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Christmas Countdown


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Usually, every year I offer some kind of cynical song lyrics to showcase my feelings for the Christmas holiday.  But, I've pretty much run out of them by now.  However, I did remember this spoken word piece.  A take on The Twelve Days Of Christmas called Christmas Countdown by Frank Kelley:


Thank you very much for your lovely present of a partridge
in a pear-tree. We're getting the hang of feeding the
partridge now, although it was difficult at first to win
its confidence. It bit the mother rather badly on the hand
but they're good friends now and we're keeping the
pear-tree indoors in a bucket. Thank you again.
Yours affectionately,
Gobnait O'Lúnasa

Day Two
Dear Nuala,
I cannot tell you how surprised we were to hear from you
so soon again and to receive your lovely present of two
turtle doves. You really are too kind. At first the
partridge was very jealous and suspicious of the doves
and they had a terrible row the night the doves arrived.
We had to send for the vet but the birds are okay again
and the stitches are due to come out in a week or two.
The vet's bill was £8 but the mother is over her
annoyance now and the doves and the partridge are
watching the telly from the pear-tree as I write.
Yours ever,

Day Three
Dear Nuala,
We must be foremost in your thoughts. I had only posted
my letter when the three French hens arrived. There was
another sort-out between the hens and the doves, who sided
with the partridge, and the vet had to be sent for again.
The mother was raging because the bill was £16 this time
but she has almost cooled down. However, the fact that the
birds' droppings keep falling down on her hair whilen
she's watching the telly, doesn't help matters.
Thanking you for your kindness.
I remain,
Your Gobnait

Day Four
Dear Nuala,
You mustn't have received my last letter when you were
sending us the four calling birds. There was pandemonium
in the pear-tree again last night and the vet's bill was
£32. The mother is on sedation as I write. I know you
meant no harm and remain your close friend.

Day Five
Your generosity knows no bounds. Five gold rings ! When
the parcel arrived I was scared stiff that it might be
more birds, because the smell in the living-room is
atrocious. However, I don't want to seem ungrateful
for the beautiful rings.
Your affectionate friend,

Day Six
What are you trying to do to us ? It isn't that we don't
appreciate your generosity but the six geese have not
alone nearly murdered the calling birds but they laid
their eggs on top of the vet's head from the pear-tree
and his bill was £68 in cash! My mother is munching 60
grains of Valium a day and talking to herself in a most
alarming way. You must keep your feelings for me in check.

Day Seven
W e are not amused by your little joke. Seven
swans-a-swimming is a most romantic idea but not in the
bath of a private house. We cannot use the bathroom now
because they've gone completely savage and rush the door
every time we try to enter. If things go on this way,
the mother and I will smell as bad as the living-room
carpet. Please lay off. It is not fair.

Day Eight
Who the hell do you think gave you the right to send eight,
hefty maids-a-milking here, to eat us out of house and
home? Their cattle are all over the front lawn and have
trampled the hell out of the mother's rose-beds. The swans
invaded the living-room in a sneak attack and the ensuing
battle between them and the calling birds, turtle doves,
French hens and partridge make the Battle of the Somme
seem like Wanderly Wagon. The mother is on a bottle of
whiskey a day, as well as the sixty grains of Valium.
I'm very annoyed with you.

Day Nine
Listen you louser !
There's enough pandemonium in this place night and day
without nine drummers drumming, while the eight flaming
maids-a-milking are beating my poor, old alcoholic mother
out of her own kitchen and gobbling everything in sight.
I'm warning you, you're making an enemy of me.

Day Ten
Listen manure-face,
I hope you'll be haunted by the strains of ten pipers
piping which you sent to torment us last night. They
were aided in their evil work by those maniac drummers
and it wasn't a pleasant sight to look out the window
and see eight hefty maids-a-milking pogo-ing around with
the ensuing punk-rock uproar. My mother has just
finished her third bottle of whiskey, on top of a
hundred and twenty four grains of Valium. You'll get
Gobnait O'Lúnasa

Day Eleven
You have scandalised my mother, you dirty Jezebel,
It was bad enough to have eight maids-a-milking dancing
to punk music on the front lawn but they've now been
joined by your friends ~ the eleven Lords-a-leaping
and the antics of the whole lot of them would leave
the most decadent days of the Roman Empire looking
like “Outlook”. I'll get you yet, you ould bag !

Day Twelve
Listen slurry head,
You have ruined our lives. The twelve maidens dancing
turned up last night and beat the living daylights out
of the eight maids-a-milking, ‘cos they found them
carrying on with the eleven Lords-a-leaping. Meanwhile,
the swans got out of the living-room, where they'd
been hiding since the big battle, and savaged hell
out of the Lords and all the Maids. There were eight
ambulances here last night, and the local Civil
Defence as well. The mother is in a home for the
bewildered and I'm sitting here, up to my neck in
birds' droppings, empty whiskey and Valium bottles,
birds' blood and feathers, while the flaming
cows eat the leaves off the pear-tree.
I'm a broken man.
Gobnait O'Lúnasa 

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