Friday, December 3, 2010

The Second Rate Santa and the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly ... but mostly the Ugly.

When you mention mall Santas, most people think of kids, and probably 90% of the people who stood in line and came to sit on my lap were under the age of twelve. Then you had the older kids who hated to be there, but their parents still wanted that yearly picture so they forced them to shuffle up and plop down beside Santa in the over-sized chair. Those 'tweens and teenagers wouldn't be caught dead sitting on my, or any other Santa's lap.

Then there were the older people -- women mostly, but a few men as well. They were a mixed bag. Some were all TOO eager to sit on Ol' Saint Nick's lap and reveal their heart's desire. They, the adults ran the gamut from ...

The Good - An entire shift of Hooter's girls, a couple of shapely twins, and pretty young woman who only wanted to ask Santa for her fiance to be sent back stateside from Croatia in time for their planned Valentine's day wedding.

The Bad - An obviously gay man in a trench coat, no I can't say for certain that he had on anything else, the women who obviously had some kind of Santa fetish and delighted in making my cheeks rosy, and the plethora of hacking, wheezing flu-ravaged people who thought I, as a mall Santa, had the magical ability to ward off disease.

The Ugly - The ugly took many, many forms and will be fodder for this series throughout. When I say ugly I don't just mean physically though Frosty knows there were plenty that filled that sleigh. Along with the aesthetically challenged I had to deal with the hygiene deficient, the personality perplexed, and the downright delusional that actually thought I could fulfill their wishes. Then, there were those who fell into all of those categories. Plus some. The couple from today's installment certainly fits that bill.

It was early on, in that first week after Thanksgiving, before I'd become completely jaded against the entire legend of Santa Claus. I'd already encountered a few weird things, but I chalked those up as anomalies. 
The night had been steady, but far from the hectic madhouse it would become in a few short weeks, and with less than an hour to go until the mall closed I was feeling rather jolly. (A couple of weeks alter the mall started staying open til midnight and then with an hour to go I was just trying to sane.) Most of the elves had gone come so it was just Galen and me. He took the pictures, I smiled and listened to the kids lists.

But our next customers were far from being kids. And as they walked up Galen whispered out the the side of his mouth, "Get a load of these two."
They were in their early twenties. She wore a pair of ratty red sweat pants that were two sizes two small and with her rotund build the overall package looked sort of like Santa's gift bag. If it were overstuffed with two dozen Christmas hams. The woman's hair hadn't seen a brush since Prancer was nothing but a twinkle in his mother's eye, but she's lathered on enough make-up to make Rudolph's nose seem dull.

In stereotypical fashion her boyfriend was as skinny as she was large. His body was all angles and bones, like a broken up candy cane. A smudge above his upper lip that could have been a moustache or a stain of chimney soot. A chain hung from his grease-stained jeans and the cap on his head said something like, Truckers Do It For The Long Haul.
I made room for them to sit one on each side but of course she plopped down right on my left knee. With a pat on my right, she said, "Bobby you sit here."

He shook his head. "I don't think so." His filthy hair hung stiff like icicles. Though I'd never seen icicles made of oil. But just because I'd never seen it, didn't mean 10w-40 didn't freeze.

Like I said, I still had a bit of holiday cheer in me so I gave Jack Sprat and his girlfriend a hearty, "Merry Christmas!"
He mumbled something that might have been " Fuck off and die," but I can't say for certain.

Next, as was customary, I asked what they wanted Santa to bring them this year.

She giggled and said, "An engagement ring would be nice."
"Dream on," he answered.
"Maybe a puppy then."
He cast her a dirty look. "What are you stupid? You know my mom is allergic."
She returned his nasty expression with one of her own. "Then maybe we could move to a place of our own."

At this point Galen said smile and the flash went off just as the boyfriend said, "This is bullshit. I ain't made of money."
He grabbed the girls hand and yanked her down from my lap. My knee thanked him.

Galen said to them," Want to have a look at your picture?"

"Hell no. We ain't buying no fuckin' picture."
The girl stopped walking. She crossed her arms across her chest and stuck out her bottom lip like a two-year-old. "I want a picture."
"What for?"
"I just do."
He hauled out his wallet by tugging on the chain." Okay, but this counts as part of your present."

As he paid Galen, the girl said, "Gawd, Bobby you can be such an asshole."
He shrugged. "And you can be a bitch."
Smiling, she draped an arm across his skinny waist and slid her hand into his back pocket. "I know, but that's why you love me."

Galen handed the happy couple their photo and they walked away, arm in arm. Just before they rounded the corner he grabbed a handful of her ample sweatpant covered ham. 
Sometime next week I'll post another of these stories about my year as a mall Santa.


Janet Ursel said...

LOL. I love stories that make me feel normal and well-adjusted.

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh wow. I can't stop laughing. I've seen too many of those types of couples over the years!

anita said...

OMG, this is hilarious! Ain't love grand, in all of it's multi-dimensional splendor?

Thanks for the laugh! ;-)

Teresa said...

ROFL! Great story, Travis. Maybe you should do a book called "The Santa Chronicles."

Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't realize that being a Mall Santa deserved hazard pay.

Aleta said...

Wow, ain't love grand. Ugh.

I've never read anything from "Santa's" point of view - this is priceless!

Looking forward to reading more :)

Joanne said...

Okay I'm definitely seeing a Christmas memoir in these stories ... I hope you took notes!

Bee said...

I see a whole book of Mall Santa short stories here. I'm sure you could market this, no prob!

Wonderfully hilarious details.

Old Kitty said...

Oh my goodness. I'm sure there's a sign at the grotto's entrance stating " you have to be this height or below to sit on santa's lap"!!!

I am so so so sorry you had to put up with such crassness but by jingo they're great fodder for your very funny memoirs!!!

Take care

Sarah Hina said...

The horror....the horror....

Hilary said...

Geesh it never once occurred to me that "adults" might want to sit with Santa. Looking forward to more tales.

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks for the laugh Travis and Happy Holidays.

the walking man said...

You could have claimed workman;s comp for that knee injury. But the real question is how often did jerry clean the Santa outfit?

Kathryn Magendie said...

OMG laughing -- I'm reminded of David Sedaris here! ...

Oh, I'm feeling all warm and fuzzy with your story *laugh*

Elly Lou said...

Mmm. Loved the comparison to the broken candy cane! Also, now I kinda want to find myself some ridiculously small sweat pants for some cheap thrills.

Jenn Jilks said...

I love the parade of mall weirdos! You've painted them well.

Thanks for the condolences. I dreamed last night my (late) mother, with whom I lived (?) was adopting a puppy. Yikes!

B.E. Sanderson said...

LOL, that was truly disturbing. I hope you didn't catch anything while Princess was seated on your lap. ;o)

Thanks for the chuckle. You really should do a book of these stories. Adventures of a Mall Santa. =o)

Mama Kelly aka Jia said...

ah a holiday story that manages to be at once sweet sick and sad ... you know a book of these would probably sell like hotcakes

DrillerAA09 said...

I'm not sure they print enough money to get me to be a mauled Santa.

Oh yeah, BOOMER Sooner!
2010 Big 12 Football Champions.

David Cranmer said...

For "An entire shift of Hooter's girls, a couple of shapely twins.." I could deal with the rest.

Duck said...

What's up with the Nebraska/Washington bowl rematch? Sorry your boys couldn't get a slightly better game than that.

Barrie said...

I hadn't thought about how sick mall Santas must get. Yikes.

sybil law said...

I know I could never do that job, but still. Nasty.
I hate people.


slommler said...

I couldn't imagine being a mall Santa! I mean, seriously!
This story is a riot! I think I would have been terrified of catching something. Ha!
What an interesting couple to say the least!!!!!
And such love...just brimming over!
Congrats on your POTW!

Cricket said...

Funny and instructive. Scratch "mall Santa" of my list of potential ways to make a holiday buck. I was not blessed with an overabundance of patience to begin with. I'd never make it. I'd be the one cursing...

Mommy! I think Santa told me to f*** off !

Yeah, here's a nice lump of coal for you.

Anonymous said...

Hoowee. Nice couple, but I'm glad they found one another because no one else would want them. I see icky people like this everywhere.

Congratulations on POTW!!