Tag Archives: Santa

Pole Position

The magnetic North Pole is moving, at 34 miles a year, from Canada to Russia…

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Santa rose in the dark, though since it was December at the North Pole that tells us very little about what time it was. It was early, though, as it was Christmas Eve and he had the busiest day of his year ahead of him. He got out of his Santa onesie, pulled on his Santa suit, and trudged yawning across the ice to his grotto. He opened the door, switched on the light, and started, startled.

Vladimir Putin was sitting silently in an armchair, one ankle crossed over one knee. Though his face was expressionless Santa had the impression that he was regretting not having brought a cat to stroke.

“Ah, there you are, Santa,” said Putin.

“And here you are,” said Santa. “It’s finally happened then, has it?”

“It has indeed,” said Putin. “As of this morning the magnetic North Pole has passed into Russian territory. Santa Claus has literally come to town.”

Santa smiled. “It makes no difference to me,” he said.

“Oh, but it does,” said Putin. “You are now a Russian citizen. I would like you to act as an – ambassador, shall we say, of our ways.”

“What would you like me to do?” snorted Santa. “Cossack dance on each rooftop?”

“Nothing so vulgar,” said Putin. “I’d simply like you to make a few changes to your repertoire of toys.”

He reached into a bag and took out an Action Man. It had the same amazing pecs and six-pack as always, but now had Putin’s head. Santa fought down the urge to laugh, though his belly shook, just briefly, like a bowlful of jelly.

“He comes with accessories,” said Putin. “There’s a horse he can ride bareback, a bear he can wrestle, a voting system he can hack.”

“I see,” said Santa levelly. “And for the girls?”

Putin produced some female dolls and spread them out on the floor.

“Ah, Barbies,” said Santa.

“Barbeniyas,” corrected Putin. “There are lots of outfits – Ushanka Hat Barbeniya, Military Service Barbeniya, Drug Testing Lab Barbeniya.”

“You don’t seem to have any of those last ones,” said Santa, looking at the dolls.

без разницы“, said Putin, the Russian for “whatever.”

“But that’s not all,” he went on. He reached into the bag again and took out a silver can about the size of a baked beans tin. “Give each child one of these.”

Santa took the can and shook it. There was a thick gloopy sound from inside.

“What is it?” he asked.

Putin looked embarrassed. “Crude oil,” he said. “We literally can’t give it away. But you can.”

Santa sighed, but Putin hadn’t finished. “And when you get to the States,” he said, “give every kid one of these.”

He handed Santa a Trump 2020 baseball hat.

Santa frowned. “I thought you could hack voting systems,” he said.

Putin shrugged. “This will have Santa’s endorsement,” he said. “That’s even better.”

Santa shook his head. “I can’t deliver all this junk,” he said.

Putin stood and smiled thinly. “Your home is still moving,” he said pointedly. “It’s only a matter of time before it reaches Siberia.”

The two eyed each other in silence.

Putin walked to the door and left. Santa stared after him for a long time. Then he went to his bench set to work.

He covered the whole world that night, as always. He delivered Tiger King Action Men and Influencer Barbies. He also delivered Elsas, Peppa Pigs, train sets, scooters, chocolate coins, satsumas, colouring books and those weird sweets shaped like walking-sticks.

He delivered Christmas.

He left Putin’s house until last. He gave him a Pussy Riot DVD, a Rasputin babushka doll and a Barbeniya dressed as one of the Russian Grannies from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

The following night, although it was Christmas and he was off, he let himself again into his grotto. As he’d expected Putin was sitting waiting for him. The Russian leader angrily threw his gifts onto the floor.

“What is the meaning of this?” he said, icily.

Santa stood over him, and Putin suddenly realised how big he was, how all-embracing. How powerful.

“Oh come on,” said Santa. “Did you really think I’d deliver all your propaganda crap? When the North Pole was part of Canada did everyone get maple leaves and bears? Of course not, because I’m above all of that. I’ve been here since the beginning of time, and no matter where I am I belong to everyone.”

He glared at Putin. “I see you when you’re sleeping, and know when you’re awake,” he said. “So cop yourself on, or next year you’re getting coal.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lack Of Direction

For the competition “Finish That Thought” this week you were given the opening sentence “Daddy, why is the snow red?” and had to complete the story in less than 500 words. Oh, and use the word “rust” in the story. I did manage to keep it under the word limit…

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“Daddy, why is the snow red?”

Her Daddy looked down at her, ruffled her rust-coloured hair, and put a comforting arm around her.

“Well, Honey,” he said gently, “A Sat Nav is great for telling you which turn to take off a roundabout, but it turns out that it’s not so good at telling a man on a sleigh that there’s a telegraph-pole in front of him.”

It’s Not You, It’s Him

This post was written for the Trifecta Writing Challenge, which was to write between 33 and 333 words including the word “grasp”, using the definition ‘to lay hold of with the mind – comprehend’ …

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She was beginning to grasp the idea. That didn’t mean she was taking it well.

She loved him. She had loved him for years and years. He had always been there for her, fulfilling her every need, and now he was gone. With just four words he was out of her life forever.

“You must have suspected,” said her Mum, who was holding her close and trying to ignore the burble of snot that peeped from her nostril with each sob.

Of course she had suspected. The stories of what he did and where his job took him had seemed more unlikely each time she had thought about them. She had countered this by not thinking about them.

“You knew,” she suddenly said accusingly. “You and Dad both knew. You lied to me.”

“We wanted you to be happy,” her Mum said defensively. “We did what parents do.”

“All parents lie?” she said. “Is that what you’re saying?” Her Mum had no answer to this.

“I just can’t believe I’ll never see him again,” she wailed, tearing herself from her mother’s embrace, running into her room and slamming the door.

“You’ve never seen him anyway,” said her Mum softly. It had been she who had uttered the fateful four words – “there is no Santa” – and she felt as if she had just killed a childhood.

Hard Times for a Hero

They dominated our childhood and then, like a bunch of ungrateful Little Jackie Papers, we forgot all about them. But the Childhood Myths live on, still enchanting and/or terrifying the latest generation of children. However, the world is a very different place these days, and they are finding it a bit of a struggle.

tooth-fairyThe Tooth Fairy was the world’s first recycler, offering us a euro for our discarded teeth and then, er, doing something with them (actually, it doesn’t do to think too deeply about the Tooth Fairy). However, improved dental hygiene for kids, the invention of the gumshield for hockey and a preference for computer games over hurling have all cut her supply chain severely, and she has had to become more inventive. She is now offering a “two teeth for three euro” deal.  She is the one who slips those rock-hard kernels into your bag of popcorn. She was recently reprimanded by the Mythical Regulator (hey, we have one of those too) after she was discovered with a toffee hammer hidden in her dress. On nights when she has no teeth to collect she creeps into childrens’ rooms anyway, and whispers into their ears that they should take up boxing, or tell Big Johnny at school that he smells of wee.

father-timeRemember when we were all too busy? When we never had enough time? That was Old Father Time‘s boom period. He could only keep up Making Time for us by working 32-hour days. Luckily, being Father Time, this wasn’t a problem. Then the recession came. Now we all have too much time on our hands, and he’s been left with nothing to do. He also keeps reading that the 1980s are back, and has an awful fear that he might have caused this by hitting a wrong button somewhere. To add to his problems, it is rumoured that the bankers, the property developers and even the Government are living on Borrowed Time, and he just knows he’s going to have to write most of it off.

jack-frostGlobal Warming has hit Jack Frost hard. While he can still produce ice & snow, it no longer sticks anywhere, even in alpine ski resorts where it is desperately needed. He is aware that the other Myths make fun of him, referring to him behind his back as “Jack Mild-With-Light-Showers-Later”. Furthermore,  a scheme thought up by the Tooth Fairy, where she would have paid him to ice the floor of childrens’ bedrooms, was ruled “unsporting” by the Mythical Regulator. Jack has taken to drinking heavily, sitting in his local every night lashing back vodka with ice. Lots and lots of ice.

bansheeYou wouldn’t think that the recession would have any effect on the Banshee, since all she does is wail outside the houses of people who are going to die. The fact is, though, that we have all become a lot more bad-tempered since we became suddenly poor again. Last week she started keening outside a house and a voice from next door yelled “ah, shut up, ya slapper” and she was hit full in the face by a well-aimed garden gnome. On a slightly positive note she lost two teeth, and the Tooth Fairy gave her three euro for them.

santaAs the Chief Executive of the biggest enterprise of them all, Santa Claus has been hardest hit by the recession. Desperate parents are telling children as young as four that he doesn’t exist. Others are blaming their own failings on him, so that he is getting letters saying “Dear Santa, I really wanted a Nintendo DS but Mum says you’re really poor this year because you fucked up and bought Bank shares and a second house that you now can’t sell, so a Colouring Book and some crayons will have to do, I suppose.”

With far fewer toys to make, he’s had to put the elves on (wait for it) short time (sorry). He’s had to let two of the reindeer go. I was going to say that he’s had to get rid of one of the three Ho’s, but this isn’t that type of blog. Cash-starved local councils have introduced Pay and Display everywhere, even on rooftops, so the Christmas Eve journey is costing him a fortune. Worst of all, the Greens have forced Rudolf to replace his nose with an energy-saving light bulb.  As everyone knows, these bulbs save energy because they give out less light. Santa can’t see where’s he going.

So next Christmas Eve, when out on the lawn there arises such a clatter, don’t bother getting up. It’s just Santa Claus crashing into your bins.