Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.
- Little Elf Judy
Every now and then, I hear somebody question the existence of one of the Lord’s right hand men, namely Santa Claus. Children, true believers, are too smart to make such a preposterous error. They have the sacred trust of true knowledge that comes from pure hearts untainted by a grownup world.
Yet occasionally there will be a sighting of Santa Claus by a grownup that does not believe. The results of such an encounter can be life-changing.
This happened a year ago at my house when my permanent prisoner, I mean houseguest, Mr. Wiley, met Santa face-to-face.
Mr. S. Wiley, or Slick to his friends and the folks at the FBI, is my 91-year-old “personal advisor” formerly from New York City. Mr. Wiley used to be my financial advisor until he lost all my money, and that of the rest of his clients. I’ve been holding him hostage in an attempt to recoup my losses from his loved ones. However, strangely enough, no one’s come looking for him despite my many ransom letters.
Anyway, it was midnight on Dec. 24 in the year of our Lord 2010 when ....
“Mr. Wiley, what are you still doing up? You better get to bed before Santa Claus gets here or you won’t get anything in your stocking.”
“Ken, Ken, I’ve ceased to believe in the great man ever since I was hi-jacked and brought to the home of a Scrooge like you.”
“Talk like that might earn you a big lump of coal.”
“I think I’ll take the coal over another sack of underwear again. Ken, can’t you be more imaginative on gifts? Why do you think every 91-year-old man’s greatest pleasure in life is waking up on Christmas to a pair of BVD’s? Surely, you weren’t foolish enough to let me invest away all your money? Why don’t you dig into that gold vault of yours and get me a real present. How about a trip out to the casinos in Las Vegas in lieu of underwear this year?”
“Casinos? You better quit hitting the eggnog old man. I did dig into what’s left of my ‘gold vault’ and came up with the BVD’s. I could give you some of those stock certificates you sold me from my investing days with your firm. I have it on good authority, namely you, that one day they will be worth a mint of gold.”
“What do I want with those certificates? I don’t own a bathroom that I can use them to wallpaper it with.”
“Just as I thought. Well, you can sit here and sulk if you want to Mr. Wiley, but I’m going to bed.”
The rest of the story comes from Mr. Wiley’s personal account of events that transpired later that same evening.
After Ken left, I continued to watch radio. Ken’s house doesn’t have any televisions. He’s not opposed to them, but things appear to be a bit sparse around the old Begley household these days. I must have dozed off in front of the radio after I polished off the milk and cookies Ken’s nine-year-old Belle left for Santa.
I woke up to see this enormous fat man, with a big white beard in a red suit and a large green sack swung over his shoulder staring at me from an inch in front of my face. I jumped back, much startled out of a long winter’s nap.
“Who ate my cookies and drank my milk?’” the large gentleman said with a trace of irritation in his voice.
“Who are you? What are you doing in this house? I’ll call the cops to have you arrested for breaking and entering!”
“I think you know who I am, Mr. Wiley, coming around on this special night. HO, HO, HO!”
I took a closer look at the gentleman while putting together the details. HO HO HO, cherry nose, cap on head, suit that’s red, special night, beard that’s white. Could it be! Is he real! MUST BE SANTA!
A look of realization must have come across my face as Santa smiled a wide smile and said, “Now, who ate my cookies and drank my milk Mr. Wiley?”
“Are you sure you even need any more milk and cookies, my fine large friend of noble deeds. Your blood pressure and cholesterol count must be sky-high. Maybe someone was doing you a favor and looking out for your health when they drank the milk and ate the cookies.”
“If I can visit every good little boy and girl in the entire world in one night in the middle of winter on a sled pulled by reindeer, then I would suspect my health is just fine, thank you, Mr. Wiley. Back to the original question. Who drank my milk and ate my cookies? Now tell the truth.”
I was cornered.
Let this be a good lesson for you. Always tell the truth, no matter what. Good will always follow honesty.
So, taking the above wisdom into consideration, I blurted out to Santa, “Ken ate all the cookies and drank your milk! Then he laughed and went to bed!”
Now kids, I didn’t get that trip to Las Vegas. Somehow, I don’t think Santa believes casinos and gambling is a good thing. In fact, I gathered after our conversation that he was down-right opposed to them.
However, something good did come from my encounter with Santa Claus.
On Christmas morning, I watched a confused Ken open up his present and receive two lumps of coal, while I, on the other hand, got a really magnificent set of BVD’s.
What’s the lesson?
Don’t drink Santa’s milk and don’t eat his cookies.