(With apologies to Ernest Lawrence Thayer)
Bob Casey’s business worries made him grumble, whine, and moan;
His solar thermal enterprise was dropping like a stone.
While certain clients wanted water heated by the sun,
The calls and jobs were rare these days, which wasn’t very fun.
The contractor regretted his decision long ago
To be a solar plumber; now his life was full of woe.
Old Casey’s face was worried; he had wrinkles in his brow;
Hot water panels weren’t requested very often now.
But on a roof in Mudville, when the morning sun was bright,
Old Casey felt quite cheerful in the warm December light.
Soon, winter would arrive, but now the weather felt like fall,
And Casey had a solar thermal system to install.
He liked to work on rooftops — Casey had no fear of heights —
And from the ridge he looked upon the neighbor’s Christmas lights.
He heard a truck pull up next door, and looking down, he saw
José, the handsome PV guy, blue-eyed and square of jaw.
José set up a ladder and he quickly set to work,
And Casey thought, “I hate that guy! He really is a jerk!
José, the irksome fellow with the brand-new V-8 truck,
A thriving PV business, pretty wife, and all the luck!”
When Casey understood José was working right next door,
The competition freaked him out; he mumbled, “This is war.”
José was cutting conduit; he worked with speed and skill;
When Casey saw his rival work, he had an urge to kill.
And Casey thought, “I’ll race him! That’s exactly what I’ll do!
For every panel he puts up, I’ll…