FITS 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the State House
Not a creature was stirring, not even Gov. Sanford’s piglets;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Harrell soon would be there;
The Democratic Caucus Members were all snug in their beds;
While visions of non-essential, discretionary pork spending danced in their heads;
And James Smith in his ‘kerchief, and Bill Cotty in his cap;
Had settled down with Ken Kennedy for a long winter’s nap,
When in the House Chambers there arose such a clatter,
The State House reporters grabbed their microphones and cameras to see what was the matter.
Away to the lobby they flew in a flash,
To ask pointed questions that the politicians didn’t want asked.
The boondoggle spending items all laid out on the new-fallen snow
Gave taxpayers a bigger headache than they’d never known,
When, what to all’s wandering eyes did appear
But the Mayor of Importantville’s sleigh, and eight pork-laden reindeer,
With a calculating driver, so powerful and virile,
I knew it a minute in must be St. Harrell.
More rapid than Liquid plumber your tax dollars drained,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, Cooper! Now, Altman! now, Annette Young and Hinson!
On, Merrill! On Clemmons! on Vida Miller and Gene Pinson!
To the top of the State House! To the top of the Dome!
Now dash away! Dash away! Let’s spend other people's money until it’s all gone!
As dry leaves that before the wild spending spree fly,
When they meet with fiscal conservatism, they kiss it goodbye,
So up to the State House Dome St. Harrell’s coursers they flew,
With presents for lobbyists and deferred maintenance for Universities, too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawning of each not-so-little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Harrell came with a bound.
He was dressed like a businessman, from his head to his foot.
Covered in his brother’s lobbying firm brochures instead of ashes and soot;
A bundle of goodies he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
And he handed out treats to get help in Newberry,
and Orangeburg and York, and in Williamsburg, too.
But not so much for Lexington, he said, “there’s no pork here for you.”
The tax dollar sizzling started, the feast had begun,
When from the back of the room Harry Ott yelled out, “hey, can’t I get some?”
“I’m sorry Ott," said St. Harrell. "I’m fresh out of goodies,
But would you like a seat on my old Ways & Means Committee?”
And so it was the Mayor held forth on that day,
to receive his own presents - a purple robe, and a gavel to bang,
He was slick and well-spoken, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
He soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread
(if I move my bank accounts to N.C., that is);
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him explain, as he drove out of sight,
“Happy Spending to all, and to all a good-night!”