I’ve got it straight from Santa that he’s struggling this year and things may be a little different around here..
by Charlie Leck
For starters, Santa told me he is finished with landing on rooftops and sliding down chimneys.
“That business,” Santa told me, with no shaking belly laugh, “of coming down chimneys has gotten just too damned difficult. Have you ever seen all these energy savings devices they clutter these chimneys up with these days? And have you noticed the way they build roofs on these houses today? Take yours, for instance. Where in the hell, on that rooftop, am I supposed to land a sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer?”
And Santa, like a lot of old guys, is suffering mightily with aching hips and knees. He argued vehemently that homes all ought to be more handicap accessible. He was particularly angry about the challenges posed for him at our house.
“Look,” he said, grabbing my arm and pulling me over to our decorated Christmas tree, “look where you hung the danged stockings.”
He pointed to the windows behind the Christmas tree. There hung six empty and waiting stockings for the children and mom and dad. Surrounding the Christmas tree was a pile of carefully wrapped gifts that was about two feet deep.
“How is an old fella supposed to climb over that pile of gifts to get to those stockings and work in that confined space to get them filled up with Christmas cheer? Why, that’s more difficult than getting down your confounded chimney with that little foot by a foot, fire-proof and insulated pipe you’ve got running through it.”
Santa made it abundantly clear that he wasn’t climbing over piles of gifts any longer and he expected the front door to be left unlocked if he was to pay us a visit.
“And, I want a clear landing space out there on your driveway with at least a 100 feet strip of straight driveway to taxi on.”
“You fellas can figure out how to make iPads, for heaven’s sake, and you ought to be able to figure out a way to make life easier on Santa. Why, in this day and age, I shouldn’t be using reindeer to get around the world when it is so easy to deliver gifts electronically. I think more boys and girls ought to be asking for things I could just as easily download to them. If I could do that, don’t you know, then I could just spend the evening slipping from place to place for the treats you all leave out for me. Oh, I suppose I could haul an occasional gift along with me – you know, something that just won’t down load on a computer – like a toilet plunger or the like.”
The little, rotund guy got a laugh out of that one and his eyes sparkled as he laughed uproariously.
“Ho, ho, ho!”
He limped toward my liquor cabinet and found a bottle of 12 year old scotch.
“Oh, my,” he said, smacking his lips.
I moved to the refrigerator as quickly as I could, so I could dig out a few ice cubes for the old guy.
“You know,” he said, “I’ve got a hip that’s just killing me. I wanted one of your Minnesota doctors to replace it with one of those whiz-bang titanium things they’ve got these days; but he told me the hip wasn’t bad enough yet – that I just didn’t show enough arthritis. ‘Medicare would never approve it,’ he says to me and then he gives me a shot of something right in the side of the hip for what he says is just bursitis that I’ve got in there. ‘Live with it,’ he says to me with a flick of his hand as he zooms out the door; and then he looks back at me and says: ‘Oh, yes, and a merry, merry Christmas to one and to all!’”
“Well,” Santa said with a stern look on his face and a shake of his head, “if I have to live with it than so do all you little boys and girls. No more stockings hung with care. I’m going to fill ‘em up and just set them down on a chair or even under the tree with that disgusting pile of gifts.”
Santa took a big gulp of the scotch and then looked at his magnificent Tag-Heuer watch and jumped to his feet.
“Hey, look at the time! I’ve got to fly!”
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