The Day Before Xmas

by Capt. Gene Chrzanowski

The Day Before Xmas

Twas the day before Christmas and all through the bight Charter captains were scrambling to make their boats right. Checking their lines and planning their spreads While visions of dollar signs danced in their heads.

That time was upon them - the tourists were coming. The bars would be filled and the docks would be humming. They had to be ready to respond in a second When opportunity knocked and a customer beckoned.

It was then to my anxious eyes there appeared A pale, portly stranger with a bushy white beard. Sporting a red shirt and shorts that were white, A red knitted cap and a big briar pipe.

He stood by the boat with a smile ear to ear, And with five tiny friends who all had a beer. He said “My name is Nick and I’ve asked around. They tell me that your boat is the slickest in town.

“We’re down from the North to explore the Keys, To lift a few beers and go out on the seas. Since everyone says we should charter the Hooker I just hope you’re open ‘cause I’d sure like to book her.

“We’d like to go fishin’ tomorrow at eight.” I told him the price and we made it a date. I mused to myself as we passed the day He could almost be Santa - just without the sleigh! As he chuckled he gave off a slight smell of rumAnd his belly, it jiggled like a bucket of chum.The longer we talked it gave me a pause.I started to ponder. “Could this really be Claus?”

The thought seemed absurd. How could he be here?Christmas Eve is his biggest time of the yearThere was a sleigh to be driven and children to seeSo I said to myself “It just can’t be he”

He noticed my stare as he sipped on his beerThen said the one thing I never thought I would hear.“I know what you’re thinking and, yes, it is us,But let’s keep it our secret and not make a fuss!

“We worked real hard this year and our work is now doneSo the wife’s at her mom’s and we’re here for some funThe Pole is the pits at this time of yearWe needed the sun and lots of cold beer.”

But, if he was here and not at the shopWho would be making his round-the-world hop?I expressed this concern for all girls and boys.Would this be the year they would not get their toys?

His response was preceded with a loud “Ho-ho-ho!”And then he said something only Santa could know.“Don’t worry, each child will get all he expectsBut this year it’s coming by DHL and FedEx!”

Sure enough, the next morn the CNN’s and the Fox’sSaid the toys had arrived overnight in big boxes.Although I was stunned I still felt relievedAnd it was in that moment that I finally believed.

So we took Santa fishin’ for dolphins and sailsAnd had us a day that will live in tall tales.Now stop for a moment and just ask yourselves.How the heck would you catch some big fish for elves?

We came up with a plan that worked like a dream -One pole with five elves who worked as a team.Four held the rod while one cranked the reel.A fifty pound mahi became no big deal!

They caught mahi and wahoo, blackfin tunas and sails,Grouper and mackerel and big yellowtails.Even Santa chipped in with the catch of the year- A marlin as big as two hefty reindeer

We came back to the dock with a box full of fishFor them to take north and eat as they wished.So we’ll never forget this trip with St Nick.Who knows, maybe someday they’ll make it a flick!

But I know for certain that he thinks I’m his friendFrom the words that he uttered as our trip reached its end.He said to me warmly as the elves gave three cheers“Happy Christmas to you, now let’s go have some beers!”




Capt. Gene Chrzanowski
Capt. Gene Chrzanowski

Author

The “High Class Hooker” is docked in Key West at the A&B Marina, 700 Front Street. You can find Capt. Gene on the web at keywestclasscharter.com



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