Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Twas the Strike Before Christmas

Thanks to those brilliant folks over at Nonsense NYC...

Twas the Strike Before Christmas

Twas the strike before Christmas, and all through the city
New Yorker's everywhere seethed with self-pity.
The MTA and the Union, tucked in snug at the Hyatt
While 7 million commuters readied to riot.

Kalikow and Toussaint clashed over wages
Over long negotiations and through several stages.
The Authority said finding more money's hard;
We blew $50 million on Holiday fare cards!

TWU yelled "benefits!" MTA shrieked "budget!"
And at midnight on Monday, they both cried out "Fudge it!"
The subways shut down, the buses were parked
The engines cut off, and the stations went dark

And all through the city, from Rockaway to the Bronx
New Yorkers listened to the shouts and the honks
Of cars caught in gridlock and road-rage galore
And piece-mealing carpools so as to reach four.

Then over at the Hyatt, interrupting the fights
Was a whoosh of the wind, and out went the lights,
When a monstrous vision that both awed and feared,
Some Victorian figure, an apparition appeared.

But it was no demon, no beast and no hellion
It was none other than the ghost of old George C. McClellan!
He cried: "I am the great mayor, from New York 'Ought Four
The year that this subway first opened its doors

"And I drove that first train from City Hall headed north
I didn't stop. I couldn't stop! Such was the force
Of this marvelous creation, our underground railway delight
So for the sake of New York, will you stop this damn fight?!

You must quit these squabbles and come to a deal
So the buses and trains can return with true zeal!
On A train! On B train! On N train and Q!
On 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 train, too!"

With a whoosh and a gurgle and a clang and a sigh
The old Mayor went up to City Hall in the sky,
Which freed up the meeting, and the fate of our home
When both sides agreed and threw us a bone

So the strike ended there with an uneasy pact
But no one believed either side would clean up its act
And when the Post stopped shouting and you listened real close
You could hear the faint words of our benevolent ghost

"To all those stuck in taxis and on bikes
A Transit Strike to all, and you can all take a hike!"

(Matt Levy usually writes Officially, but these rhymes were written by his brother, Gideon Levy. You can reach Matt at and he can forward email to his brother, who is younger but much taller.)

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