Snow Shovel

636,183

I haven’t touched a snow shovel in 18 years.
Sure, I’ve seen snow since then, but I haven’t touched a snow shovel.
They don’t have any snow shovels in the hardware store down the street. I guess there’s more people out there just like me that haven’t touched a snow shovel in a long time.
I looked in a catalog and saw that Restoration Hardware sells snowman kits. So does their local brick and mortar store. Might be worth it as a gag gift, making a snowman out of Crisco or something white and stackable.
Ho ho ho… Merry Criscomas?

The Angel

372969

My wife didn’t go to Florida this year for Christmas, so she put up a Yule tree.
It was a fake tree, prewired with lights and pinecones. And even though it wasn’t going to shed needles, we still got a tree skirt for it.
We kept the decorations simple. And we didn’t put an angel on top.
No, that was for Piperkitty’s photo. She watched us put the tree up, but didn’t live to see us take it down.
As we take down the ornaments, I find her last tinkly collar.
I don’t remember putting it up there.
Do you?

Christmas Trolls

742924

The day after Christmas, Santa’s elves partied and celebrated another year’s work finished.
On the other side of the North Pole, Santa’s trolls were dealing with returns, damaged toys, injury claims, technical support, and instruction booklets in the wrong language.
“Fucking elves!” growled the Head Troll. “Those twerps get the credit for shipping crap, but we’re the ones having to clean up after them.”
“Let’s strike,” said a few of the trolls, and they grumbled agreement.
At first sign of revolt, Santa stomped into the Troll Barn with a bullwhip and a bullhorn.
“Back to work, you sonsabitches!” he shouted.

Weekly Challenge #36 – Christmas Stories

9949708

Welcome to the thirty-sixth Weekly Challenge, where I post a topic and then challenge you to come up with a 100 word story based on that topic.
The topic this week was supposed to be selected by Andrew Ian Dodge from Every Damn Blog And Podcast On Earth, but I screwed him over by calling this one, and I chose Christmas Stories.
Fourteen stories were submitted this week. Double digits!
One rookie this week? Yay!
And, as always, the usual madness by Planet Z.
Go ahead and listen to them by clicking on the grammophone thingy there in the left column and then vote for your favorites (multiple selections are allowed):

Who had the best story in the 36th Weekly Challenge?
K Nine from Dead Dog Walkin
Blissful from Blissfully Unfulfilled
Lisa from Lemons and Lollipops
Caleb from the Black Tie Martini Club
Caroline from Quadra Island
Laieanna from Hodgepodge Point
Andrew of Dodgeblogium
Mark H.
Elisson from blog d’Elisson
Tom from Footnote Podcast
Sharon F.
Kolek from The Kolektive
Jim S. the Folderman
The IMAO Podcasters
The Mad Bard From Planet Z
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

WE GOTS PRIZES:
I will be sending the winner the cost of a cup of coffee through PayPal. And who’s on the five dollar bill? Heh heh heh…
So listen, vote, and tune in next week to find out who won!


The full text of each story:
K-NINE

I was a bartender once. I hated Christmas, so I always took the closing shift on December 24th.
It was usually a quiet night. One year, this old man wandered in just after midnight. Dirty white beard, paunchy and run down. He ordered peppermint schnapps.
“Laid me off, little bastards” he mumbled as I poured.
I tried to ignore him, but he kept on and on. “Whole thing’s automated, don’t need me anymore.”
Finally I said, “Happens to everyone eventually, old man”
His belly shook violently as he shouted, “Ho, ho, hold on there sonny! I was Santa Claus, damnit!”

BLISSFUL

She sat on the floor surrounded by presents wrapped in shiny, bright paper adorned with big bows. Her eyes were huge, her smile wide, and she bounced from sheer excitement. She paid little attention to the others in the room.
“Is it my turn yet?”
Every time she opened a gift, there was such hope and light in her eyes that the box in her little hands could have held any one of her dreams or desires. I looked down at the small box in my own and smiled to myself, “Is it my turn now?”

LISA

Christians had “Merry Christmas”,
Jewish people had “Happy Hanukah”,
PC people had “Happy Holidays”,
Africans had “Happy Kwanzaa”,
There was even: A Festivus for the rest of us
It was high time the Atheists got together to coin a phrase to celebrate another year on this planet. A planet they knew was not created by an intelligent designer.
The bigwigs got together and after a few heated debates and a couple bottles of brandy, they came to a consensus. From that day on, Atheists around the world would greet others during the holiday season with their own salutation:
REASON’S GREETINGS.

CALEB

Two men enter; one man leaves.
Santa Claus and Jesus Christ will once more enter the ring and battle for the meaning of Christmas.
Claus, the crowd favorite, comes in at 5’11” weighing 285 pounds and is surprisingly spry for a big man.
Christ, the challenger, weighs a scant 112 pounds and stands a diminutive 5’3″. He looks puny but has proven before to be able to take an enormous amount of punishment and keep going.
One offers eternal rewards in the afterlife while the other offers immediate commercial gratification.
They enter the ring…
Down Goes Jesus!
Down Goes Jesus!

CAROLINE

Harold wouldn’t see anyone this Christmastime. It was his own fault, grumpy and miserable he’d turned them all away, now they didn’t bother. On his nightly walk he looked in the church’s bay window. The nativity scene was set out. He stared for a time, suddenly the whole scene became surreal, the baby Jesus seemed to beckon him. He couldn’t pull himself away. With tears running down his face, he went home feeling joyful? Then a vehicle drew up outside his house. “Grampa Grampa” came the shouts; his children and grandchildren surrounded him. Tears of joy ran down his cheeks. He embraced them warmly.

LAIEANNA

Hank spit gristle out on the dusty road. “Sonofabitch tried to kill
my wife…barreling down like a lunatic.”
“Whadya do, Hank?” Teddy asked.
“I shot at the bastard. Near took his head off. Bullet just grazed
that goofy hat, but boy was he scared. Came down from the sky like a
shooting star.”
“Where’s he at now?”
“Hog tied in the back of my truck. Buried his sled out in the woods.”
Teddy grabbed another skewer and chomped on his supper, “Damn, these
sure are tender. Better than the usual deer.”
“That’s cause it’s exotic meat from the north.”

ANDREW

“What the hell is coming out of your arse?” I asked amused.
“Its me’ Christmas tail… I thought it might amuse de’ fans who are
sick of all the crap music at this time of year.”
“How’ll they see it…it’s a pretty big arena,” I queried my backing-singer.
“Oh I’ve made sure the camera-man knows about it!” She flirtingly cooed.
“I thought you’d taken up with some sort of S&M club after I saw that
tail,” She… didn’t get it.
I made a note to ask the tour manager to make sure cameras were on her
arse…only very briefly.

MARK

Xmas address by the world prime minister, 2046
Citizens, rediscover the true meaning of xmas this holiday. The winter solstice was once usurped as the birthday of a messiah. While enlightenment has not abolished gods, it has properly relegated them to the mythological realm with pseudoscience and astrology. Modern peoples enjoy xmas as a celebration of freedom from the tyranny of religion.
So, while you are shopping the internet world marketplaces, and partying with your avatars and friends, stop a moment to remember that your freedom from false beliefs is the result of thousands of years of evolution of your society, your species, and yourselves. Happy xmas, everyone!

ELISSON

Ho! Ho! Ho!
The visitor took the brightly wrapped gifts from his smoking sack, arranging them at the base of the tree.
He looked around. The children, no doubt, were cowering beneath their bedsheets.
On the mantel, cookies sat next to a glass of milk. He ate them, dumping the milk in the sink. A quick search through the liquor cabinet revealed a bottle of single malt; he drained half at one gulp.
He vanished up the chimney, trailing a faint pong of brimstone.
It was a one-time gig thanks to an unfilled straight, but they’d remember Satan Claus’s visit.

TOM

The image of the man did not match either mother or father’s description. If this was the man mother called the devil then his smile should have made him shiver. If this was the man father called one in need of redeemtion his smile should have been sadder.
The grace of his face was like an angle glowing in the Christmas morning snow. He pulled a chair next to the lad and warmed his hands by the fire.
“Have you come to take me away?” ask Tim.
“No I’ve come to help.” Said Ebenezer.
Tim closed his eyes and died.

SHARON

It was a family tradition that went back hundreds of years. On Christmas Eve the family gathered in the living room waiting for Grandma and her special eggnog. It was a guarded recipe that took weeks to make.
Grandma came in with a tray full of filled shot glasses. It was potent and no one dared asked for more. Each person took a glass and waited. Grandpa gave his speech and all downed the thick liquid quickly.
They went to bed wondering if they would be the lucky one. Wondering who would be wearing The Christmas Tail in the morning.

KOLEK

Inside the warm house, a man sat opposite a glowering fire, contemplating. Saint Nicholas always got credited for delivering gifts to everybody, which was not true.
“Santa” only delivered
gifts to the northern hemisphere. Nick would be overwhelmed if he had to do the whole world!
Yet, no thanks, no letters, nothing! Why didn’t he get any credit!?!
The blue robed man shrugged it off and rose from his armchair, ready to repeat the familiar Christmas traditions that no one appreciated.
Two days later, the “Southern Santa” was in jail… again.
“Why don’t you just take your medication?” his doctor asked.

JIM S THE FOLDERMAN

For years, the feud continued. Both of them believed that there was no way in HELL that the other could have any semblance of truth on their side.
After a long discussion with a third party, he became aware that none of it was nearly as important as he previously believed. After much soul-searching and self-examination, he came to a conclusion.
On Christmas day, he trudged through the snowdrifts and knocked on her door. A VERY long journey would end today. Christ was present in his heart when she opened the door and pulled the trigger, ending their long-overdue reconciliation.

IMAO
(FrankJ and SarahK as Eric and Susan
Right Wing Duck as Jimmy
Harvey as the Narrator
and a special guest appearance by Spacemonkey as Santa Claus)

Jimmy put the cookies and milk out on the mantelpiece.
“Isn’t that cute?” said Susan. “Our boy is so wonderful.”
“It’s insane,” said Eric. “There’s no such thing as Santa Claus.”
Later that night, Jimmy heard a jingle and a thud.
He jumped out of bed and ran downstairs, giggling.
Santa was in front of the fireplace, his hands on his throat, dead.
Jimmy screamed in horror.
When Susan and Eric came downstairs, they saw the dead Santa and tried to comfort Jimmy.
“I’m so sorry,” they told him.
“I am too,” said Jimmy. ” I was trying to poison Daddy.”

Z

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up


Thanks to everyone for sending in their stories, and I look forward to what you’ve got to write (and say) next week.
The theme for next week’s Weekly Challenge will be posted shortly.
(In case you’re interested, I’ve settled on “Clair de Lune” as the opening music and “Moonshine” by Michael Oldfield from the Tubular Bells II album.)

Some Assembly Required

622715

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.
No, it’s not because of the stockings hung with care or the tree trimmed to perfection.
It’s because the floor is covered with bicycle parts of various sizes, shapes, and sharpnesses.
Which end is up? Which end is down?
Then there’s the Salvador Dali-esque ambiguity of the parts. Take, for instance, this thing: it’s either a fuser or a gearshift.
I still think they got packed with a photocopier’s manual.
Oh well. I’ll just put it together, sit on it, and we’ll see if I roll or make copies of my butt.

The Wacky Adventures Of Abraham Lincoln 45

435380

Abe looked at the Santa Claus that had been hired for the Christmas Party and scowled.
“He’s drunk,” said the president. “And he can’t keep his hands off the ladies.”
“I’ll have him removed, sir,” said his bodyguard.
The bodyguard grabbed Santa, who protested loudly.
“I am not drunk and lewd! I am merely acting! I am an actor!”
“That’s nice,” said the bodyguard, dragging him out the front door.
Santa shook his fist at the White House. “John Wilkes Booth shall have his revenge!”
History tells us that he did. But not about the Santa gig.
Goddamned Carl Sandberg.

Housebroken

477385

Frosty the snowman told his wife Krystal that he didn’t want a dog.
Krystal insisted. “We need him for security,” she said.
“Dogs are messy things,” said Frosty. “And they make snow yellow.”
Frosty lost. They got the dog.
“Stupid dog,” mumbled Frosty.
Frosty tried to housebreak the thing, but it kept falling asleep in front of the fireplace and melting all over the carpet.
“Your dog wet the carpet again,” said Krystal.
“My dog?”
Frosty sighed, held up one of the dog’s coal eyes, and pointed it at the wet spot.
“Look what you did!” shouted Frosty. “Bad doggy!”