22 December 2009

'Twas the Night Before.....

While listening to NPR’s Talk of the Nation last year, just happened to catch a story about updated versions of The Night Before Christmas. It reminded me that I had my own version. They had asked for submissions of other versions, but I never sent mine in.

In 1977 I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bahia, Brazil. I wrote this for my father the night before Thanksgiving. My Dad had always been a limerick writer, among other things, so I thought he would enjoy it. He never commented on it. Because of that, I probably threw away my only other copy. My dad passed away last year and as I was going through even more of his papers right before the holidays, I found my little story. It was still carefully folded in the original envelope I sent it in from Brazil. Guess he may have approved after all.

The Night Before Thanksgiving………in Brazil

It’s the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house
The bugs are hiding ’cause they know I’m about.
The pans are waiting in the rack by the sink
In hopes they’d be filled with food and with drink.
And I in my overalls, with no other beast
Have just retired the thought of making a feast.

Then from out on the street a few yells and a shout
So I ran to the window to see what it’s about
I looked in disbelief as I viewed a motorcade
Could it really be the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade?
I ran to the television and turned on the sound
In hopes that Anita Bryant would still around.

But the picture was blurred and the volume not load
Though I swore I could hear the sound of a crowd.
I thought to myself, a parade this is not
Then out of nowhere came a shot of a clock.
Ah-ha! I screamed as the reality hit me
It’s not flowered floats but 4th down and 50!

Oh joy! Oh wonder! Can this really be true?
Not only 5th avenue but Shea Stadium too?
My prays have been answered and I don’t know by who
But I am seeing football in Brazil – a miracle come true!

But wait – the TV’s beginning to clear
And it’s not Shea Stadium; that’s Brazilian beer!
And it’s not 4th down with 50 to go
That’s ‘hands ball’ and yellow cards and they’re kicking the ump low.

Back to the window; where’s Micky and Minnie?
The bands? The balloons? There just aren’t any!
The street is now filled with noises and rings
But it’s just the local samba school doing their thing.

Oh well, it was nice, for just a short while
To hear Howard’s voice and see Namath’s smile.
And to think I was there with Lorne Green and friends
Watching the commotion from beginning to end.
But this is Brazil where the pilgrims didn’t land
And the football they play here is without hands.

So I can’t cook my turkey or make pumpkin pie
Or mess up the jello or get gravy on my thigh.
Can’t cheer for my team while drinking a brew
Or bet on the spread with a sibling or two.

Shoot! I forgot! That’s Vitória playing!
And oooh- a penalty kick is now in the staging!
Oh! I can’t believe it! That’s three goals he’s made!
Either pull that damn goalie or give him Gatorade.

Well, it’s the night before thanksgiving but I’m not feeling low
‘Cause O Brasil vai ganhar o Copo do Mundo!

(translation: Brazil is going to win the World Cup)