Stuck In Present Tense Pt. 1

It's Part 1 of the 2018 Christmas Story.

It’s that time of the year. A slight chill is in the air…which is caused by climate change. The trees are staring to be naked from foliage as if it was just like Adam and Eve after eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Radio stations across the country are playing nonstop Christmas music and not the good kind. It’s not that I hate any song, but playing the same one for two hours may cause a slight case of insanity. Remember Santa sees all. And while we are at, as good as that Kurt Russell Netflix Christmas movie is, fuck him. Santa is all bad ass. What a crock of shit. I can tell you right now, Santa is sitting in his house right now with a cup of coffee that is from a pod. And yes, it’s so dark it will make a person poop just thinking about it. Thank you, Starbucks. And he is watching It’s A Wonderful Life crying like a baby. Not because of the movie, but because he can’t find a pair of socks. Santa is a tad emotional. Plus, Santa can’t sing. His voice sounds about like a cat sounds during sex. Never invite Santa to karaoke unless you are going to provide your own earplugs. But we do agree with one thing, screw that Coke Santa. No Santa has that rosy cheeks unless they are hitting the sauce and not coke.

Apparently, I am tad bit angry this year. And it’s not your fault and I am taking it out on you. I know you are here to read a tale as old as time. Wait, that is Beauty and the Beast. I know why you are here. You are wanting to hear a story about Christmas. A story with a happy ending. A story where good prevails over evil in the end. Well, you are shit out of luck. This is not that tale. In fact, it is the complete opposite. You see this year could be the very last Christmas as you know it. And I can tell you know, Santa and his merry crew will give you their hearts, but by the time part 4 gets here, you are going to give it away. But this Christmas is going to be something special. And yes, I just quoted the greatest band that ever lived. WHAM!!!

Usually at the North Pole, Santa is busy making his list, but that bastard waits till the last minute. He never checks it twice. That is just, what do you call it in your neck of the woods? Oh yes! Fake news! How could I forget all the misnomers about the North Pole and Santa? That actually has a lot to do with why the North Pole is taking a hit in happiness. Santa can’t see you when you’re sleeping, or if you have been awake. That is just creepy. Plus, he is one man. Have you ever tried to keep up with billions of people? It’s not easy. In fact, that is why Santa’s hair is grey. Ironically, that happens to the big guy after 2.7 hours on the job. It may be the most stressful job on the planet. Also, the Elf on the Shelf does not report back to Santa. Those guys are bastards. They actually work for the Easter Bunny. It was his idea to incorporate them with his holiday to make him more “hip.” Does anyone still use the word hip? But they came out at the wrong time. And if somehow Santa does receive information from one of those cheeky little numpties, he throws the paperwork in the fireplace. The Elf on the Shelf is the equivalent of holiday extortion lawyers. The only thing missing is a virtual office and claiming to have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating. Side Story, some asshat tried to sue Santa, but that went as well as one would think. No one can prove how much the North Pole makes, plus you sued Santa. That is like suing the parents of a child you’re babysitting after the baby soils a diaper. It just doesn’t make any sense. Also, there is some bs rumor out there that Santa does not clean up after is reindeer. That is just not true. Ok, that might be true. But would you wake up upset if you had reindeer poop on the roof? If you answered yes to that question, I bet you have no friends in life.

But the real reason our here this year. One thing that not a lot a people know about is the fact there is an advertising budget for Santa and the North Pole. And for some reason, this year more people are forgetting about the big guy. More people have gone digital. And Santa is not going to advertise on Facebook because he doesn’t want to collude with the Russians. So, what is left for Santa to do but have his team come up with new ideas to advertise this Christmas. And that is where we find Santa/Richard on this fateful night.

“Santa will hear all of your pitches to make the North Pole number one for Christmas. Whatever you do, when you walk into that room, do not and I REPEAT DO NOT SAY THE A WORD!!!!” Mrs. Claus exclaimed to the group of Santa’s staff as they eagerly waited to make their presentations.

I bet you are wondering what the A word is. Well, I have a feeling that someone will be dumb enough to say it. And to make it clear we are saying the word starts with the letter A. Not a general statement of just saying a word. I know I shouldn’t have to make that clear but someone did put a Pop Tart in a microwave still in the pouch. So, it’s in my contract this year. But hey give us some credit for not taking the easy joke of Making the North Pole Great Again. That is a point for Hufflepuff.

The door opens. And the first person to walk through it is Kevin. Richard’s board room is a bit intimidating. The desk is in the shape of the Leg Lamp from a Christmas Story complete with the fishnet stocking. However, his lamp is shaped like a desk.

“Don’t Judge me. I can say I am one of those artsy types.” I break the fourth wall.

Whatever you say fatman!

“Kevin. Trusty Kevin. I have a feeling you will not let me down with your idea. What do you have good man?” I say with anticipation.

“Well, boss. Do I have the idea that will put us right back on track with the competition?

(And before you question it, Yes! There is competition.)

“When you are ready.” I say. All of a sudden, the lights in the room go off. I’m is greeted by loud techno music and that annoying DJ noise. You know the one I am talking about it goes WHAHAHAHAHAH WHAHAHAHAH.

I bet Google can’t translate that shit. Here is a YouTube video of that sound.

Kevin screaming at the top of his lungs. “DRONES!!!!” The lights come back on. Silence has taken over the room. “Drones. Instead of flying around to each house putting yourself in danger. Not only yourself, but the reindeer. Sir, you know one day flying over Mississippi someone is going to shoot down one of the reindeers and turn it into chili. So, instead of taking that risk, we fly the presents to each house with drone.”

I’m puzzled. “How do we get the presents inside the house?” I ask.

“Easy, we fly the drones down a chimney. And if the child does not have a chimney, we fly the drone into the door a total of 22 times. That way it sounds like a persistent police officer knocking doing a routine checkup.” Kevin smiles as if he figured out the way to solve world freaking hunger.

“I have a few problems with this idea. Here me out. So, what if our Drone flies down a chimney, or heaven forbid, just rams itself into a door constantly as if it were in a Looney Toons short, and the parent is drunk. And not the happy buzzed kind of drunk. I mean what happens after you drink absinthe drunk. And somehow, they think these drones are aliens that have finally landed and are going to probe them until the cows come home. Is that something that we really want? Do we really want people to think that the North Pole wants to Probe them? I think not.” I say to Kevin. Kevin is devasted and walks toward the door as if he were George Michael Bluth, sad, and then just falls on the floor.

“Well, if you are going to just lay there, would you like some cookies or something to make you feel better?” A confused me asks Kevin. Kevin whimpers yes.

“Send in the next one.” I said.

Next up on the list is Edd and Kindra. If you happen to remember a few years ago, Edd caused the North Pole Civil War. Which is actually the real war on Christmas and not the one you hear about from your conspiracy driven friends.

“Richard, we have the perfect idea. You are not even going to have to think about it. Your answer is already yes.” Edd says.

“I like where this is going.” I bellow.

“Edd and I have decided that this Christmas we need to do something drastic.” Kindra exclaims. My eyebrow happens to raise slightly for intriguement or a really bad Dwayne Johnsons impersonation. “We need to take out the very thing that made Christmas suck for many of people. On Christmas Eve, we go home to home and destroy each Elf on the Shelf. Each elf, taken out. By any means necessary.” Edd says with a crazed look in his eye.

“I don’t hate the idea….But I don’t like the idea. Who would carry out this mission?” I ask.

“Well, Kindra, Jim, And myself!” Edd says.

“Who the fuck is Jim?” I ask.

“Umm. I’m Jim sir.” As Jim just happened to be standing in the room.

“How long have you been here? I don’t remember hiring a Jim. A man would think we would remember a hiring some named Jim.” A confused me asks.

“Two years.” Jim says. All of a sudden, a voice speaks up from the floor. “I can vouch for this.” Kevin says while putting up his arm.

“No one asked you.” I say. “I have to think about it. It’s not the worst I have heard. KEVIN! But it is something that I need to think about it.” I say. “Next!” The trio leaves the room. And a group of four people walk into the room, Phill, Tiffany, Victoria, and Nicole. Phill has a look on his face that I am just not able to trust at the moment. If there was a definition of the phrase shit eating grin, this may happen to be it.

“We have the greatest idea of all time. We are going to start an all Christmas Improv troupe called The Whiffenpoofs.” Phil’s mouth is about to say something else, but I have to put a stop to this dream.

“I am going to stop you right there. Get fuck out. Not gonna happen. This is not 1998, and we are not Wayne Brady.” I exclaimed. “Plus what in the blue hell is a Whiffenpoof?”

I am glad you asked Richard. This is why I am the best in the biz. A Wiffenpoof is a member of a Yale University A Capella  group. While the idea was funny, chances someone would claim gimmick infringement and no one wants that.

Remind me when this Christmas story is completed to give you raise.

About damn time.

After that fiasco, I am just nervous as to what idea was going to walk through that door. But all of a sudden, Mrs. Claus came through that door carrying cookies for me, and of course one for Kevin. The lazy bastard is still on the floor pouting. She knows how to make me smile. Hopefully, next Christmas we will be able to announce a new member to the North Pole Family.

This may be foreshadowing for 2019. But I am sure no Christmas story prior to this one, or possibly after this one will ever use this statement. Well, it could be as long as Santa’s dinger doesn’t shoot fluff. Merry Christmas with that mental image.

“You are my favorite.” Mrs. Claus says to me. And she gives me a nice soft kiss on the cheek. Maybe this is why my cheeks are supposed to be rosy.

Next in the room was Zac and Hannah. “Richard. We need to give the people what they want. And that is a coffee shop. And in that coffee shop, the Wi-Fi can only visit one website. The site where they can write you a letter. So, that way they have to send you a letter.” Zac says. But out of the corner of your eye, you can see a huff come from Hannah.

“I told you this was not going to work. The idea is stupid. Having a Coffee shop is fine, but having one coffee shop that billions of people will have to use is unheard of. Do not worry Richard. Statistically the probability of the tangent and variable will not work.” Hannah says.

Zac and I are just confused. We have no idea what she said. Or what she meant. Have you ever heard a person discuss something and the only sound you can hear is the Peanuts teachers voice? It was like that. But yet, she sounded like she knew what she was talking about. Who am I to question it? I send a message to my number two to come into my office so I can have a breakdown. At this point, it’s getting completely out of hand. I am not sure if I am ever going to be able to find something to help. Sharon walks into the room, hands in pocket and head down.

“I am sorry Richard. People are just not as Christmas loving as they used to be. I am just not sure what we can do to make it better.” Sharon says.

“I hate the fact you are the rational one. Whatever happened to good ole fashioned letters. Those were always sent on time. There were mailboxes that children could put letters into, and now I have to rely on email. Fucking Email. Do you realize how much spam the North Pole gets? Santa make your dick bigger. Santa, there is a princess who wants to send you money. I just want it to be the way it was so many years ago. It seems like it was just easier.”

The doors to the room come busting open and in walks Kailyn and Katie. The two of them help go through the letters that Santa receives each and every day. But this time there was a look of panic on their faces.

“Richard. We have a problem and you are the only person we can talk to about this.” Katie says.

I stand up from my chair. Anger is running through my veins.

“It better not be what I think it is. I swear to god, no one wants Santa delivering their presents. No. They fucking want AMAZON.”

The A Word. Not a word but The A WORD!

“It has to be Prime eligible. And they ship all year around. I am able to deliver to the world in one freaking night. Suck on my open fire roasted chestnuts, Amazon.”

“Ok. I completely agree. But that is not the issue. Richard, we are not sure how to tell you this, but there was a mail delivery.” Kailyn said.

“Hell Yeah!” I say with a new feeling running through my veins.

“I wish that was the case. Richard, we were just delivered a big bag of letters which were all perfectly fine, and then handed these three by our postmaster.” Katie explains

“What are different about these?” I ask. Katie is not sure the words to put what is happening at this exact moment. You can see the loss on her face.

“These three letters are dated 1993, 1976, and 1942.” Kailyn says with somber.

“What are you trying to say?” I say. The tears start to fall down their faces.

“There are three families that never got their Christmas wish.” Katie says.

Ho! Ho! Holy Crap! A Christmas wish unanswered can destroy a person. What do these letters say? What will Santa do? Will the Wiffenpoofs get to improv their heart out? Will the Elf on your Shelf make it through this story? Find this out and more during Part 2 of Stuck in Present Tense.

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Richard Pruitt
I am Richard and I have a problem. A problem with entertaining people. I have been in the comedy world for over 10 years. I started out as an improv actor making fun and light of everything. Doing that felt rewarding, but I have to admit, I wanted more. I couldn’t get the taste of performing out of my mouth. Does that not sound a little creepy? I decided to start doing my own stand up show. I love to make fun of my family and anything that will make a normal person say what the fuck. The journey still continues, in 2009, I had a dream to create my own online magazine. This is the beautiful corner of craziness in front of you. I have been through hell in my life but being stopped is something that I will not let happen. I am a fighter and hope to make people realize it is ok to smile and think from time to time. It also helps being a nerd.
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