Christmastime in Iraq

'Twas the Night Before … Uh, Never Mind

by John Nugent

CHRISTMAS is over, there's coal in my socks
I just got back home from the big ol' sandbox
Where we looked for Saddam inside every dark hole
Chased like a rat since he's lost his control

We searched in the rocks, and we lurked in the caves
To take him back with us to the Home of the Brave
And while scratching around in the dusty brown dirt
Out pops a guy in a greasy red shirt

With a scruffy white beard and his hair all a mess
And a smell that's so bad I can't even express
I broke out my gas mask, my bio-safe suit,
And I clamped on a clothespin or two to my snoot

His boots were all tattered, if that's what they were
They may have been sandals, I'm not even sure
His pants were as rancid as last year's mint jelly
And he had a gray stain on his big hairy belly

We called for a translator, interrogators too
To see if he'd tell us a word, even two
But what does he say when he jumps from his stool?
He said, ''I'm not Saddam, I am Santa, You FOOL!''

So I asked, ''If you're Claus, well then where are the elves?''
He said, ''It's a sad tale, if I say so myself
I was making the rounds, going over south France
When I heard a big BANG, and after checking my pants

''I looked at the reindeer. Could a hoof have blown out?
While I thought about whether I'd have to throw out
The heavier stuff so I could get halfway back
But then I decided, 'I'll just land in Iraq'

''I pulled on the reins, but they felt way too soft
Then I mashed on the brakes but the pedal broke off
I put on my 'chute and went over the side
Looks like the reindeer are in for a ride

''Well, I floated on down to a beat up old shack
Near a pomegranate farm in northeastern Iraq
And what to my wondering eyes should appear
But 600 GIs with night-vision headgear

''So I scrambled away and I jumped in this pit
Until you guys found me here, smelling like s—
How could I have known when I saw those marines
What I thought was a spider-hole was just a latrine!''

And that's why I'm getting a big lump of coal
Because when I looked down in that little hole
I thought it was Saddam, in the mood for a fight
But instead I got Santa, and boy was he ripe!

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