Kid slays Santa
By our woman who hates strange men coming down her chimney,
It was Christmas morning when I decided to kill Santa. The old bastard had brought me socks again; brown socks, as if socks weren’t bad enough already. My big sister got exactly what she wanted—a Barbie doll with a pink corvette. The smug cow stuck it in my face even before the wrapping was all the way off. “See what I got from Santa?” she cooed proudly. “What did you get, Brian? Huh? What did you get, huh, huh?” I held up my ugly-arse, brown socks. The pink corvette flew by them like an aeroplane leaving my socks behind in its exhaust smoke.
Mom and Dad say I shouldn’t use such words. Profanity is not fitting for a nine-year-old boy, my mom says. Neither is murder, but you can bet your arse I'm gonna kill the fucking bastard next year for bringing me those ugly brown socks.
A burning rage welled up in me that morning. All day I thought and dreamt about the death of Santa. I planned my strategy with meticulous care and plotted the murder. My first instinct was to stab him. His bleeding skin would match nicely with his red suit and his reindeer’s red nose. But that would be too messy. Mom would get mad if I got blood on the carpet. So then I thought Santa should eat lead. Dad had taught me to fire his shotgun the previous summer. I could stick the shotgun up the chimney as Santa was coming down, blow his arse to friggin' bits and then light a fire to destroy the evidence.
Perfect. I’d sleep on the couch, the shotgun handy by my side and listen for his sleigh on the roof. Surely the flat footed, fat bastard would startle me awake? But what if my aim was bad? Or worse yet, what if he was armed himself? You can't be too careful sneaking into strangers houses at the dead of night after 9/11, can you? I needed a backup plan. Then it hit me. Rat poison in the cookies. Brilliant! Mom always had a box of D-con lying about somewhere. I could stick a few of those green pellets in the middle of some Oreo cookies. If Santa pulled a gun on me, I could lure him to his fateful death with warm milk and a plateful of irresistible cookies.
The year flew by and my rage was as fierce as ever. Soon it was Christmas Eve again. Sleepily waiting on the couch, I was startled by every noise. I checked three times to see if I’d loaded the gun, which I had. The night progressed, and the noises continued. “Probably mice,” I thought aloud as I looked with grim satisfaction at the plate of cookies on the table beside me. There was enough D-con in them to wipe out the whole town.
bump, and my heart raced. I heard footsteps on the stairs.
“Brian, it’s me. It’s your dad. Put the gun down!” He pulled the beard all the way off and tossed his red hat aside. What my father was doing in a Santa costume I’ll never know, but sure enough, it was him. I put the gun down, as my mother repeatedly wagged her finger at me, muttering over and over: “You’re in so much trouble, Brian.”
Dad came over and unloaded the gun, then grabbed
me by the shoulders. “What were you thinking of?” he yelled,
the bullets cradled in his palm. I was utterly humiliated. I looked
at the presents that had fallen down the stairs. Sure enough, brown
socks peeped out of a ripped box that had my name on the tag.
“Dad?” I asked sweetly, and waited.
Story © 2004 Jennifer Gardner. Picture and design © 2004 utterpants.co.uk/ A051205