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Riposte to Ogden Nash
The Boy Who Laughed at Santa Claus
I like to think of Jabez Dawes
Made jack-in-the-box by Santa Claus.
The story may have sounded fun
To Ogden Nash or anyone
More keen on humour than on truth,
To rue the fate of the adventurous youth.
For how can sentimental sham
Pink as bacon, round as ham,
And fat as an elephant of Hannibal's
[Unpalatable, besides, for cannibals]
Turn into a toy which charming isn't
A boy whose behaviour was not unpleasant?
In Baltimore the story goes
They laugh at Santa Claus's nose,
As at clownish antics in the sawdust
It is Jabez then who laughs the loudest.
And Santa's nose at a game of darts
Is used as a target by men of parts.
Luminous like the woeful Dong's
It's made the butt of ribald songs.
And, furthermore, they choke with glee
At new versions of Santa's nightly spree.
They say through the chimney he portly descended
And on Jabez's fireplace flaming up ended.
[Since Old Bacon is blubber and fat,
It's nothing to be wondered at.]
It's also said that he got stuck
In the chimney to his rotten luck.
Serious folk say he's St. Nicholas;
I'm sorry, folks, this doesn't tickle us.
It's horrid to deceive a tot
With what isn't and what is NOT.
And all that fiddle about 'stockings up'
Reduces parents to paupers, pup.
So if you wish to sob or cry
You may, but do so thankfully.
Jabes Dawes today he dines
On caviare and Spanish wines
[And, of course, a slice of venison]
First having said his grace or benison.
All good children of Baltimore
Are welcome to his table, though
Vested Interests in that Myth
Stay out lisping, 'Thantha ith.'
© Tan Pratonix/Roland N Oliver
(written as a teenage youth, between the ages of 18 and 19)