This is part one of a four part short story about the holiday’s.
Called, “The Yid with the Magical Lid” this was written in college and still stands the test of time.
Check back every day this week for more every day.
The Yid With the Magical Lid… by David Feingold
It wasn’t a particularly cold day on the North Pole; then again it wasn’t exactly what one would call warm either. The sun couldn’t break through the dark clouds and a fine white mist was blowing off the snow banks in the winds, which were slowly getting heavier. All that could be seen for miles was snow. Miles and miles of snow in every direction. If one looked closely enough at the edge of the horizon, they would see a thin plume of smoke rising from a chimney.
Inside the house, past the piles of toys lying in the dining room, two doors down from the kitchen filled with unopened mailbags and right next to the bathroom, which was decorated, tastefully with children’s drawings was the office. It was in this office at his desk that Santa was drinking his morning coffee and reading the paper. “I see O.J. is in the news again, “ he said to himself as the front page blared out the headline, O.J Simpson facing new criminal charges. “When will he ever learn? ” Santa chuckled to himself sending pleasant ripples cascading down his immense stomach. The coffee stained his snow-white beard brown as he slowly took another sip from the mug. As he turned the page Santa was too busy reading about George W Bush’s latest blunder that he missed the headline about the impending snowstorm.
As the last drop of coffee slid down his throat Santa heard a knock at his door. “It’s me,” was all Santa had to hear and he was immediately able to tell that it was his mother. “Come in Mom,” Santa said and offered her a chair. When she sat down Santa knew that something wasn’t right. Her eyes were swollen with tears and not the usual glow that he had seen so many times before.
“Come here honey,” his mom beckoned to him. “Sit on my lap, you’re never too big for mommy” she playfully said to her son. Santa obliged and moved his massive frame over to where his mother was sitting. “We need to talk,” she said. Santa did not know this yet, but what she was about to say was going to change his life forever.
“Honey as you know ever since your father died I have tried my hardest to protect you,” she started off saying. “But now I think its time. You are about to turn forty three and I feel that you must know the truth.” Santa couldn’t understand what could be this important that it would warrant such a dramatic monologue from his mother. “As you know son, every year you make and deliver toys to all of the children in the world,” she continued. “But the truth is…,“Santa’s mom wiped a tear from her cheek and held Santa’s hand as the next line escaped her lips, “children don’t exist.” As soon as the words exited her mouth she began to question if she had done the right thing.
“What do you mean they don’t exist? How can that be?” Santa said in a manner that was both aggressive and innocent at the same time.
“Well, honey that is just something we tell you so you will keep making toys for all of the discolored elves.” The mother explained.
“Discolored elves?” Santa asked bewildered.
“Yes, they are elves that are born with a skin disorder that makes them every color but green. They are different than us, but every Christmas we try to help them out by giving them toys. Toys make them forget about their disfigurement for a few weeks.“ She proceeded to explain. “I always wanted to tell you. But your father forbade me. He thought that you were too fragile. I’m sorry, but I thought you needed to know. “
Santa sat stunned in his mother’s lap. He slowly let go of her hand and with melancholy in his voice he asked to be alone. When she had left the room Santa made his way back to his desk and opened up the bottom drawer. From Santa’s perspective all he could see were the brightly colored bottle tops of his liquor collection. His fat fingers wrapped around the neck of a cream colored bottle, pulled it out and then put it back. “No eggnog for me today,” Santa said out loud and then his fingers grabbed a green bottle and the bottle launched itself out of the desk by the sheer force of his pull. “Ahh, Jagermeister, I haven’t spent time with you in a while,” Santa said to the bottle. Santa stuck his hand back in the drawer and when it came out it was holding a silver shot glass inscribed with: To Santa, here’s to our friendship. Love always, Jesus Christ.
It was his favorite shot glass. He remembered when they got it. They were drinking heavily at Moses’ son’s bar mitzvah when Jesus had bet some Jew that he could turn water into wine. Of course the guy didn’t believe him and so Jesus won five hundred dollars from the poor guy. Jesus took him out to Denny’s after the party and when they walked home they stopped at a jewelry store and Jesus bought him this glass. “Well, here’s to my whole life being a farce, “Santa said as he downed the first shot. Twenty minutes and ten shots later Santa was vomiting in the toilet bowl, his once snow white beard was now laden with acidic smelling chunks that were once his breakfast. “Man, I got to get out of here,” Santa said as he stood up. Santa walked over to a chair and picked up his coat that was draped over its back. “On Donner, On Blitzen, On Rudolph.” Santa called out. When after a few minutes no one came, Santa yelled, “Fuck it!” and walked out the door onto the packed snow. He was so drunk that he didn’t hear his mother yelling at him to watch the news. There was a huge storm coming and his mother thought he should know.
Santa trudged through the snow. His red suit was peppered with white and his beard was starting to harden from the cold. “I can’t believe this! No children! This is bullshit.” Santa muttered to himself as he wandered down the snowy terrain. She could have told me sooner, Santa thought. As he kept walking he began to wonder what else wasn’t real. Santa made a mental note to call up the Easter bunny to find out when he got home. As the smoke from the chimney slowly fell out of sight Santa began to feel the bone chilling cold that was enveloping his body.” I wish that there was someplace warm around here,” Santa said out loud and with that he saw a red light just over the hill. That’s odd Santa thought as he approached the top of the mound. I never saw that place here before. As he started his decent Santa could read the sign written in bright neon red lights hanging from the window. Herschel’s Money Lending, Media Consulting and Fresh Bagels. Intrigued, Santa pushed open the heavy doors and entered the store. Inside was unlike anything he had ever seen before. The store had a plush velour carpet and the walls hung with pictures of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the corner was a glass case with a multicolored coat. Upon further inspection Santa read the gold plaque fixed in its center. Dear Herschel, it began. I’m giving this to you because the money you lent me got Egypt through some hard times. Thanks for your help, brother. It was signed Joseph. Santa was so intent on soaking up the atmosphere that he didn’t see the little old man walk behind the counter.
“What can I do for you good man?” the short bald man said. Santa jumped up. He was startled by this man’s appearance. The man was short but not an elf. He was dressed all in black. The man had a long gray beard and his round face was framed by small wire rimmed glasses. He was wearing some sort of hat on his head, but Santa thought that it looked more like a beanie. The man’s hair had long since fallen out, but somehow this hat stayed on.
“Just looking sir,” Santa replied and as the words came out of his mouth he could see the look of disappointment on the small man’s face.
“Are you sure you don’t want to buy anything? Maybe borrow some money? “The man asked Santa hoping to turn a profit. He needed it. The storm was supposed to be huge and he knew that he would not be able to make any money for about a week after it started.
“Ill just take some coffee and a bagel “Santa replied and put his money on the counter.
“You want lox with that?” the man asked but quickly realized that this goy dressed in red would not understand what that is.
“No thanks” Santa replied and sat his fat body down on the stool.
“You seem to be troubled my son,” the man said. “What is wrong? Its ok you can tell me. I’m also a metaphysician you know,” The man said while raising an eyebrow hoping to rouse this guest into a good story. Santa wanted to talk, but he didn’t know if he could explain what was wrong. He felt like such an idiot. Surely this man knew that children didn’t exist. The man would probably laugh at him and call him stupid.
“Nothing I can explain sir, I don’t want to talk about it.”
The man just looked at him and slowly began to speak. “My boy, everyone in life has problems. The key lies within us, once you get the key you will understand,” Santa looked at him in amazement. What was he trying to say to him? Just as Santa was going to ask what the man meant the store’s lights began to flicker. “You had better get home” the man said,“ It is getting bad out. I have to close the store now. Go in peace my son.” When the man stopped talking he walked Santa to the door, kissed his cheek and told him to be careful.
The cold wind ripped into Santa’s face as he left the store. He started walking towards his house and he turned around to wave goodbye to the interesting man that he had just met. When he looked back though, the building was gone. It was as if it never existed. That’s weird; Santa thought and continued to walk towards his house. Just then a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky. It hit a tree and before he could react Santa was knocked out cold.
To Be Continued Tomorrow!