Better than ‘Drummer Boy,’ a new kind of carol

Published 8:36 am Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Maybe, I was a little too harsh on the Little Drummer Boy last week, when, after hearing the song too many times, I suggested he shove his pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.

The Ken Jensen Trio serenaded me with their version of the song at last week’s Austin Noon Lions meeting.

Now, it’s time to gather around the Nintendo Wii, grandchildren. Pour me another eggnog.  Here’s an irreverent version of the classic Christmas prose:

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’Twas the Wednesday before Christmas, when all through Mower County land

Not a county commissioner was stirring; not even the new boys in the courthouse band.

The annual cookie party left everyone more round about.

The TNT hearing had officials down, but not out.

Gilbertson, Tucker and Ankeny all assembled in the meeting room.

Prepared to say goodbye to Hillier and Lang headed for home.

Across town, the Austin City Council and Mayor Stiehm did the same.

Re-election bids by Pacholl and Martin left them in pain.

Their replacements were ready to prove they were no tease.

Until the next election before the voters they would fall on bended knees.

A familiar name, Pat McGarvey, was back in Minnesota for a tour.

Ready to give Albert Lea his best Irish shot as city manager to be sure.

The new jail and justice center glistened in the night.

Three squares and a cot waiting for criminals that the law they did spite.

Suspended sentences rustled like mistletoe above the courtroom door.

Ankle bracelets hung from the judge’s bench all in a row.

All of a sudden, there arose such a clatter.

Causing a lone jailer to taze himself. It didn’t matter.

“The jail is empty,” he muttered. “No prisoners to hold.”

“They say doors open automatically,” he whispered, “What the French toast am I to behold?”

From a heating duct, there was cursing and shouting on that still night.

Biting a donut, the jailer shook with fright.

Someone breaking into the jail made no sense.

Donning a bulletproof vest, he prepared his defense.

Boldly he went to investigate and walked through the break room door.

To his amazement, a fat man dressed in a red suit tumbled to the floor.

“Freeze, Sucker,” he barked. “Go ahead make my day.”

“Relax,” the intruder said. “I’m not here to play.

“All I want is a place to rest and my loins to ungird.

“This place is open for business. Haven’t you heard?”

The jailer exclaimed, “Are you out of your mind?”

“For this you’ll do hard time.”

“Water and bread,” he threatened, adding “Maybe fresh pizza on the sheriff’s birthday delivered to your cell.”

“Too much information,” the fat man said. “Not to worry I do tell.”

“No problem,” he added, “I know Deputy Fife.”

“Besides, Christmas came early: I got a get-out-of-jail free card from my wife.”

“You’re dressed like Santa,” the jailer said. “Aren’t you supposed to be jolly?”

“I got my tax bill for this place,” the visitor said. “It’s no folly.”

“What’s in the bag?” the jailer wanted to know. “No contraband is allowed.”

“My reindeer,” the fat man said. “They are tiny but proud.”

“They never taught me what to do in a situation like this,” admitted the jailer. “I watch Cops on TV, but this is too much.”

“I should call my supervisor and get in touch.”

“Oh, you mean those guys over at the real jail, watching over ICE House Bed and Breakfast Inn South?” the imposter taunted.

“This place has video surveillance, and rules,” the jailer said. “Everything they wanted.”

“No one can escape. About this jail no money has been squandered.”

“I got in, Sherlock,” was the reply. “Until the doors get fixed, all over I shall wander.”

“I wish I knew what to do,” the jailer said with a sigh.

“All I want is a place to rest,” the visitor could not lie.

“Christmas is coming and I’ve got work to do,” he insisted. “Let it snow, let it snow.”

“You’re not Santa Claus,” the jailer said. “I didn’t hear a single ‘Ho, ho, ho’.”

“Just pour me a cappuccino, no visitors I need,” the visitor ordered. “Turn the cable TV to ESPN.”

“Hold my calls. No Daily Heralds for sure.  It’s time to tuck me in.”

“Wake me at noon and reserve time on the basketball court.”

“I want my money’s worth,” the man said with a snort.

“Give me a break,” the jailer stood his ground.

“You’re not Santa,” he said with a frown.

“I’m Santa’s wingman,” the intruder confided.

“On Christmas Eve, I tell Santa who’s been naughty or nice. Where to have a cup of cider.”

“And other things like how to make decisions all through the year.”

“I know who needs me,” he said holding back a tear.

“Craig? Craig? Is that you,” the jailer said at last.

“You’re the county coordinator,” the jailer shouted. “The ghost of Christmas past.”

“At your service, oh loyal county employee,” the visitor was humbled.

“As long as I am around, our leaders shall walk but never stumble.”

“Hey! Stay as long as you want.  I don’t care,” the jailer said pointing to a cot.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to do public safety work. When jailer contract talks begin, we’ll be waiting. You can bet your ascot.”

The end…. Finally.

Merry Christmas to all. Seriously!