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Twas The Night Before Shanghai

It just wouldn't be Christmas time on the blog without a visit from Jolly Ol' Saint Dick, now would it?
Last season, Twas The Night Before Sochi took a tongue in cheek take on Clement Clarke Moore's "A Visit From St. Nicholas" (widely known as "Twas The Night Before Christmas") in the form of a Christmas poem featuring a visit from none other than two time Olympic Gold Medallist and living legend Dick Button. Being the aloof character I sometimes am, I didn't even realize until THIS year that I was totally copying Allison Manley's idea from her 2012 Ode To Dick Button. Great minds think alike apparently? That said, with the 2015 World Figure Skating Championships around the corner this March in Shanghai, I thought it only right that my own rendition of a Saint Dick holiday poem made a little redux on the blog leading up to Christmas! Happy holidays to all of you, thanks for continued support, and hope you enjoy:

Twas the night before Shanghai and all through the rink
Not a skater was lutzing, or flutzing I think
Jason Brown's MC Hammer pants were hung in the dressing room with care,
In hopes that Dick Button soon would be there.

The judges were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of edge calls danced in their heads
Jeremy Abbott in brown and Sergei Voronov in something iffy
Were asleep in their hotel beds looking quite spiffy.

When in the host hotel there arose such a clatter,
the skaters sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the windows they flew in a pack,
To see if St. Dick had arrived with his sack.

The moon on the breast of the cold Chinese snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to the courtyard below.
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight skate-clad reindeer.

With a jolly driver, so lively and quick,
In a minute they knew it must be St. Dick!
More rapid than spread eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Salchow! Now Henie! Now Fleming And Hamill!
On Axel! On Buttle! On Layback And Camel!
To the top of the rink! To the top of the wall!
Now skate away! Skate away! Skate away all!"

As so the sleigh landed and he looked around
And let his sack of presents fall down to the ground.
"Let's get down to business," St. Dick exclaimed.
"We won't be having any tomfoolery or reindeer games!"

"Don't make those referees blow on their whistles!
You better be sure that you nail those twizzles!
There needs to a little more swan in that Swan Lake.
Extend that free leg and don't let it shake!

Leave your catchfoots at home and forget those haircutters.
A good program is clean and doesn't look cluttered!
Turn your foot out, my dear, and hunch shoulders you mustn't.
Whatever that was supposed to be... it wasn't!

Make those layback spins first rate and those landings tight!
I don't give a rusty hoot what they say, you must do it right!
Keep your back straight, and gosh sakes, hold that edge!
Get your hair cut - get the Dorothy Hamill wedge!

If that doesn't put a fanizzle in their shanizzle nothing else will!
Show them your best! Show them your skill!
Bamboozle them with your feet and not with your hands!
Then they'll be cheering all through the stands!

For you fine young ladies and you fine young men,
all deserve a level ten!"
One skater shouted "but it only goes to five!"
St. Dick laughed and let out a sigh.

"The biggest gift that you can give them is your best skate.
Just do your best and make it first rate!
There's no time for sleep, get on that ice quick!
Practice all night! And watch that toe pick!"

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But they heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Gold medals for all, and to all a good night!"


Dick Button: "You get my approval instantly! I think it was charming, humorous, a great put on, most times right on... The rhyming spot on terrific... and more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Thanks for the send off and a happy season to you and yours... Dick, aka Big  Daddy. St. Dick, Popeye on Ice, the octogenarian, etc. etc. etc."

A big HAPPY HOLIDAYS from my family to yours! Get your eat and drink on, laugh and be merry! Most importantly, don't do anything I wouldn't do... which is a pretty short list. Merry Christmas!

Skate Guard is a blog dedicated to preserving the rich, colourful and fascinating history of figure skating. Over ten years, the blog has featured over a thousand free articles covering all aspects of the sport's history, as well as four compelling in-depth features. To read the latest articles, follow the blog on FacebookTwitterPinterest and YouTube. If you enjoy Skate Guard, please show your support for this archive by ordering a copy of figure skating reference books "The Almanac of Canadian Figure Skating", "Technical Merit: A History of Figure Skating Jumps" and "A Bibliography of Figure Skating":