Claus Out

Santa was already well-aware that he was in the “vulnerable,” “predisposed” category. What with being an octogenarian many times over and having a, to use understatement, plump figure. And yes, of course, he had heard all about that “new strain” that was going around and that he ought to just side-step the UK and South Africa altogether. But Santa was a man accustomed to moving about freely. That is, indeed, the crux of his entire job. Whether he’s riding in his sleigh or bareback on a narwhal (a lesser known mode of transportation that Santa uses, but one he uses nonetheless)–Santa absolutely has to “tool around.” Thus, for him to get corona would be utterly catastrophic in implications, able to spread it with every “plop” after landing (that kinky bastard did so love to get poked by the andiron in a fireplace) from the chimney and emanating–as though spores–those ‘rona balls everywhere. Then, of course, he would eat the cookies and drink the milk left behind, offering plenty of his DNA to be touched while whoever picked up the dishes then added further risk by washing them with the communal sponge.

Yes, all the elves knew it would be dangerous for Santa to get “the disease” for many reasons. His super-spreading nature and his physical decrepitude being at the top of the list (the “Naughty” list, obviously… in fact, Miss Rona herself was at the top as well, being presumed to be an impetuous little girl by someone as “old school” [read: misogynistic] as Santa). His “Head Elf,” Icepick, knew better than anyone that it was his responsibility to keep Santa from acting so goddamn buck wild in his comportment. Never washing his hands and then entering the toy shop to touch and examine all the PS5s they had crafted; leaving his food on the table–knowing full well that no elf can resist the temptation of sweets; worst of all, he was impossible when it came to covering his mouth when he sneezed. 

With word of corona hitting the North Pole’s arch nemesis, the South Pole (a.k.a. Antarctica), Icepick could feel it was just a matter of time before the plague hit this side of the globe. They wanted to believe in the hooey that super cold weather was a deterrent to it (just like a certain Orange One wanted to make others believe that warm weather would be). But just because one believed in hooey did not mean that it would come true. In short, just because a bunch of doltish children clap their hands does not mean Tinkerbell will come back to life. In fact, that bitch has been dead for decades. 

Icepick’s increasing nervousness was taking a toll on the workshop, with his paranoid attitude and obsession with cleanliness and sanitization ruining everyone else’s flow. It was causing a major backlog in the chain, and Santa was starting to take notice, bellowing, “If you lazy motherfuckers don’t finish this shit on time, it’s my fucking head on a platter! My integrity at stake! Get it fucking done or I will end you!” These final two words echoed throughout the entire North Pole. If it were a movie there would’ve been a close-up on a lone deer blinking fearfully at the camera after an extreme long shot had established the former quietness and undisturbed desolation of the space. But this was no movie, it was real life, and Santa was hopping mad. Perhaps his overall choleric nature at this juncture is what made him more prone to getting infected. Emotions, after all, are very much tied to one’s health and wellness. 

Icepick was the least surprised, but the most worried when he started to see Santa displaying signs of the disease. First, it was that he couldn’t taste. That was the most appalling of all. It couldn’t get any worse for a “gourmand” (read: fatso) like Santa. And as the symptoms escalated to fever and unremitting coughing by the morning of Christmas Eve, Icepick was absolutely insistent that Santa stay at the North Pole and let Mrs. Claus tend to him until they could call in their favor from “President” Trump (always in league with capitalist bastards like Santa) to send over a few crates of the vaccine (like an assortment of chocolates, “President” Trump would offer the choice between Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax and a few others). 

But Santa, just as “President” Trump himself (also round and oddly skin-toned for a white man), was insistent that he felt better than ever. That he could fight Covid (if he even had it, which he insisted he did not) with as much grit and gumption because he wasn’t “afraid of no goddamn cold.” It’s not a cold, Icepick wanted to shout. Yet he knew it was useless to explain to Santa that he was putting the entire rest of the world at risk–likely to infect every last human if he went on his usual journey tonight (the one that, conveniently, skipped most African and South American countries–as well as the Big Scaries: Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Mongolia, Turkey, Syria, North Korea and China [who could furnish plenty of toys to its youth without Santa’s help]). There was only one way to stop Santa, and yes, it would mean that no snot-nosed child would receive their expected material goods. 

***

One minute loading the final sack onto the back of his water sleigh (he decided to take the narwhals this year, in the end), the next seeing stars that had nothing to do with the North one, Santa awoke bound and gagged. He had been placed on the andiron of the workshop’s fireplace, like a prized pig on his stomach. Icepick had talked all the other elves into aiding him in the conspiracy, knowing full well that they were all too ready to rebel against the man who had been particularly abusive and oppressive this year. 

He mumbled and snorted unintelligibly. By now, the rest of the elves had been infected with Santa’s disease as well. This was something that Icepick did not make them privy to. As far as they knew, this was just a garden variety mutiny against an unconscionable employer. But no, Icepick’s plan was bigger than that. He would let the plague run its course within them all–allowing it to wipe them out as Icepick should have done himself long ago. To end this hollow holiday and every selfish expectation it had begotten over the centuries.

Mrs. Claus was in on the deal, she being quite fed up with having a husband so fat, he couldn’t even find his dick to fuck her with. She had already packed her bags and was halfway to the Bahamas. Icepick would have liked to have joined her, to tell her how he had really felt about her all these years, but there was a higher purpose to serve. And Icepick would be damned if he didn’t watch Santa and the rest of them take their last breaths. Even if it meant he had to take his as well. Good night, Santa, you not so sweet prince. Good night, Christmas, you not so sweet emblem of capitalistic indulgence.

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