Friday, December 22, 2023

You're No Lincoln, Mr. Trump

Abraham Lincoln (March 4, 1861 - April 15, 1865)

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 - April 15, 1865) was the sixteenth President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1861 until his assassination. As an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery in the United States, Lincoln won the Republican Party nomination in 1860 and was elected president later that year. During his term, he helped preserve the United States by leading the defeat of the secessionist Confederate States of America in the American Civil War. He introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution in 1865.
Lincoln closely supervised the victorious war effort, especially the selection of top generals, including Ulysses S. Grant. Historians have concluded that he handled the factions of the Republican Party well, bringing leaders of each faction into his cabinet and forcing them to cooperate. Lincoln successfully defused a war scare with the United Kingdom in 1861. Under his leadership, the Union took control of the border slave states at the start of the war. Additionally, he managed his own reelection in the 1864 presidential election.
Opponents of the war (also known as "Copperheads") criticized him for refusing to compromise on the slavery issue. Conversely, the Radical Republicans, an abolitionist faction of the Republican Party, criticized him for moving too slowly in abolishing slavery. Even with these problems, Lincoln successfully rallied public opinion through his rhetoric and speeches; his Gettysburg Address is but one example of this. At the close of the war, Lincoln held a moderate view of Reconstruction, seeking to speedily reunite the nation through a policy of generous reconciliation. His assassination in 1865 was the first presidential assassination in U.S. history and made him a martyr for the ideal of national unity 
"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and under a just God, cannot long retain it."
"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe."
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."

Noteworthy Sites

Friday, December 15, 2023

The Nightmare Scenario: Donald J. Trump

 When a Failed TV Talk Show Host Lands in the White House

Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946, New York, New York) was the forty-fifth President of the United States. Trump portrays himself as the very definition of the American success story. Throughout his life he has continually, though sometimes falsely, promoted himself as the epitome of business and entrepreneurial excellence, with his interests in real estate, sports, and entertainment. His entry into politics and public service, powered by his carefully crafted TV persona, resulted in the Presidential victory in 2016.

After graduating from the Wharton School of Finance, Mr. Trump followed in his father’s footsteps as a real estate developer, and he entered the world of real estate development in New York. The Trump signature soon became synonymous with the most prestigious of addresses in Manhattan and subsequently throughout the world.

Mr. Trump announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015, and after seventeen Republican contenders suspended their campaigns, he accepted the Republican nomination for President of the United States in July of 2016. After a vigorous campaign that consisted of persistent attacks on his opponent Hillary Clinton, Mr. Trump won the election on November 8 of 2016. Though he preferred to view his victory as a landslide, citing the fact that he won over 2,600 counties nationwide, the most since President Reagan in 1984, the truth is he lost the popular vote to Clinton by 3 million votes.

Trump campaigned in places he knew Republicans have had difficulty winning like Flint, Michigan, charter schools in inner-city Cleveland, and Hispanic churches in Florida, never ceasing his attacks on Secretary Clinton. The strategy worked.

President Trump has been married to his third wife, Melania, for twelve years and they are parents to their son, Barron. Additionally, Mr. Trump has four adult children, Don Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany, and eight grandchildren.

From the beginning, the Trump Presidency was mired in scandal and controversy. Associates were indicted and some confessed to crimes during his first year. Many pundits doubted he would finish his term. On December 18, 2019, he was impeached by the House of Representatives for strong-arming the Ukranian Government to intercede in our election on his behalf thus becoming the third president in U.S. history to be so disgraced. Because the Republican majority in the Senate cast a blind eye on his crimes, he was not removed from office.

Throughout his term, he undermined confidence in the intelligence service, the Justice Department and the press. He opposed all who espoused opinions contrary to his own false and erratic narrative.

When he lost the 2020 election by a landslide, in his typical petty fashion, he claimed he was the victim of voter fraud and refused to admit defeat. He refused to allow his government to brief incoming Joe Biden's administration, thereby insuring against a smooth transition and putting the country in further jeopardy.

On January 6th, 2021, energized by "The Big Lie" that the election had been stolen from Trump, a group of insurgents, incited by Mr. Trump and his associates, stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop the certification of the electoral votes. People died and the lives of members of congress, as well as Vice President Pence and his family, were threatened. The insurgents, following the lead of the out-going President, chanted "Hang Mike Pence" and constructed a mock gallows on the Capitol grounds.

As a result of his role in the vicious attacks, Trump was impeached for a second time. Though acquitted by a partisan senate, he was considered guilty in the eyes of the country. His legacy will be one of racism, bigotry, lawlessness, treason and, due to his inept handling of the corona-virus, a country crippled by a pandemic.

2023 found Trump assailed with an abundance of legal woes, including 90+ indictments. Even so, he remained the Republican Party's leading candidate for the Presidency. As always, his constant lying swayed a large part of the electorate who, unfortunately, fail to see through them.


"It is what it is."

"Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war."

"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"

"Without passion you don't have energy, with out energy you have nothing."

"When somebody challenges you, fight back. Be brutal, be tough."

Noteworthy Sites

¹ Donald J. Trump - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Trump Cabinet
A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America
Books by Donald J. Trump
Intimate Portrait of Donald J. Trump by his Niece
Reports on Trump at The Newyorker

Sunday, April 30, 2023

My Ancestors


Early picture of the Toscano family. 
Starting in the upper left and going clockwise, Rose, Mike, Grandmother Fracesca, Antonia (my father Louis's twin who died in infancy), Anna and Julius. My father, Luigi, isn't pictured. 

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Nurturing Racism by Ace Toscano


He never had an innocent encounter with a little black child by the swings of his local playground. Or by the water fountain. Or taking turns on the slide. Or on the see-saw. Without color being a thing. Just kids at play.

He didn't live around black people.

Black people didn't live around him.

The first time he saw a black person in the flesh was indelibly imprinted on his mind. They were out in the country, all piled into his father's two toned green '49 Chevy, taking one of those Sunday drives many people used to enjoy back in the early 1950's. They were passing an area he'd since learned to identify as “the onion fields” when one of his mother's sisters declared excitedly, “Look, there's a nigger.” Someone hushed her but someone else soon observed, “He's been out in the sun too long – he's burnt.” They all giggled.

His father turned to him as they sped by and swore an oath, “You'll never have to work in the fields like that.” It seemed he had high hopes for his son.

As he recalled that man, a shirtless giant, his black face and upper body glistening with sweat, standing a short way off the road, towering over their car, he was convinced that in reality on that fateful day he had been a much smaller distant figure.

Yet the impact he had had on his life was enormous.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Getting My Ass Back to Casper by Ace Toscano

My old man was always fussy about the process of shitting. I can't remember my toilet training, but I'm sure the psychologists would feast on the details. He did have several hard and fast rules about toilet paper usage which I've also managed to forget. When he was near the end, dying of cancer, the hospice people put one of those white plastic potties alongside his hospital bed so he wouldn't have to make the journey across the hall to the bathroom every time he had to relieve himself or move his bowels. We had a procedure. He would indicate to me he wanted to use the potty. I would go to the side of the bed, extend my index fingers to him, then, after he took one in each hand, pull him up to a sitting position as he swung his legs off the side of the bed. I'd help him over to the potty, then leave him to it. We'd done it many times during the four months I'd been there and it had become a smooth operation.

But one day, after he had moved his bowels he asked me to wipe his ass. This was something new. He had never asked this of me before so I was understandably taken aback, yet feeling charitable at that particular moment, I figured what the hell and decided to give it the old college try. Unfortunately, I had never wiped anyone's ass before so I had no idea where to start or in which direction to go. It wasn't as if somewhere along the line I had taken a tutorial on how to properly wipe someone else's ass. My indecision and hesitation pissed him off – he'd never been a patient man – and he rather viciously tore the toilet paper out of my hand and completed the process himself. As I took his offering across the hall and flushed it down the toilet, I couldn't help laughing. Here he was, near death, still being the same nasty and abusive shit he'd always been.

“Wipe your own ass, you old fuck,” I thought but didn't say. There wouldn't have been any sense in that – he didn't have much time left anyway.

Funny thing about my situation was that I had spent my whole childhood avoiding him and my entire adulthood escaping him. You might think that Casper, Wyoming was far enough away from Long Island to give me the peace I craved, the peace I deserved, but turned out it wasn't. Sure, he couldn't drop by in his car, though he did do that once with horrific results, yet, as much as I wanted to be free of him, he couldn't bring himself to fucking leave me alone. He insisted on calling me every Saturday like clockwork. I dreaded the ringing of the phone and I dreaded the sound of his voice. It always struck me like a gut punch. But I always spoke to him because I knew my mother wanted me to. Even so, our conversations consisted of meaningless chatter. I didn't want to know what he was up to and, not wanting to prolong the call, I wasn't about to tell him what was going on in my life. Still, the calls kept coming.

A few months back, my aunts – my mother's sisters – started calling to tell me my mother needed help taking care of the old man and that my brother, Roger, who I liked to refer to as “Roger the Lodger” since he was 40 and still living home, wouldn't pitch in at all. Ironically, when the old man did expire and people praised me for having cared for him those final months, Roger, clad in his red MAGA cap, told anyone willing to listen that he would've helped if I hadn't come home and taken over. I even heard my mother defend him to somebody one day with the same line of shit but by that time all I cared about was getting home to my wife and our favorite stretch of fly fishing water so I let it slide.

The church service was unremarkable but when we got to the cemetery things turned into a real shit show when Roger's girlfriend, Rhonda, threw herself on the casket. I don't know if it was spontaneous or if Roger had convinced her to do it. It wouldn't have been hard since she was simpler than a two piece jigsaw puzzle. Ironically, despite her huge sense of loss, the old man had disliked her and always referred to her as “the idiot.”

If, in the telling, I have sounded a wee bit irreverent that's not accidental. The old man was a brutal, abusive bastard. He liked to kick my mother and shove her through the cellar door and lock it. I can still here her pleading softly so the other people in the duplex wouldn't hear, “Tony, please, please let me out. Let me out, Tony, please.” Eventually, it would fall on me to let her out. If he was still in the kitchen, she'd scamper away until it was safe.

As you might suspect, he kicked the shit out of me, too, whenever he got the chance, hence the eternal resentment.

One day when I was sixteen I had finally had enough. He was chasing my mother around the dining room table, gritting his teeth, snarling, his face dripping sweat, when I stepped in between them, raised my fists and told him to cut the fuckin' shit. For weeks afterward, my mother told me I had hurt his feelings and urged me to apologize. That never happened and, frankly, I was disappointed that she wanted me to.

Anyway, I never wanted anything to do with him which is why I moved to Wyoming and, now that he was safely in the ground, wasn't going to waste any time getting my ass back to Casper.

The End

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Sins of the Grandfather by Ace Toscano

For a building that looked so cold on the outside, it was absolutely steaming inside. Sweat poured off me and soaked my clothes. My shirt was sticking to my sides and my back. The hallway was so packed with people that the only way to move ahead was sideways, brushing against heavy coats of wool and fur and others of corduroy and leather. I also dodged several yellow slickers dripping wet from the weather. I caught the eyes briefly of men and women, who quickly looked away as if they knew who I was and why I was there. But that wasn't likely. 
“Small potatoes.” That's how my lawyer described my case. Pit Bull (that's how he described himself at our first meeting when he took my $10,000 retainer) has since proved to be more of a pussy cat, and a sloth. He guided me from behind saying it was important we didn't get separated as if we couldn't find the courtroom door beneath the over-sized golden VII independently. 
The heat is mixed with smells – perfumes, cigars and pipes, coffee, whiskey and cologne too liberally applied, especially by my escort. I've always had an acute sense of smell, so you can imagine the sour expression on my face as we move along and the haughty reactions to it. 
“A piece of cake,” that's how Pit bull described my forthcoming proceedings. All I knew was for some reason I couldn't plead guilty and we couldn't settle. We had to “fight, fight, fight.” He knew nothing about my taste in cakes and ignored any objections to his strategy. “That's why I'm getting the big dough-re-mi,” he said. I couldn't help feeling like I was getting gypped. 
We pushed through the doors to the courtroom and I immediately saw her, a wisp of a girl, Cindy Marie DeMarco, sitting at the plaintiff's table with her lawyer, another pit bull no doubt. Family DNA's analysis of our respective spit submissions had declared Cindy Marie my granddaughter. Who was I to argue?
For the last year, she had been performing a one-woman off-off-off Broadway show entitled The Sins of the Grandfather. It was based on stories told to her by her mother, my daughter, Marie, who I sadly learned died during the great pandemic. Unfortunately for her, Marie was a chronic liar who wouldn't recognize the truth if it bit her in the ass. My last intrusion into her twitter account revealed she was a fervent supporter of Donald J. Trump, who coincidentally was also a chronic distorter of the truth. But that's another story. 
Basically, I was being sued by a granddaughter whose existence I'd learned of only recently through the lawsuit and the aforementioned DNA analysis for being a bad father to her mother and an equally bad grandfather to her. Seemed like nonsense to me but my pit bull had assured me it wasn't while opposing any suggestions that we settle insisting that we have our day in court. By “our,” I'm sure he meant “his” which probably added to the bill.
The jury seemed as captivated as I was, though probably for different reasons, as my granddaughter, guided by her attorney who I had since learned was named Ezra Finch, “like the bird”, went through a litany of offenses, the most serious it seemed to me being abandonment,I had committed against her mother and by extension against her. I stared at her with an intensity I couldn't explain away as being related to the proceedings. It was as if all others appeared in two dimensional black and white and she alone stood in full vibrant three dimensional color. Her chestnut hair with purple and platinum streaks was cut short just below her ears. Her skin was well-tanned and she had a blue far-eastern symbol tattooed on the right side of her neck with a single teardrop about and inch below the corner of her right eye. This was augmented by actual tears that ran generously down her face, I suppose provoked by the narrative which I wasn't really following. There was a more elaborate blue and green jungle-themed tattoo that started on her right shoulder and extended down to her wrist. In the midst of dense foliage, a pair eyes stared out in sharp contrast. There was also a tiny diamond stud on the side of her nose and a gold ring through her lower lip. I had no idea what the jurors of the courtroom spectators were thinking but I couldn't help wondering if I was somehow responsible for this young girl's defigurement. 
Her voice was unexpectedly deep and resonant as if a sparrow's song mimicked a tuba. It sent vibrations directly to my core, straight to my heart. I found myself wishing I had seen her one-woman show. If I had known about it, I might have sneaked in unobserved. Now, sadly, that was unlikely. 
I was suddenly aware of my name being called. “Mr. DeMarco, you've been called to the stand. Any time it's convenient.”
“Yes, your Honor.” 
As I was sworn and asked to identify myself my eyes remained on my granddaughter sitting at the plaintiff's table with her face in her hands propped by her elbows. She watched me in return with a furrowed brow and laser focus. 
“Would you answer the question, Mr. DeMarco.”
Her eyes reminded me of my wife and as I studied her mouth I saw a lot of my daughter. Of course, I hadn't seen my daughter in the flesh for forty years before her death. She hadn't even made contact when her mother passed away.
“Mr. Thompson, does your client have any idea of what's going on here, today? Mr. DeMarco, what seems to be the problem?”
“Your honor, that's my granddaughter.”
“Well, at last, something we can agree on. Now, can you please respond to Mr. Thompson's question?”
“Yes, your honor.”
“Mr. DeMarco, were you listening to Ms. DeMarco's testimony?”
“Cindy Marie?”
“My granddaughter.”
“Yes, your granddaughter.”
I couldn't keep from smiling. I looked up at the judge. “I didn't know I had a granddaughter. I thought I was all alone in the world. Now, look at her – a beautiful young woman, your honor. A beautiful young woman who looks like her mother and more than a bit like her grandmother.”
The judge wasn't happy. “Mr. Thompson, please remind your client that this is a legal proceeding and not a family reunion.”
“He understands, your honor.”
“Mr. DeMarco?”
“Uh, yes, your honor?”
“Do you understand what's going on here, today?”
“Uh, yes, uh, the pit bull explained it to me.” A wave of laughter rose from the gallery.
“Please refer to your attorney as Mr. Thompson in the future.”
“Sorry, your honor, he told me everybody calls him the pit bull.“ That brought another wave of laughter as my flushed attorney slunk back to the table and shuffled some papers.
“Sounds like Mr. Thompson has told you a lot of things.”
“He told me I couldn't settle and had to have my day in court.”
“Is that so, Mr. Thompson?”
“Not exactly, your honor. I was merely suggesting...”
“So, Mr. Finch, there was no settlement conference.”
“No, sir, Mr. Thompson vehemently opposed any conference.”
The pit bull spoke up. “I was merely looking out for the interests of my client, your honor.”
“That's debatable. Mr. DeMarco am I correct in thinking you would be amenable to an out of court settlement?”
“Yes, your honor.”
“Your honor,” objected the pit bull. “He doesn't understand the process.” 
“Well, I do, Mr. Thompson and I'm going to halt the proceedings right here.”
“I object,” said Mr. Finch, his chair falling backward as he rose to his feet.
“Overruled. The opposing parties, Mr. DeMarco and his granddaughter were prevented the opportunity to settle and I intend to give them that opportunity before we go any further. Is that okay with you Ms. DeMarco?”
Cindy Marie looked to Mr. Finch.
“Don't look at him, Ms. DeMarco, look at me. Would you agree to meet with your grandfather to see if you can settle this matter between you?”
“And you Mr. DeMarco?”
“Yes, your honor.”
“Okay. Bailiff, show the two parties to a conference room please.”
The lawyers started to gather their papers.
“No lawyers,” said the judge. “You're reluctance to settle is what's brought us to this point. We'll let the parties meet without the benefit of your presence. This case is adjourned till further notice.”
With that he brought down the gavel.

The bailiff held open the door so that we both had to squeeze by him. Then he let if swing closed. I immediately took a seat on the long side of the oblong table. Cindy Marie took up a position at the end of the table and motioned me with her eyes to move to the opposite end. We sat in silence for a long moment each waiting, I suppose, for the other to speak. Finally, she removed a phone from her purse, fiddled with it a bit, then aimed it at me and took a pic.
“Should I smile?” I asked.
“Not necessary,” she replied.
The silence resumed. Her stare made me think that she expected something from me but I was at a complete loss. Finally, she spoke.
“What the hell's this fuckin' shit about me being beautiful? You goofin' on me or something?”
“Uh... no.”
She oozed skepticism as her eyebrows rose and her head tilted to the side. I felt duty-bound to elaborate.
“From the first moment I saw you, I thought your features were very pleasantly arranged. That's what I mean by beautiful... or cute, maybe.”
“Or cute, maybe,” she almost laughed. “You're a fuckin' riot, Grandpa.”
Not knowing if she was being sarcastic or cryptic or ironic, I said, simply, “Thank you.”
“Jesus Fucking Christ! No wonder Moms was a fuckin' mental mess.”
“Marie was a mental... mess?”
“And it was my fault?” 
“Double duh.”
“But... I loved her. We loved her. She must have known that.”
“You threw her out when she was sixteen years old,” she said with a sneer.
“Is that what she told you?”
“Me and the rest of the English speaking world. That was her go-to line whenever the subject of parents came up.”
“And did she mention the sailor.”
“No, no sailor.”
I shook my head. I couldn't imagine telling the story of that fateful day without mentioning the sailor. So, I began telling her the story of the sailor who hung out at the recruiting office at the mall and preyed on young girls. I explained that things went south when he called and threatened the lives of my wife and I because we were against him spending nights at our house. “Remember,” I told her, “he was twenty-two and she was 16.”
She listened intently till the end when I told her that since her mother sided with him and she rebelled against any rules we established we couldn't possibly let her back in the house. She took a deep breath and looked me in the eye. “Do you think he's my father?”
That knocked me for a loop. “You mean you don't know who your father is?”
“She never told me.”
“Well... how old are you?”
I thought for a minute. “I think she dumped him pretty quick, I'd like to think because she finally realized what a loser he was. Then she disappeared, totally, but he stuck around. He harassed me for months. Every time he saw me he made it a point to threaten me somehow, claiming he could kill me with one blow to the windpipe. Anyway, I have no idea if he and your mother... you know, but even if they had that would make you at least forty so we can safely assume he's not the one.”
“Fuckin' bummer.”
“Not really. Honestly, you wouldn't want his genes – he wasn't wrapped too tight.”
“I get that Gramps, it's just... I'd like to friggin' know!”
I thought for a moment. “What about the musician?”
Just then the bailiff rapped on the door and opened it. “How are things going in here?”
I looked a Cindy Marie questioningly. She turned to the bailiff and said, “We're coming to an understanding.”
He nodded. “I'll let the judge know, then. He was wondering. And your attorneys...” 
“No,” they said in unison.
He nodded and shut the door.
“Musician?” said Cindy Marie. “What fucking musician? She never told me about a fucking musician. Who the fuckin' fuck was he?”
“Well, uh, I wouldn't want you to think I was a stalker.”
“Just what a fuckin' stalker would say after someone blows his cover.”
“Well... anyway, I found her on MySpace. I tried to friend her and she closed out her account so I figured if I found her again I'd have to be sneaky about it.”
“She hated you.”
“I gathered that. So, like I said from then on I was sneaky when it came to hunting her down. I had learned from what I read on MySpace that she had been working as a deejay. I surfed every group or chat room I could find that had anything to do with deejaying and finally found her using the name CindyRella2. There was a little round picture of her next to her comments and that's the only way I recognized her.”
“Pretty fuckin' smart, Gramps.”
“I just wanted to know she was okay, that's all.”
“The musician, the musician, Gramps. Tell me about the fuckin' musician.”
“She thanked him a few times for letting her deejay during his breaks. I guess he had a band. I don't know if they were together though, you know, like that.”
“His name, Grandpa! Do you remember his name?”
“I did know it. Let me think.” I strained to remember. I wanted so much to please her but I couldn't come up with anything. “I'm sorry. I just can't remember.”
She stared at me, then her face washed with concern. “Are you okay?”
“Oh, yeah. I'm fine.” Then, for some reason, I began to weep, uncontrollably.
“What's wrong?”
“I wanted to remember... for you,” I managed through the tears. “I want you to like me.”
“Don't worry about it. It's okay. I can retrace what you did – CindyRellla2, Deejay chat rooms and all that. I'll find him.” Then she added with emphasis. “Because of you.”
“And my stalking,” I said sniffling.
“Yeah, and your stalking.” For the first time, she smiled, got up from her chair, came around to me and gave me a hug.
“You don't hate me?”
“No, I don't hate you.”
I wiped  my face with my handkerchief and blew my nose when a thought struck me. “I have links to all Cindy's pages on my computer. I always hit the star and saved them.”
“You saved them?”
“Yeah.” She knelt on the floor and kissed me on the cheek with a big smack. “That doesn't mean...”
“We're on a roll here, Gramps. I feel good about this.”
The door opened again but the bailiff stopped in mid-sentence when he saw us together.
Cindy Marie spoke up quickly. “We've reconciled. I'm dropping the suit. Tell the judge we've settled.”
He nodded and closed the door with a soft click.


Monday, December 19, 2022

A MEAN MAN NAMED HO by Ace Toscano

Long ago and far north amidst the deep drifting snow,
Lived reindeer and elves and a mean man named Ho.
This Ho owned a mill there that turned trees into lumber,
And in it elves slaved with no breaks for slumber.
And the lot of the reindeer who pulled sleighs was no better --
Hauling lumber and trees through all kinds of weather.
And when they grew tired, mean Ho urged them along
With his whip and his club, while he sang them this song.
"Turn trees into lumber, and lumber to gold.
'Twill be a gift for my children when I'm frail and old."
But the Ho's had no children and because they were barren,
Ho frightened his workers with anger and swearin'.
And just when the elves thought things couldn't get worse,
A star appeared in the sky. Said Ho, "Must be a curse!"

It seemed he was right for when next day rolled around
The snow was all melted. His operations shut down.
"Twill remain thus," he said, "till that star goes away."
So, he set off on foot the very next day
Toward the south, 'cause that's where the new star was glowing
And it would have to be doused before the snow would start snowing,
And the elves could start sawing, and the reindeer their hauling,
And gold coins for Ho's children-to-be would start falling.
"Don't waste your time partying while I'm gone away --
Sharpen the saws and clean all the sleighs.
And, if you don't heed my words, I want you to know
I've left my club and my whip with my wife, Mrs. Ho."
The elves all acted frightened and promised to mind,
Knowing Mrs. Ho wouldn't hurt them -- she was gentle and kind.
So, when Ho hit the trail with his provision-filled sack,
The elves whipered at once, "Hope he never comes back."

O'er mountains, through valleys, along craggy ravines,
Across rivers and deserts and glorious scenes,
Ho plodded and plodded, just one purpose in mind --
To all the world's wonders, he remained indifferent and blind.
With one exception, of course, the new snow-melting star
Which he swore to pursue "Till I put out its fire."
Marching on, he shunned people who lived 'long the route
Because none were the sort who'd help put the star out.
"It's really quite nice," one fellow did say.
And another, "I hope it won't e'er go away!"
"Well, that star isn't nice, but how would you know,
The blasted creation hasn't melted your snow,
Or stopped your elves from sawing, your reindeer from hauling,
Or caused the gold for your children-to-be to stop falling."

Now, he had always believed he'd be a father one day,
But walking on, step by step, Ho felt his faith slip away.
Though his legs became weary, his boots turned to lead,
He strode on till the star hung right overhead.
As he pondered techniques for yanking it down,
From a boulder, near by, came a sweet, pleasing sound.
Looking up, Ho was struck by an unusual sight --
Not child, not bird, yet winged and all white.
"Come follow, dear Ho," the winged creature did sing.
"You've been brought here to see the newly born King."
"Is this King responsible for that star?" asked mean Ho.
When the creature said yes, Ho responded, "Let's go."

Now, he truly intended to lay down the law,
But his intentions all vanished when he saw what he saw --
A babe in a manger dressed in swaddling clothes
And kings at his feet, their tributes stacked and in rows.
Ho knelt down and wept without realizing why,
And was grateful the snow-melting star was on high.
"I must go home to fetch for this King all my gold."
That's when the babe touched and blessed Ho we are told.

"What a fool I have been to grumble and whine.
Hence forth, all the world's children will truly be mine."
Yes, that's how we got Santa, and as all of you know,
When he recalls his old mean self, he laughs, "Ho, ho, ho!"
And elves no longer tremble when e'er he comes near,
Instead they sing louder and smile ear to ear.
"Change meaness to love and love into toys,
Make this Christmas merry for all girls and boys."