The Last Christmas
O. Vic Miller
T’was right before Christmas & Ms. Santa Clause
was shrewishly numbering her husband’s flaws:
“You lecherous, drunken, degenerate slob,
Your manners and humor is rough as a cob.
You snore like a donkey and smell like a goat.
The bank, it won’t honor the check I just wrote.
You burp, and you snore halitosis like sump.
You’re never romantic, you overweight lump.”
As NASCAR engines run best when they’re hot,
she ran down the wherefores, ascending whatnots.
Then flexing her mandibles, spreading her neck,
she jettisoned dentures to lay it on thick.
She warmed up her mastoids and started to nag–
from on the toenail clippings she’d found in the shag
to the sorry-ass redbone asleep on the mat,
from his stinking cigars to the bells on his hat.
“The cap’s off the toothpaste! The lawn ain’t been mowed!”
“My dear,” he informed her, “it’s under the snow…”
“Don’t backtalk, you lardass, or offer excuses.
I’ve had it to here with your spousal abuses.”
And drawing her finger beneath her thick chin,
she offered the gesture of doing him in.
(Oh, vain to imagine how wedlock can worsen
when spouses start threatening damage to person!)
“The elf that I married was nothing like you.
My youth has been wasted, my mother’s dreams too,
on a drunk who don’t labor but one day a year
with a face like a roadmap from sucking up beer
and chasing a coonhound as sorry as him
Through snowdrifts and snowstorms and ice-lacy glen
With no passing care for the wife you left home
Until you get hungry, shitfaced or stoned
With never a whisper of sweetness or care
For the sweet natured bride you left languishing here.
You pig out the den while you’re watching TV.
You’re never considerate! What about me?”
She blamed him for peanuts she’d found in the sofa.
She called him misogynist, chauvinist, loafer.
She scaled down one tirade then flew up another.
She threatened attorneys and calling her mother.
She raged, filibustered, she screamed and she wept.
She swore that she’d scald him with grits when he slept.
Nick knew she’d exhausted what patience she had.
Deciding to vacate before she got mad,
He feigned a front exit, then dash out the back,
the hound right behind him, his tail in his crack.
Nick’s sleigh was all packed so he harnessed his deer.
She screamed, “Go ahead! Get the hell out of here.
Go visit your cronies, your potheads and slatterns,
continue to follow dysfunctional patterns.
But after tonight you can live in your socks,
Cause I’m burning your clothes and I’m changing the locks!”
“Ho, ho, Sugar booger,” I bet you forgot
tomorrow is Christmas. You know that I’ve got
to be off on my mission distributing toys
for all the exemplary girlies and boys.”
“You can bet I don’t care if you fly straight to hell.”
He waved and departed and cried out “Noel!”
But exclaimed to the hound as he drove out of sight:
“I’m marking the milestone– my last Christmas flight.
It’s Christmas two-thousand and time to retire.
The Shriners can have it. I’m down to the wire.
My ride’s obsolescent, my piles are aflame.
The Salvation Army has cheapened my name.
The census has tripled, I can’t get around.
The prefabs have chimneys too small to go down.
The children can purchase their toys on the Net.
The sky is congested with corporate jets
and smog that is thick as the down on a thistle.
and I live in sheer terror of ground-to-air missiles,
Spud warheads and tomahawks fretting the sky
It’s quickly becoming too dangerous to fly.
I don’t trust the Arabs; I’m scared of the Jews.
My wife is hormonal with empty nest blues.
The reindeers are skittish, in estrus or rut.
They mount one another while we are in route.
For the rest of my days I expect to live single,
or the name on my pension ain’t Christopher Kringle.”
Nick beat it to Patrick’s, a pub, to unload
and toss down an eggnog or three for the road.
Where drunkards sing carols with voices like bleats
as they clap with their hands and they stomp with their feet.
(Whenever Dame Claus got to calling him there.
Old Patrick would tell her, “Naw, Santa ain’t here.”)
He stood a few rounds and he told a few lies,
and soon he was snockered and ready to fly.
He fondled the bar maid, a minx named Yvonne,
then tipped her a fifty when he had to run.
“You ain’t in condition for driving on ice.
Let’s cull out from my place who’s naughty and nice;
We can Fed-ex the gifts to arrive in one day.”
But no one absconded the keys to his sleigh.
He ordered a go-cup of nog without egg
and lurched up to fetch it on rubbery legs.
His eyes didn’t focus, his reflexes slow.
His boots printed staggering tracks in the snow
to the eight tiny deers who was pawing with fright,
with eyeballs wide open to three quarters white.
What spooked them to panic is anyone’s guess,
but Santa approached them without much finesse.
He snatched at the harness, addressing the sled.
He stepped on the runners and swung up a leg,
but before he was seated, the reindeers went nuts,
got to twitching the tails on the top of their butts.
First Rudolph went postal, he snorted and blew.
Then Cupid and Blitzen became stressful too.
They bolted in harness, then farted and reared,
Hurtled the traces and whip-lashed the sled,
which skidded on slush before spinning around
in the path of a beer truck arriving in town.
The driver careened and he ran off the road,
rolling the beer-truck, and spewing the load,
thus launching the redbone into howling flight
to shatter the silence of this holy night.
The kegs blew their bung stops, commencing to spew
in a geyser of foam and some beverage too.
There was bitter and pilsner and lager and bock,
and they flooded the pavement for one city block
with beer that was marbled with by deer dung and blood.
The drunks congregated to drink them up some
Of the booze (not the deer shit) where the tankards had run.
The sheriff arrived and the ambulance came
With lawyers to litigate damage and blame,
a fire truck, a Krishna, a nun preaching hell,
a Salvation Santa Clause ringing his bell,
MADD mamas, pro lifers, and one skinny girl
announcing in Yiddish the end of the world.
So deep from the wreckage they drug St. Nick out
of the beer and the deer and the ale and the stout.
He was sloshed from his boots to the hat on his head[
If he hadn’t been plastered, he would’ve been dead.
He was soggy with beer from his head to his toes.
His buddies was worried their pal would get froze,
so they called up a taxi to take Santa home.
and he got there at sunrise on Christmas day morn.
No lamps, not a candle or taper, was lit.
He discovered his key to the door didn’t fit.
But Santa was freezing and they couldn’t stop,
so high to the rooftop they boosted him up.
He crawled across shingles as quiet as a mouse
to breach his traditional way into houses.
But he crashed through the flute and rolled out on the rug.
Then crawled to the bathroom to hurl in the tub.
He retched and he heaved and he coughed and he spat
till his face was as pale as the fur on his hat.
Then laying his cheek on the cool of the tile,
he snored and he snorted and slept for a while.
But who to his piteous sighs should arrive,
but an irate Miz. Clause set to eat him alive?
Her hair was in curlers, her face was a fright,
a Halloween nightmare on Christmas Eve night.
A terry cloth robe that her mother had gave her,
she wore it wide open, broadcasting her gender.
She shuffled in slippers of pink rabbit fur,
and Santa was mortally frightened of her.
Her eyes were like brimstones, her lips thick as liver.
Like Jell-O or clabber, her jowls were aquiver.
Her slander was pelting her husband like rain.
Her nostrils flared open exposing her brain.
She kicked him and tattooed his skull with her brush.
She stomped on his fingers and called him a lush,
But he “hey, ho, ho-ed” as he rolled on the floor,
which angered his bloodthirsty bride even more.
Well, the jolly old martyr of spousal abuse
was begging no quarter and made no excuses,
in spite of his wife, who still ranted and hissed
like a hellcat embroiled in a menopause fit.
Nick summonsed his helpers to gather post haste
to hear the important announcement he’d make.
The elves gathered ‘round like a road crew on Sunday,
attracted to carnage as Theodore Bundy,
but nothing can’t humble a drunk who’s retired.
Chris cackled and shouted, “You bastards are fired!
I’m bound and determined to start a new life
without the encumber of workers or wives!
For the first time in decades, Fra Clause shut her mouth
to marvel the stranger who’d broke in her house.
His eyes was a-twinkle though swole black and blue.
The grin through his whiskers was puzzling too,
as the haggard old gentleman rose to his feet,
and, clearing his throat, he commenced with this speech:
“For two thousand years I’ve been making this run.
My mission is up, the millennia’s done.
My heart is arrhythmic, my blood pressure’s up.
By God, I’ve decided enough is enough.
My last Christmas carol is finished and sung.
I’m through cleaning boot heels of ungulate dung.
I’ve heard till I’m crazy ‘The Nutcracker Suite’.
My coon hound has perished. I’m dead on my feet.
My children are thankless; my wife has got old;
my dentures won’t seal and my prostate is swole.
My bladder is leaky; my bowels are loose;
these long winter evenings are cooking my goose.
My sled has been totaled; my reindeers are dead.
I can’t wear my hat for the knots on my head.
But I’ve finally concluded that naughty IS nice–
that virtue’s rewards ain’t got nothing on vice,
so effective right now, I’m retiring my number,
to bed down Yvonne for a long winter’s slumber.
Y’all can pick up your paychecks and call them your last,
‘Cause I’m finished, RETIRED! Y’all can kiss my fat ass!”
Filed under: Poetry |