Friday, 24 December 2010

The Splendiferous Rhapsody of Old St. Nick

“A micro-brewery? That’s fantastic! Thank you, dear.” Exulted Santa, ironing his long johns.
Mrs. Claus kept knitting in her chair. “I thought you’d enjoy it. You can install it on top of the old workshop.”
“Yeah, the kids don’t enjoy the tickle-me Elmoes as much as they used to. It’ll give a new meaning to merry.” Santa air-kissed from across the snow-flake wallpapered room--cozy, fire-place heated, filled with crisp imagination.

Blue-hued and bright-starred, the black night was fast approaching and Santa would soon be visiting all who were naughty and nice; divvying out gifts with gusto. After tidying up and getting into garb, Kris Kringle climbed in his sleigh and commanded Rudolph and crew to tally-ho from the North Pole down a bit to the waiting world. And up he landed in the great city of New York. Just outside of New York, he plunged down the chimney of a house on a quiet street, surrounded by quiet houses and quiet people, and quiet trees who wished they were evergreens. As he dusted soot off, his vision immediately panned towards the milk and cookies on the table. Like a drunk to a kebab, Mr. Joviality lapped up the milk and cookies with a ho ho ho.

Little did he know that the oatmeal was spiced with two tabs of LSD. Acid. Abra cadabra. Soon, Santa’s ride would be through the eyes of wunderkind. He drove through the night, depositing presents under ornaments and hopes for the latest and greatest presents. As he metabolized the treats, the world tilted. He had to take a rest. Sit down. So, Santa found a swell bar down in some indecent corner of the city. Sat down.

A man in a long overcoat parks himself next to St. Nick. “Hey, I know you, don’t I?”
Santa stares right through him. “Can you get me a drink?”
“Alright, bub. What can I do ya for? I mean, just ‘cause you asked so nice.”
“Something with fruit and punch in it.”
Right and away, the warmly-dressed gentleman comes back drink in hand.
Santa inquires, “what’s that?”
“Witch’s brew. You’ll like it, it’s mellow and loud, a liquid paradox.” He slid the drink over.
Santa sipped. “What brings you here? You look like someone who has somewhere to be.”
“And this coming from a man dressed like Santa Claus?”
“But I am Santa Claus!”
“Right, right. Really well-made red suit. They sell those at Brooks Brothers?”
“Custom made. But really.”
“But really.” The man stared directly into our Santa. “Truth be told, I just couldn’t handle tonight. Or tomorrow even.”
Behind the man’s face, Santa saw an etch-a-sketch scratching the lines to brewery to be erected in the stead of the tickle-me-Elmo shop. And behind that were a thousand mirrored reflections before the taking of a toast and tea. He sipped his drink, full lipped, and some splashed in his curly white beard. “What can’t you handle?”
Slumping, “I run an orphanage. It’s full up and filled with children without presents. We usually don’t have enough money to buy presents for all the kids, so we try to put on a show for them, but even that fell through this year. I tried to put on something last minute, but kids are smart, really smart. I hope I haven’t made them sad.” He paused. “If you really were Santa, I’d ask why don’t the downtrodden get gifts just like everyone else.”
“What’s your name?”
“Well, Brian, money doesn’t grow on trees, and if they did. Well.” Kris scratched his scruffy hair. “The North Pole is sort of located in what geologists call tundra. Hard for trees—well anyhow. I know what we can do. Let me make a phone call.”

Santa whips out his Blackberry and dials up his wife. “Hey honey, listen, I’ve finished most of my rounds here, but I need a favor. Miracles, well, miracles take logistics. And I think I’m about to perform one and I can’t figure out why this phone feels like peppermint.”
“Are you alright, dear? What do you need?”
“Fire up the old sleigh. Take the list. Start at entry 4,381,930,183. There’s someone here in need. You dig?”
“Dig what? Yeah, it’s fine. You do what you have to.”
“What are you wearing? We’ll get nast—”
“Honey, I can’t talk like this around the elves.”
Santa’s mind churned out some centerfold action. “Thank you, you’re saving my cherubic cheeks on this one.” *click*

Santa took the overcoated man by the hand. “Lead me to the children.”
Off they went to the orphanage. A sad and simple place where thin beds lined the walls, and all the children slept soundlessly but not soundly. Santa let out a loud “ho ho ho.” The children awoke, rubbing their eyes to reality.
Santa snapped his fingers. “Have I got news for you, kids! Someone tells me you’re in need of Christmas cheer.” He blew out his breath and out appeared red and green lights hanging from the walls, music, loud, happy music. “Time to rumba!”

Santa sung as he saw lava floes bursting giant marshmallows:

A rhapsody, a rhapsody to all.
The kids with smiles and riled up
All the while. They hold in, sad,
Yet glad to have heard of the jolly
Old man by golly full of cheer,
Here to bring you presents
the finest of the year!

Clearly I must dearly say
That Old St. Nick was not about
To let scrappy children such as yourselves
(while there still are Elves)
Go to bed amuck and alout
Alack and alay
And be anything but merry on Christmas day!

So step up, come one, come all
And tell Old St. Nick what you want
On this grand holiday ball!

And so one by one, the newly carefree children seized the opportunity and lined up. “Now children, make one line. You’re all nice boys and girls, so don’t be naughty." Brian nudged them into an orderly fashion. Tears ran down his face as he faced the smiles of the children, happy to awaken to the thick laughter of a man tripping on acid in a bespoke, felt, red costume. Their wishes were all simple, and St. Nick, Old St. Nick was glad to oblige.

To be continued...

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