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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Visit From Santa

“Merry Christmas,” the man in a Santa suit told me as he walked into the shop, beard and all.

“Merry Christmas,” I replied with less enthusiasm than warranted I’m sure. It’s just that men dressed in Santa suits in East Oakland are usually after something more than a Christmas greeting. When they don’t drive in with a car or truck I can fix, I get uneasy.

“Can you help a brother out?”

It’s really great to be clairvoyant.

“In what way?” I ask, praying this has to do with an automotive question, since I don’t see any reindeer or sleigh.

“Can you spare a few bucks for Santa?” This cretin actually gives me a big smile; and believe me when I tell you, Santa has been into the eggnog.

“No, but don’t take it personally, Santa,” I reply wearily, wondering if the elves will survive.

“Oh,” Santa says knowingly with only a slight sway, “a non-believer.”

Okay, I’m hooked. We’re going to play this one out to its final destination.

“You’re going to get a lump of coal,” he threatens.

Been there, done that. He notices I’m unimpressed.

“Okay, M@#5%^F&*(#*!!” Santa calls out belligerently, and acting out just a bit more drunkenly than before. He’s now dancing around.

I’m still unimpressed. This is my thirtieth year in East Oakland. I walk over and corral my colorful, but decidedly musty man-elf. He jerks a few times against my handholds on his arm and shoulder. When he is unable to prevent his inexorable march to the sidewalk, Santa becomes more accepting of his journey.

“The school lets out soon,” I told him, giving Santa a final pat on the shoulder at the curb. “If you aren’t out of sight in the next ten seconds, I’m going to see if Oakland PD wants to help an old elf out.”

Man, Santa moves pretty well for his age, I thought, watching Santa move along, sans reindeer. :)


Jordan Summers said...

Now Bernard, where is your Christmas spirit? ;) *ggg*

BernardL said...

You're right, Jordan, I need to get more Christmas cheer. After all, if Rudolf stops in today, I want to be in a better mood. :)

Leigh Russell said...

The trouble with Santa is there are so many of them about. I never know which is the realone!

BernardL said...

Cross yesterday's Santa off the list, Leigh. :)

Jordan Summers said...

Exactly. :)