'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the mouse. It scuttled and scampered and barreled its way, charging toward where the garbage can lay.
Upturned on its side by the renter's new guest, in garbage'd debris, the mouse happily wept. The feast was before him, spilled right on the floor; his hungry mouse belly shalt rumble no more!
There were banana peels, old coffee grounds and discarded credit card offers! There was mac and cheese, double-A batteries and a bite of the Burger King Whopper!
The master of the house slept sound on his couch, lit warm by an LCD fire. The Yule log roared in 1080 HD, the resolution could goeth no higher.
Beer cans were strewn about the bachelor's pad, with apparently little care paid, to the apartment's aesthetic (READ: un-copasetic) — it was clear that the master lacked maid.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, that the master rolled over and emptied his bladder! He wetteth his pants, unnoticed it goes, his snore doth continue as dampens his clothes!
And away to the window, the mouse flew like The Flash! Only one thing could summon this rodent from trash.
OMG, Santa Claus was finally here! Parking, on the pavement, his magic reindeer. But alas, it was the human (not the Santa of Mice), for whom the mouse cared, well, not much in the slight.
But St. Nicholas shimmied, St. Nicholas shammied, he busted a move called the funky old granny. And in half of a blink, he was inside the house, and that's when he encountered the dirty old mouse.
He shrieked like a fat lady at the end of an opera, and jumped on top of the nearest raised sofa. The master awoke to a terrible trouble, the weight on his chest had increased more than double.
"There's a mouse! There's a mouse!" Santa shouted at the floor. "Kill it or trap it, I can bear it no more!"
"Dear Zeus, Santa Claus," wheezed the man of the house. "You're crushing my lungs, who cares if there's a mouse?"
"I care there's a mouse, because it frightens me terribly!"
"Unless I soon breathe, bro, you might have to bury me!"
So Santa Claus shifted his jolly red rump, and the mouse fled the room to its garbage can dump.
"Why have you come?" asked the man on the couch. Santa Claus postured and opened his mouth.
"Your restroom I seek, and nothing else more. A stop on the way through my worldwide tour."
"My john?" asked the master. "Surely you also have presents? Or not would you dare to enter my residence."
"I have checked the list once, and I have checked the list twice, your name was not found in the column of Nice. But Santa Claus Rules state your bathroom's fair game, as is ANY commandeered in times of great gastrointestinal pain."
It was then the man looked down and saw what had happened. The front of his trousers was considerably dampened.
"Oh no, not again," said the man with a groan. "This is always what happens when I drink alone!"
"You might have a problem," mused merry St. Nick. "If alcohol's the reason every time you get sick."
"It's this time of year, it's so hard on a man, especially when one's life has not gone to plan."
Santa Claus stopped him, prepared for the worst. "Where is your bathroom? I fear I might burst."
The guy of the house pointed him down the hall, where stockings lay stuffed with nothing at all. And three minutes later, with the flush of a tank, Santa Claus reappeared with greetings of thanks.
"Since you have allowed me this rest room relief, I desire to lessen your holiday grief."
"I cannot believe it," said the man on the couch, as Santa Claus reached in his magic red pouch.
"First up is a pair of freshly dried slacks; the fiber's resistant to liquid attacks. Next is a trap for that villainous mouse, the dreadfully daft rodent that's plaguing your house."
With a touch of his nose, Santa Claus disappeared, materializing again on his sleigh with reindeer.
"On Dasher, on Dancer, on Donner, on Blitzen! On you three new guys — Blake, Ronald and Tristan!"
And off the sleigh went like a rocket to Mars, halting ever so briefly to sideswipe a car.
"Whoops, my bad," Santa called out with assurance. "Don't worry, I'm current on my reindeer insurance."
Later that evening, the master lay snug in his bed, with visions of group therapy dancing through his head. It was then that the Santa of Mice should appear, to grant the mouse of the house his wish for the year.
"What would you like?" asked Mouse Santa Claus.
"How about world peace?" said the mouse, rubbing his paws.
"Here's a better idea: a wet bag of garbage!"
"That'll work, too," said the mouse.
Ryan Jackson is regifting this column from last year (with minor revisions), and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.