I remember Christmases past and while some of them were really great, there was often a torment within me that was worse than having an eight foot Frazier fir shoved up my butt. At that time, my parents, my brother Patrick, and I lived in Tallahassee. Since the rest of the extended family lived in Tampa, we always made the trek to Tampa so we could visit with the whole family. We could always count on some kind of Christmas drama, like someone getting pissed off because we spent more time at some other relatives house. Or I might get a toy that I deemed 'not age appropriate', in other words, a BABY TOY, and then I'd throw a fit and offend the gift giver and my parents would bawl me out while my brother Patrick laughed! Such was the season of giving.
One thing that I remember clearly (primarily because my family won't let me forget!) is that a four hour trip to Tampa usually took us close to two days. Why? Because I had to throw up at every rest stop and public restroom along Interstate 10. Seriously. As soon as we'd get in the car to leave, I would start to heave. Sing with me, "Vomit spewing in a crowded car, everybody hold your nose...." My parents tried to explain it away as pre-Christmas excitement, but I never accepted that explanation. Surely Patrick was excited and he wasn't doing the yuletide hurl. It seemed strange, somehow, and I always wondered about it. After years of introspection, therapy, and Kendall Jackson, the answer came to me upon a midnight clear.
It was my parents fault.
THEY TOOK ME TO SEE MALL SANTA!!!
This has apparently scarred me deeply. Allow me to elaborate. Mother and Daddy were two of those sentimental, drippy types who loved nothing more than to dress me and Patrick in some Osh-Kosh holiday finery and drag ours asses to Sears to pose for pictures with Santa. From the time I was small, I NEVER got close to MALL SANTA! I knew he was evil! And the poor minimum wage photographer had to drag out the widest angle lens in existence, not because of my chubby butt, but because I was standing safely out of reach of MALL SANTA, the creepy fucker! He never seemed to bother Patrick, but I saw right through that leering smile and that shitty fake beard!
Now that I am forty and a mommy, I can't help but wonder what the hell my parents were thinking, exposing us kids to such holiday freakishness. Well, not Patrick especially, but ME! It's tragic that I am still haunted by the ghosts of MALL SANTAS past, but it's true. It boggles my mind when I think back through the years to the hell they put me through....
- Big Redneck Bubba Santa- all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth!
- Santorexic Claus- Sears couldn't always afford a jolly fat guy so they hired some puny, bony creep to haunt my dreams!
- Osanta Bin Laden-yes, he was plotting the downfall of America but at least his shitty beard was real!
- Swelter Claus- because nothing says Christmas like some over-dressed fat guy sitting under hot lights showering helpless little children with 'old-fat-man sweat!'
- Hanta Claus- Hey kid, want a deadly virus for Christmas?
I could go on and on, but I feeling that yuletide urge to purge. Just trust me when I tell you that there exists NO picture of me sitting on the lap of MALL SANTA, and there never will be. With my luck, I'd run into Saddam Husanta....nevermind. Of course, as a parent, I did have an aberrant nostalgic moment, but only ONCE! Jerry and I took Jenda to see Santa and it turned out that he was a financial advisor that I had fired because he was so incompetent. Of course Jenda became hysterical and frankly, so did I. I mean, AWKWARD! I call him Bankruptcy Claus. I never took her to see MALL SANTA again, and never will. MALL SANTA hysteria could be genetic, or of course, she could have just been really smart at an early age. I tend to think it's a little of both. Whatever the case, I will spend future Christmases making up for that horrible lapse in mommy judgment.
That's not to say that I won't enjoy Christmas and create family traditions throughout the coming years. We always watch The Grinch and the 24 hour marathon of 'A Christmas Story', and we prepare the requisite feast for three that would feed a small army. Well take pictures of our tree, and family pictures, but there will be no MALL SANTA in our future holidays. But for any friends or family reading this, if you are feeling some kind of misguided, goofy longing for a holiday of me, let me know. I'd be glad to pose with Kendall Jackson!