Thursday, December 22, 2016

'Twas The Night Before Christmas - Local Style

GOUVEIA: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas....

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:31 pm
What do you get cities and towns, the officials who run them, for Christmas? It’s a yearly struggle for me.
After all, it is local municipalities and their dedicated leaders who keep me in column material throughout the year. Whether it be to sing their praises or criticize something they have done, local politicians and politics are largely what allows me to hold a regular dialogue with you readers twice each week.
So every year at this time, I try and give something back. In what has become pretty much an annual ritual, I create my own version of the most famous Christmas poem of all time.
While it may be argued that my attempts only inflict more pain upon both those I seek to honor and those who choose to read this — it’s cheaper than buying actual gifts.
So with apologies to the original author, I do once again subject you all to my version of “’Twas The Night Before Christmas...”
’Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the land,
Politicians were hiding from reporter Jim Hand.
In Attleboro, citizens dreamed about what they would do
In a mayoral race featuring Dumas and Heroux.

The taxpayers were settled all snug in their rooms,
Dreaming of incumbents being chased out with brooms.
Your beloved local columnist was writing away,
Hoping the Super Bowl would see the Patriots play.

Then from outside came a noise through the snow,
I jumped up but realized there was no place to go.
I dashed past the window, and ran quickly outside.
I looked up, gasped sharply, and then deeply sighed.

The moonlight was highlighting the snow on the ground.
And nary a working snowplow could be found.
Up high were five people with their brows in a furrow.
It was a sleigh carrying selectmen from nearby Foxboro.

They had on some gear to ward off snow or rain.
And looked around carefully, as though avoiding a train.
Their sleigh was fully loaded with wonderful gifts.
For town officials, even those with political rifts.

For themselves, they delivered what many expect.
They promised to treat each other with the proper respect.
Some want lower taxes, but others don’t find that funny.
After all, they can’t always count on old Bob Kraft’s money.

They stopped first in Plainville, at the place with the slots.
They had gifts for the gamblers who spend lots and lots.
They received many thanks, and even some offers.
They could have had that money now filling Plainville’s town coffers.

They moved quickly to Norton, and did what they ought-ta.
They gave those good residents some non-brown town water.
Next year citizens hope they’re in a better position.
Which could start with eliminating the Water Commission.

In Mansfield, in exchange for keeping the trains.
They gave the airport a school teaching how to fly planes.
Medical marijuana will soon be sold in this town.
Something Foxboro officials completely turned down.

North Attleboro selectmen got some real nice selections.
And got to keep those stupid preliminary elections.
To Wrentham they gave a law that has people talking.
On conservation land, leash your dog while you’re walking.

In Rehoboth they delivered a special condition.
That gives a former selectman a paid town position.
To Norfolk Rep. Dooley they made it quite plain.
That he has his own choo-choo, and it’s not fair to complain.

They delivered to Seekonk a gift bringing raves.
More land for cemeteries, so folks can have graves.
Their present to Attleboro was really the topper.
To LaSalette, they brought back the donkey named Clopper.

They saw me and shivered, as if feeling a draft.
And turned up their noses like my last name was Kraft.
They stared very hard, and stated with dread.
That nothing I’ve written have they ever read.

They finished their business and started to go.
Called to the reindeer and took off towards the snow.
But I heard them exclaim as they looked back with a frown.
“We know it was you who put those turkeys in town!”

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, good readers.

Bill Gouveia is a local columnist, town official, husband, parent, grandfather, and terrible poet. He wishes you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and can be reached at and at @billinsidelook.

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