Sunday, December 24, 2023

A Night Before… you know.

 'Twas the night before Christmas, when through the Old House, no one living was stirring, not even Willie, that louse; The Secret door by the chimney hung open — who cares?Not even Buzz Hackett would return to call them all squares;

The mortals slept fitless in their Collinwood beds;

While dark dreams of chromakey danced in their heads;

It was a melancholy evening. Her absence to blame. Without Angelique’s laughter, the season was tame.

When out by the tower there arose such a din. Had a tipsy Dr. Hoffman finally pulled in?

Up towards the window I jumped like a cat,

And out through the window I flew as a bat;

The moon glittered like diamonds on the rocks on the shore,

As Widows Hills’s invite I chose to ignore.

When what to my sonar-sharp ears did appear,

But a roaring jalopy with some villains so dear,

Oh Roger from the wheel away he did shirk, for he crashed into Collinwood but couldn’t blame Burke.

More rapid than zombies, his retinue  disembarked,

And he fumed and shouted to recall where they parked:

"Now, Adam! Now, Bruno! Now Kitten you Vixen!

I blame our crash on the new speed limit, because I still voted for Nixon!

To the drawing room bar! Grab a good frosted glass!

Alert Mrs. Johnson, that pain in the ass!

Get Quentin in here, and let him quake in his shoes,

Drinking coffee, I doubt it, because I’ve been marking the booze;”

So up the grand staircase his carousers they flew

With a bag full of body parts, and 

And good Eric Lang too—

And then, from a foley, I heard someone dismount,

It was a roaring magician who said he was a count!

As I glided in loops, and was turning around,

I saw Andreas Petofi with some Daybooks Unbound.

He was dressed all in velvet, from his head to his toes,

Nothing off the rack from Brewsters. He had style and it shows;

A bundle of books he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a swinger from Sinatra‘s Rat Pack.

His eyes behind glasses—how they glittered and gleamed! And Aristide beside him plotted and schemed!

His words were excited and jolly and merry, quite the opposite of the drivel from that bore, Wendell Berry!

His assistant was hoping for a good puppet show,

But Angelique was absent, and that filled him with woe;

The stump of his wrist ached for her magic touch, without it his digits were hardly worth much.

But his broad face still grinned

At her memory dear, and he approached a house without her with a distinct lack of fear;

He knew it was Christmas, and would go with no hitch. If there’s a return you can count on, it’s that of a witch. 

And I laughed when I saw him, I knew he was right.

Her spirit was out there on this glorious night. 

He called not for line, but drew a star in the floor,

And commenced a dark working to bring her to our door.

And laying his hand on the apex he ranted,

And bellowed and raved and magically chanted;

He uttered dark incantations first heard cross the pond,

And then laughed when he presented me a most bewitching lost blonde.

And I heard him exclaim as he left like a streak—

“You can’t call it Christmas without the fair Angelique!”

— Patrick McCray

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