Santa Claus

Except for Ralph Chin of 1444 Kovan Road, Upper Serangoon Road. Did you like your big bag of coal? Don’t expect to keep the train-set your Grandmother gave you either. I’m just going to slide down the chimney later this month and take those gifts with me! Ho Ho Ho! But that’s just a personal matter between Ralph, me, and the Malaysian Police.

Now that your Christmas tree sits on the curbside, a neglected, brittle, combustible skeleton of its former self, Santa has some free time on his hands. So I accepted Think’s generous offer to write this holiday edition’s humanifesto.

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Just when you thought you couldn’t take another jingle bell, bough of holly, or greasy turkey drumstick, I burst back into your lives. So where’s that leftover rum? Buttered rum can take the edge off an old war wound. It seems like yesterday…

I was up to my chest in mud covered in leeches. I was miserable, but I was on a mission. I was deliverin’ a bit of Xmas cheer to my buddies. My buddies stuffed down a stinking hole in a bamboo cage. Deserted by the US government. No Rambo there to save them, just me. Heading toward the camp, I picked my way around the bamboo spikes Charlie had left sticking out of the ground along the trail. They smothered these shoots in cow dung. Infection takes hold quickly in the jungle. Donner was foaming at the mouth, screaming something about betrayal and mercy. I almost shed a tear when I had to shoot him.

When I got to the camp, I found the others waiting for me. Our plan was simple: me and some of the boys were going to go in airborne, land on the roof, and blow up the command center. It was my job to drop down the fire hole and leave a “present”. I had to get out of there before the whole thing went up in smoke.

Then Rudy was to go around the perimeter and shine that damn red light around, diverting their attention from our mad dash to the pits. I slid down the roof and dispatched the lazy VC guard with a silent twist of my stocking around his throat. I dropped off the goods and was about check out of Hotel Hell when I saw them. The cookies. Now I know I shouldn’t have been thinking of cookies at a time like this, but out in the jungle I hadn’t had any in a long time. And they looked good.

Sure, they were those Vietnamese rice cookies, but they were cookies all the same. I fed my face with ’em, then I washed ’em down with some of that tea crap they love so much. I would’da killed for a glass of fresh milk. Hell, I’d already killed today for nothin’.

It was then I remembered I had set the timer on my packages to splatter Yuletide cheer all over the joint in less than a minute, only I was still feedin’ cookies up my greedy little yap. So I hauled back in the St. Nick of time, got in the sled and took off just as the building erupted in a fine light show. Those fellers sure looked stupid, the way they ran around shouting their Vietkong jabber.

In the fog of war we set down again with a clatter over by the dung-heap where we would find our men. But it was too late. Those good American boys were nothing more than a puddle of half-melted flan. Those dirty half-animal Commies had torched ’em when I was busy eatin’ the damn cookies! Those Vietkongs weren’t going to get away with this. I was checkin’ my list for the third time and these boys were still naughty. They deserved to pay. Hell hath no wrath like a Santa spurned.

But the rest of my story is for another day. Let’s just say I never forgot those boys I lost due to my cookie habit. No amount of egg nog can erase those memories. I hope that your next Christmas won’t be as painful as mine!

Note: The opinions of Santa Claus do not reflect those of Think, nor any of its wholly owned subsidiaries. It does represent the opinions of one Judy Wenton of Sydney, Australia however, but she has no way to prove this.

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