They were talking about Santa Claus, of course, but the big guy's night vision is pretty much gone anyway. Last year he climbed down some chemical plant's chimney and wound up with emphysema.
"Where are my tissues?" I said. "You see me eating here?"
Then they started with the sobbing. Stinking elves will break down over sunsets, so damn sensitive. Why should I give a damn if that piece of crap sleigh never leaves this hellhole?
"The children!" they kept repeating.
It was like having Angelina Jolie standing on your porch pleading for UNICEF. Let the kids create their own stinking toys, I thought, so the bunch of you can go out and get real jobs.
"What about Mrs. Claus?" they moaned. Like that woman ever gave me the time of day.
I stood up on all fours, spat out a rancid piece of muskrat, and lit into them.
"Look," I said, "all year you treat me like I have anthrax poisoning."
All of the other reindeer, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, especially Blitzen, sauntered past with their antlers stuck up, not even a shout out. Was it because I won a few card games? Now I don't get to play any reindeer games?
Was it because I have a big, old W.C. Fields fire engine-red nose? Or is it something more sinister?
Does that old coot understand how isolated I've felt? I've directed my anger inward and now have to deal with chronic depression. And then the sniveling elves come crawling in here on Christmas Eve, expecting me to jump into a harness and lead the way.
So I told them my conditions:
"Read my lips. I want 20 percent off the top on any ancillary Santa products over the next five years, with an option for three more."
"I also want the full rights to my image - you don't go filming Rudolph unless you put money on the table. That goes for print material too. If I somehow get you frost covered nimrods through this mess, I want a spot on Larry King to talk about why there are no does up here. I haven't had a piece of tail in three years. Take that back to the jolly guy in the funny hat." - Joe Del Priore