‘Twas a Miscalculation

In 2012, a small number of people earned their helping of scorn by claiming the Mayan calendar foretold the end of the world on December 21st – 12/21/12.

On December 22nd, I posted this poem – yet another look at “The Night Before Christmas,” a favorite thing I have often stolen and re-worked.

I have yet to hear someone elegantly walk it back after declaring the end is nigh and being proven wrong. Though I do feel some sympathy because we all make mistakes. And in a cynical world there is something to admire in a person who has sufficient faith to accept a fantastic story without much proof.

Storytellers, at least, should not be so critical of the gullible. That’s your audience, my friends.

‘Twas the night of the solstice they gave him the word
that the Mayan Apocalypse hadn’t occurred.
Poor Santa. A workhorse, not really a thinker
had bought the whole fantasy. Hook, line and sinker.

He’d fired the elves. The reindeer, he ate.
He divorced Mrs. Claus. He went out on a date.
And did many bad things. With no need to pretend,
he had ceased to be decent. He welcomed the end.

For the world was too big. It was too far around.
There were too many people, and way too much ground
for one man and a sleigh to fly past in one night.
So catastrophe sounded, to Santa, just right.

But of course all that changed when it didn’t pan out.
And with three days remaining, he harbored some doubt
He could put things back right and deliver the goods.
And re-hire those elves and get out of the woods

with the people around him he’d hurt to the core.
He would probably purchase some toys at the store
to replace all the ones that the elves couldn’t make
in a weekend of work. And yes, some might be fake

But that still was less awkward than what he’d just done.
He had dined on his reindeer, gone out chasing fun
just to find that it wasn’t as great as they said.
He was old, fat and bald. A disgrace dressed in red.

Who’d embraced armageddon. He’d acted acted the dope
He’d imbibed all of Blitzen. He only could hope.
That redemption is something a man can achieve.
And such things may be real … if you truly believe.

When have you been obviously, spectacularly wrong?

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Dale Connelly

I am a writer and broadcaster living in the Twin Cities.

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