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Twas the mall before Christmas

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With the shortened 2013 Thanksgiving to Christmas shopping period (thanks to a late-arriving Thanksgiving this year), shoppers are racing around malls and shopping online with visions of presents in their heads.

My wife and I inadvertently visited Coastland Mall (here in Naples, FL) a few days before Christmas to visit a cell phone kiosk and get some phone issues resolved. In retrospect, we should have waited a few days (or maybe weeks) to deal with these phone matters.

Anyway, the mall was busy and the parking lot was overflowing (Fig. 1). Simply put, it was reminiscent of a “zoo.”

This prompted my wife (Barbara) to utter the words, “twas the mall before Christmas.” Well, visions of the poem, “Twas The Night Before Christmas” immediately came to mind.

It took the two of us about an hour of fun-filled creativity to arrive at the following take-off of this now famous, 190-year old Christmas classic. With all due apologies to Clarke Clement Moore (1799-1863), my wife and I dedicate this poem (“Twas the mall before Christmas”) to anyone who has even a tiniest bit of Christmas spirit.

Please enjoy our attempt at a little Christmas humor and fun!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and to all a good night…

Twas the Mall before Christmas (A 2013 holiday survival poem)
Barbara Levine & H. Michael Mogil

Written after a visit to the Coastland Mall in Naples, FL three days before Christmas Eve 2013.

Twas the mall before Christmas, when all through the lot
Not a parking space to be seen, not one little spot.
Holiday shoppers were driving, each without a care
Searching for parking spaces that simply weren’t there.

A ha, I see one, right over there
Alas, when I arrived, I’m in total despair
A Mercedes, spanning two spaces, sat on the line
Eliminating the spot that was destined to be mine.

Two hours later, I finally parked the car
After hiking for 20 minutes, yes, it was that far
I arrived at the mall and joined the throngs inside
Happy that I made it, regaining my pride.

When I suddenly realized my list was at home
OMG, I exclaimed and reached for my cell phone
With only one bar, my call vanished quickly
My face told it all, I looked rather sickly.

Then I heard a sound and my phone started ringing
I leapt for joy and actually started singing
My wife, bless her heart, wanted to know if the shopping was done
Sadly, I reported, it had only just begun.

She read me the list and I checked it twice
Now, I needed to drive elsewhere, over streets filled with ice
So, I raced around quickly, gathering what I could
Pushing and shoving others, as only a desperate man would.

I stopped at the bar, for some quick relief*
Then looked at the clock, in total disbelief
It was seven o’clock on Christmas Eve
Stores would soon be shuttering, I would have to leave.

I escaped with my prizes, raced back to my car
Looked for the keys, realized I’d left them at the bar
I ran back to the mall, wishing it was around the block
That’s because time was fleeting, tick tock, tick tock.

I made it to mall number two, not a moment to spare
Gathered my prizes, smiled silently, inhaled some fresh air
Back to my car and home in a flash
My wallet intact, yes, I still had some cash.

My wife and I wrapped the presents and placed them by our tree
With visions our kids would soon awake and be at our knees
There were toys and games, books and more
All purchased in a mad dash, the evening before.

Next year, I promised, online shopping it would be
Amazon, Walmart, E-Bay web sites for me
My wife smiled and kissed me on the cheek
Knowing full well that this promise I would not keep.

Twas the mall before Christmas, a year later in fact
I was racing around, my mind not quite intact
The tale would go on, year after year
It’s okay now, because this poem is finally here.

Merry Christmas to all, I shouted with glee
As I reminisced about my yearly adventures with friends and family
It’s a tale worth repeating, with lessons to be learned
Remember it well, so you, too, don’t get burned.

* No alcohol was consumed in the making of this poem; further, we do not encourage consuming any alcoholic beverages during or leading up to performing any of the shopping tasks noted in the foregoing poem.

© 2013, Barbara Levine & H. Michael Mogil

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