The phone rings early Sunday morning. It is Santa Claus.
Forty eight hours have passed since the White Beard In A Red Suit made his once a year global trek to reward the Children of Earth with toys for being nice, not naughty. He always calls LK at this time to both kvetch and gloat about his now former task at hand.
SC: Hey, LK. What’s shakin’. Did ya hear? I done good this year.
LK: I’ll have to take your word for it. I no longer know people young enough to have kids. Geez…what time is it? It’s still dark outside.
SC: Oh yeah, there’s a time difference. I forgot. You see, I’m in Cannes. Actually, I’m calling you from the hotel kitchen. The help says hello. Ya’ll say “hey” to Laurie, my friend in Texas–
KITCHEN HELP IN UNISON: Bonjour, le LK!!!
SC: They’re nice people here. Not like the rest of France. Anyhoo, I didn’t feel like going back “to the Pole”. I’m in need of a break. If I don’t get away from that damned workshop and all that snow every once in a while, I can become a bear. A BEAR, I tell ya.
LK: Then stay in the South of France for a while and chill. If you’re this spent, then I gather that things have to have fared well this year?
SC: Yeah, I’d so. The trip was no sweat, but the last few months of Crunch Time was no slice of sponge cake, lemme tell ya. I got elf issues.
LK: Elf issues?
SC: Yeah, elf issues. They were particularly a pain this year. Some AFL-CIO tool came up and started talking to them about forming a union and demanding better working conditions and benefits and what not. I’m so mad, I can’t even watch “Little People, Big World” without getting a touch of angina!!”
LK: I’m not surprised. Sure your chest pains have nothing to do with your girth and love of cookies now could it?
SC: Now hold on a minute. I eat those cookies because it’s expected of me. You deliver two billion toys to a billion kids and try not to get a little low blood sugar induced surliness. At one point, I got so testy over Kansas, I SERIOUSLY contemplated not delivering any toys to kids living in states that end in vowels.
LK: Wow. My heart would’ve gone out to the kids in Florida, Georgia, Iowa, California, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Nebraska, the Dakotas, the Virginias, the Carolinas and Mississippi.
SC: Yeah and don’t forget Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Nevada, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico,Tennessee, Arizona and Alabama. Hey, speaking of, I hear ‘Bama’s playing your Longhorns for the National Championship this year.
LK: Yeah, I’d sure love it if Texas could pull off a win.
SC: Don’t worry. For Christmas, Wilmer, one of my more irascible elves sent the entire Crimson Tide team brand new jock straps commemorating the National Championship game. They’ll wear them on January 7th.
LK: Oh really?
SC: Yeah and each one is seeped in flesh burning capsaicin. Heisman Trophy winner, Mark Ingram will be making great yardage alright….in pain and heading straight to the showers in the locker room, crying like a Tight End at a gay bar in Frisco.
LK: You are a card, Santa. A real ace…hole.
SC: Yeah well, I do what I can. That was what Texas coach, Mack Brown asked for Christmas actually.
LK: What did Alabama coach Nick Saban ask for then?
SC: He got his present early. Remember Tim Tebow’s concussion a few months back?
LK: Wow…Saban’s a dog!
SC: Yeah he is, right? So, what’s shakin’?
LK: Not much. There was an attempted terror attack on a Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day. Some Nigerian guy tried to blow up the plane after it landed or something. He claims to have been instructed to do it by Al Qaeda.
SC: Yeah, I’m glad he got caught. I’ve always hated that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab cat.
LK: You know him?
SC: Oh yeah, sure! I’ve been battling it out with him in court. He stole some of my files out of my PC. Got all my email addresses and as you know, I have emails from around the globe. He’s the same Nigerian guy that keeps spamming your email, wanting to put millions of “so called” dollars in your bank account. He uses a million different names, but that’s him.
LK: Oh really?
SC: Yes ma’am. This was a terrorist action for sure, but also a tremendous cry for help. He’s always had such an ego and when only a few gullible older women, a few smart ass bloggers and a couple of news hounds sniffing out a story for NBC’s Dateline were the only ones who responded, I guess he decided to up the ante a little. What a fool!
LK: Sounds like a real show-boater, huh?
SC: Totally. Say, I just realized something….I was in Houston, but didn’t make it to your house this year? Didn’t you ask for anything?
LK: Unless you have a job offer and a jar containing extremely rare Congo River microbes that eat ass fat, no, I asked for nothing.
SC: Now come on, Missy. I’ve been dealing with you for a lot of years now. You always want something. Tell old Santa what it is.
LK: OK, how about peace in the Middle East?
SC: I’m working on it.
LK: The elimination of world hunger?
SC: On my to do list.
LK: How about putting a Republican back in the White House in ’12?
SC: Well frankly, that’s taking care of itself as we speak. Isn’t there anything you want for yourself?
SC: LK, you there?
LK: I’m thinking.
LK: I’d like to be less pessimistic and jaded. Those two things have eaten away at my optimism. I don’t think there’s very much joy in the world’s heart or in mine.
SC: I’m not Annie Sullivan…I’m no miracle worker. I might be able to fly around the world and deliver toys to children from Xenia, Ohio to Zanzibar and Zaire, but softening your heart? Hell, I couldn’t thaw out that thing out with a blow torch!
LK: Thanks for the vote of confidence.
SC: I was kidding,…sort of. For starters, I couldn’t do any of those things for you if I wanted, but you can. You possess the power to make all those changes.
LK: Yeah, I know. Why is it that you only dole out the tangible at Christmas?
SC: Uh, I’m not following you.
LK: You only bring gifts that you can touch, smell and feel. Stuff that can actually be gift wrapped.
SC: I’m not God, LK.
LK: Then who are you?
SC: Oh for corn’s sake!! E tu, LK? Has it come to that??? You want me to get all, “Yes Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus” on you?
LK: For a minute I did, but now, I don’t. I think I want to believe that you’re a fat endomorph dressed in red and white fur who despite bouts with Gout and flirtations with Type 2 diabetes, gluttons out on cookies in the wee hours of every December 25th. I want to believe you give toys to deserving boys and girls–toys that you make in your North Pole workshop with elves– soon to be Local #3974–doing most of the work. I want to believe that you’re that image I saw on a Coke commercial a million years ago when I was a kid. I think I need to believe that you represent the goodness in mankind.
SC: I don’t, but if you need to think I do in order to help you make it through the night, then yes…yes I am, Laurie. I am the quintessence of good and decency. Is that better?
LK: I know you’re not. And actually, it’s unfair to lay all that on you. You’re just a fabled saint who somehow through the ages and crass commercilization became a bell weather of corporate greed and a parental bribery tool that’s often used in lieu of discipline.
SC: (long sigh) Sweetie, turn it off.
LK: Turn what off?
SC: Your brain. Take it down a notch or two and just enjoy the sentiment of the season, if nothing else. Don’t analyze everything and don’t over think things. I don’t warrant a White Paper. I don’t merit any debate. I’m Santa Claus. It’s Christmas. It only happens once a year. In fact, take the weekend off. Don’t get to heady or philosophical, OK? And by all means, don’t look at the melding of ingredients that went into Friday’s mashed potatoes as some incredible example of pathos for world peace and/or irony.
LK: You’re right. Of course, you’re right. Thank you for setting me straight. My brain will be my downfall.
SC: No, but you’ll bore people to tears with it from time to time.
LK: That’s rude.
SC: No that’s the truth. Had you kept talking, I wouldn’t have needed to take an Ambien tonight.
LK: You enjoy your time in Cannes. Get a tan if you can. Drink frog water and get all Vichy if you must. We’ll talk soon.
SC: You’re going to be find, Kiddo.
LK: I hope so.
SC: You will and uh, one more thing. I’m not God, but I know a few people who know some people and well, as for that ass fat thing you asked about–expect a nasty intestinal flu on or around February 8th. That should give you a decent kick-start in terms of working towards a smaller ASSimilation.
LK: Thanks Santa. You’re a giver, you know.
SC: And in your own way LK, so are you.
LK: Thanks. Oh and Santa?
LK: You know, had you come to my house this Christmas, I would’ve left cookies for you.
SC: You???? Cookies left unattended???? Not with your fat ass.
LK: Ah, fat AND a dick!!! Well, next year, I’ll leave you a chair shaped, water-filled candy bowl containing my very special, very homemade “fudge” logs.
LK: I’m serious. You think I’m being funny?
SC: No, I’m just calling you one.
LK: Goodbye, portly one
SC: Backatcha, LK and Happy New Year!!!