‘Twas the night before Christmas | VailDaily.com

‘Twas the night before Christmas

Barry Smith
Barry Smith

‘Twas the night before Christmas

And all through the lines,

Were the usual moanings,

Grumbles and whines.

“Where is my luggage!?”

“When is my flight!?”

These cries rang out louder

Than most other nights.

And me in my white shirt,

And TSA shield,

I surveyed the scene

Like a dense battlefield.

When all of the sudden

There arose such a clamor,

That I said, “What be that?”

Forgetting my grammar.

Way back in the line

Of the passengers waiting

Was a fat man in red,

What a scene he’s creating.

In front of each passenger

This man kept on butting,

And as he did each of them

Yelled out, “No cutting!”

He made his way forward,

And cried out “I’m late!

My flight is just boarding.

Away to my gate!”

“This year I’ve no reindeer,

For years they’ve worked hard.

So I set them all free,

They’re back home in the yard.”

“But the good little children

Must not be let down.

So I’m flying commercial,

Stopping off at each town.”

His rosy red cheeks

Made him look like a specter,

As he shoved his way past,

Towards the metal detector.

“Hold on there,” I said.

“This isn’t a cruise.

Now take off your belt,

And your jacket and shoes.”

“Take out your laptop,

Your cell phone, your change.

And take off that hat

Just because it looks strange.”

“Now lift up that bag,

Assuming you’re able,

And put it right on

This conveyer belt table.”

“Leave out your ticket

And photo ID.

The green light is on,

Now please walk towards me.”

And as the man passed

(Though he barely could fit)

The siren went off,

And he started a bit.

“Please step over here

Before you depart.

Arms stuck out straight,

Feet spread apart.”

“Look, I’m Santa Claus, dammit,

Can’t you let me go through?”

I said, “That’s profiling,

And THAT we don’t do.”

Then I ran my detector wand

Over his gut,

Under each foot

And around his big butt.

While my coworkers pawed

Through his red velvet sack,

My wand it went “beep”

In the small of his back.

I said, “Grab your ankles,”

As I gave him a shove.

And his pants hit the floor

As I snapped on my glove.

“You’re clean,” I announced,

But he didn’t respond.

Then I peeled off my glove

And examined my wand.

But the fat man just stood there,

His jaw had gone slack.

I shrugged and I said,

“Thank The Patriot Act.”

“Look here,” cried the boys

Who were searching his pack.

“Come see what we found

In his giant red sack!”

“He’s got little tin horns

and little toy drums,


and rum-a-tum tums!”

“Rum-a-tum tums?”

I said with disgust.

“Old man I’m afraid

That this is a bust.”

“With the rootie-toot-toots

You might have been fine.

But rum-a-tum tums?

That’s crossing the line.”

“Allow me to read you

The Homeland dispatches:

No clippers, no knitters!

No four-packs of matches!”

“No ski poles, no pool cues!

Not one baseball bat!

No shoe bombs or box cutters!

(Though you must have known that).”

“And rum-a-tum tums

Are on top of the list.

Now please come with us,

And don’t try to resist.”

And I heard the man mutter,

As we dragged him away:

“Screw Rudolph, next year

It’s back to the sleigh.”

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