheep!"

With one middle finger, Nick waved his farewell

And herded his gang down the concrete stairwell.

He whipped up his steeds, with one final oath:

"Merry Christmas to me, and to hell with you both!"

Send a letter to the editor about this story to letters@metronews.com.

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From the December 25-31, 2003 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

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