Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Ballad of Tom Bihl

The Ballad of Tom Bihl

Twas the night  before Christmas, when all through the town,
Not a tater was frying, not even  hash brown.
The lapdogs were lying  by the chimney with care,
In hopes that their paymaster soon would be there.

Malone was nestled all snug in his bed,
While visions of damsels danced in his head,
And Clayton in his loft and Neal on the Hill
Were counting their loot and the take in the till

When out on the street there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a van  crashing into two cars parked there,

With a  driver so drunk behind the wheel
That I knew in a second it must be Tom Bihl.
Bamboozled by booze and lacking in shame,
He huffed and he puffed and he cursed us by name.

“Damn you, Daub!  Damn you, Forrey!
And damn you to hell, Jane Murray!
With Satan—I mean Clayton—behind me, I’ll  recall
You in summer, I’ll recall you in fall.”

While the missus had seldom been dry-eyed,
Police Chief Bihl had often been pie-eyed.
So up to the roof of Marting’s he  flew
Like an express train from hell: “Choo-choo!”

His eyes how they twinkled! His  dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
At Dicken’s Pub he’d drunk so much  beer
He looked like Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer.

Though as auditor he was later indicted,
For his midnight ride he was never cited.
“I need a goddamned breathalyzer
Like I need a Marting appraisal from Kizer.”

And then as he tinkled on the  roof
(For drunks, you know,  are very uncouth)
He yelled, “Watch out below”
Before he jumped down in a pile of snow.

He sprang to his van, and turned on the ignition,
And away he flew on the road to perdition.
But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“I’m really not drunk, I’m just a little tight!” 

The Marting Building by Hell Light