Dec 14, 2018

Jingle Bells And Taco Shells

Jingle Bells and taco shells, Jose` Santa’s on his way
with candy filled pin`atas and goodies on his sleigh.
He’s calling out to Rudolph, “Uno, dos, tres, quatro,
Deer you’ll be too fat to fly if you eat one more taco!”

Jingle Bells and taco shells, Jose` Santa’s on his way
He’s sleigh is filled with presents so we wish that he will stay.
For months and months we’ve waited for Jose` Santa to come here.
Forget warm milk and cookies, serve him burritos and beer!

Jingle bells and taco shells, Jose` Santa’s on his way.
Sure, the dude’s a gringo but we love him anyway.
Manuel, he wants a pick-up cause his donkey always falls.
Margarita wants a boyfriend, says she’s tired of little dolls.

Jingle bells and taco shells, Jose` Santa’s on his way.
He’s coming to the barrio and he’s got something to say,
“I come each year at Christmas, leave you presents, ho, ho, ho,
but the children that I love the most live in the barrio.”

“Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas to the barrio.”

Dec 13, 2018

A Christmas Tree For Laura Lee

"Welcome to Basters Flats, Pop. 18"

The sign stood in the center of town as there were only 6 closely spaced houses in the entire town and no one saw the need to put up two signs. Like many small towns, folks in Basters Flats had dreams of making their community grow but Basters Flats had a very unusual problem. You see, Basters Flats was surrounded on 3 sides by a United States Military base with tall chain link fences topped with razor wire that rudely halted the town's expansion.

There was only one road in all of Basters Flats and because the road was a seldom used entrance to the base the gate was almost always padlocked. Twice in the last 15 years the military had moved some very unusual looking trucks through the gate and in both instances Howard Watson-- the lifelong mayor of Basters Flats and owner of 4 of the 6 houses there-- had to bring out his angle grinder and about 300 feet of extension cords to grind the rusted old locks off the gates. With the exception of the mayor and several housewives whose back doors the mayor was said to slip in and out of from time to time, everyone living in Basters Flats had to travel 3 hours each way to go to work and school on the military base. No one from the Military ever explained why they weren't allowed to use the shortest route through the gate at the edge of town and if the mayor knew he wasn't telling.

In the other direction the road barely skirted by the edge of Mount Stuckup which was named Mount Stuckup because it stuck up a few thousand feet above the flat plain where Basters Flats and the military base were located. Fact is, other than Mount Stuckup there wasn't another mountain within 100 or more miles of Basters Flats. Some folks claimed the military put the mountain there but the mayor assured them the mountain was there before the military bought what had once been the mayor's cattle ranch.

It was along about the middle of November at a meeting of the town council-- Mayor Watson, his brother Walter Watson the town prostitute Sally Struthers (not the one from TV) met to discuss what the town should do for the holidays, "Mr. Mayor," Councilwoman Struthers began, "I motion the town decorates a Christmas tree."

"I second that motion," Thelma Watson called out.

"Thelma," Councilman Watson replied, "you can't second a motion 'cause you ain't on the town board."

"I'm the Mayor's wife and if I want to second a motion then I'll second a motion. And if you try to stop me you won't have a couch to sleep on tonight even if you are my brother-in-law. Do you understand me, Walter Watson?"

You see, in small towns politics really do make strange bedfellows and as one of the women the mayor just happened to be seeing on the side was his brother's x-wife the mayor had decided the least he could do was let his brother sleep on the couch. And while Thelma might have secretly known about the mayor's little indiscretions she also knew how to get her way. "All in favor?" the mayor shouted.

"I, I, I!" the Mayor, Councilwoman Struthers and the Mayor's wife shouted."

"But where in the world are we going to get a Christmas tree?" Councilman Watson complained, "There ain't no kind of tree within a hundred miles of here, not nary a one."

"Yes there is, Daddy," a little girl shouted, pointing to the top of Mount Stuckup. "Yes there is. right up there." It was Councilman Watson's 5 year old daughter, Laura Lee.

"I don't know," the mayor cautioned, "nobody's ever climbed Mount Stuckup even in the summer and there's already snow on the top of the mountain. Your Daddy might get hurt climbing that mountain."

"My Daddy can do anything," Laura Lee insisted. "Please Daddy, can we have that tree?"

So early the next morning Walter Watson hoisted his pack, filled with camping gear, climbing gear and about a week's supply of freeze dried rations to his back and started his assent up the never before climbed Mount Stuckup just minutes after the sun arose in the sky.

The climb was hard but not as hard as he had expected it to be. As a matter of fact Walter began to wonder why it was that no one had ever climbed the mountain before. Reckon nobody ever saw the need to climb it, Walter thought to himself. By the end of the first day he was almost half way to the top of the mountain so he pulled his walkie-talkie from his belt and called down to the folks still watching from below. Only problem was he was already out of radio range so he pitched his tent and waved to everyone below just so they'd know he was safe.

Early the next morning after chowing down a cold ration of freeze dried oatmeal and washing it down with cold coffee, Walter packed-up camp and continued his trip up the mountain. The second half of the climb took him 4 days but when he awoke the next morning he took his first swing at the Christmas tree even before he fixed his breakfast.

Of course what no one had figured on was the fact that the tree which looked just about the right size from below was actually a monster of a Christmas tree that must have stood over 50 feet tall with a trunk almost 3 feet thick. Being that Walter had grown up in Basters Flats he had never done any real tree cutting but he'd watched enough lumberjack competitions on ABC's Wide World Of Sports to have a pretty good idea of how it was done so he began his notch in such a way as to drop the tree just outside the town limits on the side of the road in hopes that all would be okay. Besides, he thought to himself, the whole town's watching and they can see it from a mile away.

It took him about half a day to cut down the tree but finally just before noon Walter felt what he was sure every lumberjack felt as he watched his tree start to topple just exactly the way he had planned. As the tree disappeared from his view he smiled and said, "Laura Lee was right, her daddy can do anything."

From that moment on Walter was a changed man. No more would he sleep on his older brother's couch or allow himself to be pushed around by his sister-in-law. He owned the house his X was living in even before she married him and if she wouldn't have him back he'd throw her out of the house and raise little Miss Laura Lee all by himself if he had to. And he was going to quit paying Sally Struthers for sex too. Walter knew full-well he was her only customer and if she wouldn't give it up for free then she could find another place to live as well. You see, Walter and Howard were both half owners of Sally's house and her days of trading out the rent were over.

Walter did a lot of thinking on his way back down that mountain. The fact that he was the first man to ever mount Mount Stuckup ought to count for something and did he need to remind anyone that Basters Flats had never before had a Christmas tree? Yep, Walter Watson was certain he was the first hero Basters Flats had ever produced and the next time the Military needed someone to let them out of the base he would be the one to grind the locks off the gate. "Hell," Walter snorted, "When I get down I'm going to grind the entire gate off them rusty old hinges. Ain't no reason a town should only have one way in and one way out. Ain't no reason at all."

As Walter walked into town early the next morning he saw the Christmas tree standing straight as it could be in what looked to be his brother's front yard but before he could get a closer look Sally can running out to meet him. "Walter, we need to talk."

"We can talk. We can talk a lot but first I'm going to make my brother move that tree out of his front yard and into my front yard."

"That's what I came to talk to you about," Sally said as she reached to grab Walter's hand and kissed him on the cheek. "Something bad's happened to your brother."

"What's wrong with Howard?"

"He's dead," Sally answered, her voice cracking and her lips trembling. "He's dead, Thelma's dead and so is your X, all dead."

Suddenly Walter was feeling weak at the knees. "What happened, what about Laura Lee, is she okay?"

"Laura Lee is fine. She's asleep at my house. She's been at my house since before it happened."

"Well what happened to Howard?"

"Bastard's flat," Sally answered. "The tree came right through the roof of his front bedroom and mashed the bastard flat right there in his king sized water bed."

"And Thelma and..."

"Flat too. They was having a threesome when the tree plunged through the roof and killed all three of them."

So now you know why acting Mayor Walter Watson decided to rename the town, Basters Flats.

Dec 12, 2018

Ice Melt

Someone stole the snowman.
He was there just yesterday.
They stole the snow that surrounded him,
where the children love to play.
There won't be any snowball fights
or angels on snow covered ground,
'cause someone stole the snowman
an' the thief cannot be found.

Dec 11, 2018

Buddy, the Dog, And the Christmas Tree

In August of nineteen seventy-seven I married a beautiful young debutante. I was twenty-one, Terry was twenty, or so she said, but she was beautiful. We fought like cats and dogs, usually about money, but sometimes I think she just insisted on getting her way. Usually, she did.

We had been married for about a month when she started acting really weird. When I would get up in the morning she would be all smiles, but by the time I finished getting dressed Terry would be sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor wailing and crying her eyes out while my breakfast went up in smoke. “What’s wrong, Baby?” I always asked. “Don’t worry ‘bout burning my eggs. I like ‘em that way. It’s okay, really it is.” I was trying to be nice. Really, I was.

“I don’t care about the eggs!” she would wail.

“Well, what’s wrong?” I would ask again.

“I don’t know,” was always her reply.

I decided I had married a crazy woman so I went to talk to my daddy about all the strange goings-on at my house. Daddy laughed and said, “Well, it sure looks as if I’m going to be a grandfather.”

“Really,” I asked, “which one of my brothers done gone and got some girl knocked up?”

“Not your brothers, Son, you.”

“Not me Daddy, I’m married!”

“Trust me, Son. Take Terry to one of those women’s doctors and he’ll tell you the same thing.” I did and Daddy was right. It was only then I began to realize how smart the old guy really was.

From that point on, Terry got her way even when she didn’t want her way. I know that sounds confusing, but I was pretty confused at the time. How was I going to take care of a baby when I only took home eighty-six dollars a week, and Terry was too sick to work at all? I was a nervous wreck and would agree to just about anything to avoid another fight, and that girl would fight about almost anything.

Like I said, Terry got her way even when she didn’t want her way, so when she brought home a puppy I said yes even though the landlord had strictly forbid pets of any kind. The puppy didn’t cry nearly as much as Terry would have cried if I had of said no. Besides, we all know who ran the house, don’t we?

Buddy-- that’s what she named him-- was a mix between a Saint Bernard male and a Border Collie female. Don’t ask me how they managed that but they did. Buddy had all the markings of a Saint Bernard but in miniature. He was even shaped like a Saint Bernard. A year later, when he was fully grown, people would still think he was a Saint Bernard puppy, but that’s getting ahead of the story.

As I said, we didn’t have much money, so when it came time for a Christmas tree, Terry, Buddy, and I walked across her daddy’s farm, and when Terry found just the right tree, I chopped it down. It really didn’t look any different from the first tree we had looked at three hours before, but Terry thought it to be the prettiest Christmas tree in the whole world. ‘Nuff said.

Because we didn’t have any money for decorations, we decided to make our own. While Terry burned the ginger bread santas, I strung miles of popcorn with needle and thread. Some red and green construction paper, and a bit of gold flakes went a long ways toward making ornaments, and peppermint candy canes would hang almost anywhere. I have to admit that in all my years I’ve never seen a Christmas tree so beautiful. There was no money for presents but the tree made up for it.

As we only owned one running car-- the other was on blocks in the yard-- Terry would gather-up Buddy and take me to work everyday. I could have rode my motorcycle but it was a cold winter, and I didn’t yet own a leather jacket or warm gloves. One evening when Terry came to pick me up at work, Buddy wasn’t with her. “Where’s Buddy?” I asked. “Is he okay?”

“I left him at home,” Terry replied.

“But he’ll run out into the street.”

“No, silly. I left him in the house.”

“Oh, he’ll be fine, but if he makes a mess you have to clean it up.”

As I followed Terry into the front door of our home, she began screaming, “Oh my God! Oh my God!” I didn’t yet know what she was screaming about until I saw the Christmas tree laying on the floor, decorations in shambles, and Buddy no where to be found. Terry started screaming something about who would do such an awful thing and what did they do to her little dog, Buddy? “What will they do to him?” she cried.

I quickly surveyed the room. There were half eaten santas and torn candy cane wrappers all over the room. I noticed one of the popcorn strings lead behind the couch so I began to follow it. Just as I suspected, there was Buddy trying to eat his way to the end of it one kernel at a time. He really looked hilarious, and even Terry stopped crying long enough to laugh at him before resuming her tirade. I didn’t think it would be safe to pull the string out so I sent Terry to get a pair of scissors and cut the string about three kernels in front of his nose. “I’m going to go over to Daddy’s and see if he’s got a dog chain we can borrow.”

“But you can’t make him stay out in the cold,” Terry said with tears in her eyes.

“Listen, he’s half Saint Bernard and they like being out in the cold. Besides, if that popcorn comes out the way it went in, he’ll be dragging it all over the house.”

That’s when Buddy learned to live outside.

Dec 10, 2018

Party At The Kringles!

There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
Them reindeer really love to rock ‘n roll.
There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
It’s the kinda’ joint most people never know.

They’re always havin’ fun at the Kringles.
Rockin’ Christmas songs most every night and day
‘cause time is drawing near, the elves are drinking beer,
an’ Misses Claus let’s Santa get his way.

You oughta’ hear the band down at the Kringles.
That Rudolph, he’s a rock ‘n rollin’ star.
Antlers pounding on them drums, havin’ lots of fun.
Prancer dances nude while Dancer plays guitar.

There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
Them reindeer really love to rock ‘n roll.
There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
It’s the kinda’ joint most people never know.

There’s lots of pretty girls at the Kringles,
though most are kinda’ short an’ really green,
but they’re happy to see you, and Man, I swear it’s true,
their skirts, the shortest that you’ve seen.

There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
Them reindeer really love to rock ‘n roll.
There’s a party goin’ on at the Kringles.
It’s the kinda’ joint most people never know.

It’s time we made our way to the Kringles.
A party at the North Pole would be fun.
An Saint Nick, he’s so cool as he’s breakin’ all the rules,
eatin’ fruitcake, drinkin’ liquor by the ton.

Dec 9, 2018

Maybe Frosty Can Dig You Out

Be Careful What You Wish For
Twelve inches, Twelve inches, was that what you planned?
It's still coming down-- all you can stand.
They've closed all the schools, the buses can't go
just because, you wanted some snow.
Your pantry is empty, cupboard is bare;
you need to go shopping but no one is there.
The stores are all closed, restaurants closed too.
I guess you'll be boiling your old leather shoes.
The power's gone out, you can't build a fire
so you put on more clothes, pile the covers up higher.
You're trapped in your house with no place to go
because you thought you wanted some snow.

Six Inches

“Six inches, six inches,”
and she yelled, “I want more!”
as she stomped both her feet
and slammed all the doors.
But it’s only six inches
and I can’t make it grow
so she’ll just have to wait
‘til the clouds make more snow.