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A Letter to Santa

A child's correspondence with Santa is an unspoken contract, like attorney-client privilege, or a confession with a priest.   

Jack Bristrow exposes what should never have come to light, a child's Christmas wishes.

A Letter to Santa by Jack Bristow



Dear Santa,

This year, more than anything, I would really appreciate for my paraplegic brother Billy to walk again. He has been wheelchair-bound for quite a while now, Santa, ever since his unfortunate accident a few years ago. You know who Barry is, don't you Mr. Clause? Of course you do! You know everything! Anyway, just to refresh and re-jog your memory: Barry is the family's farmyard bull. Anyway, Barry tore Billy in the spine one day with his horns when Billy was hunched over with a smelt by his side, trying to milk Barry. I guess Barry didn't understand my brother was a half-wit, and that Billy really believed he could get milk out of a Barry's scrotum just like a cow's teat. I feel mighty bad for misleading my older-but-denser brother like that but, you have to understand, Santawe have zero electricity on our farm: no television, no Internet, and absolutely no YouTube. There is not a whole lot of entertainment value in our neck of the woods, except for petty capers such as that one.


Which brings me to my second request, Santa. Would you mind helping us on this front, too? You knowwould it kill you to bring us a TV set, and some electronics this year, for a change? Each time I keep thinking it's going to be different but, every year, nothing changes. Poppy keeps telling us it's because we are so far out in the country. He always explodes, whenever we inquire him about your yearly absence. "Santa can't find us out here!" he always shouts, waving a quart of Wild Turkey in his hands, whenever the subject arises. "Can't you little bastards understand that? Look at all them willow trees we have outside there, covering the top of our trailer. You think he can find our little shit-box of a trailer when it's covered up by all them branches, foliage and so forth?" Poppy then always topples over to the ground, with a huge smirk on his face, and pee-pee draining through his knapsack-colored pajamas. It happens exactly this way every yearjust like in in the movies...

Santa, I'm also writing you to request that you send my halfwit brother and me a non-cyborg mommy for a present this year. You see, every night, Billy and I can hear mommy and poppy arguing in the next room. "You are drunk all the time," mommy always protests. "And that makes you impotent. Your dick looks like a tiny little firecracker, but it never shoots off. I thought when we got married fifteen years ago, I was going to have a real man by my side. But no, I am stuck with you. Shit, I should have listened to my mother. She warned me about you. She had you pegged for what you really are: a worthless, drunken sack of shit that doesn't want to sully his hands with an honest day's work!"


"Well, fuck you then, woman! I injured my back when I worked stocking shelves at Wal-Mart. You know that. It's your fault things are the way they are now. I keep telling you to get that job at McDonalds!" Poppy always screams at mommy, and then exits the room, slamming the door shut behind him on his way out. And then, as Billy and I are trying desperately to get some shut-eye, we will hear this strange-sounding buzzsort of like a vibrating noisecoming out of mommy's bedroom a few seconds later. And then afterwards there's a moan and some sobbing. One day, Santa, I asked daddy to explain these strange noises to me. He was sleeping on the living room floor, with his Levi jacket balled up under his head like a pillow. Groggily, and with accompanying breath that smelled like poo-poo, he explained it all to me: "See, son. Your mammy ain't even human. She's a morbidly obese cyborg sent from the future to torture me. That sound you're hearing in therethat's the sounds of her recharging her batteries. "Really?" I asked Poppy. "Really," Poppy confirmed my suspicions. "Not only does your mammy need to shovel mass quantities of food into her trap to subsist, she also needs to stick that big nozzle contraption up her butt, just keep her batteries charged, so she can live another day to keep chewing on your old poor poppy's ass.

"Wow," I replied in wonderment.

And Santa, while you are at it, would you mind giving us a new roof this year as a present? Whenever it rains, or snows, water seeps through the entire house. And it is very unpleasant, Santa. The stench of mold and mildew is, at times, overbearing. I have allergies, and I've plumb near stopped breathing a few times on account of this. One morning, I told mommy that poppy should have the roof fixed, and she just shrugged my suggestion off with a scornful laugh, as she was frying bacon for us. "Your daddy ain't nothing but a lazy sack of shit." She cracked a few more eggs into the batter. "He don't want to work. And all he wants to do is drink himself to death. He has already got a bum liver. And with the way he's drinking, he will be dead in six months. And then, how are we going to survive? His social security check is the only thing keeping us financially afloat, month-to-month."


Oh yeah, Santa, which reminds methere's one more thing I would like to ask of you.  I know I have already asked for a lot. But, please, give this next request some serious consideration. Could you please send my poppy a brand-new liver this Christmas? Because if the cirrhosis finally does him in, like mommy says it will, we will all starve to death.

Thanks for reading Santa, and, hopefully, you will be able to send me all these presents this Christmas.

Sincerely, the bestest boy in the whole entire world,

Spencer Goodman

Jack Bristow has written for The Santa Fe New Mexican. He has also frequently published stories with the humor zine Hobo Pancakes, and the horror zine Death Head Grin. Next year, you will be able to see him in the documentary "Kaufman Lives," about entertainer Andy Kaufman. Follow Jack Bristow @realjackbristow. You can follow the documentary at @KaufmanLives