When I was young, I remember getting “practical” presents for the holidays, like socks and underwear and sweaters.
The worst sweaters ever.
Not like the soft, warm, and comfortable sweaters other people had.
These were itchy and uncomfortable and didn’t keep me warm at all.
“But it looks so good on you,” my mother said.
“I feel fucking itchy and cold,” I said. “I’m a person, not your fucking dressup doll.”
She sent me to my room without dinner.
I climbed out the window, went to the back patio, and set the sweater on fire.
The fire kept me warm.
It didn’t take long for Santa to die.
We tied him to a tree and tore off his clothes.
A gag in his mouth kept him from calling for help.
The next morning, he was dead.
Ankle-deep in snow, frozen to death.
We untied him and planned to bury him.
But the ground was too cold to dig in.
“Can we burn him?” one person asked.
We were going to have a big bonfire party anyway.
So, we dragged him out to the field, covered him with all of our scrap lumber, and watched it all burn as we danced.
With the population of the planet nearing eight billion people, Santa’s resources were pushed to their limits.
He had given up paper maps long ago, and now relied on a navigation computer with every delivery coded in.
Factors like the weather, visibility, cargo space, and proximity shaped his travels, and when the night was over, he downloaded his performance statistics for further refinement of the algorithms.
Eventually, he changed what it took to get on the naughty list.
Only the absolutely best people made the nice list.
And they were just too nice to expect gifts from Santa on Christmas.
A mother came to me. She was holding a photograph. It was her daughter’s. A mother came to me with tears in her eyes. She wanted to tell me about the stories. She wanted to tell me about the singing. The painting. “My daughter, you see…” And she held the photograph close to her chest as if that would bring her daughter back. “I’m writing a book, you see…” And she poured her soul into it. A mother came to me and whispered. “It was too much…” And I thought, it was. It was too much pain.
#1 – Excess
“You can’t have too much of a good thing”, my dad used to say, and I took him at his word.
First it was an excess of sweets and chocolate. Then, as I grew older, I discovered sex, drugs and rock and roll, so true to my dad’s advice I binged on the lot.
These days as I lie, morbidly obese, toothless, deaf, and mentally destroyed by the excesses of my youth, unable to move from my bed, most of my time is taken up with sleep.
As dad always said, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
#2 – Well, would it?
“Would it be too much to ask you to put the toilet seat down after you’ve used it?” She’d complain every morning, “And, while you’re at it, is it too much hassle to replace the toothpaste cap?”
Every Thursday… “Is it too much trouble for you to put the bins out?”
Then the constant nagging “I suppose it’s too much to expect you might attempt the washing up, the laundry, the housework, the shopping?”
Maybe I come across as lazy, but it’s part of my ploy to make her divorce me…
I’d divorce her myself…
But it costs, too much!J
Late For Tea
I was lucky enough to grow into the Beatles. In 1963 I was a mere 10 years old, not old enough to be even a teeny-bopper. But by 1969 I had six years of Beatle-ness under my musical belt. Sgt. Pepper’s was height of cool in its day. My favorite track on the LP was: It’s all too much. It totally capture the growing gash in suburban-culture. Story goes Harrison’s wrote the song about his LSD trips. Six years later in the warm California sun I dropped up first tab of acid. Damn if George wasn’t spot on. Too much
You’ll let me know when the pain becomes too much, won’t you?
Of course you will… You’ll shout, scream and thrash about in your bonds, begging me to stop and pleading for mercy.
Then, as the pain does indeed become too much to bear, your jaw will clamp so tightly your teeth splinter and shatter; you’ll strain so hard, the restraining wires slice through your flesh to the bone.
Then I’ll stop…
Not to save you from further pain: Nothing is further from the truth.
On the contrary, I’m saving you…
So we can do it all over again, tomorrow!
No Elf Eats…
“Any liver at all is too much!”
“You’ve probably never had it cooked right. You have to wash it thoroughly, then you put bacon on top and grill it for a few minutes, not too long, and then you drizzle maple syrup on it just before it’s done.”
“That is a total waste of bacon and maple syrup. It still tastes like liver! In addition to the flavor, it has a texture that reminds me of dog shit.”
“Well what about pate´? That’s delicious, and…”“It’s liver. Too much iron. It’s my Elf blood, on my mother’s side. I’m Allergic!”
Doug dug himself a hole in his backyard so that he could play at being a soldier in combat. He thought of it as a foxhole because, like many boys, what he knew of war was a mashup of lingo from conflicts about which movies had been made, and a mixup of costume and equipment and technique and weaponry. His parents did not discourage him. It cost about the same as killing people in the endless series of first-person-shooter video games.
When he died his collection would have been worth a fortune had anyone been still alive to buy it.
Billbert’s dad put an arm around his shoulders and walked him to his room. “Don’t worry about it too much, Billy. You’ll find, in time, that girls will become a very important part of your life.” Billbert panicked when his father followed him into his room and said, “Have a seat, son. There are some things we probably should talk about.” Billbert squirmed. “It’s okay, Dad. They teach us those things at school, now.” “What? Oh. Of course, they do.” His dad cleared his throat. “But, the kids in our family line are different. When puberty arrives, they develop superpowers.”
How much is too much? Well, start with nothing. A lot of people start with nothing. Then, add a little. Which is somewhere between not enough and nothing at all. Then add some. Not much, just a little more. Which is more than a little. And maybe just enough. Then add some more to that. Which is more than some ever have. Add even more to that. And some more. A lot more. More than you could possibly want. Or need. At some point, you’ll wonder if you have too much. That’s when you know you have too much. Stop.
When Santa isn’t supervising the work at his North Pole Workshop or delivering presents, he likes to take his sleigh around the world to enjoy natural scenery and beauty.
Men had cut tunnels through the Giant Sequoias of Yosemite, and only the best reindeer and pilot could fly through them at full speed.
But when drunk, Santa wasn’t at his best, and in February on 1969, he crashed into the Wawona Tree, bringing it down.
“The goddamned tree moved,” slurred a bloody Santa, stumbling through the wreckage, throwing an empty beer can aside and pulling the tab off of another.
The team had lost every game in the season.
For Christmas, all the coach wanted was a decent quarterback.
Santa, being a keen football fan, did his best to deliver some Christmas joy.
And on Christmas Day, when the coach woke up and went down to his living room, he saw a package under his tree.
The coach unwrapped the package to discover the Santa had left him a decent quarterback.
But the quarterback had suffocated from being wrapped in the wrapping paper.
The coach took the quarterback to the store, but they wouldn’t give an exchange without a receipt.
Superman walked north for miles and miles until he was far from civilization.
Pulling out the green glowing kryptonite crystal, he hurled it as far as he could.
It landed in the middle of Santa ‘s North Pole workshop village.
“What’s this?” said Santa, as the crystal melted through the snow.
A massive earthquake rumbled the village, spears of ice piercing every building.
Countless elves and reindeer were killed and maimed, toys scattered across the tundra as the Fortress of Solitude formed itself.
Santa rebuilt his workshop five miles away and put Superman on his naughty list in indelible ink.
When Santa wasn’t flying around the world delivering toys, he was flying around and banging expensive hookers.
“Wow!” they’d say, seeing the world rush by. “This is great!”
Some of them wanted to drink champagne, others wanted to do lines of coke.
“Do what you want,” growled Santa. “As long as you do me.”
And they did.
After zooming around skyscrapers and under bridges and through the Grand Canyon, Santa would fly out to the deep ocean and push the hooker out of his sleigh so he didn’t have to pay them or take them off of his naughty list.
Every year at the Santa Convention, the “Real Santa” delivers the keynote address.
It’s usually just the winner of The Best Santa Claus Contest giving advice on how to be a great Santa, or about some special Santa Moment he’d had.
But one year, it was the actual Santa Claus up there.
The real goddamned Santa.
He rambled for an hour about how cold it is up at The North Pole. And Reindeer.
“I eat a lot of reindeer meat,” he growled. “Elves taste lousy.”
Nobody believed that he was the real deal, and he was never invited back again.