Thursday, December 24, 2009
Christmas Down Under (by Kazza for MPJ)
It's Christmas Eve, here on the 45th Northern latitude. On the 27th South, where my pal Jack lives in Australia, it is already Christmas Day. So I thought it was appropriate to post 'Christmas Down Under', a silly little poem I wrote for this member of my extended family, who is Christmasing in the heat of an Aussie summer. I am accustomed to a holiday season with snow and cold temperatures, but I also know this fact: Christmas comes from your heart. It is a willingness to give. A desire to help. A passion for putting others before self. Not many people really and truly 'get it'. But there are a few who do, and I am honored to know this one.
To my friends 10,000 miles away, I wish you the merriest of Christmases. And stay out of the hot sun, won't you?
T’was the night before Christmas, and at Kindra Drive
The Ramsays were drinking—T’was well after five!
Their stockings were hung for to dry by the fan
Sock-free you could see the dark line of their tan.
The kookies were quiet, the flock had been fed.
Rosellas and galahs were tucked into bed.
And Monty, the Python—(unusual name)
Was waiting for Santa, and so acted tame.
He’d sent out his list to that jolly old elf…
He’d asked for a possum to eat by himself.
He knew that his chances for getting his treat
Depended, in part, on how Santa liked heat.
The rosy cheeked elf was accustomed to cold,
But down here in Oz there were hot temps untold!
And Monty was sure that this Santa Claus dude
Might possibly let all this heat spoil his mood.
This snake, he had studied the man of the house,
Saw that when he got hot, he could act like a louse!
Jack didn’t mind heat, but he didn’t like muggy.
When dry, that old Ramsay was kissy and huggy.
He smiled all the time and he ironed his clothes.
He pounded on concrete and watered with hose.
When cool, he wrote novels—the best there could be!
As soon all those silly old agents would see!
But when hot combined with the wet in the air
That Ramsay was like an old grizzle-lee bear.
His brogue, it got heavy! His words became foul.
He stomped around wiping his sweat with a towel.
He muttered and cursed and he sprawled by the fan.
He did nowt but bitch as he sat on his can.
So Monty, who knew not of humanly sorts
Judged Santy by how Mr. Ramsay comports
Himself when he’s sticky and sweaty and muggy.
(Jack griped all the more when the day was quite buggy!)
The python lay sprawled in a sweet-smelling gum…
And waited, so patient, for Santa to come.
A possum would make him a happy constrictor…
And getting a fat one would make him the victor.
He’d hung out a stocking--he didn’t have tootsies.
He’d swiped one of Jack’s while the couple played footsies…
Their fridge he had raided for cookies and milk.
(This Claus seemed a pansy, and not of his ilk!)
But that seemed the way to get on his good side…
He’d studied tradition; it seemed true and tried!
Now all that was left for this cousin of asp
Was to wait for that possum to land in his grasp.
The darkness, it fell, and he stayed wide awake.
He wanted to see if this elf was a fake.
With sunset, the temps, they just didn’t abate.
T’was a night like the ones that Jack Ramsay did hate.
Inside Ramsay’s house, young Alibal waited
For Santa to come—and her breath, it was baited.
She’d asked for a cooker in which to make stew,
And hoped Mr. Kringle would make dreams come true.
She’d written a letter and posted from Oz,
To be sure t’was delivered way up North to Claus.
But Jack wrote no letter. He didn’t believe
That elves made a sleigh run on each Christmas Eve.
He’d rolled eyes at Ali when letter she mailed…
Why couldn’t she see just what was entailed?
No gent from the North could possibly ride
From Nome down to Brisbane, to homes far and wide!
T’was foolishness to get one’s hopes up too high!
This gift-bringing gnome was a helluva lie!
As dark settled in ‘round Jack Ramsay and spouse
They laid ‘cross their bed in their hot, humid house.
The snake and the humans, each one waited there
For possum and cooker and cool breath of air.
Despite good intentions, the python did snooze,
As did Jack and Ali (they’d drunk lots of booze).
And before they did know it, it was Christmas day.
Had gifts been delivered by fat man in sleigh?
Ms. Ramsay went into the lounge for a look…
And there by the couch was a ‘Mainer’ cook book!
And tucked in beside it…some spoons and some cups
To measure like Yankees when making their sups.
Another big box--wrapped real sweet—t’was a looker!
When opened, revealed the most fabulous cooker!
“Aha! Lookee here! You doubting old Thomas!
Santa Claus brought me my gift, like he promised!
“He said if I’d only be good all year through
He’d have all his ‘Cook Elves’ see what they could do!
“And here is the proof! That old man DOES exist!
It’s too bad YOU didn’t send Santy your list!”
Jack’s eyes, they did roll! What nonsense, her talking!
And then his gaze settled on his Christmas stocking.
It looked like it moved! He went over to peek…
And when he did lift it, it gave a small squeak!
Tucked into the heel of his best cotton Dickey
Was a gift that was left there by old Mr. Nicky.
A wee little possum, curled into a ball…
It wasn’t much bigger than a baby doll!
“What’s this?” said Jack Ramsay, not mildly perplexed…
The note pinned to stocking begged him to read text.
“Young Jack, I’ve neglected you down through the years.
You’ve never behaved, and you drink many beers.
“You’ve never had faith in the magic of things…
And so, I decided, no presents to bring.
“But what to my wondering eyes did appear,
A wish list from Ramsay, the Scrooge of the Year!
“You’ve come to your senses! You say you’ll be good!
You made me a promise, you’ve knocked on some wood.
“You gift isn’t standard. I most often find
Adults would like dishes or tools of some kind.
“But your letter touched me. You’ve softened up some
If you can lounge draping yourself in a gum!
“Your manners are better, you ended with ‘please’…
You want a wee possum to hug and to squeeze!
“I thought you were harder…a grouchy old Scot!
But you want a pet, so this possum, you’ve got!
“Keep up what you’re doing! T’was cute how you said
You’d tightly squeeze possum and nibble his head!
“Not often does Santa hear cuddling words
From men who have made me believe they are turds!
“But you’ve changed a bit, and I’m happy to say
This possum is yours for the rest of your days.
“So love her and snuggle and do all you said…
Just nibble her gently when up round her head!
“I’ll see you next Christmas! I’ll be keeping watch
To make sure, her upbringing you do not botch!”
The note was signed neatly. It said ‘Santa Claus’.
And Jack was the most baffled man down in Oz.
But grouchy or grumpy or sticky and hot…
What man could resist, when a possum he got?
He’d been proven wrong! Now, at last, he did know
There really were elves living North in the snow!
He took his wee possum right out of the stocking…
And sat down to give her her first little rocking.
And while the man bonded with pet soft and furry
Old Monty, the python, experienced curry.
He’d pulled from his stocking a furry round ball
Excited, he swallowed it--head, feet and all!
Too late, he’d discovered, the possum desired
Was nothing but fake fur well coated with fire!
The gnome, he had tricked him! He’d covered the fur
With peppers and curries that pricked like a burr!
As Monty looked ‘round for relief from his plight,
He saw Santa’s letter he’d left in the night.
“Did you really think that this jolly old elf
Would give you a possum to eat by yourself?
“I’m old and I’m wise, and you never will beat
This elf who’s resistant to Down Under heat!
“Now learn from this lesson! All day you’ll be sick…
But that is the price-tag you pay for your trick!
“The possum is Ramsay’s; she’ll soften that coot!
And Monty, I hanker for new snakeskin boots!
“So if you desire to keep all your hide
You’ll start eating berries, with nuts on the side.
“No more will you squeeze and no more will you squish
The Down Under critters for your supper dish.
“Next year, I’ll be back, and it is my belief
That Monty the Python turns over new leaf!”
So Christmas at Kindra was full of surprise.
A pet for a man; for a snake—watered eyes!
As Jack cuddled possum, as Monty’s eyes flowed,
A miracle happened…at Kindra, it snowed!
These amazing Autralian photos were taken (and are copyrighted) by my pal, Jack Ramsay. Merry Christmas!