Sunday, December 25, 2011

The ghosts of Christmas' Past

I've been known to play a bit with words at Christmas time, and I thought I'd share a few of my musings about puzzles here. (All have been written out somewhere else on the web so you may have viewed these before. But it's Christmas, and my page, so humor me) For those of you who are only interested in puzzles-scroll down. My Christmas morning thoughts on Neil's Unhappy Childhood are below this long bit of drivel.

Twas the night before Christmas (Written for Meffert's puzzles, 2010)

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the sky
Not a puzzler was stirring, not even a guy.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Meffert’s toys soon would be there.
The puzzlers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of megaminx’s danced in their heads.
With mama it was “Jade Club” with me a new skewb,
We had just settled down and shut off the tube.

When out by the door there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the door phone I flew in a flash
Picked up the handset and button did mash

The light on the roof of the factory below
Showed off glowing new puzzles to all in the know.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear.
But a promise of 12 toys and a jade club this year.

With a little old builder so lively and quick,
I knew when I met him he must be real slick.
Much faster than copies his puzzles they came,
And he clapped, and he laughed and he gave them a name!

“A Pyraminx! a Skewb! Megaminx! and a Jing!
Platapus! On Chi-Gung! Flowerminx! And Skewb-cube!
To the top of the factory! To the top of the Post!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away most!”

As the wet winds before the Chinese typhoons fly,
When met with the tall HK buildings, rising so high.
So off to many houses-his puzzles they flew,
With boxes full of toys, and great puzzles too.

And then in a twinkling, I heard at the door
The knocking and ringing of the postman once more.
As I opened it up, and was signing my name,
The boxes from Meffert’s came all the same.

They were filled up so full, with puzzles a plenty
The twisting and turning for me would be many,
As I opened my box, turning puzzles around,
Through the front door, Uwe Meffert came with a bound.

He was dressed all in black from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all covered with plastic and soot.
A case full of toys he had next to his side,
And he opened it up quickly, just starting the tide.

His Gears-how they twisted! His Skewbs how they clicked!
His Vulcano so neat! His Extreme I nicked!
His Pyramorphinx had ball bearings,
And the Ultimate was made just for my sharing.

A brand new Jade cube he held tight in his hand,
And the people ‘round the world all loved his new plan.
He had a great dream and a factory too,
We all wanted puzzles, we knew must do!

We raced so fast to Meffert’s and clicked quickly to buy,
And we joined his new jade club, without quite knowing why.
A promise of 12 toys this year he gave us,
And when December came, he had earned our trust.

He spoke not a word, but made puzzles once more,
And filled all our mailboxes with puzzles galore!
And writing a letter full of good news,
And sending a box, no one can fill his shoes!

He went back to his fact’ry, to his fans gave a nod,
And soon they all asked what more could be done to a mod.
Well, I heard him exclaim, as he walked out the door,
“Wait for the upcoming year, There’s much more in store!”

Merry Christmas everyone from the Meffert’s family!

--By Roxanne Wang (er, that should be Wong, but Cajomy didn't quite get that)

How The Boss Stole Christmas

by Dr. Seuss (with a little help from Katsmom)


Every kid
Down in twisty
Liked puzzling a lot…

But the boss,
Who lived just north of Hong Kong
Did NOT!

The boss hated puzzling! The whole puzzling reason!
Now I’ll tell you why. I met a man last
season.
It could be that his cube wasn’t packaged just right.
It could be perhaps, that his screws were too tight.
But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his core was two sizes too small.

But,
Whatever the reason,
His core or his screws
He stood there on Christmas Eve hating the crews,
Staring down from his factory with a sour businessy frown
At the warm worded postings over in their forum.
For he knew every kid in TP cyber space
Was busy now, Building at their leisurely pace.

“And their painting their puzzles!” he said with a sneer.
“Tomorrow is Christmas! Puzzles will be here!”
Then he growled with his boss fingers drumming,
“I MUST find a way to stop puzzles from coming!”
For tomorrow, he knew…

…All those smart girls and boys
Would wake up bright and early. They’d rush to their toys!
And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then those kids young and old would sit down to a twist.
And they’d twist! And they’d twist!
And they’d TWIST! TWIST! TWIST! TWIST!
They would start on good old Rubik’s and rare Petaminx,
Which was something the boss couldn’t stand-what a jinx!

And THEN
They’d do something he hated more than mold!
Every kid over in TP , the young and the old,
Would post close together with puzzle bells ringing.
They’d post pic-to-pic, and the kids would start bringing!

Oh! The toys they would bring!
And they’d BRING! BRING! BRING! BRING!
And the more the boss thought of the twist puzzles made,
The more the boss thought “I must not be afraid!”
“Why for 34 years I’ve put up with it now!
I MUST stop puzzlers from building!
…But HOW?”

Then he got an idea!
An awful idea!
THE BOSS
GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA!

“I know just what to do!” the boss laughed at his task.
And he made a quick U. Meffert hair and a mask.
And he chuckled and clucked, “What a great bossy day!
With this hair and this mask, I’ll look just like Uwe!”

All I need now is a Dogic….”
The Boss looked around.
But the Dogic are scarce, there were none to be found.
Did that stop the boss…?
NO! The Boss simply said,
“If I can’t find a Dogic, I’ll make one instead!”
So he called his workers. Then he called for plastic
Aluminum molds! Bring them super quick!

THEN…
He gathered some bags
And some old dirty sacks
On a mass transit train
He then splitted up the packs

Then the Boss said, “Let us go!”
And the train started ‘roun’
Towards the homes where the kids
Wrote puzzles of choice down.

All their postings were done. Quiet threads filled the air.
All the kids were all dreaming of puzzles with flair.
When he came to the first little house on the square.
“Here’s puzzle number one,” The old Business man hissed!
And he climbed up the wall, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid through the window. A rather tight toss.
But if Santa could do it, then so could the boss.
He first saw the shelves, then a box full instead.
Then he opened the door of the outside shed,
Where the puzzle queens boxes were full to the brim
“These puzzles” he yelled, “are way over the rim!”

Then he wandered and looked with an evil open mouthed grin,
And he took every toy, he took even the pin!
Void cubes! And Pyraminxs! Megaminx! Cubes!
Dominoes! Babylon Towers! And more!
Then he threw them in bags. The boss, very clums’ly,
Tossed all those bags, one by one of the balc’ny!

Then he ran to Pantazis! He took the mans best!
He took the Dinosaurs! He took all the rest!
He whipped out that mans flat in one super dash.
Why that boss even took his Astro-lab-a-cas!

He tossed all those toys out the front door with glee.
“And NOW!” grinned the Boss, “Who else can I go see!”

And the boss rushed on out and he looked ‘round more
When he saw the lights on at the house of a store.
He ran over fast, and he saw a boy!
George Helm that is who, one with many a toy!

The boss had been caught by this big diligent man
Who’d woke up for just one last look at his plan.
He stared at the boss and said “Puzzle man, Why?
Why are you taking our puzzle plans?
WHY?”

But you know that old Boss was smart and so slick
He thought up a lie and he thought it up quick!
“Why big puzzling friend” the old business man said,
“There’s a piece on this cube that catches on one side.
So I’m taking it back to my factory in China
I’ll copy it there, and sell it on line-ah!”

That didn’t fool Georges, nor Tom, neither Sandy,
Then he have them a gift card, he said so sorry,
And when the three boys went to use their three cards
Boss went to the cab’net and grabbed the last shards!

Then the last thing he took
Was Georges new TP book
Then he went to the factory himself, the old liar.
On their shelves he left nothing but stickers and wire.

And the one drop of lube
He left in the house
‘Twas a lube drop that was even too small for a cube!

Then
He did the same thing
To the other kids houses

Leaving parts
Much too small
For other kids artses!

It was quarter past dawn….
All
The kids, still a-bed
All the kids, still a snooze
When he packed up his train,
Packed it up with their Childs Play! The Da Yan’s! The Love Locket!
The Gears! And the Apples! The Planet! The Fisher’s!

Three thousand feet up! Up the side of the Great Wall!
He rode to the tip top to dump all!
“Pooh-Pooh to those Kids!” He was Boss-ish-ly humming.
“They’re finding out now that now new puzzles are coming!
They’re just waking up! I know just what they’ll do!
Their bags will flop open for a moment or two
Then all the kids o’er in TP will all cry BOO-HOO!”

“That is a noise,” grinned the Boss,
“That I simply must hear!”
So he paused. And the Boss put a cup to his ear.
And he did hear sound rising over the web.
It started out low. Then it started to ebb…..

But the sound wasn’t sad!
Why this sound sounded glad!
It couldn’t be so!
‘Twere no puzzles to be had!

He stared at the forum!
The Boss popped his eyes!
Then he screamed!
What he saw was a puzzling surprise!

Every kid o’er in TP, the young and the old,
Were posting! Without any puzzles! So bold!
He HADN’T stopped Puzzles from Coming!
THEY CAME!
Somehow or other they came all the same!

And the boss with his business heart cold in the store,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How can there be more?
I stole all their programs! I stole all their books!
I stole all their plastics, screws and hooks!”
And he puzzled three hours, ‘till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Boss thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Puzzles, “ he thought, “Don’t come from my store.
Maybe Puzzles….perhaps…come from great brains once more!”

And what happened then…?
Well….in TP they say
That the Boss’s small core
Grew three sizes that day!
And the minute his core didn’t feel quite so tight,
He rushed through on his train through the bright morning light
And he brought back the Balls! Quick to dash!
And he….

…HE HIMSELF…!

The Boss gave back the Astro-lab-a-cas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Rather than repost the thread in it's entirety, For this one, I'll merely give you a link to the 12 puzzles of Christmas I wrote Christmas of 2009.

A bit of spatting over on TP caused me to write this one:
THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
original by Clement Clarke Moore
parody by Roxanne Wong


'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the forum

Not a puzzler was stirring, not even a bear;

The gigaminxes were hung by the heating pipe with care,

In hopes that reeeech the buyer soon would be there;

The puzzles were nestled all snug on their shelves,

While thoughts of the dremel worried all ourselves;

With Rox in her pj’s and Georges in his T,

They both settled down for an afternoons read,

When over in building there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the chair to see what was the chatter.

Away to the forum I rushed in a dream,

Tore open the pages and threw up the screen.

The shine on the side of the newly made puzzle,

Showed the luster of labels to all who dared nuzzle;

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a 9x9 from Tony, and many new toys-available here.

With a new admin team, so diligent and quick,

I knew in a moment they must be very slick.

More rapid than knock offs their edits they came,

And they deleted, and cut, and stopped all the blame;

"Now, KO! now, Slander! now, Fighters and Thieves!

On, Posters! on Pictures! on, Members and Peeves!

To the top of the forum! to the top of the wall!

Now post away! post away! post away all!"

As copy topics that before the wild accusations fly,

When they meet with the obstacle, known as the ‘eye’,

So up to the postings the editors they flew,

With the keyboard full of edits, and some warnings too.

And then, in an instant, I saw on YouTube

The twisting and turning and each squeeze of lube.

As I opened my browser, and was surfing around,

The videos of new puzzles seemed to surround.

They were made by Oskar, by Tony and Panda,

The video’s so diverse I looked on in wunda';

Oskar’s new toys defied all known logic,

The old ones from Panda; my favorite the Dogic.

The Petaminx – how awesome! James’s gigaminx is low!

Adams Helicopter is another great one to show!

‘I no longer need bid hundreds on eBay’s wall,

‘Cause Dave’s Flowerminx was made by Meffert’s for all;

The core of a cube Frank held tight in his fist,

As he thought and he pondered my long, long wish list;

Which toy to make next for the forum to love,

I hope it’s well liked from the men from above.

Don’t send it to China, if it’s copied I’ll cry;

I wanted to make a puzzle, for all moder’s to try!

The forum was full of hope and praise before,

No more posts about KO’s; let’s be friendly once more!

There are many great topics we can all ponder;

Let’s try not to fight or to stray or to wander,

It’s time to go back to the TP we love;

Don’t make admin pull out the big boxing glove,

Go back to your work; there’s nothing to see here,

I’ve cut out the rubbish, no more name calling this year,

And I heard him remind as he cut out the fight,

"Go back to being friends-for Christmas is in sight!"

Merry Christmas Everyone
~katsmom


In 2010 I didn't do my own version of this song because a young man from the forum wanted to let his creative juices flow. Instead, I parodied my favorite Christmas song.

My final puzzle musing was a version of the 12 puzzles of Christmas written for Meffert's Puzzles in 2010. This was made because he liked my TP version and he wanted to remind people of the 12 puzzles he had produced that year.

So where does that leave us this year???? Stay tuned. Come back tomorrow and you just might see!

(and for those of you wondering...yes, I've done something silly like this for around 20 years. If you look hard enough, you may find Christmas musings on Disney, The HK governments wonderful education policies, and my lamenting the lack of snow here)

2 comments:

  1. My God Rox! What a gigantic collection you have!

    I have shown the present Mrs S some pictures of your collection just to show her how lucky she is!!! My own collection is just a fraction of yours but she seems to think I have too many!! Despite her having a huge shoe and handbag collection (I bought her a Mulberry handbag for Xmas)!

    Have a great Xmas and a healthy puzzling new year.
    Kevin
    Puzzlemad

    ReplyDelete
  2. Lucky Mrs. S. indeed. And I've but a fraction compared to....Rob, Laurie, Georges....The list goes on.

    ReplyDelete