Santa For A Day

Written by Michael LaRocca

Continued from page 1

“Well, as I said, you’re borderline. But if you’ll be really good, and I mean REALLY good, between now and Christmas, I’ll put you onrepparttar good list. If you’re bad, I’ll put you onrepparttar 118307 naughty list. And you don’t want that. You want to be onrepparttar 118308 good list. Don’t you?”

A pause. As ifrepparttar 118309 little brat wasn’t sure! What is it with kids who won’t suck up and take a bribe when they’re offered one? Jeez! When I was a little brat -- um, I mean kid -- I NEVER refused a bribe.

“Yes, Santa Claus.”

Reel this one in. Yes!

“That’s what I thought, son.” (Yes, I calledrepparttar 118310 little brat son.) “Now tell Santa Claus what you want, and if you’re really good between now and Christmas, I’ll bring it to you. How’s that?”

Of course it was fine, and of courserepparttar 118311 list of thingsrepparttar 118312 little brat wanted was enough to max out seven credit cards. A train set, a Motocross bicycle, a slingshot for torturing his little sister, a GI Joe with Kung Fu grip. I listened to him, patted his evil head, gave him some candy, and gratefully sent him on his way. Neither he nor his mother suspected that I wanted to stick his head in a toilet and hold it there until he died. Well, I don’t think they did.

After that, I got a bit of break. Meaning,repparttar 118313 little girls. They were sweet and shy and wanted little Barbie dolls. If it were up to me I’d nuke Mattel, but I realized that Santa isn’t supposed to say that, so I promised them all Barbies and gave them candy and sent them on their merry way.

I still hear Mike laughing. I’m gonna give him a busted lip for Christmas. I know damn well he deliberately stunk as Santa just because he didn’t wantrepparttar 118314 job. Grr!

Every little boy was a brat. I am not joking. I whipped out that borderline story with every one of them. I was tempted to scream, “You are evil and you should die and I’ll stuff your stocking with coals and switches and hope your parents beat you to death,” but that wouldn’t have been good for business. So I went into borderline story mode and drank uprepparttar 118315 parents’ gratitude while never believing it’d change a thing. I know them boys were evil. They all looked like my little brother.

Finally, I gotrepparttar 118316 intellectual. The skeptic. The little one who chose not to be an evil brat, but rather a smart brat. So smart that you just wanna knock him acrossrepparttar 118317 room. Especially for reminding me of myself. Don’t do that!

Now you may remember that I never received a formal job description, but something in me suspected that “knock brat acrossrepparttar 118318 room” wasn’t in it.

“I don’t believe any of that Santa Claus stuff. You’re just some guy in a suit and fake beard.”

This was a few hours intorepparttar 118319 shift, so I was getting cocky. “And why do you say that, young man?”

“Because there’s no way you could fly allrepparttar 118320 way aroundrepparttar 118321 world so fast. Not in one night. That’s just not possible.”

Smart-aleck little… dude. For a moment I thought he had me. But apparently I can “think on my feet” if pressed into a corner, because here’s my reply:

“We’re in Florida now, right?”


“And what time is it here?”

“About noon.”

“Okay, let’s say it’s noon. Do you know what time it is in Alabama?”


“It’s still eleven inrepparttar 118322 morning. And what time is it in Texas?”

“I dunno.”

(I got your butt!)

“Ten inrepparttar 118323 morning. And in California, it’s only nine inrepparttar 118324 morning. That’srepparttar 118325 thing, see? Time zones. I start where it’s earliest and get everybody in that time zone in one hour, then pop over torepparttar 118326 next time zone and have an hour to get all them, and so on. And some time zones out overrepparttar 118327 ocean don’t even have people in them.”

It took him a moment to figure that all out, because I wasn’t expressing myself as eloquently as I could have. I blame it on exhaustion. But finally he replied, “Really?”

I nodded sagely.

My little skeptic seemed to agree. And that wasrepparttar 118328 point, right? Getting him off my lap so I could move on to a little girl who didn’t make me work so hard. Conningrepparttar 118329 little people into buyingrepparttar 118330 myth for one more year.

Forrepparttar 118331 record, I was nine and little brother was eight when we sneaked out of bed one night (his idea) and found a bunch of wrapped presents on top of a high closet shelf. When we received those same presents for Christmas, marked “From Santa,” little brother drilled Mom likerepparttar 118332 cop he would grow up to be and she confessed. But even so, I never deliberately disillusioned anyone. Santa Claus is a fun guy to believe in.

Later came a little skeptic who needed bothrepparttar 118333 time zone story andrepparttar 118334 borderline list story for me to win him over torepparttar 118335 cause. In a brilliant flash of insight, I added, “Do you want Santa to tell you another secret?”

His eyes widened and he leaned in close. “Uh huh.”

“You can’t tell anybody.”


We were whispering now. I really didn’t want his parents to hear this part.

“Do you like milk and cookies?” I asked.


“Me too. But I go to a lot of houses on Christmas Eve night, and everybody leaves me milk and cookies. Do you think you could eat and drink that much milk and cookies?”


“Okay, so here’s what you do.” I leaned my mouth right up to his ear, my beard brushing his face, and whispered to my little conspirator, “When your parents go to bed, drinkrepparttar 118336 milk and eatrepparttar 118337 cookies, and leave Santa a beer.”

He giggled, then turned to face me. He nodded. “Okay, Santa.”

“Good boy.”

The boy’s mother, who had been talking to my mother, looked up as if sensing thatrepparttar 118338 visit was over. So I said, louder and more Santa-like, “Be a good boy and do your homework and clean up your room and do what your parents tell you, okay?”

“Okay, Santa. Thank you, Santa.” Andrepparttar 118339 little imp winked.

But you know, I’m pretty sure that when Santa came sliding down my little friend’s chimney, he’d definitely be inrepparttar 118340 mood for a beer. I know that’s what I always left out for Santa when I was young.

After thatrepparttar 118341 job got easier. Whip outrepparttar 118342 time zone story, whip outrepparttar 118343 borderline list story, and allrepparttar 118344 little boys fell into line. I lined up another beer or two for Santa -- I only tried that stunt with my favorite little boys.

As I convertedrepparttar 118345 skeptics or at least gave them pause, mothers gazed upon this all-too-young Santa with gratitude. I think I even made Mom proud. But that’s something I learned about Mom long ago. She could get proud overrepparttar 118346 silliest things.

The day finally ended, and I had to reluctantly admit that being Santa was a whole lot easier than bussing tables. To myself, of course, never to anyone else. And not a single kid peed on me, either. Mike tried real hard to mock me, but his jealousy ruinedrepparttar 118347 effect.

The following year, all four of us busboys were still working there, but they found someone else to be Santa Claus. A waitress’s husband who was much older and needed neither padding nor fake beard to assumerepparttar 118348 role. Nobody complained about him, either. Certainly we didn’t.

Twenty years later, I’m still not complaining. And in those twenty years, I have never been Santa Claus again. Nor do I wantrepparttar 118349 job.

Michael is an American living in Hong Kong. He has been working as a full-time author for over two years and as an editor for over a year. He has 4 novels scheduled for publication. He’s proud of the fact that he rarely writes in the same genre twice. One of his novels is an EPPIE 2002 in the Thriller category. His website is at

Friends -- With Benefits

Written by Kwame DeRoche

Continued from page 1

That's assuming you're good. And compatible in bed.

Which leads to another kind of disaster. What if you don't click in bed? What if you chicken out as soon as they get naked? What if you end up laying there saying 'whatrepparttar hell did we just do?' What if you can't finish? What if you can't even get started? These are things that start to mess with confidence and self-esteem. And make for an awkward game of Scrabble next time you two are hanging out alone. Assuming that you're even able to hang out alone after that point.

Then there arerepparttar 118306 resentment issues. Eventually, someone will start to feel likerepparttar 118307 other person's libido band-aid. Because sex without allrepparttar 118308 lovey-dovey relationship-type stuff leaves you a lot of time to think about what you just did, especially when your lover just jumped up to play a video game or to callrepparttar 118309 guy she's really interested in.

It's rare to find someone mature enough to have continuous sex with someone and not develop feelings for them. It's even more rare to find someone who can deal with those feelings if and when they show up. Inrepparttar 118310 end, you've got awkwardness, jealousy, resentment, and allrepparttar 118311 other things that can stop a relationship in its tracks. And guess what, Chachi, a friendship is a relationship. And it sucks worse thanrepparttar 118312 relationship that got you into this mess, because you can end up losing a lover AND a friend.

So in trying to avoid Melrose Place drama, you backpedal your way into 90210. You're stuck. You're alone. Andrepparttar 118313 booty train's done leftrepparttar 118314 station without you.

Inrepparttar 118315 end, you ain't boinkin' like a rabbit, and you ain't no friend o' mine.

But sometimes, you look over at that other person and realize that you're having sex with someone you like to hang out with. Who likes allrepparttar 118316 same stuff you do. Who knows all your secrets and still wants to hang out with you. Sometimes, they realize it too. Then things work out.

Except inrepparttar 118317 Appalachians. Dude, she's your sister. That's just nasty.

That'srepparttar 118318 rant.

Copyright 2001 by Kwame DeRoche' ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SUBSCRIBE FREE! Just e-mail or visit

I'm a 27-year-old Advertising/Marketing Senior Writer with a slightly skewed perception of the world. I've been writing my rants since early 1999. They're humorous brain-dumps, all about relationships, TV, movies, driving to know, LIFE. And as long as humans are humans, I'll always have something to write about. See more or subscribe at

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