It was a cold and perilous night on Christmas Eve 2012 with Santa flying through the sky past the constellations, Ursa major and Minor, The Orions, Casiopoeia, and Andromeda. He clenched and unclenched his hands to fight off the cold and reached for another polar bear skin to warm himself, and he took a pull of Salignac from his embossed silver flask, and passed it around to his helper elves. “Now we tell, who’s naughty or nice, right boys?”
and he had a laugh riot. Their laughter rang out like raindrops falling on a tin roof. The elves were a swarmy lot and looked a bit like pirates with their eye patches and facial scars. They, were in a word, quite disreputable looking with their thin muscled legs in striped tights, and little black pointed boots, and long skinny hands. Well, what could Santa do with the labor force being what it was. Beggars can’t be choosers. After all. They sang like angels though.

“It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and a rousing, “Jingle Bells”. They sang all the classics which echoed weirdly in the vast dark blackness of space. “If I could only get someone who wasn’t a miscreant. These elves would live a life of crime if they didn’t work for me, Knocking over liquor stores and stealing diamonds from museums,” he thought to himself. “A Good Man is .Hard to Find,” and “a Hard Man is Good to Find.” Count on Mae West to come up with just the right bon mot. His elves were a lusty lot and Santa guarded them like a Doberman pincher. They were not to make babies with mortal lasses. Santa’s motto was “Keep your Friends close and your Enemies Closer.” It was not that they were out and out enemies: they were moreover, Frenemies. Santa sighed and his big belly quivered and growled from hunger. He thought, “If I don’t stay on top of this, Christmas would be ruined but on the other hand some of his elves are in spirit.” Pappy in his red long johns embroidered with holly leaves was one example. He had a positive ability to make the most humble gift look like it was fashioned from God’s hands. Guinivere, one of the few female elves to work with Santa was the very picture of Christmas, with her short green miniskirt, barber pole stockings and low cut striped tee shirt that showed just the hint of cleavage. The old men in the families really liked her and she was an outrageous flirt. Old men, after all, were in their second childhood and they sometimes were awake at 2:00 and 3:00 AM and were up roaming around the house. Little children were the best of all crawling on Santa’s lap and spilling their special secrets in hushed honeyed voices. They often got their little hand tangled up in his beard, and the smell of pines hung in the air like a magic breeze. He gave each one what he or she wanted along with a large peppermint roll to be shattered with a hammer.

Most toy requests were pretty predictable, Barby Dolls, stuffed bears, train sets, soldier sets, plastic stallions and toy airplanes. Computer games were also in vogue, and Santa had a “Nerd Toy Division” to make them. But the most heartfelt toys were the gifts of necessity food, and medication. The children in Arica knew there was a Santa. Yes, they did and he appeared to them as a black man with a long dark beard dressed in a purple and red robe.

So, Santa worked his magic and kept his sociopathic elves in line. The dream was to make every Christmas Merry and he did, and some say it is right to find the good in bad men.

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