Santa had a headache. He was hung over from last night’s party and had little memory of what had happened. Most of a bottle of scotch was gone and perhaps a incident involving a stripper and a pole might have occurred. He had not had a bath in quite a while and his not so white beard had the remnants of this morning’s breakfast. His protruding belly hung over his threatened to burst out of his pajama top. Mrs Claus was out for the evening and was not happy to find empty bottles, candy wrappers and a stray panty strewn about when she got home. She did not speak to him all day, and glared at him if he dared to apologize.
Santa knew behind Mrs. Claus’ kind, grandmother exterior lurked an evil witch if crossed. A vague sense of unease him haunted him when he thought about what she might do for revenge.
As a result, he was not in a good mood. The elves showed more interest in playing video games than in making toys and caring for the reindeer. One of them, Prancer, had a strange reaction to whatever he had eaten and as a result produced prodigious amounts of flatus. Feeding the reindeer was not Santa’s job. He didn’t even like reindeer because they were moody and tended to bite without provocation.
He biggest concern was a lack of coal to put in nasty childrens’ stockings. An epidemic of foul-mouthed, badly-behaving brats, along with a coal shortage had left him to ponder other options. He had a surplus of 1990's flip phones in his warehouse. That would have to do.
He mulled this option when his head elf, Bombadeer, burst in. Bombadeer had possibly the bushiest unibrow in existence. He also had a high-pitched voice that sounded more chipmunk than elfish. “Santa, Santa! All the reindeer are sick!”
Stabbing pain filled Santa’s head. “What the hell is wrong with them?” Bombadeer’s fluorescent red-striped elf outfit made Santa’s head feel worse.
“Somehow they got into some psychedelic mushrooms and got high. Then they farted so much in their enclosed barn that they all passed out from the gas. We aired out the place, but they are still weak and lethargic.”
“Where the hell did the mushrooms come from?” Santa groaned and rubbed his forehead. Christmas is tomorrow night.
The elf scratched his head. “I don’t know. There aren’t any growing right now.”
I bet I know. “How am I supposed the deliver all the damn presents?” Santa roared.
“There is one possibility. Sleigh goats.” The elf stared at Santa’s bloodshot eyes.
“Sleigh goats? They cost a fortune and eat everything in sight. What do they want as payment?”
“Sir, they have to be paid double overtime and demand a hundred pounds of the finest alfalfa.” Bombadeer tried not to look at the hole in Santa’s pajamas exposed through the gap of the dirty robe.
“Thieves! Any other possibility, preferably cheaper?”
“There are sleigh gnomes. But they will want to be paid in reindeer urine.”
“Reindeer pee? Disgusting. Why on earth?” Santa asked.
“They heard that the reindeer ate the mushrooms and they want to get high off the urine.” Bombadeer hoped Santa wouldn’t go this route. In the barely averted disaster of ‘09, the gnomes were given psychedelic urine in advance for a delivery of women’s hats. They were so stoned that instead of delivering the hats, they donned them and had ran singing through the streets, wearing nothing else.
“Go collect it then. But don’t give it to them beforehand.”
“Sir, the elves will be unhappy about this.”
“I don’t want hear about it. Just get it done.” Santa sighed.
Santa walked out into the crisp, clean starry night, his boots crunching on the snow. The sled was ready to go, but the gnomes were not. They sprawled on the ground, drinking a suspicious yellow liquid from cups.
“Wassup?” one drawled.
“Wassup? I’m flying! Look at the pretty stars. I can touch them!” Another gnome chimed in as he reached for an imaginary object.
Santa looked at the ugly, squat gnomes, who were in no shape to guide the sleigh. “Who gave the gnomes the urine? They were supposed to get it AFTER the job!” he screamed. Damn elves! Now what am I going to do?
“Santa, Santa! The reindeer have recovered!” Bombadeer, shouted as he ran. His unibrow waggled.
“Well, get them hooked up and get these bums out of here! How did they get well so fast?” Santa took a flask out of his pocket and swigged on it.
“We gave them gallons of Pepto-bismol, charcoal and Metamucil and fed them the flowers that you were going to use for your party. Perked them right up. The barn smells pretty bad, though.” Bombadeer crinkled his nose as an elf led the reindeer out.
“Pretty horses,” a gnome remarked. The snow was yellow around him. The reindeer, now hitched to the sleigh, sniffed the air and tried to inch closer to him.
Santa yanked them away with the reins.“Now Dasher!, now Dancer!, now Prancer and Vixen! On Comet!...oh, screw it. Phew, you guys stink!” Santa held his nose. The gas problem wasn’t solved. It was going to be a long night.
Then Santa and the sleigh were gone in an explosion of sparkles. The gnomes “ahhed.”
“Did one of those reindeer have a red nose? Or am I high?” one gnome giggled, rolling on the ground into a pile of reindeer poo.
“Bombadeer, want to party?” A burly gnome dressed in a pink tutu offered the elf a cup.
“Don’t mind if I do.” Bombadeer sipped, grimacing at the acrid taste.
“Where did my flowers go?” screamed Mrs. Claus from the house. Her usually perfectly coiffed white hair was in disarray and her glasses were crooked. She held a glass of vodka. Her hands were stained with mushroom debris.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas.” squeaked Bombadeer as he waved and then took another sip.
“Oh, shut up!” cried Mrs. Claus. But she smirked, and wiped her hands on her apron.