Years Later, The Guy Who Wrote “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” Still Has Regrets

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Slut. Slut!

The woman gets a little of Uncle Jerry’s famous eggnog in her and she’s easier than flicking a light switch. Alcohol and her fetish for holiday icons. Disaster.

Now I’m the one who pays for it every damn year. Christmas dinner at Mom’s, then trek 45 minutes to Dad’s depressing apartment in the hinterlands to eat supermarket pumpkin pie while he pumps me for info on Mom and Alan. Are they happy? Did they talk about me? Does Alan have a job? Can he get me one?

Please someone shoot me.

I hate this time of year. I seriously hate it. Guess it’s good my own kids are with their mother. I’m not much fun around the holidays.

Don’t blame myself? That’s easy for my therapist to say. He didn’t write a song about his mom’s infidelity and effectively ruin his family. What was I thinking? It should have been obvious that my dad would hear the song, find out that I wrote it and put two and two together. I might as well have just called the song “My Mom Boffed Santa in My Dad’s Favorite Chair While My Old Man Was Out Busting His Hump Pulling Another Double Shift at the Factory for a Little Extra Pay So He Could Give His Family the Best Christmas Possible.”

It’s not like it even paid off in other ways. I’m not rich and I’m not famous. Here I am driving a beat up Kia Spectra and the only time my name is in the paper is when the police blotter reports my domestic disturbances and DUIs.

I mean, look at me. I’m reduced to answering my own kids’ questions about Santa with a bitterness that frankly scares me. “Daddy, is Santa real?” He’s real all right. A real home wrecker. Oh yeah, the guy’s great. He’ll really give it to you good. Especially if you bake him a batch of pecan sandies and serve them wearing nothing but an apron that says “Santa’s Little Helper.” Cookies and milk? Give me a break. They were chugging White Russians when she wasn’t keeping his chestnuts warm. The family court was right. I’m warping my own children’s minds.

I can’t blame mom. I mean not totally. Dad never paid much attention to her. Sometimes I think he drove her into the arms of Santa. Besides, Dad doesn’t even know how far things went that night. He thinks it was just a kiss, and he moved out anyway. He never even tried to move past it, never tried to make things work. At least she apologized. At least she tried.

When writing the lyrics, I thought I exercised judgment in stopping at the kiss under the mistletoe. Well, I did mention the tickle under the beard. But who knew Dad would flip out like that. Over a kiss! I thought he’d think it was funny. I mean, I even said so in the song: “Oh, what a laugh it would have been/If Daddy had only seen/Mommy kissing Santa Claus last night.” Boy, did I misjudge that reaction.

Guess it could’ve been worse. I could’ve written a song about what I saw that overgrown rabbit doing to my mom the Easter of ’54.

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Shocking Excerpts From Santa’s Secret Mission Logs

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December 26, 336

They said it couldn’t be done, but I did it! Thousands of toys, all hand-made and hand-delivered to every home in Christendom, and all in one night! Oh, to see the looks on the faces of all those little boys and girls.

Maybe I should do this every year.

* * * * * * *

December 26, 339

What a mess out there. Rome has fallen and civilization is in ruins. Also, I lost a mitten.

* * * * * * *

December 26, 799

I’m exhausted. There sure seem to be a lot more Christians out there than there used to be. If this keeps up, I’m gonna need some help around here.

I wonder if those goblins that live on the other side of the Pole are any good with their hands.

* * * * * * *

December 23, 800

What a difference a year makes. Those goblins (sorry, elves) are miracle workers. All the toys are in the sack and ready to go with a day to spare. I’m gonna get those guys to help out every year, if they’re up for it. It’s too bad they subsist on fermented seal blood, otherwise I could really see them becoming a beloved part of Christmas lore, but oh well.

* * * * * * *

March 15, 1045

What a week. One minute, I’m a perfectly happy bachelor. The next, I’m hitched to some sturdy Ukrainian woman with one big eyebrow. She’s already riding me to lose weight and get a “real job,” too. That’s the last time I get wasted in Kiev.

* * * * * * *

June 5, 1388

A sad day out in the barn. After a long struggle, Comet finally succumbed to terminal antleritis. But on the bright side, the missus makes a fine stew.

* * * * * * *

June 12, 1388

Training a new reindeer. He’s not too bright, he’s blind in one eye, and he might have an inner ear problem, but he’s all I could get my hands on this year. The elves want me to name him “Comet II,” but I’m leaning towards “Ballast.” I’m not expecting much from him, but hey, maybe he’ll surprise me with one of those Christmas miracles. Fingers crossed!

* * * * * * *

June 22, 1388

Lost Ballast on a training run over the Black Sea. Poor guy corkscrewed in, bleating all the way. No Christmas miracle this year, I guess.

* * * * * * *

December 13, 1930

Just got a “cease and desist” letter. Turns out some sugar water company called Coca-Cola owns the exclusive rights to my image. How the hell did that happen?

* * * * * * *

December 26, 1941

What a rotten night. Lost Donder, Bonehead, and Meatball over Germany (stupid anti-aircraft fire), had to jettison most of the toys just to stay aloft, and when I got back home, I blew my landing and took out a wing of the workshop. Boy, nothing clings to your hair and clothes like the smell of burning elves.

* * * * * * *

December 20, 1947

There sure are a lot of kids asking for their two front teeth these days. It was cute at first, but I’m getting pretty tired of hanging out at the pub waiting for drunken brawls to break out, then crawling around on the floor looking for stray incisors. Still, lucky for me that elf teeth are child-sized.

* * * * * * *

March 2, 1952

I’ve been subpoenaed to appear before something called the House Un-American Activities Committee, whatever that is.

* * * * * * *

March 17, 1952

This is madness! I just spent the day defending myself from all manner of crazy accusations. So what if my suit is red? It’s been red for over a thousand years and no one’s complained. So what if I make frequent trips to Eastern Europe? There are millions of little boys and girls in Eastern Europe, aren’t there? So what if Mrs. Claus is from Ukraine? We’ve never discussed her politics, and if we had, it’d be our business and ours alone. What part of “I’m Santa Claus, dammit!” don’t these people understand? Arrgghh!

* * * * * * *

March 22, 1952

I’m so ashamed. Those awful men and their awful committee just kept at me until I couldn’t take it anymore. God forgive me, but I named names. Eskimos, mostly, but I think I may have mentioned the Easter Bunny, too. Oh, he’s gonna be pissed.

* * * * * * *

December 26, 1965

I’ve got to start reading those wish lists more carefully. But if you ask me, if a kid asks for “a barrel of monkeys,” he shouldn’t be surprised to wake up on Christmas morning to find his living room crawling with angry, feces-throwing monkeys plus a big barrel with a few dead monkeys at the bottom (they really, really don’t like it in the barrel, apparently). Oh well, live and learn, I guess.

* * * * * * *

December 1, 1994

Note to self: kill Tim Allen.

* * * * * * *

December 26, 1999

Another rough night. Blitzen gored some kid in Manila. I tried to buy the parents off, as usual, but they weren’t having any of it. One thing led to another, and I ended up beating the whole family to death with a sackful of Beanie Babies, which took, like, forever. So, long story short, Christmas won’t be coming to the Philippines for a while.

* * * * * * *

December 16, 2008

Why the hell didn’t anyone tell me about this “Amazon.com” thing before? Here I’ve been busting my hump for 1672 years, but now I can just “point” and “click” and be done with it. Hallelujah! I can finally fire the elves and free the reindeer and get myself that wicked tattoo of a naked chick riding a polar bear that I’ve always wanted. I just hope they accept payment in 4th century Lycian drachmae.

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My Groom Speech

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Friends, family, thank you all so much for joining Monica and me here today for our special day. I’m not the best speechmaker, and so will try to keep this short and sweet. Hey, the hard part’s over, right? I’m so happy to have found you, Monica. This really is the fourth-greatest day of my life.

I don’t mean to sound insensitive, but I’ve been lucky enough to have had a few pretty awesome days up until this one. Take my 21st birthday, for example. It’s five in the morning and I’m wandering around the Luxor in Vegas by myself after having gotten booted from Crazy Horse Too. On a drunken whim — and I was very, very, very drunk — I decide to pull out every last dollar and cent I have on me, which was my rent money, by the way, and place it on the Roulette table. Twenty-one black! Can you believe it? A little irresponsible on my part, but good God, did I win a crap-load of money! That was a pretty fine day, people. Third-best.

Now, not to bring the mood down or upset you, Monica, but I should probably also tell everyone about the time I almost died. Almost…had it not been the second-greatest day of my life! I was walking around downtown San Francisco, completely lost, looking for this massage parlor a friend had recommended to me in Chinatown. I’d only been to Chinatown a couple times, and the way he described the “service” at this particular parlor, well, I had to find this place. Anyway, so I stop this old Mexican dude, and I’m like, “Hey, hombre. Donde esta el Chinatown?” Unbeknownst to me, or this other poor bastard, a window washer’s scaffolding had broken off twenty stories directly above where we stood. Well, obviously it missed me! And I was able to get enough information out of him before he was crushed to find the massage parlor! Bonus! Talk about a happy ending.

So you might be thinking, “that had to be the greatest day of his life; what could be greater than that?” Nope. Second-greatest, folks. Second. The greatest day of my life was when I went skydiving in the Mojave Desert. That might sound fairly unremarkable to those who haven’t done it, but seriously, what a rush.

So now, before everyone here today, I proclaim proudly and without hesitation that this is by far the fourth-greatest day of my life. Yes, sir, I’m a lucky man. Not the luckiest — that would be ridiculous to suggest. People who win the lottery are generally a lot luckier than I am, if you want to split hairs about it. I mean, the odds of a guy like me finding someone as wonderful as Monica are pretty slim. But that’s nothing, and I mean NOTHING, in comparison to the odds of winning the freaking lottery. It’s something like one in 18,000,000, right? No damn way that’s happening in my lifetime. Me and Monica, though? Probably one in 150 or 160.

Speaking of whom, can you guys believe how beautiful she looks today? Way better than anybody else in attendance, for sure. I can honestly say, Monica, that I love you more than anything else in the world I have loved up to this point. There could be other things down the line I end up really enjoying or getting a kick out of, but for right now, in this moment, the highest share of my affection is reserved for you. Imagine a pie chart of the things I love — you are the largest portion of that chart. You are nearly my everything.

Sorry about the food, by the way. I know it sucks. I mean…cold soup?! It’s actually supposed to be cold? What gives? Not my idea, for the record. I won’t say whose, but not mine.

I’ll bring this to a close with a little story about the time I met Monica. It was at a company Christmas party a few years ago. Admittedly, I was a little blitzed. Like, the-bartender-had-wrestled-my-car-keys-away-from-me blitzed. At the time, Monica was working for a catering company, and as luck would have it — not like lottery luck, but pretty good luck, for sure — Monica was working our party! She looked smokin’ hot in her uniform. Anyway, she didn’t take too kindly to the kinds of advances I was making and told me I should sober up. I think I may have been on blow, too. Was I, honey? Well, long story short, the truly caring person we all know Monica to be ended up giving me a ride home that night — even walked me, a total stranger, to the door! The only thing she could have done to top that was come inside and make sure I was OK, which, in hindsight, she probably should have done, as I had pretty bad alcohol poisoning and probably should have gone to the hospital to get my stomach pumped. Which, take it from me, is no fun, for the record.

Anyway, I’ve been up on this mic long enough. Let me just say, I love you, Monic — hey, anyone see where she went? Probably the bathroom. She’s got Irritable Bowel Syndrome for those of you who don’t know. Don’t say anything, though. She’s sensitive about it.

Thanks, everyone. Enjoy!

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Hurley

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My dog Hurley knows two commands: “Feed me!” and “Bring me my fetch toy, owner boy!”

Everybody thought it was so cute when he was a surly little puppy. “Oh, look!” they’d say. “He thinks he’s your master.” But two years later he’s grown into an eighty-five pound dog with an inflatable swimming pool of a slobber problem and this booming voice like James Earl Jones — and his authority issues aren’t as adorable somehow.

It’s like living with a benevolent but ill-mannered drunk. Especially when he’s staggering around the kitchen after one of our long morning walks.

I need to establish my role as pack leader. That’s what all the library books suggest. And all the dog trainers and animal behaviorists I’ve hired. And all the friends and family members I now consider dead to me.

It didn’t take too long for all the people who used to be my sounding boards to wind up wondering aloud — often in the same bullying tone — how I had let myself become bullied by a dog that enjoys reality TV garbage like America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars.

It’s his remote control, I reminded them. He paid for that flat panel with his money.

And boy did they feign hurt and offense when I dared to wonder aloud why I’d let them into my house in the first place. And who had made them the boss of me and the critic of my dog’s TV viewing habits anyway. If I feel like hiking my leg and soiling the end of the couch where guests sit, that’s what I’m going to do.

I’ll hump whatever I choose, too. Lecture someone else about displaying dominant behaviors. Because this is still my house — until Hurley tells me otherwise.

The other day we were rolling around in the yard, sniffing each other’s butts when he said, “Brian, I feel terrible that I’ve come between you and your family and you and those loser friends of yours. They weren’t much, but they were all you had, really, besides me. It must be lonely for you now.

“You’re looking like hell, too, man — like you haven’t slept in months. Is it my late night poker games? Be honest. Seriously, let’s talk about it. You’re worrying me, bro. You can’t lose another job. Those chew toys don’t pay for themselves.”

Then he sort of smiled.

That was when I realized that despite his gruff exterior, Hurley really is a good dog. And he is looking out for me, his master. Because there’s nothing I love more than getting my teeth into a rawhide or a rubber bone.

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