With Apologies to Clement C. Moore

‘Twas the night before the inspection, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring–that better not be a mouse.
The linens were folded, tucked in closets with care,
In desperation because the buyer soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of their own rooms danced in their heads.
And Dave in his sweatshirt, and I in my cap,
Were just freaking out that our house wouldn’t pass.

When down in the bathroom there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the toilet I flew like a flash,
Tore open the door and cursed with some sass.

The water on the floor of the half-bath–oh, no!
Gave the lustre of mid-day as it spilled all below
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a flood that came pouring out up to our ears.

With a little old yelp, so helpless and quick,
I knew in a moment we were in some deep s—.
More rapid than eagles the old towels they came,
And we mopped it, and shouted, and called it some names!

“Are you kidding?! Now, get that! What else now can happen?!
Don’t step on that! A paint can? Oh, what were you thinking?
It’s all over the floor! It’s under the wall!
The paint and the water, it’s entering the hall!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So out of the bathroom we owners we flew,
To see that a heater was acting up, too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard David swear
New words, and old words, and ones I can’t bear.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the stairs with some glue David came with a bound.

He was drenched all in sweat, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with paint flecks and soot.
A bundle of tools he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they glowered! His dimples weren’t merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his face flushed like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up in a sneer,
And the beard of his chin had grown stark white with fear.

The stump of a pencil he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke from his ears encircled his head like a wreath.
A heater had broken upstairs and was smelly,
Dave said, “We’re screwed, there’s no way we can sell-y,”

But he fixed one old heater, my handy tall elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And fixed what he could, then turned with a jerk.
And crouching down on his knees and his toes,
And shaking his head, said “Let’s pray that this goes!”

He sprang to the shower, without so much as a whistle,
In the bath with no heat, with air cold as popsicles.
But I heard him exclaim, as he walked out of sight,
“At least they won’t care that I just broke that light.”

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