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The Night Before Christmas 2020 (The Tiger Queen)

'Twas the night before Christmas but nobody cared; Every person was nervous and restless and scared; The stockings weren’t hung for the holiday season; Though no one would say, we all quite knew the reason.

The halls were not decked nor the children excited; For a guest was arriving that wasn’t invited; He went by Corona (or Co-vid for short) And he wasn’t the merry and jovial sort.

The children were tucked in, but not one was sleeping For outside the house, the Corona was creeping; Ma was spread on the couch with a wine glass half-filled And I slid in beside her to Netflix and chill.

When outside the window we heard the wind howling

And Ma cocked her head “That sounds like someone’s growling!”

Away to the window I ran like a sprinter

And peered through the glass at the warm SoCal winter.

The moon was aglow through a gray, smoky haze

From the wildfires that had been burning for days.

When what to my wondering eyes did I spy

But a sleigh and some tigers airborne in the sky!

And a little old driver and crew so chaotic

I knew in a moment it was Joe Exotic.

More rapid than eagles the tigers did soar

And he whistled and yelled with a powerful roar

"Now, Mullet! Now, Gator! Now, Tall, Dark and Hairy!

On, Bullet! On Toothless! On Fruitloop and Fairy! From the North to the South and the East to the West

I’m a man on a mission, there’s no time to rest!

And then in a twinkling, they crashed on the lawn

And out jumped ol’ Joe with a Santa suit on.

He was dressed all in red from his boots to his hat

And he chuckled and said “Does this make me look fat?”

A battered guitar he had slung on his back

In his mouth was a pipe (not tobacco, but crack).

His eyes, they were glassy! His mullet how scary!

His cheeks were all sunburned, and red like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up at one side,

And the hair on his chin was all crispy and fried.

He had a small crew made up mostly of losers

Like convicts and meth-addicts, liars and boozers.

The gang all approached as they breached my space bubble,

“We want information. Ain’t here for no trouble.”

Joe looked in my eye, “I’ve got questions for askin’.

D’ya know where I might find that bitch, Carole Baskin?”

“I was hot on her tail…I was right there behind her.

But I lost her near Reno. Can you help me find her?”

“Keep your distance” I said, “I’ve got kids to protect!”

“Stay outside, wear your mask, you must all disinfect!”

Then I slipped back inside and went straight to the phone

And I called 911 to come right to my home.

They showed up with sirens, with guns and with lights,

And were joined by defenders of animal rights.

Joe’s crew was all cuffed and was carted to jail

But that, my dear friends, ain’t the end of this “tail”

‘Cause as the crowd ranted and chanted and cheered

The sleigh and the tigers were all commandeered.

As it took to the air, I heard somebody scream

“Tell the world that the Tiger King’s really a Queen!”

Then I heard her exclaim as she waved with her mittens,

“Merry Christmas to all you cool cats and cool kittens!”

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