‘Twas the night before Christmas…green-chinned version

Whilst we were in Thailand during the festive season, I contracted a nasty tropical skin infection.

Here I have written some silly doggerel about this ordeal based on an old familiar poem.


‘Twas the night before Christmas,

I awoke with a clatter,

And beetled to a mirror,

To find out what was the matter.


My skin had been itchy,

And my face had been bare.

And I wondered what horrors

Had emerged then and there.


My sweet wife was nestled

All snug in our bed,

No visions of pus or poison

Danced through her pretty head.


The mirror revealed a nightmare,

Like the view of a plague,

My chin was covered in sores

And looked for all the world flayed.


The moon on the crest

Of Bangkok’s pollution

Gave lustre to a horror

For which there seemed no solution.


We soon had a flight

To return to the west

And I felt so self-conscious

That I could no longer rest.


I needed a quick treatment,

Ointment or cream.

I couldn’t imagine facing

Any other human being.


My chin was so scarlet,

I couldn’t make merry,

This tropical infection,

Was ever so scary.


But we had a plane to catch,

And I was told there was nothing to dread,

So off we flew to France,

My wife and yours truly…Mr. Red.


During this return trip

There was a lengthy delay,

And my rash turned sickly green,

A grotesque display.


Should I hide it,

Or explain it,

This viridescent protuberance?

Or simply pretend there was no cause for disturbance?


Once back in France,

Where’s My Horse* did we see;

He’s our family physician,

And he looked after me.


He identified the infection,

Prescribed antibiotics and unguent.

He checked out the chin

And found it not pungent.


He explained all the green

As a lack of fresh oxygen.

And promised that outside of an airplane

There would be no verdurous pox again.


Then he sprang to his feet,

Took out his old fountain pen,

And wrote a prescription,

In the depths of his den.


I’m treating my infection,

With all the best potions,

And staying at home,

Going through all the right motions,


Until I’m no longer a leprechaun,

A little green man,

With a chin like a shamrock,

And no proper plan.


* Our ancient attending physician has earned the nickname of Where’s My Horse, with a nod to George Carlin and his monologue chronicling the benefits of old age.

“You can even make believe you have Alzheimer’s Disease. That’s a lot of fun. You look around the dining room table and you say, ‘Who are you people and where’s my horse?’”


In spite of numerous visits, until recently Where’s My Horse never remembered who I was, or he pretended not to. He’s elderly – perhaps even my age – and he writes out illegible prescriptions and referrals with a fountain pen. He works long hours, six days a week, and attends to emergencies, even during the Christmas season, when all the other local physicians are relaxing and imbibing. “Today’s young doctors don’t want to practice old-fashioned family medicine,” opines Where’s My Horse.


Robert McBryde Author: IndieReader Approved, nostalgia, hippies, pop music, 1960s, 1970s, psychedelic, blogging, social media,  CBC radio, literary non-fiction, tales, short stories, vignettes, immigrant experience, Quebec anglos, living in France,  childhood and animal stories, creative memoirs, satire, autobiography, family relations, fathers, raising children, aging, facing death, travel, social commentary, love and marriage, translation: English-French; French-English

Publisher’s Note:  Funny, manic, and wistful… self-deprecating creative nonfiction…The author, Robert McBryde, a professional translator, has been compared to David Sedaris for the sometimes-snarky autobiographical satire characterizing his literary sketches. Many of the stories in his new book, titled My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny, have been featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation radio network.

Author’s Note:

I’ve written a new book of creative non-fiction titled My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny, recently published and now on the market. The book is based on stories that I told over the years as a writer/ broadcaster and host on CBC radio based in Quebec City, Canada.

The book is available via my website. The purchase links are at the bottom of the home page.


Normally I will post at least two morning blogs per week. Stay tuned!

If you purchase a book via the platform of your choice, please leave a review!

Here is an excerpt from my IndieReader review:

“[This] memoir is… an enjoyable and touching read. Radio listeners in Quebec are already familiar with the wit and wisdom of Robert McBryde. The non-fiction collection, MY TIME WITH YOU HAS BEEN SHORT BUT VERY FUNNY, gives the rest of the world access to the author’s inimitable style.”


“Please note that [this] book received a rating of 4 stars or above, making it “IndieReader Approved”, a designation we created to make it easier for readers and booksellers to identify quality indie titles. Post the sticker proudly, knowing that your title was judged by top industry professionals—not as merely a great indie book—but as great book, period.”


Here is a link to a cool group book review blog:

My Time With You Has Been Short But Very Funny, a review by Di




And this is a link to Goodreads. A great place to learn about new books and to read reviews.

Di’s review of My Time with You Has Been Short but Very Funny



And, finally, a review from Amazon…

My Time With you Has Been Short But Very Funny by Author Robert McBryde


A Spirited Dive into Life’s Laughter and Tears (amazon.com)


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Your friend,