Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the firm
Not a creature was stirring, not even an intern;
The files were hung by the ventilation shaft with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The associates were nestled all snug under their desks,
While visions of bonuses danc’d in their heads,
And I in my sweater vest, with a small flask of booze,
Had just settled my brain for a long winter’s snooze –
When out in the parking lot there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the floor to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I stumbled and whined,
Then fumbled with the strings that open the blinds.
The lights on the breast of the Northwestern slush,
Gave the asphalt the texture of oatmeal mush;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, whose moves were so bad,
I thought for a moment it might be my dad.
More rapid than Westlaw his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call’d them by name:
“Now! Burger, now! Warren, now! Blackmun and Vinson,
“On! Cardozo, on! Clark, on! O’Connor and Brennan;
“To the top of the porch! To the top of the building!
“But let’s make it quick, my jingle bells are freezing!”
As dry leaves before the wild leaf blower fly,
When they meet with a falafel stand, mount to the sky;
So up to the office-top the ungulates they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys — and St. Nicholas too:
As their hooves hit the shingles and pranced with endurance,
I thought to myself, Does St. Nick have insurance?
As I pulled shut the blinds, and was turning around,
Down the vent shaft St. Nicholas squirmed to the ground:
He was dress’d all in fur, from his head to his foot,
I was astounded that PETA hadn’t yet filed suit;
A bundle of toys was flung on his back,
He look’d like a bike messenger after too many snacks:
His eyes a bit glassy, but his dimples: how merry,
His eyelids were lazy, but his nose like a cherry;
His droll little mouth was a little bit smirky,
And the beard of his chin was redolent of turkey;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his lips,
I said, “That’s legal here now,” and he said, “Yeah, I’m hip.”
He had a broad face, and a little round belly
That shook when he laugh’d, like a bowl full of jelly:
He was chubby and plump, his pants couldn’t fit more;
“Don’t worry,” he laughed. “I’m on Lipitor.”
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fill’d all the files; then turn’d with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose
And giving a nod, up the vent shaft he rose.
He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a holla,
And away they all flew, like the Lake Union trolley:
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight —
“Happy Christmas to all, does anyone have a light?”