29 DAYS LEFT
THIS CHAPTER BROUGHT TO YOU BY FANTASY BANKINGTM
“INVESTING YOUR FANTASY MILLIONS WISELY”
“Rudolph, instead of sending coal to the naughty people for Christmas, I’ll be launching ICBMs. They’ll be heading south in ten minutes.” I slapped my knee. “Haw! Everything is south from here.”
Rudolph’s red nose glowed bright. “Sir, we have nuclear missiles? Nuclear missiles? How did we acquire nuclear missiles?”
“My furry friend, what do you think my elves build in their workshop every January and February? They do a good job. Every one of my missiles can strike anywhere in the world.” My hands traced a blossoming mushroom cloud.
Rudolph shook his antlers. “No sir, don’t do it. I take great pride in guiding your sleigh every year. You know how you love giving gifts to all the nice kids. Maybe you are just having bi-polar issues.”
“No,” I said, “I’ve been taking my meds.”
“Santa, Sir, things are not so bad,” said Rudolph, “you shouldn’t be so cranky.”
“So cranky. So cranky,” I said. “I have great reason to be cranky. The Elves are on strike, demanding I stop outsourcing jobs to India. I might have to move to the South Pole because of global warming. Mrs. Claus has gone to Peru to get in touch with her inner self and Prancer has just come out of the closet.”
Rudolph nuzzled me. “Still, that’s no reason to nuke the world.”
I sighed. “No, my friend, that’s not the real reason. I used to put “caught being good” marks by most people’s names whenever I spied on them. Now people for whatever reason–-drinking skim milk maybe–-design perpetually jamming printers and fire surface-to-air missiles at anything that flies by. Why, last Christmas, I couldn’t even fly my sleigh through the night skies without a little F-16 escort from my friends at NORAD.”
“Oh,” said Rudolph, “I think you’re exaggerating. I’ll bet there a lot more nice people than naughty.”
“Oh yeah,” I said. I turned on my Little JohnnyTM computer and brought up my Santa’s Naughty or NiceTM software. I pointed toward the monitor. “Look, look. Over four billion people are naughty and fewer than two billion are nice.”
Rudolph did peruse the screen. Indeed, many more naughty acts were being caught than good ones by my extensive global network of satellites.
As Rudolph said nothing, I continued. “If people want any more presents from me, heck, if they want merely not to be nuked, I’m going to need to find at least as many nice folks as naughty by Christmas Eve. But I doubt if I can. That’s why I’ve set the launch times.”
“Won’t you miss the milk and cookies that the good little boys and girls will give?” asked Rudolph. “Can you really break their little hearts? Substituting nuclear winter for seasonal snow?”
I sighed. “If only two billion more people were nicer. You know, gave to charities, opened doors for little old ladies, read a story to a toddler, or brushed their teeth, I’d cancel the launches.”
Rudolph thought for a minute. “It’s a bit much to expect that many people to change so quickly. How about a test case? How about if just one chosen person changes the world for the better by Christmas Eve, would you stop the launching of the nuclear missiles?”
“For the sake of that one person, I would,” I said.
“Whom will you choose?”
“Sam Mollusk,” I said. “He’s kin.”
Rudolph raised the deer equivalent of an eyebrow. “Sir, does Sam have to be good to make the whole world better? Couldn’t he just buy more Li’l PathfinderTM cookies? Or maybe eliminate a bit of evil here and there?”
I slapped my knee. “Rudolph, you’re a genius. Killing naughty people would make the world a nicer place. Yes my friend, if Sam Mollusk kills enough naughty people I promise you there will be a happy, missile-free Christmas after all.”
Rudolph coughed. “I wasn’t proposing such a solution.”
“Ho! Ho! Ho! You’re being too modest, my red-nosed friend. If only people would help out their friends and neighbors with a little beneficial murder here and there.”
Rudolph shook his furry head. “Sir, how do you know Sam Mollusk will commit these beneficial murders?”
I beamed with pride. “He’s a good kid.”
“But sir, lots of good kids never commit murders of any sort. How are you going to get him started?”
“Rudolph, he comes from the same bloodline as I do. The Claus line has always wanted to bring joy to the world, sometimes by giving, like me up to now, and sometimes by killing, like my kin Wyatt Earp.
“Besides, my furry friend, Sam Mollusk drives a tiny Prius. Trust me, he’s ready to kill.”
I, Santa, pushed the button to watch coverage from my satellites orbiting over Poway, California. I said to my monitor, “Ah, Mr. Mollusk, I will be following your every move. You have thirty days to commit thirty beneficial murders. Will you do it?”
Rudolph smiled at me. “If I get a nice cup of OvaltineTM will you make it twenty-nine days to accomplish twenty-nine beneficial murders? That will give him to Christmas Eve.”
I, Santa, laughed. “All right my friend, I’m such a softie. Twenty nine in twenty nine it is.”
29 FIENDISH DAYS LEFT
THOSE BASTARD AL QAEDAS
“Sabaaaaah el kheir, Al Qaeda! (Goooood morning, Al Qaeda!) Hi, I’m your radio host, Yusef Al Din, the Master of Mayhem, the Duke of Destruction, bringing your favorite songs of hate from the ‘50s and ‘60s till prayer time. But first the news.
“The three blind judges of Abiraz have chosen Sarani Said of Egypt to be this year’s Miss Burka. In the likely event of her martyrdom, Halmai’i Barrani of Libya will take over.
“Fiendish sources in Afghanistan tell of budgetary concerns in Al Qaeda cells worldwide. Says Hoshni Al Fiendi, CEO of Al Qaeda, ‘We are running out of funds. What with the worldwide downturn and lingering image problems, it’s been a bad year for donations. Even our TV marathons and falafel bakes aren’t raising much. Our cash flow problems are so bad that we face a hostile takeover by TupperwareTM on December 24.’
“We righteous warriors cannot let this happen. Unless we raise enough Dinars by that time we shall unleash the Great Unleashing where every terrorist will be sent on a suicide bombing mission to a single, spectacular target.
“We have been resisting the Great Unleashing because frankly, it is suicidal. Or the Great Satan might wipe out all humanity with retaliatory nuclear strikes. And if we all die, what will happen to Al Qaeda? Gone the way of five-cent falafel. So, give all you can, right away.
“And now a word from our sponsor, Abd al-Tijana, CFO of Al Qaeda.”
“Unemployed? Tired of a dead-end job? Well, come on over to Al Qaeda Central. Our recent spate of suicide bombings means openings at the ground level. Must have references.
“Do you hunger for small-scale explosions at suburban food courts? Or is nuclear war with the Great Satan more your style? Well, make your way to Poway Al Qaeda, a place where bloodshed is always on the menu.”
“Take care. Al youm herr barrah. (It’s hot outside.)”
– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef
My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.