'Twas the night before deadline (revisited)

(With heartfelt apologies to Clement Clark Moore)

'Twas the night before deadline, and all through the house
Fresh out of ideas, and annoying my spouse.
Browns gear hung inside the chimney with care
The NFL basement – once again – too much to bear.

The Cavs again a team any Clevelander dreads
Had me seriously considering doubling my meds.
Left now with only my block “C” Indians cap
To help me get through my chemically-induced nap.

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window, I flew like a flash
My face in a frown; and my teeth they did gnash.

Couldn't see the source in the moon's white glow
Yet a solitary voice pleaded, "It's Santa, Bro.”
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
But Brandon Weeden, in his Browns gear.

He threw me a present, straight and quick
Overthrew me by a mile; but I’m used to that trick.
I wondered why to my house he came
He replied critics like me bear most of the blame.

“Now! Critics, now! Browns fans, now! I don’t need fixin’!
The play-calling’s bad, just not enough mixin'!”
‘Twas clear his concussion was worse after all
Reality had been dashed away, dashed away, all.

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
I bid Brandon a swift and heartfelt good-bye.
More noises on the roof-top – more noises, they grew
A guy who looked like Santa – might it really be true?

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof,
Another familiar voice, and my happy dreams went “poof”.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson in the chimney; 'twas stuck coming down.

He was dressed in all fur, from his head to his foot
I said, “Man, this is Westlake – your Garmin must be full of soot.”
A bundle of invoices he had flung on his back,
“Your next water bill,” was his annoying wise-crack.

His eyes, how they twinkled; his dimples so merry,
His cheeks were like roses (from perhaps too much dairy).
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
Lit his pipe and said, "Water rates are going up, you know."

The stump of his pipe he held in his teeth
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face – and a little round belly
Was it the pipe, or bills, that were smelly?

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf
Asked for a little more time to get the money myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
“Sorry, pal, no extensions!” he said.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work
Threatened to turn off my water, and I realized I missed Mayor Perk.
Must have read my mind, for he then thumbed his nose
And said, "No water for you," and up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
Returned all the families' gifts for cash – all the while I did bristle.
To the next house he flew, for more water bill pranks
He shouted, "Merry Christmas to all – and tell Mayor Clough I said, 'THANKS!'"

Jeff Bing

Lifelong Westlake resident who dabbles in writing whenever the real world permits. My forte is humor and horror...What a combo!

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Volume 5, Issue 25, Posted 10:40 AM, 12.10.2013