John J. Coughlin


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The Night Before Christmas

John J. Coughlin, 1993

'Twas the night before Christmas,
When all though the house
Not a creature was stirring,
... except for me...

The traps were all set
By the chimney with care,
In hopes that "St. Nicholas"
Soon would be there;

The children, so foolish,
Were drugged in their beds,
While I contemplated,
If I'd have their heads;

I sat in my chair,
Alone with my gun,
Reviewing my plans...
Oh, THIS will be fun!

Then from my radar,
There arose such a beep!
I sprang from my chair,
And started to creep.

Away to the window
I flew like a flash,
Tearing open the shutters,
The windows went crash!

The moon, on the breast
Of the new fallen snow,
Gave a luster of midday
To objects below;

When what to my wondering eyes
Should appear...
But a miniature sleigh
And eight smelly reindeer,

With that little old driver
I began to get sick,
I knew in a moment
It must be "St. Nick."

I readied my gun,
With intentions to maim
Then shot each in turn,
As I called them by name:

"Die, Dasher!
Die, Dancer!
Die, Prancer and Vixen!

Yo, Comet!
Yo, Cupid!
Yo, Donner and Blitzen!"

Down to the roof top
my targets then fell,
Oh, how I knew it..
I'm going to Hell!

And then in a smash
I heard on the roof
The snapping and cracking
Of each little hoof!

As I drew in my head,
And was turning around,
Down the chimney Saint Nicholas
Came with a bound.

His face was aghast,
Blood dripped from his head,
Good thing, I thought,
He's wearing all red.

He stumbled around,
Aaawww, he's broken his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished
with ashes and soot;

His eyes were wide open,
His face turning white.
"Oh, my dear Santa,
This just ain't your night!"

"Now, where is my pony?
I ask year after year.
Well, I thought I would ask...
You know.. Since you are here."

Well tubby just sat there
Without reason or clue,
Then he begged for the children..
I just said, "boo hoo."

He had a broad little face
And a little round belly.
Probably shook, when he laughed
Like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump,
A once jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him,
In spite of myself.

My therapist warned me:
"Something's wrong with your head!"
Of course what does HE know..
Now that he's dead!

He sniffed all around,
"What IS that strange smell?"
"It's gasoline, Santa...
I'll see you in Hell!"

I lit up a match,
As it sparked up to life.
His ashes I'll mail,
UPS to his wife!

With a fling of the match,
He went up in a Poof!
The scent of charred flesh
Soared up to the roof.

And how I exclaimed,
As he burned out of sight,
"Well, there goes Christmas!
Oh, what a night!"

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