‘Twas the Night for Assembling
By Kellie Head ă 1999
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except me and my spouse
The stockings were empty, no presents were wrapped
We were way behind schedule and our resources tapped
The children were nestled all snug in the beds,
While the horrors of assembling danced in our heads
Dad armed with a screwdriver, ready and poised
To build a red trike for one of our boys.
When off in the hall there arose a strange noise
We dove over boxes to hide all the toys
The thud, it turned out, was our dumb puppy Paul
Who was chasing the cat and ran into the wall
Back to his task, Dad cursed at his mess
I suspect he was lost, but he’d never confess
He wrestled with parts and fumbled with tools,
emailed the manufacturer and called them all fools.
After hours of struggle, the bike finally took shape,
With a few cuts and bruises and the aid of duct tape
He stood back and gaped at the bike he just built
It weaved and it wobbled and rolled with a tilt
His frustration grew; his voice shook as he spoke
"The directions are Greek, it’s all a sick joke"
At this point he snapped, his thinking unclear
He’ll do something stupid; this was my big fear.
He grabbed each toy’s instructions, oh why won’t he learn,
Tossed them into the fire, chanting "burn baby burn"
"Burn Disney, burn Huffy, to blazes with you
Burn Fisher Price, Playskool and Hasbro, too"
As smoke filled the room, this was his first clue
That in a moment of haste, he had neglected the flue
To the top of the mantle, to the top of the wall
A black cloud developed and ash settled on all
Soot landed on stockings and covered the tree
And gave a look of charcoal to all we could see
The firemen came, this wasn’t going to be fun
Seems the neighbors saw smoke and called 9-1-1
Out came the axe, out came the hoses
Out came a Dalmatian who trampled my roses.
"There’s no trouble here," I swore up and down
Realizing this faux pas would soon be ‘round town
"My husband’s a good man," I tried to explain
"The instructions weren’t clear. It drove him insane"
The fire chief nodded and gathered his crew
Hopped onto their truck and away they all flew
But I heard them converse as they drove out of sight
"Her husband’s the third jerk who’s done that tonight!"