A couple years ago, the challenge put to my writers group was to give the Christmas classic our own twist.
With sincere wishes for a Merry Christmas and happy holiday to all, here was mine:
‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS (Facebook edition)
‘Twas the night before Christmas,
And while the family slept,
I tossed; so I put on my slippers and
down to the computer I quietly crept.
My eyes wired open from too much late night caffeine
I hit the Internet to see what I could gleen,
At what news of the world I could quickly look
I clicked on to the world’s biggest mouth – Facebook.
Round and round my mouse did run,
Me thinking, “This might be fun.
“And if not fun, well then at least
It will help me sleep like a beast.”
When what to my incredulous eyes should appear,
But a misplaced apostrophe – sad, but true, dear.
And then even more grammar errors did make
My poor, old editor’s brain hurt, and heart ache.
Of course, there were the “To’s,” “Two’s” and “Too’s”
So mixed they should have cried “We’re abused!”
Not to mention the “Their’s,” “There’s” and “They’re’s”
Oh, the shame danced like snow in the air.
Contractions, misspellings, and bad usage abounded
For such bad grammar all English students are hounded.
“Who’s to blame?” I pondered, “for this verbal travesty?”
Then came the answer, bright as the moon — technology.
Computers and smart phones and tablets and texts,
And how do kids use such power? To send sexts.
Who needs spelling when you can just “LOL”
If there’s real justice, they’ll go to English Hell.
And not just kids — to make matters even madder;
Many of the adults’ posts were just as badder.
They, too couldn’t properly combine “can” and “not”
Their wrong possessives and plurals gave me the trots.
Then a solution to this conundrum to me did appear
Like a sleigh in the night, led by eight – well, nine — tiny reindeer.
I needed to find Mark, of the Berg of Zucker
And solicit his help with these language suckers.
To him I would say, “Mark, you have billions to spare
“Let’s make some new rules to ensure English, so fair.
“Insist that Facebook users must complete and pass
“A grammar exam after taking a short class.
“And if they fail, they will not get a new password
“And won’t be able to tell the world about their turds.
“This should be threat great enough to curb the abuse
“Of the English language and ensure proper use.”
I reached Zuckerberg – he was in the (online) phone book.
He said he liked my plan, and that he felt like a schnook
For helping to unleash bad grammar on the world
When he merely wanted to embarrass a girl.
As visions of “Affect” and “Effect” rightly used danced in my head,
I smiled joyously for a good deed well done, and went back to bed.
I dreamt of a new day when word choice would again matter
Then awoke to my kids’ cries, creating such a clatter.
As the Holy morning broke the kids tried to post their status
They tried to hit Facebook — but found out that they had no access.
They glared at me, mouths agape with horror as I shared my tale of Christmas Eve night,
“This is my greatest gift,” said I. “Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good write.”