‘Twas the digital night

Dec. 23, 2012 @ 08:38 PM

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
         not a creature was stirring, not even the cordless mouse.
         The stockings were hung by the Kindle Fire place with care
         in hopes our Blackberries wouldn’t need more repair.
         The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
         while visions of Androids danced in their heads.
       
The thumb drive was set on max megahertz,
         the laptops and tablets were put on alerts.
         The iPod was charging, the 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 on reddit and logged in to Spotify.
         When the server went down, we didn’t even cry.
         We still had Google Plus and even Google Chrome.
         We still had a Four Square we could call home.

Our Instagram photos were almost all ready.
         Our social network links were amazingly steady.       
         We tweeted and linked-in all through the night
         to make sure we had the terminology just right.
         We checked all the websites and used the search engines.
         We clattered on keyboards and hacked with a vengeance.

Then suddenly on the deck, beside the gas grill,
         there came a loud sound that gave us a chill.
         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 submerged?
           Could we get help from Mark Zuckerberg?
           Could we find a way through this terrible mess?
           Could we find a way without a GPS?

We thought of creating a new avatar.
          We thought of getting a drink at the bar.
          We thought of going to the Apple Store.
          We thought of waiting for Microsoft 9 — and more.

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 voice mail was solid, his Tumblr 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 noffen@heraldsun.com or by telephone at 919-419-6646.