Santa came to me this morning and asked if I’ve seen his elves.
Before you decide I’ve gone and done it, that close calls in the form of a drug-unrelated bust at my ex-employers’ that resulted in my having to give my social security number to and posing for a mug-shot for the local police, black-Friday car-accidents [that left none of the “teGechis”, three in total, none the wiser], and realizing life must be held lightly in America if one was to have a sane moment with one self have made me start hearing voices; I will have you know I’m in full control of my faculties. Gebriellin!!. And the Santa I’m talking about isn’t the north-pole dweller who keeps reindeers for company and uses sleighs to move from spot A to spot B, robbing himself of much needed exercise, but an average Joe. An average Joe, i mean to say, minus all things average (atleast 300 pounds, has a white hair that reminds one of the driven snows mentioned in either Isaiah or Jerimiah, and a curly mustache that would “masnaQ” curly mustaches of the 60’s). He comes around this time of year, I’ve been told, to have tourists and colleagues’ families sit on his lap and have their photos taken.
I wore a grave look and told him I haven’t seen his elves [my two female co-workers haven’t turned up yet, wearing greenish outfits and long faces that clearly say, despite the bad economy and the extra-pay the day would earn them, they would rather be anywhere else than in those ridiculous costumes], feeling sorry for the weight of his outfit, all the woolen heaviness of it, that he’d have to wear in our properly heated entertainment room before sitting himself in an arm-chair and subjecting himself to the agonizing duty of having to do a merry laugh, say “Ho! Ho! Ho!” and listen to kid’s endless requests for things he has no way of delivering. It’s a tough way to earn a living, even if you got to only do it for a month a year and there are worse things that could happen to you than be the center of attention and get paid for your looks!
I was gonne try to distract him by asking what his daily job was and if keeping himself a size 3XL to resemble Saint Nicholas won’t interfere with it [Mrs. Santa’s sex life and his health] when he lifted his hands despondently. “I need them to zip me up,” he said “it’s the one thing I can’t do”. I was about to comment anybody, save for a contortionist, would be hard pressed to zip themselves up all the way to the middle of their back [I can’t get to mine using a back scrubber as tall as my arm]; when he asked if I could do it for him. “Sure”, I said, perked at having been chosen to play a Santa’s helper. I zipped the man up, put a snap-button on the back of his neck and assisted in sewing a safety pin on his belt. I almost gave his shoulder a slap of approval when the striking resemblance to the real thing [you know what I mean!] made me withdraw the arm. I don’t know if you have ever heard your abro-adeg Tesfaye “BeQolo”, nick-named so due to the oddly-shaped front teeth, being referred to as “Teacher Tesfaye” by those who haven’t seen him “chiQa ma’aDat” and shoot with a “koba temenja” when Kiremt comes around. But that’s the sensation helping Santa dress gave me. As if I have “medfered” the illustrious toy-dispenser. Caught doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. Would get a “C minus” on the “tsebai” section of my report card.
Remember now, don’t forget for a minute, that this is a man I didn’t grow up with the belief of! I neither told him my secrets, nor hoped to be rewarded for my good deeds. [Egziabher was more of a probation officer than a friendly ghost]. This guy was as foreign to me as he is to all 3rd world country kids. Alas, here I was dancing in attendance of him and taking great pride in earning a genial smile in return. Not to mention how I kept feelig I should probably go ahead and refer to him as “Guad Santa”; which is what MenGye would have referred to him as, had he made his reverence-ness’ acquaintance before the local kids got dragged out to hand the old man flowers they’ve been holding for half a day [never understood that part, by the way, how seriously we take the little things we could do without. And how ridiculous our seriousness make us look. Teddy Afro, my once again favorite singer, once said, when handed one at arriving Dulles Airport before his arrest, “yeAger meri asmeselachihugn eko”. That made me chuckle with delight and recognition].
“Alright,” I concluded, respectuflly re-tracing my steps back to my office, “I will see you — at 12?!”. Then watched as Santa trudged the up-hills of our esteemed building’s stairs on his way to the clock card machine where he punches his hour-in and would stagger back after eight hours to punch his hour-out.
It ain’t easy beig a king, I remember Mel Brooks’ character saying on “History of the World”. Neither seems being Santa Claus!.