'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!
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!'".