HO

HO

by Brian Dykstra

SANTA’S WORLD

Old Santa Claus can get applause most any time of year
But after Halloween it seems, he owns the Holiday cheer
Fast Forward past Thanksgiving, Hanukkah’s barely a pause
While Kwanzaa’s just a radar blip, chewed up in reindeer jaws.

See Santa owns the season, the time, the place, the name
He’s got kids writing heartfelt letters, begging for the latest game
Or crafted by his worker elves, little lasses, they want dolls
And dresses for their groovy girls, gift certificates from malls
For videos, and stereos, CD’s guns & ammo
For toys for boys that bring them joys from companies like Whammo

Hasbro, Milton Bradley, Razor scooters, ways to surf
Hot Wheels, G.I. Joes, and indoor footballs made by Nerf.
Ken & Barbie’s plastic house, plus their furniture & plants
Dolls that really cry wet tears and really piss their pants.

Sega sells off Santa’s shelves, Mattel’s a contract player
Music stores dump overstock like Judas Priest & Slayer
They all have kickback operations and backroom trade arrangements
To hide their cash in odd accounts that protect against estrangements.

See Santa runs the syndicate, he’s got his team in place
And don’t you fuck with Santa Claus, cause he’ll get in your face
Or he’ll send his team of lawyers in, there is no tougher bunch
Than the firm of Fredrickstone, McSanderson, and Munch.

These lawyers run the operation, the flack, the interference
And no one’s ever beat these boys in any court appearance
They rode that German Santa’s butt back home on the Autobahn.
They own the dark of Xmas night, from sundown on through dawn

They sued the pants off Smilin’ Jack just for wearing red
And shaved white beards off fat men who wear caps upon their head
They incarcerated heavy guys when they were acting jolly
Take one percent of lifetime earnings from every girl named Holly
A half percent from Kristas, three quarters from Noels
And point nine cents from angels for each ringing of their bells

Kris Kringle owns residuals on every Xmas item
From twinkle lights to elf-green tights, to stars and how to light ‘em
He gets cuts of eggnog sales, and a piece of all fruit cake
(But his shares of figgy pudding was a financial mistake)
He gets a piece of metal tree stands and those cotton tree stand skirts
He even gets a little cut of Xmas car rentals from Hertz
Glass ornaments, wax candles set in holiday theme
He even hatched a plan to own a certain color scheme
He brought in Xmas wrapping paper as a partial demonstration
To own the colors red & green in every combination.

His lawyers winced and shook their heads, “You can’t own colors,” they cried
So Santa, he withdrew his suit and something else he eyed
He re-focused his attention, his lawyers filed a brief
To petition the court for residuals on every child’s belief

And while the case was pending, the fat man he sat back
And fluffed the fur around his cap, and shined his wide belt black
St. Nick surveyed his kingdom, it stretched as far as he could see
And Santa smiled his Santa smile, and flexed his arthritic knee.

Yes, Santa owned the season, from late October through the year
And no one else could challenge him, that much is crystal clear
Yeah, Santa owned the season, it’s days and cold crisp nights
But Santa should have learned before, you never look for fights
But that’s what happens on winning streaks when you’re sweeping every meet
You start to overestimate, you think you can’t get beat.

But that’s another story son, for later in this thing
You first must meet the players who might step into the ring
So we leave Santa sitting there, concentrating on himself
Traveling to valleys far away, or as close as your grocers shelf

I defer to another storyteller, another one like me
And wait to fill you in some more on things that Santa sees
As he searches for advancements or for opportunities
His defenses feel impregnable, court battles end with ease
While he rocks back and plans attacks on old arthritic knees.

 

THE VALLEY OF THE JOLLY GREEN GIANT

Up in the valley of the Jolly Green Giant, comes this new kid they’re talking about.
He’s not tough, or rough and tumble, they call this child the Little Green Sprout
Now this little kid, he’s going through life with a handle to make anyone mad
The other kids, they call him Greenie, say he’s an extra weenie that fell off his dad.
I mean, Little Green Sprout, Little Green Sprout, who wants to be called Little Green Sprout?
How awful would that be? Little is bad enough, but sprout?
“ Hey Sprouty, hey Greenie, Hey teeny green weenie” It’s enough to make a kid run screaming and shout:
“ I’ll show ‘em, I’ll learn ‘em, I’ll teach ‘em a thing,
I’ll clock those corn gobblin’ critters and sing.
That’s just what I’ll do, don’t think I can’t do it.
I’ll find me a window and push them all through it
I’ll box their ears off, those peas in a pod.
I’ll show them who’s boss here, I’ll show ‘em who’s God
I’ll boil them in oil, I’ll steam them in grease
I’ll shuck them and fuck them and feed them to geese.
I’ll take them to market and sell them for feed
I’ll kidnap their mothers and turn them to seed.
I’ll plow the whole field and re-plant it with weed!
… Someday I’ll be boss here, and that’s my new creed.”

But this little snot-nosed kid knew he had to face facts, he knew he was in trouble
The Jolly Green Giant was three hundred and twelve and most lived to be double
There’s even one guy with his home in the sky who lived to be three thousand and three
Well he couldn’t wait that long, not our little sprout, that wouldn’t work out he thought, “Not for me.”

So he hitched up his pants, and he girded his loins
He counted his paper, and rolled up his coins
The Sprout had an idea that he’d be the man
So he went on the internet and hatched out a plan.
He visited web sites to learn to build bombs
He found inspiration in hard-hearted psalms
He down loaded poisons and hid them from mom
And then he found answers at Santa.com

See, Santa he knew a good thing when he had it, he understood what needed defending
So he built a website complete with a tip line and filters to edit any pranks or pretending
He understood just how important it was to keep at least one ear to the ground
And he read his e-mail, checked three times a day, one late afternoon there was this message he found

But, I’m getting ahead, I’m sorry to say
There are at least three other events of that day
Oh, the race at the picnic and the book fair can wait
But the bass fishing contest? And what they used for bait?

THE BASS FISHING CONTEST

Every year the law firm hit the lakes and fishing sites
McSanderson insisted and the partners thought it right
To have a fishing competition, and the prize for biggest bass
Was a rewarded paid vacation & one less day of kissing ass.

The associates looked forward to this day throughout the year
And any way to beat the boss was cause for holy cheer
But somehow Munch, he had it figured how to rig the game
And every year at weighing time it all came out the same

See, Munch oversaw the Claus account he carried tons of weight
He got credit for all those billing hours and this recipe for bait:
He tied his flies from the insides of stolen donated sweaters
That were supposed to go to homeless couples and tapped-out compulsive bettors
He weaved sturdy fishing lines from plucked hairs of Irish Setters
And bagged the lunkers with lures made of torn “Dear Santa” letters

He kept a secret to himself he’d known about for years;
The biggest fish could not resist the parts of letters stained with tears
Tears from poor kids, tears of rage
Tears that do not dry with age
Tears of desperation, asking Santa to make saves
Of dying Aunts, of one more chance, of making stepfathers behave.

How he got this information you may flat out not want to hear
Santa clued him in, a bonus one particularly good year

And as Munch was pulling up these fish at his usual alarming pace
A message came from Santa Claus who called a face to face
It took Munch a couple moments for him to pack up all his gear
And hide his bait so he could wait to win again next year.
He felt a little breeze from behind him through his hair
And when he turned around he found an angry Santa standing there.

Yeah, Mr. Claus was shaking, turning red just like his suit
He opened up his mouth to speak, but temporarily was mute
He waved a paper up and down, and flung it in the air
And Munch, the calming lawyer, snatched it down and read it there

An e-mail print out from a kid he’d never met before
This had to be a prank he thought, a gag, a joke, no more
And Santa shouldn’t be taken in, he simply must know better
But that’s when he spied in Santa’s hand, a second printed letter.

So, Munch, he asked, and Santa sputtered, and managed to get out
A warning of an ad campaign that came from Little Sprout
But Munch, he doubted that anyone would agree to take them on
Let alone old JGG who’d crapped out, his cash was gone

“We already took him down before,
No one would come back for more
Not the after whipping we dished out,
There’s nothing left to fight about.
The Jolly Green Giant? Drawing the line?
This Sprout must have lost his mind
No, the kid’s mistaken you know he’s wrong
Someone should re-posses his bong
The Giant’s been away too long
We own his ass, we’ve sung that song.”

The lawyer went on to re-explain how they beat him in the past
How they took him to court and cut him short, how they hit him hard & fast
Sure, there was a time when Santa shared a slogan with Jolly Green
When Ho Ho Ho, and Ho-Ho-Ho were both there on the scene
But Santa laughed his three-Ho laugh to show he was strong & able
And Jolly Green to make damn sure there were veggies on the table
But Santa had his holdings, an empire to protect
So they dragged the Giant into court and with the law they wrecked
Their truce, the peace, their understanding
They bought the jury and paid the judge and ended up demanding
That the Jolly Green Giant stop using, in any sort of ads
That Ho-Ho-Ho he’s always used to sell corn to moms and dads
It got so bad the judge decreed there had to be a ban
And the Jury even struck the words from every single can.

“So there’s no way,” the Lawyer said, “he’d try another take
I have to re-reiterate, this must be a mistake
He cannot go against the rules, he hasn’t got the smarts
He doesn’t have the cash to fight, he hasn’t got the heart
I say again the danger’s nil, I’ll stake my reputation
There is no threat of seeing any market penetration.
His slogan can’t appear in print, it can’t be true you see?
Now please relax and kick on back, leave everything to me.”

But Santa, usually confident, got nervous ‘bout Jolly Green
His lawyers always noticed that, but ignored what it might mean
And Santa waved the paper, “This is not just a mistake.”
Then he demanded quickly, to know what action they would take.
So Munch he eyed the paper, but Santa held it tight
“ How are you sure,” his lawyer asked, “that this green sprout is right?”

And Santa answered quickly, as if he’d worked out what to say
“ I’ve got his plan here in my hand, I know the month & day
They’re going to launch this ad campaign. They’re going to bring it back
They’ll saturate the media with a long three-pronged attack
They’ve already hired two spokesmen, a prostitute named Flo
And a farmer type with one long tool needed to cultivate a row
Then the Green Giant has his slogan, which everybody knows
Don’t you see my overpriced lawyer, that’s three completely different Hos.

And since we know his slogan, it’s nothing he has to say
He’ll get around what the judge found, he already knows the way
And he’s traipsing on my territory, he’s dancing on my rights
He’s trying to steal his slogan back, and I’m sorry but that bites.
He’s got me angry once again, this will not be okay
I do refuse to stand for this, I sorry sirs, to say
I am Santa fucking Claus here, and I will have my way
I want Jolly Green imprisoned for forever and a day.
And if you can’t make that happen then you have to use your skill
To make a plan and find a man who will get the Giant killed.”

And now you see Sprouts evil plan
On how he can become the Man
If he gets rid of Jolly Green
He’s next in line, if he kills the Queen
Then of course, there’s Giants’ assistant
But Sprout’s myopic, that’s why he missed it
And anyway he’ll use his mind
To figure it all out in time
To rule the valley, his ultimate quest
And to get even and be the best
And build a temple, a shrine to self
And take home trophies to fill his shelf
And rule the people with an iron fist
See what happens when you get Sprout pissed?

Santa’s lawyers got wide-eyed, started licking at their chops
To bring down a giant twice in court, well that would be the tops.
They counseled against giganticide, which of course would be unlawful
They formed a plan with a single goal, to make the Giant feel awful

When Santa Claus consented they got busy on the case
They contacted the court with grievances and insisted on place
To be heard against the ad campaign for a ceasing & desist
They wanted criminal charges filed in a specific cruel twist
Their complaints against Old Jolly Green added up to quite a list
No one stopped to consider what happens when Giants feel dissed
Or even thought about what would happen if he got pissed
And they certainly all forgot to measure the circumference of his fist.

 

DAY IN COURT

It’s difficult to have a hearing if one of the parties decides they’d rather not show up
And not because they were stuck at home or lost somewhere, or sick, or throwing up
The Jolly Green Giant had had enough, he wasn’t the one who started this stupid fight.
So he decided to ignore the court and it’s order, he held it as an inalienable right

So Santa’s lawyers hemmed & hawed, they scratched behind their ears
They consulted law books, asked a judge who exposed their growing fears
The Judge he looked the team of lawyers coolly in the eye
He cleared his throat, and before he spoke, let out a little sigh

“Old Jolly Green’s a giant. He’s thirty stories high
He doesn’t want to come to court? So go, and ask him why.
But it’s not like we can force him, he’s the biggest giant around
He’s stronger than five hundred whales he’s bigger than this town
You sure you want to file this, you want to make these waves?
If you think about the repercussions, he could make us all his slaves.”
But one of the lawyers answered, “There’s this idea I want to mention,
What if we went ahead and tried the giant in abstention?”

The Judge agreed, the court decreed the trial would proceed
With the giant noncompliant, and who to speak for him, indeed?

See, with Santa’s request granted
Who would argue Jollys case?
Which lawyer wasn’t slanted
Towards old Santa’s kindly face?

The state approached big law firms
For pro bono help, and such
But their other clients squirmed,
“ Don’t you think it’s a bit much?”

“To go against the Clauses
It’s like torture, only faster
Even with our other causes
It’s a huge P. R. disaster.”

They passed the buck to other firms
Who passed it on themselves
They would not accept the terms
To oppose the king of elves

If Santa skipped their houses
Because these lawyers argued great
There’d be hell to pay with spouses
And kids screams to tolerate

So in order for the court to get to a decision they could render
The judge appointed from the ranks a young public defender
An eager girl with simple looks, sly eyes appearing wily
A fashion sense, an Irish name, she’s called: Samantha Riley.

She took the assignment, no questions asked, never considering she’d take a pass
With the trial date approaching fast, she had information to amass.
There were things about her argument she would’ve liked to get consented
From her absent Giant client and all the problems that presented

But he would not participate in preparing a defense
Against the charges brought against him in pages of dense
Legalese prepared by sleazy easy talking passers of the bar
Who get 6 hundred an hour and all drive expensive cars

Ms. Riley hurried up, jumping in & getting started
Even though the odds were she would end up broken hearted
Santa’s team was confident, why bother with a bribe
Or trying to seat a jury from a frozen North Pole tribe?

They started out self-righteous, even worse than hoity-toity
They counted pre-hatched chickens, and don’t worry, I haven’t got a single rhyme for hoity-toity, and now I’ve gone and thrown off the rhythm. Shit! …A little help?

 

MEANWHILE

Meanwhile…and all other things being equal, I have to say I much prefer any story that contains the word…meanwhile:

Meanwhile Mr. Jolly Green was getting tired of the attention
He got interview requests from media too numerous to mention
The law firm press releases claimed he was just a bully
That his arm-pits both smelled stinky and his pubic hair was wooly

His breath was bad he was an absent dad, nine toes had athletes foot
The other one a bunion, corns, and toe cheese taking root
He’s a giant in name only, but was really skin & bone
He’d lost his shape through laziness, he had no muscle tone

They said he never ate his veggies, was a smoker, took hard drugs
He never ever made his bed and urinated on his rugs
They said his sisters hated him, that he jerked around his brother
But he wasn’t the same after they claimed that he never called his mother

Something rumbled deep inside, nothing the Giant could recognize
Way too new to scrutinize, he forced himself to re-organize
His feelings, trying to deny something that made him feel sad
It happens like that sometimes, when Giants suppress what makes them mad.

Meanwhile…and all other things being equal…well, you know.

Ms. Riley catalogued her arguments she had them all in place
She worked up legal angles to invalidate Santa’s case
She filled her opening arguments with reason, rhyme & sense
She dazzled the jury with wordplay, her manner was intense.

She argued legal nuance and Santa’s lawyers got uneasy
When she touched on copyrights they all started feeling queasy.

“You can’t own words or sayings that exist in the vernacular
You couldn’t patent a word like gorgeous, stilted, or spectacular
The makers of the Yo-Yo can’t stop hip-hop musicians
From yelling Yo Yo to a crowd or be sued for those transgressions
You can’t own a common saying, a common word, there are no schisms
Between what is said and owned, you can’t own colloquialisms
You can’t copyright a title, that’s something we all know
They can shoot six films about a farm and call them How To Grow
You could write nine books about cocaine and call all of them Snow
You could write three plays for a single night and call all three plays Ho.
You could do it, you could do it, that is something you could do
You can call your book Titanic, The Abyss, or Rocky Two
You can call your book Leviticus, and God would let you do it
You can’t own a famous saying like fuck a duck or screw it.
For the love of God, it’s just a laugh if we’d only get down to it
Like ha-ha-ha or hee-hee-hee or any way you do it
Next they’ll want to own a snicker, or giggles & guffaws
The next thing on their list might be passing chuckle laws
Laws outlawing chortles, cackles, blubbers, hoots & hollers
Anything that they’re afraid might cost the fat man dollars
The silent laugh, the belly laugh, the laugh that shakes a fort
The wryly dry hysteric cry, the full blown barnyard snort
And for anyone whose laugh causes jiggles at his belly
You already can’t describe it as a “bowl full of jelly”
We’re all in danger if this lawsuit keeps Green Giant down
If they finally own each laugh there is, all we can do is frown
And then, who knows, if they get those that would launch a great depression
Imagine living in a world devoid of all expression
Is that what Santa Claus is after? We can’t be sure, you see
He wants to possess ho-ho-ho so why not hee-hee-hee?”

In the middle of her argument, in the zone & on a roll
The words she used most certainly were taking quite a toll
Santa fretted, pined, upsetted, he couldn’t maintain his cool
Munch objected but each time the judges overruled

 

THE CHALLENGE

Then suddenly it happened; a moment unanticipated
The courthouse roof was gone, like smoke it dissipated
The gallery looked up and what they saw there took their breath
The Giant stood there angry, primed to fight Santa to the death.

Jolly Green issued a challenge for the whole wide world to hear
He wanted the fat man then and he wanted him right there
He challenged him with the little-known double-legend clause
That he hoped would supersede the court and any of their laws

His lawyer Riley quick-switch gears, acquiescing to his desire
Wishing he would’ve listened in and kept allowing her to fire
At the shaky legal ground Santa wanted to stake out
But rather she cited precedent for the Giant to take out
His anger on a nuisance suit, brought by this living fable
The unwritten laws that allowed Medusa to kill Abel
And blame it on his brother Cain, or for Mrs. Spiderman
To challenge Sisyphus to a deadly game of kick the can.

The dreaded double-legend clause had been called upon before
It was last invoked for Snow White to use King Kong to wipe the floor
It was invoked for the epic battle between Freddy Kruger and The Tick
While Godzilla killed the Brady Bunch with a sneaky magic trick

It was Ajax vs. Arial happening once again
Mr. Spock in the title bout vs. Zeus and his best friend
Ironman & Frankenstein tag-teaming Tinkerbell
While Little Bo Peep & Davey Jones sent Flipper straight to hell
A lesser-known dude named Joey Rude had broken Wolfman’s back
While Hannibal Lecher scored a draw against the Spring-Heeled Jack

It was for armies of ogres vs. legions of trolls
For big pats of butter vs. bowls of rolls
It was for My Little Pony kicking Fairies & Sprites
Or the ass-whipping the Hulk laid on all Mighty-Mites
Or even the rematch when the Mites upped their bulk
So with andro and steroids they drop-kicked the Hulk.

The judges called recess for cooler heads to prevail
But Santa was worried he’d get crushed like a snail
So Old Claus he sidled to Sam Riley’s side
Where he patted her arm and then smiled wide

“Say, Mrs. Attorney, I’ve a small proposition
I think it might make you take a contrary position

I don’t mean to bribe you, but there are these things I can do
I’ll choose gifts for your friends that will be perfect from you
I’ll guarantee you perpetual great holiday shopping
With no last-minute panic or restless mall-hopping
I’ll deliver your packages exactly on time
You can make Xmas phone calls for less than a dime
I’ll make unique greeting cards with the cleverest rhyme
I’ll be sure it snows Xmas without the least hint of grime
All you have to do is forget to argue too well
Let’s send this lawsuit where it belongs, straight to hell
I’ll make all of your Christmases painless and blest
And I’m sure you’ll agree, that would be for the best.”

But Riley looked at Santa Claus who thought he knew what she would do
She said, “I couldn’t be less interested…cause Claus, I am a Jew.”
Santa thought she must be joking, and she had done it dryly
A Jew? He thought then said aloud: “Not with an Irish name like Riley.”

But the lawyer shook her head, her expression remained the same
“ My husband died two years ago, but I kept my married name
And in case you’re interested he died fixing faulty wires
Installed in tacky plastic logs, that glowed with Yuletide fires.”

Santa couldn’t believe the news he heard in his one good ear
And that bowl full of Jelly laugh took on the sound of fear
So Santa whipped around, hoping the judges could save his bits
But of the three, two were named Lipshits & Lefkowitz
The third was named Bill Berry but Santa’s hope was gone
That judge converted years ago, he was observing Ramadan.

The walls closed down around him, so Santa made a plan
He’d gather up his reindeer, elves, and wife to fight that man
‘ Cause Dasher knew kung fu, and Dancer fought unfair
Prancer collected cannons and Vixen pulled your hair
Comet was a boxer, Cupid could shoot arrows
Donner made explosives that he packed in wheelbarrows
Blitzen was a card-carrying member of the NRA
He had gun-toting friends from the NFL & NBA
The elves all practiced Shotokan, and ancient Marshall Arts
While Mrs. Santa had sharp claws, and Rudolph lit his farts.
If Santa had to fight, he’d hit the giant front & back
Put nothing past old Santa Claus, he’d plan a sneak attack
He’d diagram an offence to hit him low & high
Elves to scramble up his feet, flying reindeer in his eye

 

MUTINY

But from deep within the ranks of Santa’s Elves came two voices raised in unity
“ Sorry, we can’t fight this fight, we hate to disappoint tonight but there’s no purity
In taking down a big green guy with pointy ears and a legitimate beef. It’s our belief
The Giant is actually somehow related. I mean we look at him and, admittedly with some relief
To us he looks just like an elf, although we acknowledge, more gigantically proportioned
So, we’re sorry to say that fighting him isn’t in the cards, and this is not extortion
But participating in any scheme to make the Jolly Green Giant die doesn’t really inspire
us to run into the fire and save old Santa Claus
Who truth be told has recently been acting like a bitch. So, no offence Claus, but we’re Audi, screw your laws.”

And with hoards of elves retreating, a reindeer shook his head
Comet glanced at Dancer, Rudolph’s nose stopped glowing red
The nine of them were certain that The Giant would kill them dead
So one by one they disappeared, leaving Claus there full of dread
The Green Giant advanced on Santa, Ho-Ho-Ho was all he said
As he raised his size 920 foot to smash down on Santa’s head
The foot came down at the speed of sound towards Santa’s balding spot
When a cry rang out and pierced the sky causing the giant foot to stop
Just inches over Santa’s head, the foot suspended there
While the cries of Mrs. Santa Claus still hung up in the air

“Don’t do it, Jolly Green, fight your anger, you’re too mad
I didn’t want to testify because what I know, it makes me sad
But don’t kill him Mr. Jolly Green, if you don’t you might be glad
Because I have proof, some evidence that Santa is your dad!”
… And the whole wide world went silent, while Santa hid his face
An ancient elf named Old Simone stepped in and took her place.

“It’s true what Mrs. Claus is saying, I was young without a care
And Santa cut a dashing figure so we had a short affair
But Santa was so big for me and I was small as you can see
When I got pregnant with his seed it grew and grew and grew in me
I went to see two doctors for a medical inspection
And both insisted on a sudden caesarian section
They said you died in childbirth, you were too big to survive
And I was shunted off to work the toy assembly line
But I always felt your presence, I was sure that you were there
And we would meet again someday, I’d see your face somewhere.”

The Giant felt his eyes well up, a tear fell to the ground
It splashed all over Santa Claus and the fat man nearly drowned
Jolly Green picked up his mother to look her in the eye
He knew she told the truth to him, he knew it deep inside.

“There’s more,” she said “that I can tell, that will give you added hope
Santa visited just the once, but he brought a stethoscope
He listened in, you in the womb and he heard this sound, you know
It was you laughing, deep inside, you giggled Ho-Ho-Ho
And Santa liked the sound of it, he was looking for a phrase
That might convey his friendly side, to help start the Xmas craze.”

 

THE RULING

When Riley heard that last bit, she moved for a dismissal
The judges all concurred but first made Santa bristle
With an order of the court demanding Santa be compliant
And be the one who had to pay residuals to the Giant.

With that The Giant snickered, and even though his mother was a gnome
He promised to take her out of there and construct for her a home
She worried about the assembly workers and how they might make out
So Munch, justifying his salary, set up a trade for Little Sprout.

The Giant nodded in agreement, somehow that all felt really right
He turned to go and leave them there and disappear from sight
He looked back with one last thing to say, he knew he’d earned the right
Because any way you look at it he’d clearly won the fight
And he couldn’t have resisted if he’d fought with all his might
He said “Merry Xmas to all”, his smile holding tight
And followed that with a sarcastic grin, “And to all I say …good-night.”