Aww Christmas. It is nice to see you old friend. See for some people Christmas is just about what presents you receive and what Santa left under your tree. As a child it was not difficult to be caught up in that type of tidal wave of emotion. On Christmas Eve, your parents would tuck you into bed as they read you your favorite Christmas Story, which honestly ended up being a script to Die Hard. You had a weird childhood, but no judging from us. And you waited. You would wait all cozied up in your onesie PJs with butt flap to see if you could just get a glimpse of Santa. But eventually the warm milk, which tasted funny, your mother made you before bed was starting to set in. You were accidentally given your father’s egg nog. And that we will be judging. You begin to drift off into Neverland only to wake up and it’s Christmas morning. Well, actually more like 2 in the afternoon. You’re young and liquor had a terrible effect on you. It doesn’t matter, it is still Christmas. You run down stairs and rip open paper to find the video game you asked for, a football, a Red Ryder BB Gun, a copy of the Lion King on VHS (Hipster), and a pair of socks from your grandparents. Christmas couldn’t get any better for you as a child. It was all about what you were to receive on Christmas Morning.
However, as an adult it is much different. Gifts are not as important. Unless it is clothing. Something that made you hate clothes as a gift as a kid at some point was thrown away to the island of asinine thoughts and good for you. Each time I open up the gift of clothing I let out a silent squee. Receiving gifts at any age seems to have taken the place of what the holidays are truly about.
Our story this year is much different than the past. This year our story is about finding the gift of love and compassion when you least expect it. A love story…….Gasp!!! Just go ahead and break out the tissues now, because damn it, Hallmark has nothing on this one. Well, there is always a twist in each and every story especially when it comes to the most dreaded four letter word in the English Language.
Christmas is about love. The love we have for families even if they drive us a little crazy at times. Especially that one Uncle who likes to get drunk and start singing Silent Night without a shirt on. Nothing will ruin your feeble little mind more than seeing a 350 pound man with the skin color of Casper the Friendly Ghost singing a Christmas tune. Suddenly my skin crawled a little. The love we have for our friends. You know the people we pick to be our family but are fine with the weird stuff. And the love we have for each other as people.
Our story begins at the North Pole. Remember Richard? Well, this is his first Christmas as Santa and the pressure is on. There is a possibility that Christmas may not happen this year, he has a lot of work that needs to be finished before he can take the reins of the sleigh on that majestic Christmas Eve journey. Will Richard be able to answer all the Probable Clauses?
“I am late. I am late to my first meeting with my staff to go over all the plans for Christmas. How does this happen? Who the hell sets an alarm for 8 PM? You would think by now these phones would be smart enough to know what we are thinking. I feel this is something that needs to be discussed in the war room meeting.” I emerge from my new master suite at the North Pole, and I have to say these are some pretty amazing digs. I have a hot chocolate maker right next to my bed. I have a fridge full of fudge in the corner of the room. I have a remote controlled cookie robot. How freaking sweet is tha……After listing those out loud, I am assuming I also have diabetes as well. It may be time to start listening to that Wilford Brimley guy. Damn, I need to start eating better. And I have the most amazing bathroom on the planet. “Well, aren’t you the sexiest MoFo at the North Pole. You look great. You look like you have gained 20 pounds and well on the way on maxing out at your goal weight before the holidays. And Dayummm, red makes your ass look great. If you weren’t the man in the mirror, I would take you home and have my way with you.”
Over the intercom a voice, “Sir, we are just waiting on you to get the board meeting started.”
I squeak back in embarrassment, “I will be there in a second.”
“Sir, if it makes you feel any better, no one heard you hitting on yourself!”
Well, this day is going to go to hell in a hand basket. I finish putting on my black boots with the fur. There are some days that I wear these boots and all I want to do is find some Apple bottom Jeans. There may be something wrong with me, but these boots are fierce.
I leave the master suite to walk down the hallway for the first time as Santa. I have a strut going because well damn it, I am Santa. You can tell by the way I walk that I am presents man. Ah Ah Ah Santa’s Alive. People are looking back at me like I just kicked a puppy over a field goal post to win the Super Bowl. I am trying to remember back to all the other times I have been in this place and it does not seem like it takes this long to get to the war room. I feel like it has taken me hours, my side hurts, and I am out of breath. I feel like I have just ran a mile. I turn around to notice I may not be more than 50 feet away from my door. I really do need to lose some weight. I take a few more steps and arrive at the war room. There is something special about this room. Since the beginning of Christmas, this is the room that Santa and his team lay out the plans for the upcoming Christmas and I am going to be the one doing that this year. I am the luckiest man in the world.
I swing the doors open to see my crack staff hard at work playing a game of Bop it. I swear, sometimes it is hard to take the child out of some adults. My team consist of 4 bad asses. First off is my right hand man, Chris. He makes sure the workshop is running right, and is really here for the elves. They have seemed to taken a great liking to him. It is nice to see. Second, Emmerson. Emerson is kind of the scary no nonsense person, if we are going to do something we do it now. A lot gets done when I am not here, maybe a little too much. Third is Peony. She is here to write poems for Christmas Cards. It is a tough job and I know that she is capable of knocking it out of the park. And finally my rules guy Brodie. One of the tough parts of this job is to make sure that we are following the book to the T. We do not want to stray off the rules to much, this regime does want a repeat of 1908 incident which oddly enough allowed the Cubs to win the World Series. I am going to assume that Santa was from Chicago.
This is why the Kansas City Royals won this year.
“Guys, do we really have to keep playing Bop it? We have a list of things to go over and I would like to be done with this before A Christmas Story comes on for 24 hours.” I say as well all gather to take our seats. I am at the end of one side of the table, Chris is at my right, Em is at my left, Peony at the right of Chris, and Brodie is standing with the dreaded pointing stick.
“I call this meeting to order. First on the docket, Poems. Are the poems finished for the Cards and Crackers?” Brodie exclaims.
Peony weirdly smiles and throws out, “Yes Sir, Sir!”
“Apparently, we are in an episode of Hogan’s Heroes.” I exclaim as only Chris laughed at the joke, which tells me I need to find more topical material as I move forward in my joke telling.
“Do I call you Santa, Richard, or Sexy?” Brodie asks me. My face turns redder than my suit. I know I don’t get the rosy red cheeks until I start the flight but damn that would have been helpful at that exact moment in time. “Just call me Richard!” I have a very funny feeling that I am never going to be able to live that down any time soon.
“Richard, we need to discuss something before this meeting can move on and before Christmas can happen.” Brodie says with a hesitation.
“Oh this is not good.” Emerson exclaims.
“How many times do I have to tell you, I do not want cookies and milk? I am not a 7 year old boy who has friends coming over to hang out while playing in the basement. Why can’t I get Pepsi and Pie? Still the same principle of giving me a sugar high, plus it is going to go straight to my thighs anyway. Even better, why can’t the people who live in warm climates grill me a steak medium rare and a Pepsi? Either way, I would rather would have Pepsi than milk. Are we good with this?” I reply to Brodie’s comment.
“Think about the extra income we would bringing in up here with an endorsement from Pepsi. We could turn the sleigh blue. It would be a license to print money.” Chris adds to the conversation. I just stand up and applaud the idea because it is wonderful.
Brodie let’s out a very loud sigh and slams down the rule book. The look on his face says pissed off catholic teacher couture. “Look, the Santa by laws say milk. So you are going to be like a baby at a strip club and think that shit is an all you can eat buffet.”
The rest of us just kind of started to stare at one another with a blank look on our faces. I am not sure anyone should really comment to that at all. This an argument we have lost. Time to count those losses and move on with life.
“No, this is kind of serious. To be Santa, there are a couple of things that need to happen to make sure that you will be Santa….”
“I swear to God, if you tell me find a Mrs. Claus, I am going to jump over this table and slap you with a cookie.” I say to Brodie before he finishes.
“No it’s a little more difficult than that. You have to help someone gain back their Christmas spirit much like the way Santa helped you last year. You have to guide them through one of the fabled Christmas Stories that will be picked by random lottery drawing.”
Emerson stands up from her chair and walks over to the closet door. She slowly begins to open the knob and on the other side of the door stands a woman in a long beautiful gown. She looks like she is from a red carpet premiere. And a man dressed in a black suit with sun glasses. If there is something I have learned from watching movies, it is not to mess with a man in a black suit. They know some sort of karate or something. The beautiful young lady hands Brodie plastic ball. The lady and gentleman fade back into the door as Emerson shuts it.
“That was the weirdest thing I have seen today, and I am living at the North Pole.” Chris stammered.
Brodie opens up the plastic ball to reveal a number. I swear this is becoming more complicated by the second. The number leads to the door opening and the young lady handing Brodie a briefcase with a number on it. If a phone rings, I am out of here. Brodie pops the lock on the briefcase to reveal what story I will have to take someone through to get their Christmas spirit back.
“The story is………..A Christmas Carol. You will have to portray the ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future.”
“Well that is not too shabby. I think that can be arranged.” I say with a smile, as I get up to leave.
“We have one more piece of business we need to discuss, who is going to be taking the former Mrs. Claus to the Top Secret Retirement Facility?” Brodie asks all of us.
Emerson and Peony are shaking their head no and in a very emphatic fashion. “Chris and I can do it! Gives us a chance to take a road trip on our awesome new ride. So where is this facility? Somewhere nice like Florida, Cali, maybe even Hawaii?”
Brodie cracks a smile, “Well this will be more fun for me, and I love being the asshole. The facility is in Northeast Arkansas.”
“Arkansas? Really? Arkansas? That is like saying we are going to go out to eat for steak and going to Ryan’s. Arkansas? We’ll do it. Meeting adjourned everybody.”
“Hold up! There is one more thing.” Brodie stopped everyone as they are leaving the door. “There is one more Clause……You need to find a Mrs. Claus.” Brodie says that and runs out the door like a man fearing for his life.
“He is making that up. Chris go check that.”
Chris makes his way over to the podium and to look and see if that rule was real.
“That rule is nothing more than some movie being cute. It was joke so they could make a second movie. Come on people. We know that is not real.”
“Umm….Richard. I hate to tell you this but it’s called the Tim Allen Rule. Santa has 365 days to find a person to a Marry or at least a Fiancé. If the person who becomes Santa does not do this in the time allotted, Christmas presents will not be delivered and the role of Santa will fall on the parents.”
“Fuck you Tim Allen. Fuck you.”
Will Richard be able to find the woman of his dreams and someone who does not have any Christmas spirit before Christmas? Boy those Duke Boys are in a heap of trouble. Come back tomorrow night to see what happens in Part 2 of Probable Claus.