(c) 2005 by Laurie Kay Olson
(Earl Parker to spend New Year’s in Dog House)
Well, it all started when my boy Bubba come home Christmas Eve
All worried ‘cause some o’ the bigger kids’ tol’ him that Santa
Had died in a water skiin’ accident while on vacation down in Baja
So there wasn’t goin’ to be no presents comin’ this year.
He didn’t know how he was goin’ to get his Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots
Since he’d had to pay for the broken window down to the mortuary
After him an’ little Billy Watson got over excited on Halloween
An’ thought there was a zombie comin’ after them while they was Trick or Treatin’
Next door at the Mason’s house ‘cause they give the best candy in town.
I think that is was partly their fault since ol’ Orrin Mason dressed up as a scarecrow
An’ waited on the front porch like he was a real scarecrow just flopped on an ol’ chair.
He’d come to life at the last second and scare the kids halfway to the firehouse
Afore his wife, Dottie, would call them back an’ give ‘em extra candy to calm ‘em down.
I’m sure Dottie reamed him but good once the kids were outta earshot.
Then again, even Orrin couldn’t’a figured that one little ol’ candy bar
Would make it all the way to the second floor window,
Let alone actually break the glass.
It nearly scared ol’ Kenny Frewer, the mortician’s assistant, half to death.
All he’d been doin’ was puttin’ on his coat while lookin’ out the window.
Although his choice of Halloween costume with the ax in his skull
Probably wasn’t the best one right then an’ there.
He did kinda look like a zombie just risen up and walkin’ through the mortuary.
But I die-gress. Bubba come home that afternoon a couple o’ weeks ago
Walkin’ like he had the weight o’ the whole world on his shoulders
An’ lookin’ like it was all gonna end tomorra anyway.
Nothin’ me or Erma Rose could say would convince him that Santa was still a-comin’ –
Not even when we explained that Rudolph had rescued him at the last minute
An’ given him a good dose of that mouth to mouth resurrection,
An’ the worst Santa had suffered after all that was a bad sunburn.
So there I was, tryin’ to figure out how to make Christmas okay for Bubba.
An’ not comin’ up with much of anythin’ on my own brain power.
So I went over to ol’ Doug Miller’s place to see if he had any bright ideas
Since somethin’ similar had happened to his girl, Willie Ann, a few years back.
His wife, Lurleen, served us some o’ her spicey eggnog while we talked it over.
I don’t know how I forget from one Christmas to the next how she makes it –
You know, not enough egg and too much nog, if you get my meanin’.
Afore I realized what was happenin’ Doug an’ me were standin’ on the roof o’ my place
Singin’ Christmas carols like there wasn’t no tomorrow an’ getting’ half the words wrong.
But by that time we was way past carin’ an focused on the task at hand.
Gettin’ me down the chimney in a Santa suit we had borrowed from Doc Corwin
Once he was done givin’ out presents to the orphans down to the Legion Hall.
Doug tied a rope ‘round my middle to lower me down slow an’ off I went.
It was a tighter fit than we had figured, but I was still goin’ down.
Next thing I knowed everything was goin’ down an’ there I was in the livin’ room
With all the bricks and soot all over the place an’ Erma Rose givin’ me “the look.”
I was just glad that she was too distracted by Bubba’s problem
To make up a big, festive fire for Christmas Eve
Or I’d’a come off a might burnt around the edges.
Bubba an’ Loretta Sue were so surprised that they spilt their hot cocoa all over everything.
I know I’m gonna be apologizin’ for this one right on into the next century
Providin’ Erma Rose lets me live that long.
As for Bubba, he’s decided to go one believin’ in Santa Claus forever.
He says that not believin’ is too hard on his nerves.
I say it’s too hard on my backside an’ my liver.