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Home / Articles / Opinion / Spin Cycle /  '10 Nights Before Christmas'
. . . .
Wednesday, Dec 15, 2010

'10 Nights Before Christmas'

When local politicos stopped believing in Santa Claus

By John R. Lamb
jerrysanderschristmas Sanders Claus, aka Jolly St. Jerry
- Photo illustration by Adam Vieyra

“Give anonymous offenders enough verbal rope and column inches, and they will hang themselves for you, every time.” —Don Foster


’Twas 10 nights before Christmas, when all through the village, dark forces did gather, to plan the next pillage. Great charts and grand plans hung on towering walls, as beady dark eyes worked to absorb it all.

“We did pretty well in the autumnal elections. For 20-one-two we should raise expectations. Those liberal socialist hooligan lefties just need one more punch and we’ll pack them in Hefties!” The faces were hung with sheer horrification, but the crowd knew what dissent brought—excommunication! So the heads nodded obediently while the hearts just grew darker, as words poured forth from the GOP barker.

“No more taxes! No more fees! Let us do as we please! They’ll take the high road, we’ll take the low. Let’s just see how far we’ll go!”

Then a barker called Krvaric brought forth with his fist, a long sheet he called My Enemies List. “There will be no Christmas for him, him and her! I’ve notified Saint Slick, who did readily concur.”

He read for an hour, the names they did flow. The dazed anonymous crowd rocked to and fro. And then from their midst, there arose such a clatter, heads snapped quickly to see what was the matter.

“I object!” came a voice from deep in the darkness. “You read my name but not the charges!” The dark gathered masses began to stir, but the leader was quick to deal with this burr.

“Who is that who speaks against my grand wishes? Are you looking to find yourself asleep with the fishes?” While most of the crowd bowed in reverent fear, oh what to my wondering eyes should appear?

Moonlight through a small window did alight, and out of the shadows there came such a sight. “I’m Sanders Claus, and while the people D-nounced me, I’m still Numero Uno, at least I appear to be!”

He turned to his Reign Dear, the departing Kris Michell.

“Where’s that speech you wrote for me? Well? Well?” “I’m sorry, Your Honor, I’ve been quite distracted. My new job negotiations became quite protracted. Although I’m here to bring you good cheer, I’m prevented from lobbying for another year.”

“Never mind, I’ll elf-ing wing it,” Claus said with a snort. “It’ll be good practice for the State of the City report.” He stared at the barker with bloodshot eyes, a symptom of living with countless lies.

“I said the village would crumble without new money. I’m still not sure why people thought that not funny. Sure we fudged here and there to make our point, but how else to fix this creaky old joint?

“The rafters are shaky, the floors they’re a mess. As for my Plan B, care to hazard a guess? I’m hoping the new elves will help with the lifting, although I’m aware the tectonics are shifting.

“I’m a big fan of Starbucks, that’s my kind of coffee. So what’s with his push by the Party of Tea? Is all they want an endless free lunch? What’s with the rise of this crazy ol’ bunch?” There rose such a booing from the camouflaged crowd, but the reaction from others suddenly had them cowed. Just where do we cut? Is this discussion just pointless? Can we find other bogeymen besides the homeless?

When Sanders Claus was about to remark, the bald barker let out a great bark. “Enough of this debate! Disagreement I just hate! Just stick to what I say, and the lefties will be kept at bay!” The barker sounded alarms, which alerted the Sergeant at Arms. A burly, imposing man, he eagerly rubbed his thick hands.

The barker proceeded to point to the enemies in the joint. One by one they arose, led out by the nose. “Let’s clear this room before we vote!”

When the room was devoid of dissension, Sanders Claus stood alone at attention. “I will not play your game, it is patently lame. Do you plan to put me too in detention?”

Steam streamed from the barker’s pink ears. “Great Claus, do you hear any cheers? There is no great game, and it is you who are lame. So step back, you neutered old quack!”

The barker enjoyed his retort. “Screw,” he growled, “the city report. We’ll all get cancer before there are answers. Let flow, I say, the status quo!”

And then in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, the beating and pounding of many a hoof. “I know you’re in there, to hide you can try. But you’ll never be free of me, Donna Frye!”

The barker checked his calendar. “I know I remember. We dumped this old broad earlier in December.” A sweat drop appeared on his Homer-esque dome, as he envisioned himself in a Snuggie at home.

“I don’t need you dissin’ my cheer! Heck, I’m nothing but a volunteer! I may be hated, I play on your fears, but I’m still head of the Grand Ol’ Privateers!”

Then Tony Young’s face appeared in the sky, a Wal-Mart ballcap tilted over one eye. “I’m in control now, so don’t be a jerk. I’ve already cut back on DeMaio’s work!”

A Superstore lover, but still a Commie. The barker thought hard, “What should I say to him, mommy?” But he stood alone among silent supporters, who shook in their boots, given few if no quarters.

“This is all a red herring! Just ask my friend Nehring. Now don’t you dare laugh. Just ask my pal Lorie Zapf!”

Then the tiniest of elves did rise, which caught the crowd quite by surprise. “If with you it’s okee-dokee, I’ll begin the karaoke. I’m just hoping you join the reprise.”

And with that, the room filled with millionaire toys, and through the village there rang such a noise. “Oh, what the fuck,” Sanders Claus did cluck, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all good luck!”

Don’t be a dip, send a tip— to johnl@sdcitybeat.com.





 
 
 
 
 
 
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