With pieces of duck clinging to his naked body, Martin looked up at the sky and gave thanks to a cruel, but fair, god.
From his seat, on the top of a barren hillside, he had an uninterrupted view of the nothingness that surrounded him. For 350 of the possible 360° was a rocky wasteland, dry and with no signs of life. The other 10° was taken up by a large cliff, rising like an exlamation mark at the end of an extremely boring sentence!
His great, white beard glistened in the sun, like the albino pubes of some monstrous creature of long ago. Sighing he arose from his seat - a rock, shaped like the steaming coil of some monstrous creature of long ago. He began to make his way down the hillside. The hill was large and smelly.
And shaped like some monstrous creature of long ago. Martin's buttocks quivered.
The hillside was moving ... Martin looked up at the sky once again, quizzically this time. Surely the incident with the duck was quite enough for one day. Martin began to ponder the idea that perhaps his god was not as fair as Martin liked to give him credit for. He realised then that this was not the time for idle reflection. Philosophy is all well and good, but tends to be the luxury of those not in immediate fear of having their limbs removed like the wings of a fly by a four year old.
Martin ran - with the style and grace of a gazelle with third degree haemarrhoids, he ran. The ground heaved beneath him, like the bosom of a lusty Mills and Boon heroine. He was indeed being pursued by some monstrous creature of long ago. Although not allowing himself to turn and be amazed at the proximity of the prehistoric predator, Martin had a fleeting impression that it was truly a magnificent beast.
As he raced across the rocky terrain towards the convenient cliff face, he spied what looked like an even more convenient cave opening at its base. Limbs flailing wildly he lunged the last few feet only to find that some bastard had painted it on - he suspected Bugs Bunny may have been responsible, and once again vowed a terrible revenge.
Lying stunned, naked and reeking pleasantly of duck, Martin closed his eyes, gritted his teeth and waited patiently for his inevitible demise. Seconds passed. Martin allowed one of his eyes to sneak open a tiny crack, and swivel around. He saw nothing. He bravely allowed the other eye to open a crack, and when it too had registered nothing, he issued permission for both his eyes to open to a comfortable level and really have a good look around.
Raising his aching, duck soiled, naked body to a sitting position he peered unbelievingly all around him, and found himself alone. Not a monstrous creature in sight. But Martin congratulated himself that perhaps he had not had a full blown, hallucinogenic, psychotic episode when he realised that neither was there a large smelly hill.
Martin sighed once more, as he began the now painful process of standing up. His forehead now sported an egg sized lump, and both his hands and knees were grazed from the bumpy ride into the cliff face. Now, he thought to himself, was a good time to get philosphical. He did a quick double check to make absolutely sure that he was not going to be dismembered, disembowelled or even generally dissed in the immediate future, and found that he was, for the moment, safe.
Today, he reflected, had been a bad day. On a scale of one to ten - ten being the total annihilation of the entire human race, today had been an eleven. Maybe even a twelve ... For a start, it had begun with the total annihilation of the entire human race, and from Martin's point of view, it had begun to go downhill from there.
Martin awoke bright and early and leapt from his bed gleefully. The start of another wonderful day. He made his way to his bathroom almost at a run, twisted the shower knobs until niagara falls made a brief cameo appearance, and flung his pyjamas off with wild abandon. Already singing before the first drop of water splashed onto his skin, Martin was the image of happiness. He lathered shampoo in his hands, and applied it first to what he regarded as his crowning glory, his snow white beard.
Martin felt so lucky! He was only in his early 20s when his hair had started mysteriously to grey, and now that he was 30, it was whiter than a six month old dog doo on a lawn. When it first started, Martin had been understandably upset. He visited doctor after doctor, but none could tell him the cause of his fading, nor find a way to stop it. Martin attributed their lack of enthusiasm for his disappearing colour to the fact that in the majority, their hair was simply disappearing. Martin had considered dyeing it at first, but assuming that he was going to live until he was at least in his mid-seventies, that would mean dyeing his hair around six hundred times. He just wasn't ready for that kind of commitment.
It was on the evening of his 29th birthday that Martin finally overcame his depression. On the wrong side of 16 hours of alcohol fueled mayhem, almost passed out at a pub, Martin’s brain once again tried fitfully to make him aware of it's breakthrough. Martin finally got the message, and raised his head from amongst the empty glasses, cigarette butts and spilt west coast cooler (noone cried over it ...). "Yoobluddyreeka!" he cried, punching his fist in the air. "Shut up man, I'm trying to sleep ..." groaned Dobbin, his best friend, and the only one of the original party of eighteen still standing (metaphorically at least).
"Dobbin, Dobbin, isht genyush!" he prodded Dobbin, who promptly fell heavily from his barstool to the ground. "OK, I'll tellshu instha morning ..."
The next morning, Martin had a hangover. A big one. But against all odds, he also still had his idea: he was going to become Santa. Not just the kind you see at Christmas time, he was going to BE Santa. All year long, all around the world, if someone needed Santa, he would be there. Whenever anyone decided to celebrate Christmas in July, he would be there. If anyone decided they wanted to make a Christmas ad in February, he would be there. He would become a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week, always on call Santa.
Over the next few months Martin’s life had changed miraculously. He woke up every morning with a smile on his face, he travelled the world bringing happiness. He was Santa, just as he had believed he could be. He was often surprised at the amount of work that he was required to do - everyone seemed to want to hire the real Santa, and his bookings stretched for months in advance.
Extraordinary stories and conversations - all ORIGINAL!
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