A Capitol Christmas 2009


T’was the night before Christmas: All year through the House And the Senate you’d find Not a smidgen of nous. Were there a machine That detected IQ, One could run it a month, Then return it as new.

Except for one person Asleep in a corner, A government watchman Named Ermingard Horner, Who woke up abruptly And pointed her Glock At a fat man who stood By the grandfather clock.

Drop em!" she said. He replied with a quake, "Dear me! Do you want "All the presents to break?" As she patted him down, She concluded, right quick, The nocturnal intruder, In fact, was Saint Nick

But inside his bag Was no football, no ring, Nor a toy nor a doll Or new video thing, Just pieces of paper And pieces galore, And they spilled from the sack On his back to the floor "What’s this?" she demanded, "Start telling me true!" "Each," he confessed, "Is a big I.O.U. "For many a year "Congress plundered the store; "When they spent all they had, "Then they borrowed some more."

"Till the lenders, exhausted, "Collapsed in distress, "Then the government cranked up "Its vast printing press, "Until every tree "From Nome to Miami "Was cut to print money "For your Uncle Sammy."

Ermingard, being Sufficiently bright, Knew in an instant That Santa was right. And even today, she recalls (With some chills), The ladies room stalls Stacked with ten-dollar bills.

The money was there for (She found this alarmin’) The banknotes were worth less Than White Cloud or Charmin. Somewhere, she knew, Politicians would gloat That they’d picked her own pocket To buy her own vote.

Then Santa sighed, "Presents? "Let’s all just forget it, "Since cash is now worthless "And no one gives credit. "So, Christmas? Prepare "All the kids for bad news, "As I stuff their wee stockings, "With cheap I.O.U.s"

He mumbled farewell With a cynical laugh. But she said, "I’ve a sandwich "And you can have half." He paused and he squinted, Then smiled with a sigh, And sat down beside her, A tear in his eye.

He said, "Christmas can be, "What we make it to be. "Merry Christmas to you, "Tuna salad for me."

Reprinted from The DC Examiner with permission.

December 23, 2008