October 24, 2012

Happy Halloween!

My Favorite Holiday

Lots of folks might think that Christmas, New Years or Easter are the best holidays, but not me. See, my birthday falls 3 days before Halloween, and so our annual American institution of dressing up in costumes and sharing sweets with the children has always been my favorite. 

All Hallow's Eve may have started out as a pagan ritual, but it has become something completely different and unique now, and while it isn't an official holiday, I think it should be.

For most of us, our love of Halloween doesn't have anything to do with religious beliefs, but has everything to do with getting to play dress up, indulging in safe fears, and of course, gratifying our childhood dreams of amassing large quantities of candy.

Ready, Set, Boo!

For me, this day marks the true beginning of the holiday season, so it's time to pull out an oldie-but-a-goodie. Over 30 years ago, when I was still a young man, I was feeling rather poetic as Halloween approached. Suffering from insomnia one night, I turned my hand for the first time to creating my own version of a literary classic. I was curious about combining Halloween and Christmas, and an idea was born.

Sadly, the original poem is long gone, unless someone else still has a copy. I handed out a number of hard copies to friends and family, so there may be one out there somewhere. Luckily, I have a mind like a steel trap, and it's only a little bit rusty. I still remember almost all of the poem, and in honor of Clement Moore and his masterpiece from 1823, I present the following updated story in verse, based on A Visit From St. Nick ...  

The Ballad of Dracu Claus

'Twas the night before Christmas
     And all through the castle,
Not a creature was stirring
     Or making a hassle.

The skeletons were hung

     In their caskets just right,
And even old Igor
     Was chained for the night.

The dungeon was quiet,

     The pendulum still;
The werewolf was sleeping,
     Having eaten his fill.

Wrapped in soft cobwebs

     And my slippers of lead,
I lay down with my shroud on,
     To sleep as the dead.

Then, from the graveyard,

     Across the deep moat,
I heard evil laughter
     From some sinister throat.

I rolled from my slab,

     But my knees felt like jelly;
The vile sound curdled
     The food in my belly.

I rushed to the window

     To find the fell cause,
But the sight that awaited me
     Struck me with awe.

The moon through the mist,

     Cast a sick greenish glow,
And I sighed for a moment,
     At the beauty below.

I spied moving toward me

     An old rusty sled,
Pulled by eight dragons,
     Five green and three red.

The driver's long fingers

     Appeared bony and brittle,
He cracked his long whip
     And I peed, just a little.

His skin was so pale,

     He was all dressed in black,
I knew in an instant
     It must be Count Drac.

He gave a sharp whistle,

     That master of pain,
Then the beasts became airborne,
     And he cursed them by name ...

"Now Smasher, and Crasher,

     And Charcoal and Grill,
On Muncher and Cruncher,
     And Raunchy ... and Bill!"

"Away to the rooftop!

     You know what to do,
And don't overshoot it,
     Or I'll have dragon stew!"

Then the monsters they landed,

     Their great wings all a-flutter,
Punched holes in my roof,
     And tore off the gutter.

He flew down the chimney,

     And he stood in the coals,
As ribbons of foot stench
     Issued forth from his soles.

Half-eaten in his hand,

     Was the thigh of an elf,
And I screamed when I saw him
     In spite of myself.

His fangs were so sharp,

     And the bloodstains so red;
He hissed once when he saw me,
     Then dismissed me, instead.

He pulled out a sack

     And as quick as a sneeze,
He stole all the stockings,
     Without saying please.

He took all the presents

     From our moldy old tree,
And the tinsel and garland,
     Of hair and string cheese.

He went into the kitchen

     Carelessly killing a drudge;
There he emptied the fridge
     (He even took all the fudge!)

He returned to the fireplace,

     And with a flourish of his cape,
Brought his wrist to his nose
     And made good his escape.

And I heard him exclaim,

     As he flew to his feast -
"Merry Christmas to all,
     And to all, Rest In Peace!"

(c) 2012 Dusty Grein

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Halloween this year, and don't be afraid to bring me back some candy ... I don't get to go trick-or-treating any more, but I've still got a sweet tooth. If you get too scared, you can always just stop by for some laughter and love,

From Grandpa's Heart ...

1 comment:

  1. dad i love you.... you are definitely where us kids get our creativity from lol