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December 17, 2005

A few nights ago, Perry's largest industry held its annual Christmas party for employees at the Lazy E Ranch near Guthrie. Aside from the food, special seasonal music and a variety of other entertainment features, one of the outstanding features was a parody of "Twas the Night Before Christmas."

The familiar old poem was adapted by the company's CEO, Tiffany Sewell-Howard, for this particular evening, and it was met with great delight by the audience of several hundred Ditch Witch employees, their spouses or friends, retirees and other guests. I thought you would enjoy it, too, so here it is, on this Christmas eve as delivered by Tiffany at the company party.

Twas the Night Before Christmas1
Tiffany Sewell-Howard

Twas the night before Christmas when all through the shop,
I searched for Ed's Segway®2 because it was lost.
The inventory was organized and the aisles swept clear,
in hopes that Ed might soon be there.

The employees were all home just killing time
while visions of SAP tormented their minds.
I walked by Ed's door and turned off the lights,
to head home once more a little tired from the fight.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I ran from the door to see what was the matter.
And what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a mini skid steer with ten cases of beer.

With a little old operator, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment, Ed was no longer sick.
He whistled and shouted and stood on his head
and eight restless managers arrived in good stead.

"Now Sewell! now, Williamson! now, Pollman and Andrews!
On Stevens! on Johnson! on, Kirtley and Kiner!"

"There's orange iron everywhere, behind every wall.
Now let's ship! Let's ship! Let's ship it all!"
So quickly they departed and to the docks they flew,
with smiles on their faces and a cold beer or two.

And then, in a moment, I heard a loud pop
there was grinding and pounding - it came from the shop!
I observed the commotion looking all around,
when suddenly from Shipping came the Segway -no sound.

He was dressed in all orange, from his head to his toe.
His shoes were scuffed up, with red clay and with snow.
A crate full of parts he had tied to his back,
bound and determined to get things on track.
With his brand new cell phone clenched in his fist,
he looked back quickly--was there something he missed?

With a wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
to me it was clear there was nothing to dread.

He was skinny and slight, barely larger than me.
Had he turned sideways there'd be nothing to see.
His eyes--how they twinkled! His hair, tousled white!
Crumbs all over his shirt--my what a sight.

He leaned forward slightly, going straight to the docks,
"Finish loading the flatbeds! we've got plenty of stock."
And then nodding his head as if taking a nap,
He tightened the ratchet, putting on the last strap.

He sprang in the truck, to his team gave a laugh.
He turned right on Fir and gave it the gas.
But I heard him exclaim before he hit 35,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

1The poem, "A Visit from Santa Clause," written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822 was adapted by Tiffany Sewell-Howard for the 2005 Charles Machine Works Christmas party.

2The Segway® is a self-balancing, personal transportation device given to Ed Malzahn as a Christmas gift in 2004 by the employees of The Charles Machine Works, Inc.