The night before the night before

Dec. 22, 2013 @ 11:02 AM

‘Twas the night before the night before Christmas,

when all through the house,
not a vector was stirring, not even the optical mouse.
The stockings were hung by the Kindle Fire with care
in case our new Nooks really needed repair.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of Xboxes danced in their heads.

The flash drive was set on max megahertz,
all laptops and tablets were put on alerts.
The iPod was charging and Netflix were streaming,
young children everywhere were pleasantly dreaming.

We ran Kaspersky and cleaned the plasma screen,
We went on Skype to transmit the whole scene.
We downloaded a number of total killer apps—
Our mobile devices never suffered a lapse.

We checked the news on Reddit and logged in to Spotify.
We didn’t even log off when the server went awry.
We still had Google Plus and even Google Chrome.
We still had foursquare we could call home.

Our Instagram photos were almost all ready.
Our wi-fi connection was amazingly steady.
We tweeted and snapchatted all through the night
to make sure we had the terminology just right.
We took a few selfies and saved them to Pinterest.
We uploaded to dropbox the ones that were the best.
We checked our Facebook page and scanned the Huff Post,
we raised our Tumblrs and made a hearty toast.
We Linked-in with colleagues and confirmed with Wikipedia
but decided we wouldn’t inform the mainstream media.

Then on the back deck, beside the satellite dish,
there came a loud sound and we knew something was amiss.
I went to look to check out the clatter,
to see if something was wrong with my data.
When what to my pixel-ated eyes should appear,
but a mixed-media sleigh and eight remote-controlled reindeer.

I knew in an instant after checking the fax
that Santa was here with his battery packs.
And then in a twinkling I saw from my futon
poor old St. Nick didn’t have his red suit on.

His eyes were all watery, his mouth just a frown.
He said, with a grimace, his iPad was down.
There will be no gifts tonight, he added apace —
“I have no spreadsheets nor my database!”

What to do if poor Santa was all bleary?
Would we be able to get any help from Siri?
Were our hopes for the night damned by this scourge?
Or could we just call up Sheryl Sandberg?
Could we find a way through this terrible mess?
Could we find a way without our GPS?

We thought of creating a new avatar.
We thought of getting a drink at the bar.
We thought of putting on Google Glass
and then we thought of just taking a pass.

Finally we saw a post from someone who told us,
from someone who knew Bluetooth and even knew Lotus.
Santa, we were told, could do it by hand.
He wasn’t a slave of a high-frequency band.
He didn’t need the Cloud or to send a new text,
he didn’t need high-def or whatever came next.

All he’d need was a big sack and lots of big smiles.
He wouldn’t have to download any corrupted files.
His eyes, how they twinkled, his smile gleamed so brightly!
His voicemail was solid, his JPegs quite sprightly.
He sprang to his sleigh, the reindeer came near.
He started cruise control while still in first gear.
I heard him exclaim as he cruised out of sight,
“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good byte.”

Neil Offen can be reached at theneiloffencolumn@yahoo.com.