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Friday, December 22, 2017

Life Explains Explains the Naughty List

Santa came in low and fast, out of the setting sun. Jingle Bell Rock was blaring from the onboard PA system. Due to the low approach, and the speed of his sleigh, he was almost invisible to our anti-aircraft radar. You could almost sense the ominous echo of the malignant “Ho Ho Ho.” Yes, it was true, we had been moved to the naughty list.

We thought we were ready. But, you are never ready for the naughty list and the potentially explosive retribution of a year of half baked, half hearted, inconsistent debauchery. 

Our forces were arrayed in a defensive perimeter with automatic machine guns in focused on the most likely approaches. Nerves were tight and everybody was tense. People were smoking and vaping out by the wire. It was against the rules, but hey, we were on the naughty list, and the punishment was coming, what was one more indiscretion. 

“Oh crap, he’s coming!” The cry went up from the front line.

Reindeer draped in camouflage, sleigh bells ringing in violent, boundless anger, nostrils flaring, breath streaming in the freezing air. It was him or us. Yes, we hadn’t been that good this year, but we were drawing a line in the snowpack. It was hm or us. 

And really, if he was willing to single out people on some silly list how nice was he? Who gave him the right to make those judgements? When did a person cross the line from nice to naughty? And what about those people who are so nice that they cross the line into irresistible irritant? Aren’t they really naughty? We didn’t know. But, we were going to nail the fat man to the wall and get some answers.

Unfortunately we were not only naughty we were a little cowardly. Our front line broke, running for the cover of the pool tables, a few hiding, whimpering, in tears behind the Christmas tree. Some lay prone on the path, begging for mercy.

Santa pulled up in front of the bunker, stepped down, and looked over the top of his glasses at me, demanded his milk and cookies, told us to straighten up.

“Next year I won’t be so nice.” He said, as he flew out of sight. 

“Well, we really dodged a bullet there, huh?” I said, taking a sip of coffee. “Who’s ready for breakfast?”

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