Chapter 9: Santa Got A Raw Deal

This seems strange to me
The movies had that movie thing,
but nonsense has a welcome ring
and heroes don't come easy.
Now, nonsense isn't new to me.
I know my head, I know my feet
but mischief knocked me in the knees.

And it said, Just let go


Santa was a bit surprised to discover that the party also included a Welsh Corgi. He somehow missed that in the department store. Right now, the dog was batting an empty pantyhose egg around the store with visible amusement. After drinking about half a box of White Zinfandel, labeled only as "pink" on the package, he finished his story. He was the very last person on a street of small, independent businesses to be bought out by the mall developers. His dad had just died, and Santa would be damned if he were going to give up his father's life work so easily. Plus, it would put him right out of a job. He had kids to consider, and the money they were offering wasn't enough to support a family for any length of time. So the Mall People cut him a deal. If he bought out, they would give Santa a job in the new mall. No questions asked. Santa accepted. And...

"What job did Mall Persons give you?" Ed cocked her head in interest.

Santa downed the last of his pink and replied, "This." In one quick wave of his hand, he summed himself up. A Department Store Santa. A lousy three week season and even lousier pay, with an option to renew in the spring, if he wanted to be the Easter Bunny. "I got nothin' now. My wife left me. I lost my shop. For this. I traded my whole life for a Santa costume."

Even Edward, who was notoriously green in the negotiating department, could see that Santa got a raw deal. She would not want to trade the Bebop for a Santa costume. She couldn't even eat it! Ed bounced into a handstand, as she usually did when she was thinking hard. Santa seemed weirded out by the sudden movement, but then pounded another cup of pink wine and shrugged it off.

Ed was now officially involved. What happened to Santa was wrong. She knew that. And she knew that Santa did not really want to steal gardening equipment. No one really wants to steal gardening equipment. Except maybe the hoe. Ed kinda liked the hoe. It was shaped funny and the name was fun to say. Hoe, hoe, hoe!

Back to Santa. Santa did not really want to steal. Santa just wanted to make people angry. Santa was making a statement! She knew a little bit about statements. A lot of the people her roommates caught talked about statements. She also knew that a lot of the time, these people were full of crap. That was a Jet word. Crap.

But sometimes, they weren't full of crap. She could always tell when they weren't full of crap because everyone would look at each other funny. And then the person would "get away." No one told fish stories quite like the Bebop, the only ship in history to throw back the big ones.

Santa was not full of crap but he was going to get into a lot of trouble. Santa wasn't really good at robbing people and Ed was certain he would be caught. Ed was very good at robbing people. Ed was good at anything she wanted to be good at. But robbing the mall wasn't going to make a statement. Lucky for Santa, Ed knew exactly what would.

"Let's GO!" she declared suddenly, startling Santa so badly he splooshed pink wine all over his suit. "What? Where? What are you talking..."

Ed suddenly pounced on Santa Person, wrapping one arm around his neck for support and her other hand around his mouth. "Shhh..." she said. "No questions. Just follow the bouncing Ed." Santa looked directly into the amber eyes peaking out from behind her scarf and wondered if this thing hanging off of him was even human at all. It looked so young but something about it seemed older than even he. Maybe there really was such thing as elves. Ed whistled for Ein, who came barreling out from somewhere in the food aisle. "Reindeer," Ed grinned, and then back flipped off Santa person, using his chest as a springboard. Santa was only mildly surprised to realize the elf was literally bouncing.

"Yeah..." Santa said cautiously. "Reindeer."



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