Dec. 24, 2013; in my office; USA - Remembering the good ol' days. My photojournalistic twist on a classic Christmas poem. © Darrell Miho
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the land,
Newsrooms were buzzing with deadlines at hand.
Assignments were posted on the wall without care,
In hopes that some photos soon would be there.
The writers were typing and pecking away,
On keyboards their fingers composed what to say.
The boss with his sleeves rolled up in a bunch,
I at my desk, with a doughnut and Hawaiian punch.
Then over the scanner there came such a chatter,
I perked up my ears to hear what was the matter.
Squawking and beeping alarms over the air,
The voice from within called out in despair.
Fire trucks, paramedics, ambulance and PD,
Possible five-ten, multiple vehicles and a tree.
Streetlights were out with nary a glow,
Roads were all slick and covered with snow.
I knew in a moment, this news would be big,
I yelled, “Stop the presses!” and squealed like a pig.
A semi! A porsche! A stroller, oh no!
Tragic this is, need photos, gotta go!
Out the front door, like a bat out of hell,
I raced to the scene with cameras and cell.
Upon my arrival, I could not imagine,
All the wreckage I saw, how did this happen?
The semi was twisted and wrapped ‘round a pole,
The Porsche was blazing, hit a tree, flipped and rolled.
Stumbling around was a man dressed like St. Nick,
Who reeked of liqueur, A ha! there’s my pic!
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
His clothes were all tarnished with gashes and soot;
His eyes were all teary, bloodshot and red,
His breath smelled like eggnog and vodka, ‘nuff said.
So I pressed on the shutter and snapped a few frames,
Back to the office I returned in a hurry,
Into the darkroom, I worked in a flurry.
Turn off the lights, flip the door latch,
Pop the film canister, reel it fast, fast.
Drop in the tank and cap it real tight,
Crank up the temp and shake it left - right.
Push that film baby, one-hundred degrees,
Grain is no problem, Acufine is the key.
Developer then fixer, rinse and then loupe,
No time to dry, into the enlarger from soup.
Dodging and burning, slip it in tray,
Agitate, agitate, fix and then pray.
Potassium Ferricyanide, reveals Santa’s face,
Oh my! This is scandalous and such a disgrace.
Editor says “Yes!” so off to the printer,
Scanner and halftone, layout and waxer.
With plates made of metal in place on the drums,
Presses start rolling, the ink flow begun.
Alas it is done, the newspaper complete,
Tossed onto doorsteps while most people sleep.
This is what life was like once upon a time,
Photojournalism is dying ‘cause pics cost a dime.
may every day be christmas