Ho, Ho, Bloody Ho
On Sunday middle-child becomes a gym nazi and forces my wife and I to undertake a workout in the pool and on various forms of torture apparatus that in more peaceful times exist as stools - push-ups on a stool, tricep dips...Please, can I go back into the pool? NO!. I erroneously told her of Army PTIs saying do 20 then at 20 saying 'one for the Queen, 'one for the regiment' etc. I was praying we didn't get down to 'one for Private Smith", the Hygiene orderly. Whilst recovering, old mate O'Reilly phones and through some convoluted conversation, bad reception and the fact that I was suffering the after effects of middle-child administered torture, I ended up volunteering to be Santa to a bunch of Pre-schoolers. Which explains why I turn up at the Pre-School behind St Mathias at Zillmere on Monday morning dressed like a Coca Cola ad . The teacher said I did great but let's face it; playing Santa to a bunch of 5 year-olds doesn't take much talent. Not a lot of critics there Their utter belief in what I represented took me back to the farm at Pemberton, West Australia where as a young tacker, maybe five myself, I took a walk with my dog Honey through the bush near the farm house. Honey was named for her colour so you can guess the colour of one of her pups we kept and called "Treacle". After some time I'm confronted with an apparition of red and white standing in front of me. I was beside myself - Santa had personally come to this small farm in WA to speak to ME and ME only. Not my rotten girly, smartypants and older sisters, but ME. I took advantage of the situation and plugged for a pedal car and without a touch or irony said I had been a good boy. Santa must already known this otherwise he wouldn't have taken the time out to visit ME. I would've thought though; If Santa talks to Mum or Dad I'm dead but hey, go for the big lie! What a coupe for a five year-old. Somewhere there is a picture with me in a pedal car so my lies weren't detected but the biggest thrill was Santa sounded just like my Mum. True! The bragging rights at school were undeniable - all other kids were impressed that Santa come to see ME and also sounded like my Mother. This likeness with my Mother was proven at the Town Xmas party in the School Hall that very week when Santa appeared, this time for all the plebs, and sounded just like Mum. My friends were convinced. How long this lasted I can't remember but I feel, when the truth dawned on me; as it does all kids at some time; my crash and burn was louder and hurt more than what other kids suffered. My loss of faith involved my Mum who scammed the hell out of a five year-old naive boy. The pedal car was cool though, and I eventually forgave my Mum. I had to, every time it comes up she rolls around laughing as do my smartypants sisters. What's your Christmas story?