Little-Known Santa No. 25
If you are planning to leave out a Christmas Eve snack of milk and cookies for the midnight arrival of Little-Known Santa No. 25, might I suggest at least a full gallon of chilled whole milk and more than a few still-warm cookie sheets of your best chocolate chip macadamia nut? For this guy has got quite an appetite, and you certainly want to make sure he ends up sated and satisfied by the time he leaves your house!
It would also be wise to get yourself and the spouse and all the kiddies safely settled deep into your bedclothes for your long winter’s nap (preferably with the bedroom doors securely bolted from the inside, and a sizable aggressive Rottweiler with impressive bite-strength somewhere nearby).
But, if, clad in nightshirt and slippers, kerchief and cap, you should happen to still be up and about through the overnight hours, perhaps completing the frustrating assembly of Junior’s first tricycle, or adding that last coat of varnish to the cupola shingles on little Betty Lou’s dollhouse, allow me to share a few additional words of warning. Should a face-to-face encounter occur by chance, do not — under any circumstances — refer to this character, however obliquely, as ‘Kringlestein’.
I know, I know, it’s an easy mistake to make. Say ‘Kringlestein’ and a mental image of this dude inevitably pops up. Seems everyone calls him Kringlestein. People have been continuously and consistently making that mistake for the past several hundred years. But remember: Kringlestein is in fact the name of the mad doctor who created this dude from scavenged body parts and a whole lot of electricity, not that of the creature himself. As embodied in the original Mary Shelley story of 1818, LKS#25’s proper names are instead ‘monster’, ‘wretch’, ‘fiend’, ‘it’, or ‘vile insect’ — though I have found that he also responds readily and favorably to the catchy ‘ugly galoot in the ill-fitting suit’.
About that suit: #25 would have been more traditionally garbed in the standard Santa uniform we’ve all grown to know and love, if we hadn’t run out of sufficient yardage of rich red velvet. And, there was barely enough furry white trim to fashion the tiniest of Kringle-thongs, let alone cuffs and collar and edging and brim and cap-fob. Oh, and you can also forget about patent leather Kringle boots! We had to let the guy continue to wear his own massive cumbersome black clod-busters, ‘cause not one of several dozen elf cobblers had any patterns or shoe-trees or leather blanks that even came close!
But don’t let #25’s disturbing appearance mislead you or his irritable nature dismay you. As unprepossessing as he may seem, this gent actually embodies the best of all of us.
Quite literally. (Best left ear from a musical elf, best nose from a Jamaican chef, best liver from a teetotaling Mormon, best right arm from a Philippine cardiologist, best stomach from a New Orleanian crawdad lover, best left foot from a Tyrolean clog-dancer, . . .)
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