Santa Claus In Anger Management

Judy, the group leader, was handing out Fudgsicles, which proved to be the breaking point for SC: “Keep those fucking things away from me.”

Now, the group responded as if Santa had shot an elf, another elf, and there was gasping and dirty looks and faces of absolute flabbergast. The mailman- who was here for kicking an Irish Setter- pointed at SC accusingly, standing up and declaring: “Words of fury, Judy- words of fury!”

“The suit is red, and the suit is silk, and I’ll be goddamned if some little shit is gonna dribble Fudgsicle on me!” Now Santa was standing, and his belly shook as he laughed, like a bowlful of something. “The assumption is I have a closet full of these, and the assumption is that money means nothing to me. Well you people can take your assumptions and go fuck yourselves!”

More balking from the group, and Judy threatened to recall the Fudgsicles. It took her ten minutes to get everyone back in their seats and to quiet the flow of profanity that had erupted. SC looked around the room, disgusted. He wanted a smoke- badly.

To his left sat Coco, a Puerto Rican prostitute, who was here for biting the nose off of her boyfriend’s face. Judy had helped Coco realize that she wasn’t a maniac- she just lacked the vocabulary to adequately express her rage. “I Feel” phrases might have saved the nose.

Across from her was Dr. Ben Bryer, a psychologist who had tried to run his wife over with his sport utility vehicle after she served him pancakes for the 9,674th consecutive morning. It was just his way of saying, “Enough with the pancakes.”

Santa’s story was much less horrific. He’d been in the self-checkout at the grocery store, behind a half-dozen teenagers who evidently weren’t familiar with touch-screen technology. It was late at night and the only register open, and the kids were giggling as they fiddled with the keypad, twirling in circles and jamming their fingers in each other’s noses.

Santa was watching them, waiting patiently with his can of baked beans, when one of the kids, a tall boy, dropped a handful of quarters on the ground. Santa sighed, and controlled himself until the boy looked down at the change and laughed hysterically, shrugging his shoulders and shaking his head.

Something inside SC snapped.

He lunged at the kids, overturning the candy rack, launching into a symphony of violence, an exercise in rage that would leave three dead and two in the hospital.

Snickers! He pummeled the tall boy’s face with his elbow, bending his braces and cracking his glasses.

Skittles! He grabbed the short girl’s ponytail and pulled it completely out of her head, jamming his thumbs into her bloody scalp.

Almond Joy! He bent another kid’s knee the wrong way and forced the boy to kick himself in the face. Santa had found his groove. But, as always, the police arrive at the pinnacle of the party.

Now he was here, court-ordered, in the recreation center of the Dorothy Heroy building, listening to Judy justify his outbursts as “occupation-based anger.” It wasn’t anger… he just hated everyone on Planet Earth.

Coco got a text message and accidentally dropped her Fudgsicle on Santa’s lap. There was a moment of silence, as Santa looked from the stain on his thigh to the petrified eyes of everyone in the room. 

He stood, and rolled up his sleeves.

Outside the snow was falling, and friends were calling yoo-hoo.


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