Thursday, December 07, 2006

Merry Marting's To All


T’was the night before Christmas and all through the store,
Not a councilman was stirring, not even a Mohr;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that some payoffs soon would be there.
The Johnsons were nestled all snug in their beds;
Visions of Hilton Head danced in their heads.
And Jim in his longjohns and Allison in her cap
Had just settled down for a long council nap,
When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
He sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the display window, he flew like a flash,
Tripping over decorations as if they were trash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave a ghostly look to the scene below,
When what to Jim’s sleepy eyes should appear
But thousands of women, from far and from near,
Gals from the past, from the nineteen-forties,
Slim ones, plump ones, tall ones, shorties,
So many gals he knew he had to act quick,
So he opened the doors with his lottery pick.
More rabid than bobbysoxers, inside they came,
And he smiled and laughed and called them by name:
“Hi, Denise, Hi, Doris, Hi, Trixie, you vixens,
You luscious dishes with all the fixin’s!
Come in to Marting’s, the heart of the Mall,
And Shop away! Shop away! Shop away, all!”

Waving their charge cards and eager to buy,
They went straight to menswear for their favorite guy,
And then up the escalator, like doves they flew,
Buying pill hats and furs and lingerie too.
And then in a tinkling, Jim heard on the roof,
The sound of leaks leaking, and then, poof!
They were gone forever, those gals, with a bound,
Gone without a trace, gone without a sound,
Like Christmas stockings without the loot,
Like New Year’s horns without the toot.
Weren’t they real and would they never be back,
For a shopping feast or even a snack?

He’d tried his dangdest to make Marting’s merry,
He’d decorated her with holly and berry,
He’d repeatedly said, “Hell, no!
She shouldn’t have been torn down ages ago!
She’s not like a mummy with bad teeth,
She’s not hiding behind a Christmas wreath,
She’s not an Old Maid, so damp and so smelly,
She’s a gorgeous lady, like Grace Kelly,
She’s old but well-preserved, like Liz Taylor herself,
She won’t be 125 till January 12th.
She’s just rusting – I mean resting. She’not dead.
And I don’t give a frig what the voters said.
So what if I’m only a grocery clerk?
The average voter is a stupid jerk.
We need shoes, we need socks, we need clothes,
And Marting’s is where the smart shopper goes.”

Behind the façade, behind the faux-brick bustle,
There’s a typical Portsmouth two-million dollar hustle.
And I heard Jim exclaim, as he turned out the light,
“Merry Marting’s to all and to all a good night!”