The Somewhere Bar was babe-less on this late November night.
The only girl available was serving me a Bud Light.
All the women were home unwinding and bragging of their scores,
On this yearly spending orgy, the day that God abhors.
All that shopping is exhausting, scratching and clawing takes its toll
And I still don’t understand why they worship that store named Kohl’s.
So I took a corner booth, sipped my beer and gazed around
And noticed that the Somewhere Bar had completely let me down.
Gift cards lined the register and T-shirts lined the walls
And a ceramic bulldawg Christmas tree had glowing bulldawg balls.
It was already late November and I hadn’t found my Christmas cheer
And I was determined not to find it in a refuge peddling beer.
An old peculiar codger sitting at the table next to mine
Tugged his gray bush of a beard and heaved a long forbearing sigh.
“Christmas is a bummer,” he said. “This year even worse than most.
“I’d like to tell Santa Claus to kindly kiss my toast.
“But that’d be hard to say, and an even harder thing to do,
“Because even if you don’t believe it, I am that old forsaken fool.”
I gave him a strange look, shook my head and glanced away
Not quite ready to deal with the nutcase of the day.
“It’s true,” he said, moving, from his table over to mine
“But I haven’t rode that magic sled since nineteen twenty-nine.
“Another black day of history, the day the stock market crashed,
“But up there in my world, my darling sweetheart passed.”
“We had our very first funeral in the outskirts of our town
“And the elves sang hymns and dirges as we all gathered ’round.
“And when Mrs. Claus was laid to rest, black Tuesday at the North Pole,
“Something came unhinged in my head and broke inside my soul.
“The Christmas lights no longer flashed, and the bells no longer rang
“And I couldn’t find the spirit in my heart where it once sprang.”
“And without the needed guidance of Jolly Old St Nick
“Our Christmas town went to hell, and it went there pretty quick.
“The reindeer stopped flying; they said it wasn't worth the risk.
“They hid my sleigh in San Jose, and the thing was never missed.
“The elves formed a union, and stopped their toy works;
“They demanded pay and benefits and all the union perks.”
“One day they grew so bored, they hacked a satellite feed
“And spent the year consuming all the TV that they’d freed.
“They obsessed over one movie: Lord of the freaking Rings
“They wanted bows and arrows and an honored elfin king.
“All the boys liked Arwen and the girls loved Legolas
“And they steadfastly refused to honor their red-suited human boss.
“So I’ve spent my winters here in this hallmark Georgia town,
“Until another Santa Claus is made or birthed or found.”
He took a sip of Guinness and closed his rheumy eyes,
And I couldn’t help but penetrate his homeless beggar guise.
I found my Christmas spirit sitting there by old St. Nick
And decided I couldn’t take another year without him at the stick.
I shook him from his slumber, pulled him to his weary feet
And marched him from this den of booze and out into the street.
“Where are we going?” he asked. “My box is up on Prince.”
His breath was most unholy and his aroma made me wince.
“I’m taking you to visit the one person in this town
“Who has the Christmas spirit of near any woman ’round.
“My mom has been a widow since I was ten or twelve
“And I know she can handle reindeer rogues or rowdy elves.”
“So we’ll take you to her house, get you bathed and dressed and straight,
“And I’ll introduce Her Plumpness to her newfound Christmas mate.
“Yule is just around the corner, only thirty days or so;
“You need a new Mrs. Claus, and my mother needs a new beau.”
He nodded, blinked, laughed, and finally began to cry.
“You were always a good boy, DJ,” he said with a knowing smile.