"And to all, a good night --"



We begin (or end) with a gift of Frank M. Bland's transcription of the Edward "Kookie" Byrnes Christmas classic:


'Twas the night before Christmas
and all through the pad,
not a hep-cat was swingin'
and that's nowhere, dad.
The stove was hung up
in that stocking routine.
Like maybe the fat man
would soon make the scene.
The kids that fell by
had just made the street.
I was ready for snoresville...
Man, was I beat!
When there started a rumble
that came on real frantic.
So I opened the window
to figure the panic.
I saw a slick rod
that was makin' fat tracks.
Souped up by eight ponies
all wearin' hatracks.
And a funny old geezer
was flippin' his lid.
He told 'em to make it...
And, man, like they did!
They were out of the chute
makin' time like a bat.
Turnin' the quarter
in eight seconds flat!
They parked by the smokestack
in bunches and clusters...
Till chubby slid down,
comin' on like Gangbusters.
His threads were from cubesville
(and I had to chuckle).
In front -- not in back --
was his Ivy League buckle!
The mop on his chin
hid a button-down collar.
And with that red nose, dad,
he looked like a baller.
Like, he was the squarest...
The most absolute.
But, let's face it, huh?
Who cares when he left all that loot?
He laid the jazz on,
and peeled from the gig,
Wailin', "Have a Cool Yule, man,
and later...like, dig?"



World Famous Fruitcake Recipe from Mike Harris:

one cup water
one cup sugar
four large eggs
two cups of dried fruit
one teaspoon baking soda
one teaspoon salt
one cup brown sugar
lemon juice
one bottle whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality. Take a large bowl. Check the whiskey again. To be sure the whiskey is the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink straight down. Repeat. Turn on the electric mixer, beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar and beat again. Make sure the whiskey has not gone bad. Cry another tup. Turn off the mixer. Break two eggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit. Mix on the turner. If the fried fruit gets stuck in the beaters pry it loose with a screwdriver.

Sample the whiskey for toxicity. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey. Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Spoon. Of sugar or something. Whatever you can find.

Grease the oven. Turn the cake tin to 350 degrees. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window, check the whiskey one last time and go to bed.



Lev Spiro writes, "I Don't know the author and can only translate about 2/3 of it, but I laughed all through anyway."

'Twas the night before Chanukah, boychicks and maidels
Not a sound could be heard, not even the draidels.
The Menorah was set on the chimney, alight
In the kitchen the Bubba hut gechapt a bite.
Salami, pastrami, a glessala tay
And zayerah pickles with bagels, oy vay!
Gezunt and geschmack, the kinderlech felt
While dreaming of tagelach and Chanukah gelt.
The clock on the mantlepiece away was tickin'
And Bubba was serving a schtickala chicken.
A tumult arose like a thousand brauches,
Santa had fallen and broken his tuches.
I put on my slippers, eins, tsvay, drei,
While Bubba was now on the herring and rye.
I grabbed for my bathrobe and buttoned my gotkes
While Bubba was busy devouring the latkes.
To the window I ran and to my surprise
A little red yarmulka greeted my eyes.
Then he got to the door and saw the Menorah,
"Yiddishe kinder," he said, "Kenehora.
I thought I was in a goyisha hoise,
But as long as I'm here, I'll leave a few toys."
With much gesshray, I asked, "Du bist a Yid?"
"Avada, mein numen is Schloimey Claus, kid."
"Come into the kitchen, I'll get you a dish,
A guppell, a schtickala fish."
With smacks of delight, he started his fressen,
Chopped liver, knaidlach and kreplah gegessen.
Along with his meal, he had a few schnapps,
When it came to eating, this boy was the tops.
He asked for some knishes with pepper and salt,
But they were so hot, he yelled "Oy Gevalt."
Unbuttoning his haizen, he rose from the tisch,
And said, "Your Kosher essen is simply delish."
As he went to the door, he said "I'll see you later,
I'll be back next Pesach, in time for the Seder."
More rapid than eagles his prancers they came,
As he whistled and shourted and called them by name:
"Now Izzy, now Morris, now Yitzak, now Sammy,
Now Irving and Maxie, and Moishe and Mannie."
He gave a gesshray as he drove out of sight:
"Gooten Yontiv to all, and to all a good night."



A present from Frank Cammuso and Hart Seely unwrapped by Dolly Garlo:


"We're too late! It's already been here. Mulder, I hope you know what you're doing."

"Look, Scully, just like the other homes: Douglas fir, truncated, mounted, transformed into a shrine; halls decked with boughs of holly; stockings hung by the chimney, with care.

"You really think someone's been here?"

"Someone, or something."

"Mulder, over here--it's a fruitcake. Don't touch it! Those things can be lethal. It's O.K. There's a note attached: 'Gonna find out who's naughty and nice.'"

It's judging them, Scully. It's making a list."

"Who? What are you talking about?"

"Ancient mythology tells of an obese humanoid entity who could travel at great speed in a craft powered by antlered servants. Once each year, near the winter solstice, this creature is said to descend from the heavens to reward its followers and punish disbelievers with jagged chunks of antracite."

"But that's legend, Mulder--a story told by parents to righten children. Surely you don't believe it?"

"Something was here tonight, Scully. Check out the bite marks on this gingerbread man. Whatever tore through this plate of cookies was massive--and in a hurry. It left crumbs everywhere."

"And look, Mulder, this milk glass has been completely drained."

"It gorged itself, Scully. It fed without remorse."

"But why would they leave it milk and cookies?"

"Appeasement. Tonight is the Eve, and nothing can stop its wilding. But if this thing does exist, how did it get in? The doors and windows were locked. There's no sign of forced entry. Unless I miss my guess, it came through the fireplace."

"Wait a minute, Mulder. If you're saying some huge creature landed on the roof and came down this chimney, you're crazy. The flue is barely six inches wide. Nothing could get down there."

"But what if it could alter its shape, move in all directions at once?"

"You mean, like a bowl full of jelly?"

"Exactly. Scully, I've never told anyone this, but when I was a child my home was visited. I saw the creature. It had long white shanks of fur surrounding its ruddy, misshapen head. Its bloated torso was red and white. I'll never forget the horror. I turned away, and when I looked back it had somehow taken on the facial features of my father. Impossible. But I know what I saw.

"And that night it read my mind. It brought me a Mr. Potato Head, Scully. It knew that I wanted a Mr. Potato Head!"

"I'm sorry, Mulder, but you're asking me to disregard the laws of physics. You want me to believe in some supernatural being who soars across the skies and brings gifts to good little girls and boys. Listen to what you're saying. Do you understand the repercussions? If this gets out, they'll close the X-files."

"Scully, listen to me: It knows when you're sleeping. It knows when you're awake. But we have no proof. Last year, on this exact date, SETI radio scopes detected bogeys in the airspace over twenty-seven states. The White House ordered a Condition Red. But that was a meteor shower. Officially. Two days ago, eight prized Scandinavian reindeer vanished from the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. Nobody--not even the zookeeper--was told about it. The government doesn't want people to know about Project Kringle. They fear that if this thing is proved to exist the public will stop spending half its annual income in a holiday shopping frenzy. Retail markets will collapse. Scully, they cannot let the world believe this creature lives. There's too much at stake. They'll do whatever it takes to insure another silent night."

"Mulder, I -- Sh-h-h. Do you hear what I hear? On the roof. It sounds like...a clatter. The truth is up there. Let's see what's the matter."



From Shelley Marino and Marc K. Myers: comes this touching Xmas tale:

In a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. But one small feature bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets. Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.

At a "Quik Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me, "You darn Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled thru some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage.

Sticking it in my face she said "See, it says right here, the three wise man came from afar."

Off to afar, we'll e u later! P&M


Published 12/19/96

1996/2002 by Phil Proctor