From CBC’s Stephen Quinn in the Globe and Mail~ a Vancouverized twist of an old Classic:
T’was the night before Christmas, and in the West End,
Santa had just met a brand new best friend.
“Are you following me?” Santa asked, taking flight.
“We keep crossing paths on this Christmas Eve night.
“We seem in lockstep, what’s your name my new chum?”
“I am the ghost of Christmas to come.”
“Do you also stuff stockings, leave gifts ’neath the tree?”
“No,” said the spirit, “Come, follow, you’ll see.”
Intrigued, Santa followed the unholy ghost.
“My first stop is here, this guy needs it the most.
“I rattle my chains – I do quite a number,
I steal from the comfortable the comfort of slumber.
“I show them the future that they have created,
And a public that’s more than a little bit jaded.
“And so here we are – Watch out for the bike!
There’s something about this guy people don’t like.
“Wake up, Mr. Mayor, the future is beckoning!
It’s time for some hubris, time for your reckoning.”
The mayor awoke, rubbed the sleep from his eyes,
“Who are you hacks, man?” he asked with surprise.
“I’m Santa,” said Santa, “You don’t see the red suit?
And this guy’s a ghost. Now put on your boots.”
“Where are we going?” the mayor asked, confused.
“To visit the future,” said the ghost, unamused.
And over the city the trio took flight,
Already the mayor knew all was not right.
“But where are the people, where are the lights?
Where are the lusty young cyclists in tights?”
“This is Vancouver, more than two decades hence,
They just can’t afford the city’s high rents.
“Now it’s only the rich and the people they hire,
To water their lawns and pick up the flyers.”
“But my protections for renters, my empty-homes tax,
My Airbnb regs, there was nothing they lacked!”
“There were too many loopholes, it all came too late,
The real estate frenzy just would not abate.
“And then Amazon came and the tech bros all followed,
The rest of the city was totally swallowed.”
“And where are the children?” Santa asked with a sigh.
“They’ve gone to the suburbs where the rents aren’t so high.”
The mayor took stock of just what lay in store,
“I don’t want it like this, make it stop, please, no more!”
He vowed to do better, he swore that he would,
He’d wake up tomorrow and begin to do good.
And after the mayor was put back to bed,
Santa bid future ghost farewell, and said,
“We make a good team, we should do this next year,
We might even make things better ’round here.
“Oh gosh! See the time? I’m an hour behind,
This present-delivery thing is a grind.”
He headed south, his next stop would be Oregon,
While the ghost travelled east to wake Derek Corrigan.