H. Neal Glanville: Post-traumatic Santa stress

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H. Neal Glanville

Notice: This is a real, honest-to-goodness disclaimer. I took no part in this misadventure, and studies have shown that parents who attempt this may cause phobias even Santa Claus can’t buy his way out of.

Long ago, when Roy and I were much younger (I believe I was younger then than our sons are now), my beloved brother caught a bit of the weak side flu and decided dressing up as Santa Claus on the eve of his getting there was the way to go.

Now, I’m a bit on the sinewy side, but Roy was always older, taller and, much to his dismay, skinnier. Was that, combined with the lack of a Santa suit, going to halt this man on a mission ordered by the weak side?

Please return to the disclaimer.

Roy dug out his Union Suit, a one-piece chunk of long, red underwear, and we started stuffing it with pillows. Now, you’d think a family of four would have enough pillows for any occasion, right?

Nope, I remember pulling the ugliest plaid covered cushion known to mankind off somebody’s chair to finish his little project off, and as to Santa’s beard I can’t remember if it was built out of a single bunch of cotton, or if we glued a handful of cotton balls to his face.

In either case, he was a grand Santa.

The mothers were busy telling all who could hear that the gift-giver-away person was very near and that any child under the age of however old I was should be in bed and sound asleep.

After sneaking out of the house and then quietly untangling his bulbous body from the Lilac bushes, Roy started going from window to window, peeking in and ringing some kind of noiseless bell.

Of course, the moms got their do-dads in a bunch, rushing our two boys to the window Roy had just left.

Suddenly, the weak side sneezed and normalcy returned. Roy laid low by the north window and waited for the boys.

When Jeff and Kris broke free of their motherly guides, they headed straight for the Christmas tree, which was next to the window my beloved brother was squatting under, acquiring frostbite.

Peeking in, he recognized our sons, rang his noiseless bell, jumped up, pressed his face to the glass, and started tapping it with his noiseless bell.

Yes, of course the boys freaked out.

One went for the kitchen, the other swan-dived under the tree. Roy, fearing he’d aged the boys 40 years, came around the house and burst through the front door.

There was again another freak out.

Santa didn’t fair well chasing his son through the house yelling, “It’s me, son, it’s me.”

Mom did much better throwing Roy in the bedroom until he dressed normally. I, being an innocent bystander, just rolled around on the floor trying to keep my pants dry.

As of this date, Dec. 26, 2010, Jeffery has never sat in Santa’s lap nor mailed him a list of what he may or may not have been good enough for.

Now for something completely different

When you finish this column, please find the Saturday Morning Press and read the letter to the editor from Mike Knez.

Although at times I’m so far to the right I’m unable to use revolving doors, Mr. Knez rammed the spike home when he wrote, “United we stand, divided we fall.”

Hey, you be careful out there.

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