On Christmas Eve, a group of us got together for a Secret Santa gift-exchange at KTV--that's what they call karaoke lounges here in China. In honour for the evening's festivities and yuletide cheer, I decided to rewrite "A Visit from St. Nicholas" for Lanzhou.
Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Lanzhou
The streets were empty, letting the dirty wind blow.
The Mao pictures were hung—displayed as the best
In hopes that communism would take down the West.
The students were memorizing, eating street-vendor’s yams
While they hoped for good grades on their final exams.
And girls in their masks, most with a pig snout,
They would study and study until the power cut out.
While in the KTV lounge, there played such a song,
I sprang from the sofa, nearly ripping my thong.
Up to the mic, I pranced like a fairy;
Excited I was, even though my singing scary.
The song began, and nervously I felt pressure
To do a good job, even though it was Kesha.
When, to my shocked surprise made me jump,
Everyone in the room joined in my fist-pump.
With bass, fast beat, and a chorus so catchy,
No one cared that their dance moves were sketchy.
More quick than the Flash, the song came to close,
And we laughed, because Nick took off his clothes.
“Now Usher! Now Killers! Now Spice Girls and Hanson!
Play ABBA! And Britney! Do they have Jack Johnson?
On to the top of the playlist, we want these songs all!”
We sang out loud! Sang it proud! We sang and had a ball.
As the dry Chinese city lacked real Christmas cheer,
We made up for it indoors, with the help of cheap beer.
So gifts were exchanged with a joyous Secret Santa
(Spoiler alert: in mine, there’s some Fanta)
And then, as a jolt, we heard a knock at the door
That interrupted our party like a huge tidal bore.
As the door opened, in came a worker speaking Chinese,
I said, “Someone else communicate with him, please”.
He was speaking quickly; his vocal cadence was long,
And he would not leave us despite insisting, “ting bu dong”.
A thick menu of drinks he had in his hand.
We needed to buy more booze was his demand.
We obliged his request, already feeling quite merry;
I just wished we could have ordered a vodka-cranberry.
He left the room quickly, after a slight, Chinese bow,
And we continued singing Akon’s “Right Now”.
We blamed it on the a-ah-ah a-ah alcohol,
Then screamed, “to the window, to the wall”.
I was banned from choosing songs, with my penchant for rap,
Because people wanted genres from all over the musical map.
As the night soldiered on, some of us felt pretty tipsy,
Fighting the urge to dance on chairs like a wild gypsy.
Together we celebrated Christmas so far from home;
All together, we no longer needed to roam.
They say during the holidays, no one should be alone,
So without our families, we created our own.
When the last song ended and we went back into China,
Anyone who said it was cold, I called a vagina.
We sprang down the steps and out of BabyFace,
Cherishing these holiday moments in time and space.
Insisting on being THAT guy and making our departure more trite,
I yelled: “Merry Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight!”