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Uneasy Lies the Cap...Cont'd

a few years ago in Hong Kong who said it was actually high blood pressure, and that I should 'cut down on the Hollandaise sauce and get plenty of exercise'. It's been a tough row to hoe, but at least I'm outta' that rut I used to be in."

"You're new, aren't you?" asked Santa, guiding me by shoulder and nod. "What happened to Holly? She was one of our best Santas."

"I don't understand..." my voice trailing into realization "This note...Holly Hogan was a tenant in our building for some time before retiring on Homeward Ave - she was Santa Claus?"

"No...she was Santa Hogan. I'm Santa Claus. Who the devil are you?"

I conveyed to a now-questionable Santa the story of the magazine, our cleanup, the note, the car's breakdown and my arrival at Santa's workshop.

"Some coincidence..." he said.

"Indeed..." I reflected.

"Well then, what can I do for you, John?" he asked. But as I was readying to answer, I realized I'd not mentioned my name.

"How did...?" I started, quitting before embarrassing both of us, "...my car won't turn over - would you have any jumper cables, Santa?" I arrived, completing my sentence as if through hyperspace.

"Oh ho-ho, ho-ho, ho-ho!" the room rattling with his inexplicable laughter. "That reminds me of a funny story. The last time I heard a request like that was in a letter from a mechanic in Tucson. It seems he tried to boost a car with his arc welder - talk about turning an engine over...KABOOM!!" He removed his glasses to clean the fresh layer of fog that arrived with his laughter. "I hope you're not color blind too! Ho-ho!!"

We shared laughter in unequal proportions. "You get letters from adults?", I skunk-eyed Santa, now questioning his authenticity.

"More letters from adults than children, son" said Santa, using forefinger as pointing stick. "A child simply wants objects, but the adults - well,


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Jaywalker December 2003



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