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/// The Night Before Christmas - Modern Times
    -----------------------------------------
    Author Unknown



        It was the night before Christmas, and one thing was clear
               That old yuletide spirit no longer was here.
          Unemployment keeps rising, the crime rate is tripling;
              'Boomers elected, and our taxes are crippling;

             I poured some Jack Daniel's as I watched the TV,
                 Where Donny sang "O Holy Night" to Marie
           The kids were in bed, getting sleep like they should,
             Or else they left home, which was almost as good.

             My wife, with her ball-point, was making a fuss;
           About folks we sent 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 our yard came a deafening blare,
          'Twas our burglar 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 my eight-foot electrified fence;
            He called out, "I'm Santa! I bring you no malice!"
              Said I, "If you're Santa, I'm Telly Savalles."

               But, lo, as his presence grew clearer to me,
               I saw in the glare that it might just be he!
              I called off my Rottweiler, clawing his sleigh,
             And frisking him twice said, "I think he's okay."

              I led him inside, where he slumped in a chair,
               And he told me the following tale of despair,
            "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 the sleigh in 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 by ourselves."

               "And then, later on, came additional trouble;
               An avalanche left my fine workshop in rubble,
            But my Stallstate Insurance was worthless, because,
          They had shrewdly slipped in a 'No avalanche' clause."

                 "Then, 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 street gangs, 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 subsidized dwellings.
              And if you should ask why I'm glowing tonight,
              It's from flying too close to a nuclear site."

           Then he arose from his chair and heaved a great sigh,
          Though I couldn't help notice a small 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 with these final words he went his own way;
               "No longer can I do the job that's required,
             "I'm going to call Clinton and try to get hired."