’Twas the Night Before Christmas on the MBTA

A holiday story for the everyday T rider.

mbta christmas illustration

Safe travels! / Illustration by Yiqing Shao

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the T
The trains were delayed, and some smelled of old pee
Their presents were wrapped, as riders headed back home
But because of wire problems, the Green Line never showed.

When it finally did, passengers were left standing
Because of too many strollers that were crowding the landing.
With barely enough room to grab hold of a strap
Nearby a child cried loudly, sitting in his mum’s lap

Someone else clipped their nails, as others looked on
And you thought to your self, “where did my life go all wrong?”
The rider in front of you then put his bag on a seat
As the woman to your left coughed loudly and sneezed.

As the voice of the conductor crackled through the loud speaker
He said “This train is disabled, please get off it now people.”
Quickly exiting the train, a thick smoke makes you hack
A small fire of course, in the middle of the train tracks.

Back to the platform you dashed, to wait for the next trolley
Standing next to a homeless man, who was acting drunk and so jolly.
“Do you have any spare change? I need money to get back to Rhode Island.”
A line used every commute, but you give him cash, smiling.

Staring up at the new LED signs, they read 20-minutes plus.
So your options become an Uber, cab, or shuttle bus.
Because Lyft can be awkward, and cabbies are scams
You try your luck with a replacement bus, despite the crowded demand.

As you exit the station and go wait by the curb
An MBTA bus nearly hits you, but suddenly swerves.
And when it comes to a halt, completely missing the stop
You realize this T bus is different, and something seems off.

Instead of an operator who is cranky and rude,
The man driving has a beard and a stomach that protrudes
He says “Ho, Ho, Ho, my good man, this ride is on me!”
So you put your Charlie Card away, and board the bus filled with glee.

Then suddenly it hits you, attached at the front of your ride
There’s no silver bicycle rack—it’s a bunch of reindeer outside!
And that jolly old driver, with a red, rosy face
That man is Saint Nick, and he’s driving a T-sleigh.

After hours of waiting, and switching from train and then bus
You realize Saint Nick will get you home for Christmas.
Up, up, and away, the reindeer took off through the snow
Leaving Park Street station in the distance, and the city below.

“On Green Line, On Blue Line, On Orange, and Red!”
Were things no one was shouting ‘cause all the trains were still dead.
But your bus was flying high, no stops or delays
“This commute was the worst,” you think. “Thank God for this sleigh.”

Soaring above Boston, the sleigh bus finally lands
And you have Saint Nick to thank truly for saving your holiday plans.
When you open your door, you quickly crash down on the couch
And “Next year I’m buying a car” is the first thing out of your mouth.