By Jerry Zezima
National Society of Newspaper Columnists
(With no apologies to Clement C. Moore, who is dead and can’t sue me.)
• • •
‘Twas the time before conference for the NSNC,
And members looked forward to the confab with glee.
Yes, we would have it in sunny L.A.,
But what hotel would accept us, where would we stay?
We were so nervous we almost bought Beano,
But our problems were solved at the posh Angeleno.
We were so happy, our spirits had lift,
And so we looked forward to the ultimate gift.
Who would be honored with the plaque named for Pyle?
With prospects so rosy, we just had to smile.
But we still needed help for our annual cause.
Who could possibly do it? Of course — Santa Claus!
We promised to leave him a nice little treat:
A glass of spiked eggnog in the hospitality suite.
It was all that he needed to make him appear,
Though just to be safe, we bought him some beer.
We knew that he liked it ’cause his little round belly,
Shook when he laughed like a bowl full of jelly.
I said he was welcome at the Saturday dinner,
If he could please give us a great lifetime winner.
He beamed at the prospect, the description well fits,
The best gift of all: It was Leonard Pitts.
I said, “Thanks, Mr. Claus, now we’re not crabby.”
“There’s more,” he replied. “You also have Abby.”
And, yes, even better than a nice Christmas goose,
He then got us Cameron — we know him as Bruce.
And better than baseball with the Los Angeles Dodgers,
Was the Friday night dinner at the ranch of Will Rogers.
“It’s shaping up nicely, we’re on top of your list.”
“I just love,” he responded, “a good columnist.”
I thanked him and said, “You’ve played a big role.”
“But now,” Santa said, “it’s back to the Pole.”
He hopped in his sleigh and exhorted the reindeer,
To beat L.A. traffic and put it in first gear.
And I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight:
“Happy conference to all, and to all a good night.”
• • •
Jerry Zezima writes a syndicated humor column for The Stamford Advocate in Connecticut.
• • •
This piece first was published in the December 2015 issue of The Columnist, the monthly membership newsletter of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.