Uneasy Lies the Cap...Cont'd
conscience, apparently, as
eyebrows knit away at a difficult decision. Pursing his lips, and wrestling with
his chair, he tilted his head to one side. "I must confess, this will be a
first, and you may not like what you hear from me."
"Am I...?" he volleyed,
becoming unlikely philosopher in red and white fur "What it is to be truly selfless
is to be without self - an emptiness that may only be filled vicariously by the
joy and tears of others. I know who's naughty and nice because these are not
drowned out by my own conscience. I am not kind; I am, however, a kindred
spirit - a like kind - one intimately familiar with the wants and needs
of those around me rather than my own. I deliver only to the good people of this
Earth - which simply makes me a karmic mirror. I don't inspire, I
"Would that be why you give
coal to the naughty?" I fired in.
"No, but let me tell you about
that mistake" Santa leaned back, eyes rolling, "My first
winter, when I was still pretty green, I used to give out one lump of coal for
each and every bad deed one did - that is, until the Pyrolas brothers came
along. Peter Pyrolas took advantage of the policy and started a campaign of
round-the-clock misbehavin' that lasted all year. His brother Herb did nice
deeds all year, then he asked me for a truck. When Christmas came along, Peter
got tons of coal and Herb got his truck. They made millions on the open market.
I'll never live that one down." He laughed heartily, then I joined in,
knowing that I'd not offend him.
He sat quietly, reflecting to find
delicate words. "I deeply regret what I cannot give" his voice
choking. "People think of me as a miracle maker - a limitless fountain of
good deeds. I am limited to giving things."
"What's wrong with that?" I asked with growing confusion. He fell silent for what seemed like hours. A troubled, wordless conversation chased