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And to All on the Scene, Let ’92 Be Green

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the state

No houses were selling--the market lay prostrate.

A recession sat on us, an oppressive miasma.

California, it seemed, was no longer Bonanza.

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With aerospace slumping and retailers sagging,

Sacramento’s red ink setting S&P; nagging,

Good fortune seemed now just a thing of antiquity

And business departures were, well, a ubiquity.

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On none of these problems could I get a handle,

So heaving a sigh, I just snuffed out the candle.

I was newly retired (but just for the evening)

When out on the lawn there arose such a heaving,

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It seemed like an earthquake, or Jeep Wagoneer

Was lifting the house off the ground by its ear!

Armed with a bat, yelling, “Call 911,”

I dashed to the doorway before they could run.

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But burglars it wasn’t, nor nat’ral disaster

(Although, here and there, it’d nicked up the plaster).

Instead--in the floodlights--can it really be?

A glossy red surfboard, stuck in a tree!

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All tangled with reindeer, its herald a dial-tone,

Like a plumb line below hung an outdated car phone.

Cursing and struggling, a fat guy descended,

Sunglasses bent, weird costume all rended.

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I knew in a flash that this must be St. Nick.

“To the chimney,” he said, “and let’s make it quick.”

Once in the house, he unpacked such great riches,

‘S no wonder, I thought, he’s too big for his breeches.

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Skateboards and sunshine, clean air and sweet rain,

Employment, prosperity, an end to all pain.

Clear freeways, good schools,

Fairer taxes, more pools,

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Pastrami burritos, all kinds of good luck,

Several days respite from the name Wolfgang Puck!

Faster and faster the presents he’d yank:

A better debt rating! A failure-proof bank!

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Frantically, giddily, covering the floor,

His presents included health care for the poor.

The hottest new chips for our Silicon Valley,

Too many miracles for pundits to tally!

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Earnings per share mounted up to the roof--

Where by now we heard tolling the tap of a hoof.

“Cooling their antlers, they get kinda crabby.

Be seein’ ya, dude. It wasn’t too shabby.”

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With that Santa turned and made ready to go

But stopped when I blurted, “Just a minute there! Whoa!

Are you really Santa? And how do you do it?

Can your elves succeed where the rest of us blew it?”

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“They’re vertically challenged! " the saint said in warning.

“Besides, it’s a dream--all gone in the morning.”

Huffing and puffing, he climbed to his sled,

And saddened by knowing, I slinked off to bed

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But not before waving, and hearing him holler:

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a weak dollar!”


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