Decided to bite the bullet today. I swallowed my pride (and some leftover eggnog) and headed down to Macy’s to try to get a job…as Santa. Depressing? Check. Demeaning? Check. De-lowest-a-man-can-go? Check and mate.
I proceeded to stand in line for two hours with some of the sorriest characters ever put on God’s green earth: a motley crew of winos, meth-heads, and former Lehman Brothers traders. Finally, I make it to the front of the line and get told that Macy’s is only looking for “Santas of color” and “LGBT Santas,” whatever the hell they are. Everyone else can go home.
I’m pretty much at the end of my rope now. I stumble through Macy’s, getting nailed every ten feet by an out-of-work actor spraying cologne in my face until, blinded and weeping, I push my way through the revolving doors and step out on to the sidewalk…right onto a pile of dog crap.
So now I’m wandering down the street, reeking of Dolce & Gabbana, Paco Rabanne and Eau de Poo, and women are alternately drawn to me and then repelled by my aroma. I start rummaging through a trash can looking for a newspaper to wipe off my boot, when I hear a little girl say, “Look, Mommy, it’s Santy Claus!” followed by the mother’s reply: “That is not Santa, honey. That’s a homeless man who…whoa, sweet mother of pearl! A homeless man who just made a poopy in his pants!”
Well, I wasn’t going to let that one pass, so I wheeled around and yelled, “I am not homeless, and I did not just make a poopy in my pants! I’m Santa Claus, dammit! I lived at the North Pole, until those rat bastards at GigantiCorp threw me out on my ass! I should be at my Workshop right now, getting ready to bring presents to all you ungrateful little fuckers, but I’m too busy wiping dog shit off my shoes!”
Two words: Silent Night. Not a creature was stirring, until the little girl said, “Santa said the ‘d’ word, the ‘b’ word, the ‘a’ word, the ‘f’ word, and the ‘s’ word. Santa’s in trouble now!” Truer words were never spoken.
That, my dear friends, was the straw that broke the reindeer’s back. As the late great Dandy Don Meredith used to say, “The party’s over—turn out the lights.”
I took the last dog-eared dollar I had in my pocket, bought a package of Hostess Suzy Q’s, and toddled off in search of the highest bridge I could find. A half-hour later, my belly full of Devil’s food cake and sweet creme filling, I stood at the top of that bridge in the howling wind, looking down at the swirling currents below, and my mind was suddenly flooded with memories:
● Mrs. Claus.
● Mrs. Claus’s cankles. Ew.
● My dear, sweet Blitzen.
● Cookies and milk.
● Those annoying fucking elves.
● Heidi Klum (hey, I’m old—but I’m not dead…yet).
● The Great Blizzard of 1622 (when I first met Larry King).
● This killer margarita I once had in Playa Del Carmen (before it got ruined).
● The laughter of little children—except for this one asthmatic kid in Baltimore (he sounded like a goose getting waterboarded).
● The Wassail song. “Love and joy come to you, and to you your Wassail, too” always made me giggle.
● Ernie Keebler.
● And that douchebag manager at IKEA.
Jesus, I thought, 970 years and that’s all I can come up with? What a bunch of crappy memories! I’m outta here!
But as I stepped out on the ledge of the bridge, just about to jump, I saw the most beautiful light off in the distance. It was a glow like I’d never seen before: powerful, yet soothing, mesmerizing, and so, so peaceful. I was drawn to it like Willie Nelson to a flame. Transfixed, I climbed down from the bridge and followed that light. Was it the light people say you see before you die? Or…was it my salvation? Maybe the light of a new beginning for Claus, the light that would show me the way to my future?
I had to see what it was. I scrambled over hill and dale, over used condoms and empty 40 ounce malt liquor bottles, the light growing stronger and stronger with each step I took, until all that stood between me and that magical glow was a small stand of scrub oak trees. Joyfully, I ran through the little forest, tears streaming down my red cheeks, screaming, “I’m here! I’m here! Show me the way! I want to see my destiny!” I ducked my head under the branches of the last tree, and this is what I saw:
I’m going back to that bridge now. Ho Ho Ho, and Merry Friggin’ Christmas.
To find out how Santa got sacked, get your copy of his book here. It’s the perfect Christmas 2010 stocking stuffer!