Christmas poetry of a sort

RobertNPruden

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I was thrashing through the old archives of the Guillemot Kayak Trips Forum and found this old poem originally posted there back in 2012. Merry Christmas, y'all!

The Night Before Kayak Christmas

Southwind's adaptation of an old kayaker's verse

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the boathouse
Not a creature was stirring, not even a sea louse.
The sea socks were hung on the trailer with care,
In hopes that Saint Neptune soon would be there.

Our kayaks were lashed securely in their beds
While visions of paddle floats danced in their heads.
And Mama with her Synergy and I with my Feathercraft
Were planning out '04 trips, and full of laughs.

When out in the Bay there rose such a splashing
I stood on my cockpit to see who could be thrashing.
And what should my night vision goggles define
But an oversized Umiak, towed by dolphins divine.

I wielded my binocs with a hand adept,
And knew in a moment it must be Saint Nep.
More rapid that tide rips his dolphins they raced
And he whistled and shouted and threw a big brace!

Now Tibi! Now Shelley! Now Nigel and Dyson!
On Derek! On Wayne! Don't fall behind, Franko!
To the side of the dock! To the base of the ramp!
Ride the waves! Miss the rocks! Let's make this camp!

As he cracked with a bull kelp, they swam even more.
They first beached the boat, then tugged it further on shore.
And although they'd resent the name, I'm afraid,
It was a seal landing, those dolphins they made.

He was dressed in a dry suit, not too hard to source.
Whre on earth did he find it? - At Southwind of course!
A dry bag of goodies he had flung on his back.
He looked like a trip guide heading down the track.

He was chubby and plump ('Twould have been an annoyancy
for an amphibious diety to lack positive bouyancy.)
his hull shape was round and fairly soft in chine,
And the beard of his chin was white with dried brine.

He spoke not a word but went straight to his chore,
And filled everyone's sea socks- and dripped on the floor.
He sprang to his Umiak and closed the hatch lids.
And giving a nod down the boat ramp he slid.

He zipped his PFD and blew his storm whistle hard
And paddled away - after grabbin a dock card.
But I heard his exclaim,'ere they did skidaddle:
"Merry Christmas to all and to all a good paddle!"

Robert N Pruden
 

kayakwriter

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Hey Robert,

I don't don't know where the poem you posted came from, but it was not written in 2012, at least not in the version you posted. Here's the parody version of the Night Before Christmas I wrote from scratch in 2105. I posted it on my blog then:
https://philiptorrens.com/2015/12/17/the-night-before-christmas-kayakers-version/
If you search back through these forums, you'll find I'd posted links to my version years ago.

The Night Before Christmas, Kayaker’s Version

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the boathouse,
Not a creature was stirring, no, not a sea-louse.
The sea-socks were hung by the Coleman with care,
in hopes that Saint Neptune soon would be there.

Our “minnows” were hammocked within the boat sheds,
while visions of paddle-floats danced in their heads.
And mama in her sprayskirt and I in my Nordkapp,
had just settled down for an overdue “nap.”

When out in the cove there arose such a splashing,
I slipped from my cockpit to see who could be thrashing.
And what should my night-vision goggles define
but an over-sized umiak, towed by sea-lions.

With a little old pilot, so drippy and wet,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nep.
More rapid than tide-rips his swimmers they sailored
And he whistled and shouted and sternly loud-hailered;

“Now, Randell! Now Washbourne! Now Nigel and Vixen!
On Derrick! On Winters! —No dirty tricks, Nixon!
To the side of the dock! To the base of the ramps!
Now stroke away! Stroke away! Stroke away tramps!”

As he cracked with a bull kelp, they swam even more.
They first beached the boat, then tugged it ashore.
And although they’d resent the name I’m afraid,
t’was a seal landing those sea-lions made.

He was dressed in a wetsuit, from his toes to his bean!
Where on Earth did he score all that red neoprene?
A drybag of goodies he had flung on his back.
And he looked like a portager hitting the track.

He was chubby and plump — ‘twould have been an annoyancy,
for an amphibious deity to lack positive buoyancy;
His hull shape was round and “softer” in chine,
and the beard of his chin was white with dried brine.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his chores,
And filled all the sea-socks (and dripped on the floors);
And laying a pogie atop of his lid,
And giving a nod, down the launch ramp he slid.

He sprang to his boat, blew a Fox-40 whistle
and away they all sailed, like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere they did skidaddle:
“Merry Christmas to all, and to all a safe paddle!”

As a comparison reading will quickly reveal, someone ripped off my version. Aside from the overall similarity, there are whole passages and stanzas that are similar or identical. What are the odds that two separate writers would independently invent a made-up word like "annoyancy" for example? Or both use the rather obscure word "umiak"? I am certainly not claiming ownership of the idea of parodying The Night Before Christmas; lots of people have done that. I am saying that if someone's going to do a parody, they should have the honesty to write their own original version, and not plagiarize someone else's hard work.
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Victoria, BC
Here's a completely different version posted by Erik Eckilson 'Based on a Kayaker's Night Before Christmas by Terry Gowler, Mount Vernon, WA', posted in 2011 .
http://eckilson.blogspot.com/2011/12/polers-night-before-christmas-with.html


A Paddler’s “Night Before Christmas”


T’was the night before Christmas, and out on the water,
Not a creature was stirring, not even an otter.


The dry bags were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would drop paddling stuff there.


The boaters were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of surf-waves danced in their heads.


And Mama in her pogies, and I in my cap,
Had just settled in for a long winter’s nap.


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


Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.


The moon on the water looked the whiteness of snow,
It shone like mid-day on the river below.


When what to my wondering eyes did appear,
But a big red canoe without a single reindeer.


With a little old paddler, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


He ran the big rapids, the drops and the falls,
then he whistled and shouted and I heard him call.

"To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now paddle away, paddle away, paddle way all."

Off the river and into the air he did fly,
In a beautiful silhouette against the night sky.


More rapid than eagles to the housetop he flew,
The canoe full of gear and St. Nicholas too.


And then from the roof-top there came a great sound,
The sound of a canoe running aground.


As I grimaced at the noise thinking there must be a hole,
Down the chimney came St. Nick and he snapped up with a roll.


He was dressed in a drysuit from his head to his foot,
And the gortex was tarnished with ashes and soot.


A drybag of gear he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a paddler as he opened his pack.


But his eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
As he stopped for a swig of his Sailor Jerry.


He was a happy old paddler, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him in spite of myself.


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
After filling the drybags he turned with a jerk.


Then laying a finger aside of his nose,
A brace he did do, and up the chimney he rose.


He sprang into his canoe and with a blow of his whistle,
He shot off the roof like water-borne missile.


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

I couldn't find the original by Terry Gowler, but it may be the version posted on paddling.com
https://paddling.com/learn/a-paddlers-christmas-poem/

‘Twas the night before Christmas at our house on the water,
Not a creature was stirring not even an otter;
The dry bags were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas would drop paddling goodies there;


The children went off to bed without daddling,
Soon their heads were filled with dreams about paddling;
Mamma in her fleece ‘kerchief and me in my wool cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,


When out on the water there arose such a splatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what’s the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.


The moon on the water looked the whiteness of snow
It shone the luster of mid-day on the sea shore below,
When what to my wondering eyes did reveal
But a great big old kayak and nine mighty seal,


With a spry old paddler, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than orca on course they soon came,
And a whistle he blew and then shouted their name;


“Now Splasher! Now Bracer! Now Eddie and you Flo!
On Rocker On Roller, Curly, Larry and Moe!
To the top of the dock, and up the beach now Haul!
Now Paddle Away! Paddle Away! Paddle Away All!”


Off the beach, to the air and away they did fly,
With beautiful edge turns silhouetted against the night sky.
Up to the house-top on course they now flew,
With a kayak full of toys, and old St. Nicholas too.


In a twinkling, on the roof, there came such a sound,
The sound of a kayak running aground.
As I grimaced at the noise thinking there must be a hole,
Down the chimney came St. Nick, and snapped up with a roll.


He was dressed in a drysuit from his head to his foot,
And the gortex was tarnished with ashes and soot;
With a bundle of toys on his back which did sag,
He looked like an old paddler carrying a heavy dry bag.


His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his noise like a cherry,
The beard on his chin was as white as sea foam,
It looked like it needed a brush or a comb;


The stump of a whistle he held tight in his teeth,
The cord from the whistle circled his neck like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a fish called a Jelly.


He was a happy ol' kayaker, a right jolly old salt,
And I laughed when I saw him, It wasn’t my fault;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
He gave me the high sign, I had nothing to dread;


He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
Filled the dry bags with goodies then turned with a jerk,
Laying a finger aside of his little red nose,
A Brace he did do and up the chimney he rose;


He sprang to his kayak, to his team blew the whistle,
And away they all paddled like a water borne missile.
I heard him exclaim, ere he paddled out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”


“And may happiness and good health always be yours,”
May you always return, safely back to the shore”



- Terry Gowler - Mount Vernon, WA

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everybody!
 

kayakwriter

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Messages
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Here's a completely different version posted by Erik Eckilson 'Based on a Kayaker's Night Before Christmas by Terry Gowler, Mount Vernon, WA', posted in 2011 .
http://eckilson.blogspot.com/2011/12/polers-night-before-christmas-with.html
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Everybody!
Hey John,

Thanks for posting those. Just goes to show there's lots of scope for plenty of people to work the same basic premise without taking the work of others and passing it off as their own. I enjoyed both of those.
 

kayakwriter

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Messages
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So I've now remembered that I originally posted my version of the Night Before Christmas years and years back on the old paddling.net forums* (I don't know if anyone here would remember those forums, with John Winter's excellent insights and "Sponson Tim's" muppet flails and flame wars.) This would explain how a mutated version of my poem could appear in the other forums years before I posted it on my blog. Kind of a pity: I was excited about the possibility of someone having travelled back in time!

*If anyone has more time and tech savy than I do, you might be able to find the original posting via the wayback machine at https://archive.org/web/
 

RobertNPruden

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Messages
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Location
AB, Canada
So I've now remembered that I originally posted my version of the Night Before Christmas years and years back on the old paddling.net forums* (I don't know if anyone here would remember those forums, with John Winter's excellent insights and "Sponson Tim's" muppet flails and flame wars.) This would explain how a mutated version of my poem could appear in the other forums years before I posted it on my blog. Kind of a pity: I was excited about the possibility of someone having travelled back in time!

*If anyone has more time and tech savy than I do, you might be able to find the original posting via the wayback machine at https://archive.org/web/
:)
 

Astoriadave

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(I don't know if anyone here would remember those forums, with John Winter's excellent insights and "Sponson Tim's" muppet flails and flame wars.)
Egad! Geezer gulp! I never thought I would see a mention of that *stuff* again. Paddlewise geflugagated forth when a too-kind moderator refused to cut Tim off. Cognitive confusion amongst the chaos of an antiquated listserv. Time for my dose of Metamucil. New me.
 
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kayakwriter

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Messages
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Egad! Geezer gulp! I never thought I would see a mention of that *stuff* again. Paddlewise geflugagated forth when a too-kind moderator refused to cut Tim off. Cognitive confusion amongst the chaos of an antiquated listserv.
Right. The PaddleWISE group, not paddling.net. I was having a senior moment myself. I know I found my way to WCP as a refugee from The Great Sponson Flame Wars, and I suspect many others did too.

BTY, I stumbled across this posting of mine from 2006, where I first posted my version of The Night Before Christmas on WCP and referred to the fact I'd posted posted it years before on paddlewise. Which supports my claim of primacy for this version of it. Unless, of course, I'm secretly a Time Lord, and have retroactively planted the supporting evidence...;)
 

JohnAbercrombie

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Astoriadave

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Here's the version that was posted on the paddlewise listserv, now on the paddlewise.com site:
https://www.paddlewise.com/topics/pwponder/torrensfolly.html
OMFG! I remember this. Good research, John. Paddlewise was a refuge from the endless flame wars on on the public user groups, only slightly evolved from Bulletin Boards. Dan Millsip, one of the early WCP-ers, was a principal in that era.

In lieu of embracing the Wayback Machine, onetime WCP member Craig Jungers has archived a bit of Paddlewise "literature" of mine, here:

http://www.nwkayaking.net/?page_id=350
 

chodups

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In lieu of embracing the Wayback Machine, onetime WCP member Craig Jungers has archived a bit of Paddlewise "literature" of mine, here:
Oh Wow! I remember that. I didn't know it was you. Talk about Geezer Alert.
 

drahcir

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Location
North Idaho (Sandpoint)
Astoriadave said:
In lieu of embracing the Wayback Machine, onetime WCP member Craig Jungers has archived a bit of Paddlewise "literature" of mine, here:

Just started to read some of this and I have a burning question Dave. Are you still using Linux? My first install was from a set of 3.5" floppies ... maybe 21 or so of them. I never did use Microsoft much ... moving from DR DOS to Linux back in the early 90's.

Of course nowadays Linux is on most routers and is the basis for Android.

Are we off topic far enough yet?
 
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