S: The twELVES Before Christmas JIMMY HICKEY
BC: JIMMY HICKEY.... artist, writer, inventor, adventurer, Thaumaturgic Cartographer, and mystagogue, crafts a jolly holiday tale of merry-making and mayhem, of good intentions paving the road to ruin, of grand theft auto, home wrecking, floods and fireworks, pizza, beer, and bad cigars, with a dozen renegade Christmas elves.... hell-bent for mischief and the perfect wave. | Contact JIMMY HICKEY email@example.com (c) 818 472 4853 | Thimblerig Imprints O 2005 Jimmy Hickey | c
FC: A SUBURBAN FABLE BY JIMMY HICKEY
1: JIMMY HICKEY..., writer, artist, inventor, adventurer, Thaumaturgic Cartographer and mystagogue, crafts a jolly holiday tale of merry-making and mayhem, of good intentions paving the road to ruin, of grand theft auto and home wrecking, floods and fireworks, pizza, beer and bad cigars, with a dozen renegade Christmas elves.... hell-bent for mischief and the perfect wave. | Contact JIMMY HICKEY firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 472 4853
4: It was twelve days before Christmas And I was totally spent. No Xmas bonus And a big rise in the rent. | Bernice and the kids Were all out in the shops. And I was dead broke And tryin’ to get them to stop. | When out in the yard I heard a big crash. And I figured that THAT Was gonna cost me some cash. | A knock at the door And I jumped out of my chair. I hoped it wasn’t the cops That I’d find standing there.
6: I opened the door And to my surprise Stood a cute little elf About a foot and a half high. | “Can I use yer phone?” He asked with a grin. I said “Sure, local calls only.” And ushered him in. | I scanned the front yard For some signs of a wreck But I didn’t see anything.. So what the heck. | I went back and sat down Turned on the TV. But the remote control Shorted out the Xmas tree. | He went straight to the phone Dialed thirty digits or more, Then dialed another twenty And sat down on the floor. | He said, “Hiya, Boss,” But the rest I couldn’t hear, So I walked out to the fridge And got us both a beer.
8: He looked at me squarely. “I’ve got to lay low. My pals should be here soon, But it’s starting to snow.” | “So gimme a break Just forget that I’m here. Name’s Larry.relax. Let’s have another beer.” | I said, “Yeah, but what’ll I tell My wife and my kids?” He said, “They won’t know I’m here. I’ll keep meself hid. | Back in the living room He’d taken my chair. Made himself at home Like I wasn’t even there. | “Okay, now get lost, And no more of my beer. And no monkey business either, Or you’re outtahere!” | I shrugged my shoulders Looking for something to say Then I heard my wife’s car Pulling in the driveway.
10: Pizza for dinner Got the kids off to bed As visions of Action Man Danced in their heads. | Then Bernice and I Finally hit the hay. Christmas would be here In just eleven more days.
12: Then at 4 A.M. I sat up... WIDE AWAKE! The T.V. was on.... I started to shake. | Down the stairs in a flash It was Larry in my chair. And eating cold pizza Was another elf sitting there. | Larry said, “This here’s Bob. He’s on the lam too. He loves pets and kids. Uh, could you get us a brew?” | Then Bob made a ripper And chortled with glee As the needles withered off Of the Christmas tree. | I said, “Look here you guys This just won’t do. I’ve got a wife and a family. I can’t accommodate you.” | And Larry said, “Heck. It’s just for a while.” And then Bob farted again And flashed me a smile.
14: The phone rang. Larry grabbed it And waved me away. A few mumbled phrases Then he sang out “OK!” | “Who was that?” I demanded. “That’s my phone ya know.” “Well, it was Geezer and Toady, With Ratbag in tow.” | They’ll be here tomorrow But the Fat Man’s on their tail, And if you blow the whistle, We’re ALL goin’ to jail.” | I was getting perturbed. This just wasn’t right. These rogue elves in my house Were making me uptight. | Then Berniece calls down, “Are you OK Dave?” “It’s just the T.V. dear. Go to sleep.” (Good save!) | I turned to the elves And said, “OK boys. Just stay out of sight. And please, please no more noise.” | Larry smiled, “No problem, Dave. Uh, could you turn up the heat? We’re cold and we’re hungry. Anymore pizza to eat?” | Bob pinched off a poot. I could only shake my head. “Sweet dreams,” said Larry, As I stumbled back to bed.
16: I woke up the next morning With my head in a fog. The bad dreams of last night Left me sick as a dog. | So... I called in sick... To spend the day just relaxing. Some TV, maybe golf, But nothing too taxing. | Down to the kitchen For a nice cuppa tea. But now five little elves Were staring back at me. | “Mornin’ Dave,” says Larry. “The lads are here now. We woulda’ made you some breakfast But we just don’t know how.”
18: “I’ll introduce you. Well, you already know Bob, (poot) And over there’s Geezer. He’s a bit of a slob.” | “And Toady’s the one That’s peein’ in your sink. He’s really a nice fellow, But he’s had too much to drink.” | “And that one is Ratbag, Makin’ friends with your kitten. See, he loves pets too, But not all at one sittin’.”
20: “Dave, you’re probably wondering Why we’ve invaded your home. Well, we’ve escaped Santa’s clutches And struck out on our own.” | “We’re hittin’ the road, We’re followin’ our star. We woulda made it to Florida If we hadn’t wrecked the car.” | “Just think, no more snow. And no reindeer poo. Surf’s up in Margaritaville. Uh, you could come too.” | “We’ve plenty of room, Wombat’s found us a bus. We’ll be heading for sunshine. Come on and join us!” | I said,“You guys are crazy.... Let me make that perfectly clear.” Larry said, "Yeah Dave. Whatever. Uh... we’re all out of beer.”
22: “He can drive anything From a Mini to a Maxi. From a sub to a jumbo, Or a tractor to a taxi.” | “And he should be here In the next day or two. Same with the rest. You know, passengers and crew.” | “Here? You mean MY house?” I asked in dismay. “Yep”, replied Larry. “All twelve. Any day.” | “No way!”, I told him. “This is not a hotel. You and these hoodlums Can go straight to....” | I said, “Oh, and who’s Wombat? And what it HIS story?” “He’s our driver,” beamed Larry. “All guts and all glory.”
24: “Well.... hold on there Dave. You shouldn’t treat us so cold. We just might be leprechauns With a big pot of gold.” | “In your dreams!” I shot back. “There’s no such a thing”. But before I could say more The phone started to ring. | “I got it!” said Larry. “It’s for me. No worries. Yeah, three giant pizzas And two six packs. Please hurry.” | “Name’s Dave. Put it on my Visa. Put in a big tip for yourself. All of it is strictly legit. And I swear, I’m not an elf.” | And before he could hang up The front doorbell rang. And Geezer jumped up And let in more of the gang. | There were three with huge pizzas And one with the beers. They all wore green tunics. They all had pointy ears.
26: Larry said, “Boys, this is Dave. He’s our landlord. You might say accomplice, That provides room and board.” | “Dave, over there’s Shorty. He’s six foot four. He’s not much of an elf Being that far from the floor.” | “I hope you’ve got an ashtray ‘Cause Lloyd’s the one smokin’ That oversized stogie And it stinks. I’m not jokin’.” | “And of course Curley’s the one Without any hair. Oops! Looks like Lloyd’s burned a hole In that old easy chair.” | “And the one with the chainsaw, And blowtorch is Moe. He’s real good with fireworks He puts on a good show.”
28: “Uh, Dave, maybe you and the family Could take a short break. Maybe ski in the mountains, Or camp out at the lake.” | “See, me and the fellas Need some time to make ready Besides which we’re still waitin’ On Wombat, Dufus and Eddy.” | “We won’t eat your pets Or plug up your plumbing. We just need to be sure That Santa’s not coming.” | "Help us out just this once And we’ll be out of your hair. Whoopin’ it up down in Florida. Surf, sun and sea air.” | “So how ‘bout it Dave? I’m on bended knees. What we need is a favor. I’m begging you, PLEASE! | “We won’t flood your basement, Or short out your lights. It’s just for awhile. ‘Til, say Christmas Eve night.”
30: I thought for a minute. It might not be bad. A short Christmas vacation. First one that I’ve had. | Getting Bernice and the kids Away from the malls We’ll be shushing fresh powder And not decking the halls. | I said, “Alright, Larry. But don’t make any trouble. Or whatever Santa’s dishin’ out to you, I’ll dish it out double.” | Larry said, “Dave, you’re a prince, And you won’t regret this. If I was a bit taller I’d give you a big kiss!” | I shuddered at the thought, And told them to get out of sight. Packed the car and hit the road While it was still light.
32: And as we were stopped At the end of the block Two elves caught our eye As they passed in the crosswalk. | “Hey Dad! Look at those guys. Escapees from the mall. Those ears are so fake, And besides, they’re too small.” | They stopped, turned and saw us, And then they proceeded To pull faces, flash butt cracks, This was just what I needed. | “Crap, it’s Dufus and Eddy,” I whispered with a moan. Then they gestured obscenely And ran off towards our home. | “Hey! Those guys can’t do that! Call the cops,” said Bernice. “Just forget it,” I said. “Let’s have a few days of peace.”
34: But I had a real bad feeling In the back of my head. These next few days I was starting to dread. | Sure enough, that short week Was the worst that I’ve had. Couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, And a headache so bad. | But I stuck it out Until Christmas Eve, When I was sure that the elves Were going to leave. | Back down the mountain To my house. Peace and quiet....
36: ....But when I got to the corner It looked like a riot! | There were choppers and coppers And firemen in my yard. There were newsvans, an anchorman. Even the National Guard. | There was a great big crater Where my garage used to be. And out on the walkway Lay my poor Christmas tree. | “That’s my house,” I told the Sheriff. “I’ve got nothing to hide.” “Are you Dave? They say they’re friends of yours. You can go inside.” | We walked up on the porch, Stuck the key in the door. It slipped right off the hinges And splashed down on the floor.
38: And sitting there was Larry, With the remote control. He said, “Hiya Dave! Power’s out. We’re in a black hole!” | I said, “What’s goin’ on here? What have you done?” He said, “Well, we spruced the place up, And we were havin’ some fun.” | “Uh, the recycling is piled up And your carpets are clean. And your basement’s cleared out Like you’ve never seen.” | There were pizza boxes and beer cans Piled up everywhere. There was an inch of water Right up to my easy chair. | “Your garage was a mess, A real firetrap. So we emptied it out And got rid of that crap.”
40: “Your plants are all watered, Your bowling trophies all shiney. So cut us some slack Dave, And don’t be so whiney.” | “Yeah, but that’s gas that I smell. What’s up with that?” “Well, the handle came off the faucet When Ratbag washed the cat.” | “And when the pool filled up, It put out the pilot light. But the cat’s all clean now. Put up a heckuva fight.” | “What pool are you talking about? Don’t have a pool. Never did!” “Uh... it’s the one that’s downstairs. We filled it up for the kids.” | “Dave, you would think That after all we have done You’d show gratitude, not attitude, For us providing all this fun.”
42: When out in the yard There arose such a clatter. I splashed out to the doorway To see what was the matter. | There wasn’t a moon, Just searchlights galore. And the decibel level Was starting to soar. | There was the rumble of diesel, And the squealing of tires. The blaring of air horns Getting higher and higher. | And then ‘round the corner Peeled a big yellow school bus. Through the road block and front yard Heading right for us. | The bus came to a halt At the base of the stairs. And we came out on the porch To see who was in there.
44: My whole house was totaled. My yard was history. How I got in this mess Was still a big mystery. | I stood there in shock. My jaw dropped to the floor. My family was freaked out And the whole thing made me sore. | “Jump in lads,” said Larry. “No time to beg, steal or borrow. Surf’s up in Florida We should be there late tomorrow.” | The driver punched out the front window And threw out his goggles and hat. He stuck out his head and yelled, “Mateys!” And the elves on the porch cheered out “Wombat!”
46: Then Lloyd handed me a cheroot. He said, “Cheers, Dave. Got a light?” And then Mo showed up with his blowtorch. “Try this. Might as well do it right.” | I said, “No, don’t do it you moron!” And the explosion sent us flyin’ Blew us out to the yard. We landed real hard. And we could only just sit there cryin’. | My house went up like a rocket, At least three thousand feet. Then it blew up just like fireworks. (It really did look pretty neat.) | It rained embers on us for hours As the neighbors looked on in silence. (If I ever see those elves again I’m gonna do ‘em some violence!)
48: And then, we heard hearty laughter, And sleighbells jingling too. We looked up in the sky and saw Santa, His sleigh and his whole reindeer crew. | They landed right on the walkway. Santa got out and looked around. “Wow, this place is a mess! Are you OK Dave?” I was still sitting on the ground. | “Well,” I said, “I’ve been better.” As I blew out a flame on my cap. “I’ve really been had, and I’m feelin’ real bad. These rogue elves really made me a sap.” | He said, “Yep Dave. You’re right. These elves can’t be trusted. And before they do something to some other poor sap, I’m here to see that they’re busted.”
50: And then Santa turned to Larry. “You’ve behaved more like a troll. So get in the toy sack, all you mugs. You’re going back to the Pole.” | “And since you’ve been so naughty, Your punishment will be severe. You’ll be shovelin’ snow at the factory And not chasing waves down here.” | “And once the snow is all shoveled And even the runways are clear The whole factory could use a paint job. And did I mention, no more beer?” | “And my bride could use some assistance. She works so hard in the kitchen. So there’re piles of dirty dishes to wash, And I can tell you guys are just itchin’....” | “...To help make those mountains of brownies And also those acres of fudge. I know you must think that I’m heartless, But I really don’t hold a grudge.”
52: “So after all the pots and pans Are as spotless as the plates, You can take your short surf holiday. Now, doesn’t that sound great?” | “But just in case you’re thinkin’ Of going AWOL again, You have to wear tracking devices, And twice a day you have to check in.” | "So work real hard and be happy. Your punishment will be your reward. And the hard labor you do for penance Will keep you from getting too bored.” | The elves gave in and went along. They knew that Santa had won. I was glad that the whole mess was over. This wasn’t my idea of fun. | But the idea of living in my car Thrilled me even less. What I was gonna do from here Was anybody’s guess.
54: And then Santa picked up his toy sack, And chucked it into the sleigh, Saying, “I’m putting these bad boys on ice now. Their fun is all done for today.” | And then Santa climbed in too, And buckled up all safe and sound. He was ready to go, but then he said, “Whoa!” And he stopped and looked around. | And then he turned to me and said, “Dave, I really do feel bad. Your house is destroyed, your Christmas is ruined, And your family looks so sad.” | I said, “It’s OK, Santa. I guess I brought it on myself. Things probably would be different If I hadn’t opened the door for that elf.”
56: Then he gave me a wink, And as I looked on, A big red leather recliner Appeared on the front lawn. | “Dave, I’ve got everything covered. Your Christmas will be a treat. So relax and have a sit down, ‘Cause you’ve got a front row seat.” | “These weasels were working for me When they made their getaway. So you see, it’s not really your fault. There’s no reason that YOU should pay.” | “And if things go south along the way, Well, you did the best that you could. So carry on Dave, and don’t worry About doing bad by doing good.” | “Yes,” said Santa. “You’re right Dave. But I’ll tell you something true. Doing kindnesses for strangers Is always the right thing to do.”
58: Suddenly there were lights everywhere. It was just like a movie on TV. And then a great big brand new house Soft landed right in front of me. | It was decorated with lights all over, So it looked like a big birthday cake. And everything was shiny and new. I did a double take. | And right next to that, a new garage With a new tractor mower inside. And plenty of new trees, plants and flowers. I could work in my garden with pride! | Then he said, “There’s just one more thing To make it all just right.” And he winked up a fifty foot Christmas tree All covered with twinkly lights. | Then he handed me the tractor keys And said, “That’s it. I’m outtahere. My work here is done, it’s really been fun. Enjoy all this good Christmas cheer.”
60: And then he released the parking brake, And put the thing in gear. And they all lifted off quite silently, The Fatman, the elves and reindeer. | And when he finally got airborne, He looked back down and waved. “I’ll be back next year, so save me a beer. And there’s just one more more thing, Dave...” | “Always be kind to others. There is always a purpose and reason. Be good to your family and your friends. And don’t forget..’Tis the season....” | “TO... BE...JOLLY, And to be good to yourself. But remember, don’t always say yes, If the guy at the door is an elf.” | “So take these few words of wisdom, Dave, And don’t let yourself get uptight. Oh, and by the way, Merry Christmas To all, and to all a good night!”
62: I am profoundly grateful to my partner GINA for all of her efforts on this project... for me to see this through to completion would NOT have been possible without her encouragement and support, her suggestions and critiques, her proofreading and prodding... for her belief in my talent and abilities, and especially, in my worthiness. | Special thanks also to mike Kunkel and Jason Lethcoe for their inspiration, encouragement and technical help in making this into a real thing. Lastly but not leastly, to my family and friends, who had a laugh at this years ago and then said I should do something more with it, ...(I think this is what you meant)... thank you also for your encouragement and support, as well as your discerning sense of humor.