Some links before I get started today. Parsnip had a mix of photos at her blog. Cheryl has been looking at a local island in her area, in part one and in part two. Maria had a chicken soup recipe. And Krisztina had a food idea.
Now then, I'm returning to my occasional series of funeral eulogies, one of those dear God did I actually write that things. This one is going to ensure that I corner the world market on coal in my stocking this year.
"We gather here today to remember a great and a good man. He was our boss, our leader, and our friend. He was beloved by everyone who knew him. He was the grandest of grand fellows, and it falls on us to mourn his death and celebrate his long, long life. It's not everyone who can walk this earth for centuries, after all, but he did. At least until... well, what happened that fateful night four days ago. He was known by many names, in many traditions, but everyone trusted him. I was asked to give the eulogy... well, because his wife asked me to. She said, Rumples, there's no one else I would trust more with this great task. At least that's what I think you said, because you were crying and bawling your eyes out. And so here we are, all gathered together in the workshop. The beloved widow, the elves, and the reindeer. Because our big guy is gone. Santa Claus is dead.
We can only think in this time of sadness and tragedy of the effect this must have on millions of children. Waking up on Christmas morning to find no presents. The news about the tragic death of Santa. The gruesome details. Parents having to explain why Santa had died like that. After all, wasn't Santa immortal and everlasting? Now those dreams and hopes and wishes of children have been shattered for all time. This will leave emotional scars on so many children that they'll be in therapy for decades to come.
It's true that he'd been around for centuries. We all knew that. Mrs. Claus... Bernadette as Santa called her... had been married to Santa for eleven hundred forty seven years next May. They took regular vacations together all over the world, and could be found snorkeling with dolphins in the Caribbean, or climbing in the Alps, or frequenting cafes in Paris. We elves were never quite sure how the business model supported all that travelling around. I mean, we were giving toys away for free, no sponsorships, nothing that would even suggest a regular source of income.
I'm getting off track. Sorry. That tends to happen.
Santa was ahead of his time, always had been. He was able to get around the world, delivering presents to millions of children, in a single night. On a sleigh towed by reindeer. It involved the sort of technology the world still doesn't understand. Santa could generate artificial stargates enabling him to get from place to place that much faster. He had transporter technology to replenish the presents on the sled in flight. State of the art organization and logistics support. And teleportation devices that allowed him to get his three hundred pound frame down chimneys and into houses carrying bags full of presents. It sometimes alarmed sovereign nations, having this light-years ahead of them jolly red fellow employing all that technical knowledge on his yearly excursions. I mean, Senator McCarthy once suggested Santa was a communist deliberately sabotaging the American way of life. And we all remember Christmas Eve 1987 when a couple of stray F-16s nearly lit up the sleigh over Idaho with AMRAAMs, right? That took a lot of diplomatic yelling over the phone to sort that blunder out.
You know, we're trying to come to terms with what happened here. It's a shock to all those kids out there, yes. Even more of a shock to their parents, who thought all these years that they were deliberately lying to their kids about Santa being real and worrying that when their kids found out the truth, they'd resent Mom and Dad forever. I'm sure lots of parents were shocked to find out that, well... Santa actually was real. Emphasis on was, because he's dead, otherwise we wouldn't be here having this funeral with this really big coffin containing what's left of the big guy.
Maybe it's time we talk about what happened that night. Get it all out in the open. You know what I mean?
So there he was. December 24th. Christmas Eve. Ten thirty four PM Eastern. In the skies over New Hampshire. He was bringing the reindeer in for a landing, coming closer to the ground. It was snowing, things were getting rough out there. Rudolph said afterwards that even his bright red alcohol fueled nose couldn't pierce the snow. But they'd flown in rough conditions on plenty of Christmas Eves before, remember. This was something they could handle. Or so they all thought.
No one could have known there was one of those remote controlled drones in the air that night.
The FBI has told us that the drone was the property of one Harry Carruthers of Claremont, New Hampshire. Harry is a thirty three year old claims adjuster. He lived alone, it turns out. Not very popular with the ladies. Hey, it happens, what with being socially maladjusted, bitter at the world, and blaming everyone else for his own miserable personality. If things had gone differently, he might have been a good candidate for a reporter's position at FOX News.
Well, Harry hadn't had a date in eleven years. So he tried to make up for it by developing a habit of becoming a peeping tom. Spying on whatever woman caught his eyes. Drones were his lifeline, a godsend. He could send them out to hover outside their windows, taking video footage of them doing, well... pretty much anything. Harry has turned out to be a pretty disgusting pervert, actually, and he's currently being held in the local jail for his own protection. Not only do you have dozens of women angry at him for the peeping tom thing, but you have millions of children shattered forever by the fact that Harry Carruthers killed Santa Claus.
Well, there it was. A drone in the snow. Santa never saw it coming.
It somehow missed the reindeer. Which is the only reason Rudolph, Dasher, Dancer, Donner, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, and Blitzen are alive today to attend the funeral. Sorry, guys, I know the trauma's just as bad for you as it is for the rest of us. I mean, you were right there.
The drone hit Santa square on. And it collided so hard that it decapitated the great man. His head went one way while his body stayed in the sleigh. Search dogs later found his head in the snow, being gnawed on by raccoons. Apparently it wasn't a pretty sight. Hence the whole closed casket thing.
And the sleigh capsized. All those presents at the time fell overboard. And by some strange twist of bad luck, they all fell into the back yard of a boy named Robbie von Rottenberg. An eleven year old boy who has since proven himself to be the most selfish, despicable, greedy little bastard the world has ever seen. He refuses to give all those presents back. He's invoking the finders keepers rule. And playing with all those toys in front of other kids from Claremont they were meant for. They're crying and he's laughing about it and playing, even with toys he doesn't like.
Well. Santa wouldn't like that one bit. You know it. I know it. We all know it. We've tried to be reasonable with Robbie, but he won't listen. He won't do the right thing. So it's up to us. We have to take those presents back from that greedy little bastard. He has it coming, am I right or am I right? Of course I'm right.
It's time to rise up, fellow elves and reindeer! It's us against Robbie von Rottenberg. That little ****er deserves the beatdown he's going to get. To arms! For Santa! For glory! For the Sacred Order Of The Gingerbread House!
And when we get back, we can light the big man's coffin on fire. Santa would have wanted a Viking funeral."