‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In the hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
(Oh, wait; I’ve heard that before, must have stayed with me somehow)
Anyway. Heard any good holiday stories lately?
You might have missed this one:
An Irregular Family Christmas
(A fairy tale of epic proportions, soon to be an instant classic, like Raptors-Pistons 12/22/10)
They came from all over, from Roma and London (the one here with all the snow and the one there with all the snow) and Biel-Bienne and Ottawa and Vancouver and parts unknown. Oh, and don’t forget Toronto and Hazelville and Glencoe. And there’s one guy’s from Mars, I swear; and three or four are from The Planet Of Negativity. But there were no doofuses from government because they are all genuinely caring public servants who aren't all about obtaining power and doing whatever it takes to keep it. Honest.
A disparate group, indeed, of mixed ages and backgrounds and levels of commitment to the game and each other. A lovely collection as a matter of fact. And a hoot to be around.
The soiree begins:
“Hey, let’s put on some music?”
“Beatles? Best of John Lennon? Something from the 16th century? Joni Mitchell? The Best Of Southern Ontario 1980s Concerts?”
“No, no, no. A thousand times, no. If it’s not Roger Miller, it’s crap.”
“Wait, I have a copy of From Brooklyn To Toronto, a medley of carols.”
“Nooooooooooooo” a voice cries from the left coast.
From the other room, a serenade of saxophone music begins and everyone’s calm.
And since it’s Christmas Eve, there are no games to watch as the evening begins and no one can stomach an endless loop of Zany Things Chuck And Matt and Leo and Jack have said.
“Screw the music, let’s put on Seinfeld reruns.”
“Are you crazy? The best of Dancing With The Stars is on. Look! There’s Sarah’s daughter. And The Hoff. And Rick Fox.”
“Yeah, but none of them are Clyde Drexler. Thankfully.”
“Wait, there’s some obscure British drama on, let’s watch that.”
“I don’t care what it is as long as they don’t have those stupid low-angle shots from the other end of the action.”
All kinds of nods of agreement and the TV gets turned off.
“Let’s sit and talk basketball.”
“What? No more Super Family? Mighty Yankees? The Smelly Ford Focus? Come on, what do you think this is, a place to discuss the intricacies of basketball every day? Surely you jest.”
“Don’t call me Shirley!”
“Okay, Jose sucks. And so does Andrea. And how in the name of whatever deity you worship is Jay Triano still employed? Can’t they get a real coach?”
“I don’t know, let’s ask Doug. He’s over there with his friend Stella. And Super Dog.” “Wait, Super Dog’s making googly eyes at Seraphina. Let them be.”
“What do you want to ask Doug for? He doesn’t know anything and if he said today was Friday, I’d say it’s Thursday because I’m a contrarian and he’s a dope. And I’d say it often.”
And now they repair to the table for The Feast.
“What should we have?”
“How about some pizza from that joint in Phoenix. Or red meat from Barberians? Or seafood from the place just off the Vatican wall in Rome; I know a guy who can help us order?”
“No. I want waffles?”
“Grr. No pucks allowed.”
The repast arrives and it’s delicious, no bun-tossing, several bottles of a robust red and a vegetarian sample for those among them who don’t appreciate a well-marbled ribeye.
All of a sudden, there arose such a clatter that they sprang to the feet to see what was the matter.
(Hmm, that’s a pretty good line, I should trademark it.)
And as they got to the living room, there he was:
The kindly old gentleman sat down, opened his bag of tricks and went over the gift list:
To Bryan Colangelo
The stones of a riverboat gambler so he can make life interesting in January and February with some blockbuster moves. Or the patience of Job to sit through a dreary season of personal growth
Santa Grunt’s kind of on the fence with that one.
To Andrea Bargnani
Consistent drive and desire and eight rebounds a night so Santa Grunt can get some peace and quiet.
To Jay Triano
A guaranteed third year on his contract. There has to be a reward for this, doesn’t there?
To Beat Grunts in Toronto
Someone – anyone – who showers quickly after games so they can make deadline and is a great quote daily and has a spark of personality. Please.
To Jose Calderon
Good health, and a spike in the price of Spanish jamon. Oh, and the love and admiration of the guys who kill Santa Grunt for thinking he’s, you know, not the devil incarnate.
To Jerryd Bayless.
Rogaine? And the wisdom to realize the other guys in white or red can shoot, too.
To David Stern and Billy Hunter
The foresight to know not to kill the golden goose; and to make sure guys like Santa Grunt don’t have to write pucks next fall.
To DeMar DeRozan, Sonny Weems and Amir Johnson
May the Young Onez (whatever the heck that is) become this era’s Rat Pack. Oh, and consistently good play on the court, too.
To Solomon Alabi and Ed Davis
A Get Out Of Erie Free card.
And with that, Santa Grunt had to make his exit, off around the world to spread his own version of goodwill and good cheer to all the boys and girls who sit around breathlessly waiting for his arrival.
Either that or he had to go Christmas shopping.
But as he left – and he tried to go up the chimney but it was too narrow so he stumbled down the front steps – he turned with a twinkle in his eyes and said:
A Merry Christmas to all
And to all a good night.
(Oh, wait; I’ve heard that before, too).
You know what I mean.