Meeting 13th December 2016

The Night After Christmas by Brendan Glacken (Irish Times) T’was the night after Christmas when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse Silk stockings were still in their Brown Thomas pack The wife planned (as usual) to take them right back And exchange them for strong heavy-denier tights More sensible choice on these cold winter nights. Myself I was nestled all snug in the bed While credit card nightmares revolved in my head With those seasonal greetings, so tender and sweet The most touching of all, "Did you keep the receipt” Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. "Relax", the wife muttered, don't get so excited It's just one more party and you're not invited The next thing I heard, was a knock at the door And when I went down, there were neighbours galore They explained that their party had run out of beer Which quite spoiled the look of their seasonal cheer Their singing and dancing had lost all its rhythm (And what drink that they had was all on ‘em, not with ‘em). So they wished me a loud "Happy Christmas to you" And could I help out with a bottle or two? Now I've found as a fact that wherever I roam The virtue of charity begins in the home And I just couldn't find the heart to refuse So I brought them all in and broke out the booze They all cheered and insisted "I wasn't the worst" For no fate could be crueller than dying of thirst Well we partied all night and we drank the house dry After which we had breakfast, a huge Irish fry Then they all staggered off and I crawled up to bed With the vaguest of notions as to where was my head So I took off my clothes, then only to find That my legs and pyjamas were all misaligned. As I foosthered and groped, the wife lifted her head "You're up very early this morning" she said There was nothing to do but to put back on my clothes And go downstairs again --where my blood duly froze At the scene in the kitchen, the mess on the floor Not to mention two Toastmasters asleep by the door Well, I gathered the bottles and cans in a sack And put Vincent and Seamus in a skip out the back Then sneaked back upstairs but was trapped on the landing For something had clicked in, the wife's understanding And she asked me a question that made my heart sink (Well buoyed up though it was by an ocean of drink) You haven't forgotten, my sweet honey-bunch That my mother and father are coming to lunch And you promised to cook that nice dish of roast pheasant From the recipe list you got as my present I could sense myself right on the edge of a row The very last thing that I wanted just now So I just had to do what a man's gotta do From the depths of a hangover serve cordon bleu If you ask me how lunch went, I'd have to say, well sir I winged it myself with a few Alkaseltzer But there with the in-laws as I toyed with my plate The last drops of my energy I felt dissipate To keep my eyes open I just wasn't able And I watched myself slipping right under the table Yet I managed to croak, as I slid out of sight Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night Joe Bishop