Time to Eat the Dogs

A Podcast About Science, History, and Exploration

The Night Before Christmas


In the spirit of the season, here’s a version of The Night Before Christmas using some of the search terms that people have used to find Time to Eat the Dogs. (My blog software informs me of these search terms in an ever-growing list). Thanks for all of the great comments and suggestions over the past year. Drive safely, eat well, and I’ll see you next year.

The Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a cyclops;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that Ernest Shackleton soon would be there;

The ancient naked men were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of misshapen world maps danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and Thor Heyerdahl in his cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on K2 there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my high altitude human balloon to see what was the matter.

Away to the laminar flow hood I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a mad magazine evolutionary chart, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a Peruvian tribe, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than dinosaurs his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Mallory! now, Darwin! now, Armstrong and Peary!

On, Wallace! on Aldrin! on Martens and Kingsley!

To the top of the world! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the K-T extinction event fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So up to the space rover the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of toys, and Shackleton too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of turkey fricassee.

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,

Down the chimney Shackleton came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of strange maps he had flung on his back,

And he looked like John McCain just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His ancient order of foresters was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the storm over Everest;

The stump of a hominid he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little crash test dummy,

That shook, when he laughed like a sled-ful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, 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 leviathan,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled the SSV Corwith Cramer; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up to orbit he rose;

He sprang to his Mars Phoenix Lander, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

“Road trip” and “I need to escape modern life”


  Kevin Z wrote @

Hilarious! Well done, and a Merry Christmas to you. See you in 2009.

  Michael D. Barton wrote @

What a fun read! Merry Christmas, Michael!

  Karen James wrote @

Bravo! Bravo, I say!

  MCR wrote @

Pure genius!! Merry Christmas Michael.

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