‘Twas the day after Christmas…

A Holiday Tale From Your Friendly Bartender…

‘Twas the day after Christmas and all through the pub,

Not a creature was stirring and there lay the rub.

Glasses were scrubbed, all the fruit wedged and peeled,

With hopes that a customer soon would need healed,

But history said they were snug in their beds,

While visions of invoices danced in their heads.

“To go to a bar,” they would surely lament,

“Is just what we need but we’re too overspent!”

So I in my apron and waiter with tray,

Had just settled down for a long tip-less day.

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bar to see what was the matter.

There to the window I flew like a flash,

Threw back the shutters and pulled up the sash.

When what to my wondering eyes should appear…

Santa Claus seeking both solace and cheer.

But gestures were clumsy, not lively and quick,

And I knew in a moment this can’t be St. Nick.

For here was a man who was still on a tear,

A department store Santa in nobody’s care.

I ushered him in, nonetheless, I dare say,

For under that costume a broken heart lay.

Yes here was a man who had spread all his cheer,

To whom was left nothing but whiskey and beer.

A bartender knows this… that lonely man’s gaze,

It’s something he’s seen over too many days.

And drinking to hide it at this time of year,

Does nothing but heighten the trace of a tear.

“So how about coffee?” I ventured with hope,

As he slid on the stool fairly struggling to cope.

“It’s not what I want I must tell you, alas,

But that’s what I need ’cause I’m drunk on my ass!”

Then coffee was served, and a cup after that,

As he told me his story right there as he sat.

For his was like many, it’s too sad to say…

The orphan on Christmas and then the next day.

A story as old as the Yuletide itself,

Poor souls discarded and placed on a shelf.

When these should be days that we reach for each other,

Claiming to all we are sister and brother,

We toss to the wind that most noble of notions,

Reaping instead needless stress and emotions.

But that’s what it is and that’s what we’ve wrought,

Now that our Christmas is paid for and bought.

So then when the coffee had managed its trick,

I threw in some breakfast for ersatz St. Nick.

Finished, he thanked me with words quick and clear,

Gone was that cloud and all signs of a tear.

And then with a wink and a nod of his head,

He soon let me know I had nothing to dread.

He sprang to his feet, to a cab did give whistle.

Away he then rode like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight,

“I really was Santa, at least for a night!”

Over and out from Bar-land… see ya’ next week-end!

22 Responses to “‘Twas the day after Christmas…”


  1. 1 jc December 26, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    beautiful Scrib!

  2. 2 Abel Pharmboy December 26, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I just received *my* Christmas gift – many thanks, Brother Scrib. Hope yours was an otherwise good one, sans tips, sadly.

  3. 3 Catharine December 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Writing in verse like this — this is not natural. That is, natural talent that is beyond ordinary natural talent. Are you sure you’re a bartender? I think you are a writer. Not a bartender who writes but a writer who tends bar. So, I have to ask: what is holding you back? I hope you are working on something – a novel, short stories, poetry, essays – anything. This is not to say that you are not a good bartender and that there isn’t value in bartending alone (there is). But you have a talent that is impossible to ignore. Nurture it, love it, develop it, above all, don’t let the burdens of daily life squash it. Write, brother Scribbler, write!

  4. 4 DrugMonkey December 26, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Wonderful….and I know what you mean.

  5. 5 scribbler50 December 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    JC: Thank you for that, my friend, and thank you as always for your comment.

    Abel: Glad I could add to your Christmas, good Bud, and my holiday was fine, thanks for asking.

    Catharine: Geez… I don’t know what to say to that except thank you. Really! And I am working on other things (ahem!) in between pours. But perhaps I should work a little harder now that you’ve said that.

    DrugMonkey: Thanks, man, I’m sure you got the message. It’s as much a part of Christmas, sadly, as “ho, ho ho” and tinsel. Thanks for checkin’ in, pal.

  6. 6 Anonymoustache December 26, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Scrib50,
    Brilliant! Poignant, touching and brilliant.

  7. 7 physiobabe December 27, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Awwwwwwww, Scib, so nice!

    Nuovo Anno Felice, darlin’

  8. 8 scribbler50 December 27, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Anonymoustache: You’re too kind, my brother… hope you and your gang had a great holiday. But then again, since you’re the Santa in your house, I’m sure they all did.

    physiobabe: And a happy new year to you, dear.
    (That translation I figured out!)

  9. 9 siobhan December 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm

    I don’t know how you do it, scrib. This is completely charming – you have quite a gift! Thanks for the post-Christmas smile….

  10. 10 Ken December 27, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    A nice piece of Christmas cheer Scrib. Good work.

  11. 11 goosenyc December 27, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Scribbler50 – that was amazing..so vivid. Thanks for the holiday verse!!!!

    Happy New Year!!!

  12. 12 scribbler50 December 27, 2009 at 6:47 pm

    Siobhan: Glad it brought you a smile, my friend, ’tis the season ya’ know. And as far as how I do it… it’s easy… I channeled a certain ghost writer whose name is Clement Moore. 🙂

    Ken: Thanks, man, and more cheers as well!

    goosenyc: Haven’t seen you in a while, glad you stopped by. And a Happy New Year to you!

  13. 14 scribbler50 December 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you, Jennifer, and happy new year to you and yours.

  14. 15 d-a-p December 28, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    you’ve started a new christmas tradition…i hope to see this verse every year…congratulations…..
    d-a-p

  15. 16 gypsy howell December 31, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Lovely. Happy and *healthy* New Year to you, scribbler, sir.

  16. 17 Alex January 5, 2010 at 9:20 am

    You’re not Clement C. Moore , but that was clever!

  17. 18 scribbler50 January 5, 2010 at 10:04 am

    d-a-p: Happy holidays, friend, you mean I can take that week off next year?

    Gypsy Howell: A healthy, happy, and all the best to you too. Welcome aboard.

    Alex: And you’re not me but you’re still a damn good bartender! 🙂

    Thanks, Al, and happy new year, my friend.

  18. 19 M.A.Peel January 8, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Well Hathaway. I see your Clement Moore homage, and raise you a Chaucer rip-off, http://mapeel.blogspot.com/2009/04/lirr-commuter-tales-with-thanks-to.html

  19. 20 scribbler50 January 8, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    M.A.Peel: Just read your poetry and I fold. Well done, you win the pot. 🙂

  20. 21 Jennifer M.D. January 12, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    great work, I think i’m hooked now. You truly have talent, best of luck

  21. 22 scribbler50 January 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    Jennifer M.D.: Wow, that was fast… thank you so much for keeping your word and also for your kind words. Welcome aboard, Doctor!


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