Rambo Christmas

’Twas the night before Christmas, 1986,
And the world situation was in a fine fix.
This everyone knew, but how bad it could get
No one had ventured to estimate yet.
For I must admit we felt safe and secure
As Christmastime came—surely that was the cure
For hostages, conflicts and tensions galore
And that other bad stuff that you get when you war.
So this Christmas Eve was no different, I thought—
The goodies were baked and the presents were bought,
The stockings were hung, the kids snug in their beds,
While visions of Thundercats danced in their heads.
I and the wife hit the sack early on
To catch a few winks till the first crack of dawn
When the kids would arise like a convoy of tanks
To see what they’d got and forget to say thanks.
The doors had been locked, the paper was read,
And I flipped the TV on as I headed for bed.
I watched the first credits of the ten ’o clock news
As I heaved a big sigh and kicked off my shoes.
But the newscaster’s face was drawn and grim
As he said, “You can take down your Christmas tree trim,
For I’ve just now been handed this special report
And the news it contains is not the good sort.
No, this news that I have is as bad as can be:
It spells doom for our children, for you, and for me.
Yes, this news that I have will just rattle your craniums—
Then cold perspiration broke out on my brow—
How could this happen, and for Pete’s sake, why now?

We were later informed that the Pentagon guys
Asked themselves the same questions with fear in their eyes.
For stockings were limp, and the people in power
Knew this must be resolved within just a few hours.
Negotiating would take far too long,
And the general feeling appeared to be strong
That this problem required something else more effective
Than a plea to be nice, or some hollow invective.
Something fast, something quick, something pretty terrific—
But no one could come up with something specific,
Till a low-ranking officer outlined a plan
At the core of which was a remarkable man…
Said the officer, “Well, this is how it would work:
If you don’t like this plan, well, just call me a jerk,
But if St. Nick can’t visit our girls and our boys,
Then let’s just send Rambo to deliver the toys!
Just after he’s finished he can free Mr. Claus.”
Well, the Joint Chiefs of Staff all clenched their square jaws,
Then they shrugged and gave it the big go-ahead,
Hung up their stockings and all went to bed.

So I’ll pick up my story where I last left you hanging,
Where I and my spouse’s slack jaws were a-dangling.
We fretted and wondered how we’d tell the kids,
And thought about how they would all flip their lids.
When out in the yard there arose such a clatter
That I peeped out the curtains to see what was the matter.
When what to my dilated eyes should appear
But a muscular psycho with no sense of fear!
He wore a red headband and not too much else,
and I screamed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
He tossed a smoke bomb through the sliding glass door,
So I yelled to my wife and we both hit the floor.
His AK-47 destroyed our west wall—
As he strode in he grunted, “Merry Christmas to all.”
His arms how they rippled! His hair how it tangled!
His chest was like granite, his guns how they dangled!
He paused for a minute while his dull haggard eyes
Gave the house a once-over for Communist spies.
The huge bulky shape that he clutched in one hand
Was a knapsack the size of a Chevy sedan.
His perspiring form moved from stocking to stocking
As I lay low and hoped he wouldn’t hear my knees knocking.
He stepped back for a minute to take pride in his labors,
Then left through the hole to go visit the neighbors.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he jogged out of sight,