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Friday, December 21, 2012

In the Company of a Santa of Indeterminate Origin and Authenticity

A long cold night trudging along the side of the road
One thumb that is practically sprained
From the repeated flexing hitchhiker's pose
Vogueing that way for cars that never stopped
They just kept on truckin'
Which was not the classic pose I was going for

All of which finds me here
On a soft tuck and rolled seat
In the company of a Santa Claus
Of indeterminate origins and authenticity

It wasn't his odor that gave me pause
It wasn't as if he smelled of beef and cheese
Or booze and pastys
He smelled perfectly normal for a Santa Claus

A pleasant old man smell wafting off of him
A touch of pipe tobacco and sawdust
Along with peppermint
From the candies he always seemed to have in his mouth
All in all a pretty pleasant smell

It wasn't his looks either
He had the Beard
Perfectly trimmed and clean
Rosy cheeks with a pert little nose
A merry twinkle to his eye
Topped with the loveliest Santa hat you ever saw
Clearly trimmed in real fur
Matching the rest of his outfit
Down to his polished black boots with silver buckles

So it wasn't all that
That all seemed legit

I think it was about the seventeenth stop we made
Back about two hours ago I think
Though time is a funny thing when in the company of a Santa

The sleigh with it's team of reindeer landed lightly
Once again the perfect size to fit upon the roof
Whether the roof was long or short
Wide or narrow
The rig always fit just right

I can accept that
I really can!
Santa is supposed to be magic dangit

It was what happened after we landed
After he grabbed his sack
Which always stayed a constant size
No matter what went into or out of it
A perfect ratio
For that perfect Santa silhouette

Like the previous sixteen times
He climbed atop the chimney that wasn't there a minute before
And jumped into it
Sliding out of sight without a sound
The flue of the chimney interfering with the sides of his body by quite a bit
If it was a video game
I'd call it a major glitch
But as it was I can't explain it

Imagine a thin thing
Going down a small tube
But with a wider image superimposed over it
That's what it looked like

But that wasn't what gave me pause either
Magic, remember?

It was after he popped back up the chimney
This time with a little blood upon his chest
Staining the delicate fibers of fur trim on his coat
Seeing my gaze
He paused and took out a hankie
Wiping it gently across the stains
Removing all traces of them in an instant

With a devilish Santa grin
He rejoins me in the sleigh
Cracking the reins
Calling out to all the reindeer
Just like in the movies

But this time
Right before he gets to "Blitzen!"
He coughs hard
Something flying out of his mouth
To strike the inside front of the sleigh with a metallic coin clink
Coming to a rest by my feet

He watches me as I bend to grab it
Raising it to my eyes
I see that it is a pet ID tag
It says 'Mister Bumpkins' on it
Along with a phone number

I look at Santa
Who holds out his hand
Expecting me to give it to him
Which I do

Santa slips it into the pocket of his coat without a word
Before tilting his head back slightly
And calling out his iconic phrase

"Merry Chistmas to all! And to all........"

I think I should be a little worried