'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
It was the day before Xmas... all go, on the net,
About a week had Alt.Anagrams, in which to get set,
The December Grammies in order to win,
The mouses were clicking - let battle begin!
Richard Grantham, of course, he was in pole position,
He scrabbled-away like a man with a mission.
To further his end, how his tactic was shocking:
One hand on the keyboard, one down Linda's stocking.
Next in on the grid (and he's posting-in daily),
Was old Meyran Kraus. (He's the only Israeli).
Richard Brodie? Ah, he'd "wholly" clog-up the server,
With his pious ideas, high with religious fervour.
Tom Myers? Oh, indeed had he hoped for glory,
With many a topical newsworthy story.
Ernesto Guiraldes sent hot ones from Chile,
As did Tunstall-Pedoe of Cambridge. (Thanks, Willy!)
In multiple-entries, soon off were all bets:
Rick Rothstein, he posted a series of Sets.
David Bourke, Kent, he wasn't that far off the front,
With rude ones galore, full of 'Anus' and 'Cunt'.
But Larry Brash, he had to start from the back.
(Due to non-PC posts sent with his Apple Mac).
Michael Tully of Northolt, was he keen to get in!
Mike Keith? Hey, he'd calculate the odds on a win!
The Fortiers, they all gave each other a hand,
From Chandler's Ford, Hants... Martin W. Rand.
Janet Muggeridge, she tested her wordplay for size.
(Janet Burholt, inevitably, she 'grammed her replies).
Indeed, the Daniel F. Etter Memorial Award,
Was in old Grantham's pocket last May. (Help, oh Lord!)
But all of the usuals still posted away:
Graham Perkins... Jon Gearhart... Wayne Baisley... Art Day...
Oh, the wickedest word-twisting minds on the planet,
They had sent-in fine stuff to a man. (And a Janet!),
While the newbies dipped-in, thinking: "Oh, what the heck!"
John Morahan? Hell, he had plenty to check!
Came the Second of January, the voting commenced,
And by one-and-all was a victory sensed.
With the voting done, "Duhhh!" - While we seemed stupid
Strewth! Grantham, he cleaned-up in all of the classes!
Whaddyaknow, huh? By an Aussie well beat?
Why, the sheep-shafting show-off! Yeah, revenge would be sweet!
Oh, the wild convict-nation's damned-talented son,
Guess we'd all seek to thrash in Two-Thousand-And-One!
Howdy, all in the little ole U.S. of A,
Hail, the Holy Land area. Hi, the gang in U.K,
Well, let us think hard. Please, find out the way to,
Inflict on that one antipodean his due!
With a flash of white light, as when we think: "Aha!"
Only then would we find out how helpless we are,
To deal with that Aussie, halt his daily advance,
Beat HIM? Heh heh heh! Oh, no hope! Not a chance!
Whaassup? How I'm pissed-off! Hell, I need a win,
In this endless high quest to find new words to spin.
How I wish he'd hush-up, how I wish he'd slow down,
But I couldn't match, OK, I know, his renown.