Published September 17, 2007 by
One Christmas Eve, a CPR bachelor sat in his lonely quarters in a small prairie town. He was in a retrospective mood, and there passed through his mind visions of Christmases of the long ago when there was always a joyous throng gathered around the gift-laden tree. He recalled letters addressed in cramped little hands to Santa Claus, thought lovingly of dear faces of those far-off days, and felt very dreary. Thinking, too, of his friends who had recently forsaken the ranks of bachelordom, he was overpowered by a sensation of unutterable loneliness.
Throwing on his greatcoat and cap he went out into what seemed to him a cold and cheerless night. Wandering down the street, and entering a clothing store, he bought a pair of lady's silk stockings, took them back to his room, hung them in front of the fireplace and pinned to them the following note:
"Dear Santa Claus - Please try and fill these for me with gourmet Christmas gifts before next Christmas."
Dear Charles -
The torpor of the feast
Still steeps me in its charm, as here I sit beside the stove Contented, placid, warm,
And wonder if my gastric power is competent to wage
Digestive war 'gainst this assault of turkey stuffed with sage.
And if it isn't - "What the hell." Just let the nightmares prance this night upon my stomach's full and round protuberance;
For I have had a jolly time,
And "Peace on earth" I sing,
"Good will to men," with hope that they have also had their fling.
'Twas one o'clock when I went down with vaulting appetite,
And sat with Dickey at my left, the artist at my right;
Hard castle worked the carving knife, Miss Peck a welcome smiled,
While Gertrude piled side dishes full, and giggled as she piled.
With clatter loud the fray began,
We wrought with might and main and knives and forks and everything a victory to gain.
Cranberry sauce was like the dew when fierce the sun doth shine; and celery went down like corn before devouring kine.
But soon the ardor that inspired the first assault was spent,
And on us all began to fall the spirit of Content.
We laid our knives and forks aside, each heaved a happy sigh,
Then took a swig of cider (hard) and wrestled with the pie.
Next came the oranges and nuts, with Dickey's flow of jests,
And squirmings around in corsets and the opening of vests;
And then reluctantly we rose and up the groaning stairs,
With lagging feet we slowly climbed, and sought our various lairs.
Yes, I was full! I am so still!
Nor deem that fullness sin,
Though Faith and Fasts go hand in hand, to feasts my Hope I pin,
In the entire world I doubt if there's a saint with soul benign
Whose feeling of good will to men is more sincere than mine?
And so, dear boy, I write to you to wish you well and say
I hope that you abdominal distension feel today,
To hell with liver, blues and dumps! Who cares for griping bile?
Tonight I'll pledge you as of old in foaming Staten Isle.
What matters it if now and then the wolf should near us snarl? We're better than the candid fool who bugs his golden "bar'!"