Field Notes

A newsroom visit from Saint Nick

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and wouldn’t you know
We were hard at work on the five o’clock show;
Reporters sent to locations picked with care,
In hopes that a news story soon would be there;
 

Producers all nestled snug in Control A,
While they wondered why they were working that day;
And the EP was pacing, and I at the desk,
What would make this show better than all the rest?
When over the scanners there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Maybe maybe I was hearing it all wrong
But if I was right it wouldn’t be long.

I had a hunch from the level of screaming
that my instincts were right. I started scheming
When, what to my wondering ears should I hear,
But a cop shout he just shot at a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer,
With an old driver, not so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment the cops shot St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles came cries for back-up,
Dispatchers whistled, and shouted, screaming to hurry-up;
“Now, captains! now, sergeants! Get me an ambulance!
Clear things before the press can be a nuisance!”
I called for every shooter; I needed them all
“Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,

So to the scene a dozen cameras flew,
Hoping to get there before the cops were through

And then, in a twinkling, I heard an oy vey!
It was bad for Ol’ Saint Nick – he was DOA.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
I called the booth – BREAKING NEWS was all I could sound
We stayed on the air for days, or it might have been weeks,
Talking to all, from little kids to the Santa Freaks;
With bundles of toys they had flung on their backs,
They kept protesting, wanting the cops to get their whacks

Stories – there were many! Sidebars by the score!
Kids, toys, parents. There was always one more!

What did it mean for the future of the holiday?
There was always someone with something to say

The cops investigated and, not surprisingly
said the officers had all acted reasonably,
There would be no trial, no charges to air
Mrs Claus stayed secluded, you know where
Things moved forward and Christmas came again
 

I was sad Santa was gone, the story was over and then
At the desk. chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
I was shocked 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 wasn’t a ghost, and went straight to his work,
and telling me that I wasn’t going berserk.

The events of the past year had all been staged,
for an assignment editor for whom news he had prayed
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Some breaking news to all, and to all a good-night.”