Canned Heat

Sun Dec 30 2012 02:03:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Back in 2005 I adapted the famous poem, “A Visit From St. Nicholas” by Clement Clark Moore into the drag race themed “A Visit From St. Garlits”. The adaptation was a pretty big hit with the hot rod set and grew some decent legs on the internet. In what has to be the highest form of electronic flattery, I actually got it sent to me in an e-mail forward by someone who had no idea I wrote it. Here’s a slightly updated 2012 version!

A Visit From St. Garlits
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the pits
Not a crew man was stirring, no nitro cars were making hits

The rods and pistons were hung in their holsters with care,
In hopes that St. Garlits soon would be there;

Capps and Force were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of header flames danced in their heads;

And Alexis DeJoria in her ‘kerchief, and Del Worsham in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the strip there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the tower I flew like a flash,
flipped on the lights and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the freshly prepped track
Gave the luster of mid-day and hit my eyes with a smack,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature old digger, powered by eight tiny Hemis, oh dear!

With a little old driver, so quick like a starlet,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Garlits

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

“Now, Grippo! Now, Wickam! Now, Rourke and Chiluk !
On, Byrd! On, Liggett! On, Garrison and Nutting!”

To the starting line tree! To the top end of the strip!
We must leave the line hard, we have quite a trip!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With a blown Hemi on nitro, and St. Garlits too.

And then, in a twinkling, I smelled on the roof
A snoot full of nitro, it was the last bit of proof!

As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Garlits came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;

A bundle of parts he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! his demeanor so merry!
His headers were hot, they glowed like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a chassis pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He was short and stout, a right intimidating old elf,
And I stood at attention when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And rebuilt a blower; then turned with a jerk,

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his slingshot, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they launched off, with the ferocity of a missile.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”