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Saturday, December 24, 2005

 

Barhorst: A PNG Night Before Christmas

Bush is trying to take this country back into a status that would make the rich and powerful of any 3rd world country proud.

Everyone around seems to be doing take-offs of "The Night before Christmas."

Therefore, I dug into the poems and found the Christmas greetings I wrote while teaching in Papua New Guinea. Though based in PNG the theme of the poem is coming true, more and more, here in the States.

In order to understand the poem it would be best if you read the short glossary.

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Glossary:

Beetlenut--The nut of the Betel Palm. Widely used in the
South Pacific, by everyone from 9-90. This nut,
when chewed with lime, releases a narcotic and
causes copius amounts of carmine tinted saliva
which its users spit everywhere.

Geckoes--Small Lizards that make a call that sounds like
someone tapping on glass.Waking in the middle of the night to the
sound of someone tapping on the window in a 3rd world country can be
an adrenal experience.

Go-finish--Expatriate teachers usually have a 3 year contract.
In Pidgin, when the contract is complete they are
said to "go finish." They usually sell everything they
can for cash, rather than paying to ship it halfway
round the world.

PMV--Public Motor Vehicle. The Bus/Taxi of PNG. These are
mini-buses, licensed to drive within specific areas and
pick up as many passengers as they can cram in. They
are ill-kept and usually run on a mixture of Diesel, Kerosene,
and used motor oil, to save money.

PNG--Papua New Guinea.

Rascals--Gangs of young unemployed males, who make
their living robbing people.

Torch--Flashlight.

Waigani-- The main road to from Port Moresby that
bisects the University of Papua New Guinea.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
A PNG Night Before Christmas.

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house
all the geckoes were stirring, but no little mouse.

The stockings were hung on the wash basket's rim,
in hopes that the washer would soon work again.

When out on waigani there rose such a clatter.
A PMV engine, its innards did splatter.

A little old man in a jolly red suit,
climbed down from the cab, gave the fender a boot.

He laughed to the heavens--a hysterical sound--
then sat and chewed beetlenut, glancing around.

My eye he did spy--peeking down from our porch,
and he winked and he grinned and he asked for a torch.

I said it had sold in our go-finish sale,
"I missed it," he cried, and his face did grow pale.

I rushed him a beer, and his cheeks they did glow.
He fingered his nose and he gave it a blow.

Then he raised up his head and gave such a whistle,
eight rascals appeared, with the speed of a missile.

They stole all my money and tied me up right,
while the red-suited man, drank my beer and got tight.

Then flicking a sign at the rascals to go,
he danced toward the dark, stomping hard on my toe.

And I heard his mad cry, as he went out of sight.
"That'll teach you, good shepherd, stay in Christmas night."


#######################################################
May your holidays be creative, your Christmas Merry, and your gifts of friendship many.

Terry D. Barhorst.
Moderator: Lone Star Democrats


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Media Matters for America.

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