Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
Not a life-form was stirring, not even a mouse.
The presents were wrapped and under the tree
with cookies for Santa (but really for me!)
And after three days of shop til you drop,
I’d at last hit the sack, was just nodding off,
when out in the yard there arose such a ruckus
I sprang from by bed to see what the fuss was.
I parted the curtains and hoisted the blinds,
staring (O G-d I’m losing my mind!)
Washing all over the new-fallen snow
and trees there came a strange, eerie glow.
There were little grey beings, awfully small,
and come to think, not human at all!
I looked up and shouted over my shoulder,
“They’re extraterrestrial! Call Agent Mulder!”
Something hung over me, whirling and bright,
catching me up in a blinding white light,
holding me fast from my head to my toes,
and thus-paralyzed, out the window I rose,
riding a tractor beam into the air,
and I was more than a little bit scared.
There all around inside of the ship
were humanoid creatures without nose or lips.
Some were grey as the scales of a lizard,
others as white as the beard of a wizard.
Their eyes were all black and lidless, unblinking,
and all of them read what the others were thinking
by way of telepathy, some subtle signals
made by their rubbery arms as they wiggled.
Then one of them motioned to me with a jerk
and, strapping me down, they went straight to their work
with all kinds of strange-looking instrumentation
for some kind of medical experimentation…
They stuck me with needles, poked me with probes,
inserted long objects into my nose,
and other places I cannot mention;
but I never understood their intention.
Then something struck me as still more peculiar:
a voice called my name; it sounded familiar.
I looked up to see: it was my Uncle Fred!
“Uncle!”, I shouted, “I thought you were dead!”
“Not so”, he grinned, “I’m still a young pup!
I’ve aged but a week since they picked me up!
Time is a relative thing out in space;
Einstein was right: just look at my face!
You have to admit I’ve not many scars
for a guy who’s just been transported to Mars!
And more, I’ve put a good word in for you,
and if you like, you can come along, too!”
I said, “If I join you in flying away,
by the time I get back I’ll have missed Christmas Day,
and probably decades since I’ve been here;
all that I know and love and hold dear!
And, don’t you remember living on earth,
the story of Jesus, his coming to birth,
the glad angel’s song, the babe in the manger;
--you loved it, too! But now you’re a stranger…”
But he turned to me with a sly, knowing sneer
and whispered discreetly into my ear,
“We thought it was true, I know, but it’s not!
Christmas is just a government plot!
The CIA wanted the people to think
that angels appeared, so noone would link
the lights in the sky to the coming invasion;
they covered it up for the sake of the nation!
They knew, if the public swallowed that story,
their pals in the pews would get all the glory;
and every year, this huge shopping spree
would boost retail sales and the net GNP!
“They’ve taken your brain!”, I said, “Made you crazy;
or your memory’s gotten a little bit hazy…”
“Oh, on the contrary, it’s very clear!
It’s you who’ve forgotten! That’s why we’re here!
The ‘self’ you perceive is but a thin crust;
underneath all the programming, you’re one of us!
Now your mission is done here, as was my own,
and they’ve returned to take us back home!”
“My home isn’t here, it’s back on the ground,
you bug-eyed monsters! Put me back down!”
And when they saw how much I resisted,
they let me go; but of course they insisted
on wiping my memory of the event
(but as you can see, that’s not how it went:
under hypnosis the whole thing came back,
and now I’m recording it after the fact!”)
Next I recall, I was back in my room,
still gazing upward; and something zoomed
like a brilliant meteor into the night…
and I exclaimed as they shot out of sight,
“Merry Christmas you freaks, and have a good flight!”