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Twas the Night Before Christmas, at 60 State Street

Written by: Matt Marshall

With apologies to Clement Moore or to whomever was the original author, that authorship having been recently disputed by persons with nothing better to do. Resemblances to any person, living or dead, although slyly hinted at, are merely co-incidental, since this is a work of some fiction.

Twas the night before Christmas, at 60 State Street,
The PIs had stopped, Zach was dead on his feet,
Our sprints even had a whole built-in day off
And Ad Ops had gone for beer pong and beer golf.

It had been, all-in-all, a honking great year,
Our payroll had grown near two hundred I hear,
And Eric and Cheryl and Colleen were wed,
New babies arrived and new funding was bred,

Engineering had not much of red or of green,
Cause nerds aren’t the best at decorating,
But Derek brought cookies baked up by his kids
And the Zombie had tinsel draped o’er his eyelids.

And I at my desk, Google traffic displayed,
Was waiting for I93 backups to fade,
I’d had a bit much of Chalson’s aged booze,
And was trying real hard not to snore or to snooze.

When in Ivory Watchtower there arose such a howl,
I woke up with a “Geeze!?” and put on a scowl,
Our elevators ran past and Alysa’s neat space,
Turned right into Finance, past Jimmy’s new place.

The moon shining in over Faneuil Hall,
Shone on cluttered up desks that a Saitta’d appall,
When my eyes, opened wide as two F5 cyclones,
Saw nine screaming cats riding nine buzzing drones.

With a wizened young leader, hair swept back and slick,
I knew in a moment it was Old Alt Ric.
As fake reindeer antlers on feline heads came,
He cursed them, cajoled them and called them by name!

“Now Denton! Now Tregoe! Now Ezzat! Now Sandell!
On Mittman! On Rocca! Lau, Morris and Carroll!
We need more SaaS contracts, never let the MAU fall!
Now advertise! Advertise! Advertise all!”

As balls on pool tables make caroms and banks
And round bumper cars bounce off each other’s flanks
So into the break room the drone riders flew,
With sacks full of toys and then Old Alt Ric too.

And then, in a twinkling, as I crossed the big room,
Heard the cats caterwauling, drones buzzing like doom,
As I stuck in my head, and was looking around,
Up on a big table Alt Ric jumped with a bound.

He was dressed in a hoodie and shorts from J. Crew,
Had a phone to each ear and a Surface or two,
A sack full of tech books he’d just dropped on the floor,
Full of Agile and Git and mySQL and more!

His eyes – how far focused! His Androids kept ringing!
He talked really fast, his product plans mingling,
His droll twisted mouth now with little smile cracks,
As he dreams of big upsells and two-year contracts.

Then he made some more calls while he searched for some nosh,
Screamed “I’ve got an idea!” Where’s Austin?” “Where’s Josh?”
He had a wry face, and his laugh was all whoops,
And he swayed like a windsurfer setting up for pushloops.

He was skinny and hale, the high priest of us geeks,
And I laughed when I saw him, and his unshaven cheeks!
A wink of his eye as he leftovers loaded,
Soon gave me to know he was like we who coded.

He was spare with his words, had no time to carouse,
As he schemed to get advertisers to bring it in-house,
Yelled, “Performance marketers need data in reams,”
While Dewey and Dan rolled their eyes in their dreams.

Then back in the great room he distributed gifts,
A sweater for Bryant, for Suzanne some new lifts,
And for sink guarding Gabe a new set of dishes,
And for second Zach some burritos delicious.

For Carly he left bright new red running shoes,
For George, Wolf and Ryan he left German brews,
Then over on my side, he said it’d be grooooovy
IF I could get him a part in Andrew’s next movie.

Then the zoo left for London, New York and San Fran,
Seattle and Singapore, flying fast as fast can,
And I heard Alt Ric shout, o’er the Post Office clock,
“Happy Holidays to all! Hey, Nanigans, you rock!”

The Legend of Old Alt Ric

“Alt Ric” is thought to be a corruption of “Aldric,” a Visigoth god worshipped in the Roman province of Hispania in the 5th century AD. Aldric was the god of beer and wine, and the fir tree was sacred to him. After conversion to Christianity, worship of Aldric continued among the peasantry in the backwaters of northern Spain. His rites (public drunkenness and general frivolity) were celebrated on the winter solstice. At some point during the Middle Ages, Aldric worship became conflated with the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and hence “Alt Ric” became the Christmas spirit celebrated with the cutting down of trees and the drinking of beer and wine and general having of good times. The Catholic Church tried to suppress the worship of “Alt Ric” during the Inquisition (16th century), and the celebration of “Alt Ric” went underground for hundreds of years before resurfacing in its modern form in the 19th century.


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