Long John Santa and the Christmasola
“Ho ho ho, and a bottle of rum,” cried Long John Santa. He let out a great yawn and stroked his white cumulus-like beard with his candy-cane hook as he opened the door of his captain’s quarters to the main deck of the Christmasola. He breathed in the salty morning air and gazed dreamily at the vanilla cream colored sky.
He adjusted his red-and-white-striped eye patch and looked out over the expansive main deck of the ship. Cabin elves were frittering about everywhere—mopping the deck, banging rubber mallets against wooden rocking horses, and doing other such nautical/toy making activity.
Something caught the glint of his eye. It was Rudolph doing something untoward on the poop deck. The jolly pirate’s fluffy white eyebrows shot straight up, and he stomped his candy-cane peg-leg loudly on the deck with a tap-tap-tap.
“Shiver me jingles, Rudolph, thar be no poopin' on the poop deck!” he cried.
A nearby elf nonchalantly picked up one of the shiny, round fecal pellets, observed its hard, shiny candy coating and gleefully popped it in his mouth and munched.
“Mmmm… chocolate!” cried the elf gleefully with a helium voice. His cheeks started to glow bright red.
“Ahoy, cabin elf! I will nah 'ave ye feastin’ on reindeer poo on me watch!” he cried. The elf shrugged and picked up another and chomped down. His face glowed even brighter, and he began to float in the air—higher and higher until he was but a speck in the clouds. Long John Santa screamed at the sky. “Do I smell a deserter? Where be me first mate, Frosty Bones? He will take care of deserters such as ye!”
Then the tiny voice of a quality-control cabin elf, who happened to be bouncing by on a pogo-stick, piped up.
“Frosty Bones lost his magic hat!”
Surely enough, Long John Santa turned to his right to see his skeleton snowman friend hatless, which rendered him frozen and lifeless.
“Aye! Which one of ye bitty scoundrels has me first mate’s hat?”
Then he heard the flap of wings. It was his parrot, Cap’n Peppermint, flying to his shoulder.
“I stole Frosty Bones’ magical hat. Bkaaawww!” confessed the parrot in its screechy parrot voice.
A look of sadness and betrayal quickly manifested on the Yuletide Buccaneer’s chubby face.
“How could ye, me faithful heartie, though thick ‘n thin, seven years side-by-side travelin’ ‘cross the seven marshmallow seas?”
“Well, I didn’t really steal the hat,” replied the parrot, tilting its head about. “I don’t actually understand vocabulary. I just repeat strings of sound that are meaningless to me, because I am a parrot, and that’s what parrots do. Therefore, while I didn’t steal Frosty Bones’ hat, somebody who spoke within my earshot did. Bkaaaww!”
“Roger that, me trusty feathered friend,” said the white-bearded pirate, beaming. “But if ye nah taken Frosty Bones’ magic hat, who did?”
Unannounced, the cabin elves on the deck broke into a song-and-dance routine called “15 Men in Sweater Vests.” During the instrumental break, 15 full-grown human men garbed in brightly colored Christmas sweater vests emerged through various doors, portholes, and compartments on the ship and commenced performing a flashy, highly choreographed tap dance routine.
At that point, Long John Santa had enough of this nonsense and stomped his candy cane peg-leg on the deck with a tap-tap-tap.
“Belay that wit’ yer infernal racket!” he cried. The music stopped, and there was dead silence apart from the sea wind and the wooden creaks from the ship. “And who’re these 15 scallywags pitter-patterin’ away on me ship? Arrrr they Stowaways?”
The tap dancer at the center of the line-up stepped forward. He was a man who wore plain spectacles and sported a thin mustache. His sweater vest was decked out with red and green blinking lights and a knitted pattern that depicted a snowman with an intoxicated look on its face and wielding a half-empty glass of eggnog.
“With respect, sir, we aren’t stowaways,” the man said. He clasped his hands gingerly in front of his chest, as though he were a solo vocalist at a traditional Christmas concert. “We are the 15 Men in Sweater Vests Consortium. We are but humble tap dancers with a proclivity for quirky Christmas sweater vests and have the magical ability to manifest ourselves anywhere in the world—anywhere we hear the calling. Why, just 90 seconds ago, you would have found all 15 of us in a supermarket in Dayton, Ohio on the lookout for bargains on chocolate syrup and maraschino cherries. When we picked up the signal that your fine crew of cabin elves were performing a song-and-dance routine celebrating men in sweater vests, we felt it was our duty to provide some lively accompaniment. However, as we’ve now come to realize, we are not welcome here on the Christmasola. Therefore, we would humbly like to bid you adieu.”
The man made a frilly gesture with his arm, gave a stiff bow and clicked his heels together. The 14 men behind him did the same, except far more clumsily and hardly in unison.
Long John Santa frowned and looked awkwardly at his feet.
“Well…,” he mumbled. “I didna mean t’ suggest yer presence here was intrusion-like. Clearly, ye are full-pocketed curs who’re talented on yer feet. I ‘preciate ye comin’ t’ support my crew and all…”
But then Long John Santa’s suddenly squinted his good eye and wrinkled up his nose to let out a menacing snarl.
“…Unless one o’ ye pillaged me first mate Frosty Bones’ magical hat!” he roared. He raised his candy cane hook at the men threateningly.
The man in the center gulped and took a step backwards, followed clumsily by the 14 other men.
“Sir,” the man said, voice now trembling and starting to break a sweat. “I assure you. None of us had anything to do with any theft of any magical hat.”
“Oh, ye didn’t, did ya?” snarled Long John Santa. But then he realized he didn’t have a case against these 15 gentlemen, so he relaxed and resumed his awkward mumbling. “Er… be that the case, would any of ye like to indulge in any… er… rum n’ cookies?”
The man’s eyes brightened considerably. He was hardly able to get his words out.
“Th-th-that would be… fantastic!” he exclaimed.
"This is cause for a celebration!" cried one of the cabin elves.
“Huzzah!” cried the rest of the cabin elves.
“Huzzah!” repeated the man in the center, pumping his fist in the air. His 14 compadres mimicked that action with awkward delay.
“Huzzah,” mumbled Long John Santa, lackadaisically lifting up his candy-caned hook.
With much fanfare, including the addition of confetti, causing a befuddled Long John Santa to look around frantically to try to find its source, the cabin elves proceeded to complete their spirited rendition of “15 Men in Sweater Vests." The 15 Men in Sweater Vest Consortium tap danced their way into the mess hall for some rum ‘n cookies.
When all that was replaced with relative silence, Long John Santa peered around the deck with an empty, frustrated look on his face.
“But none o’ this explains who pilfered me first mate’s magical hat!”
One of the nearby cabin elves, who was stitching together a paddle ball, spoke up.
“Why don’t you check the CCTV footage?” he suggested.
“Me pirate ship has CCTV cameras?” Long John Santa said. He looked around the ship to see if he could see any cameras, but he couldn’t immediately find one.
The cabin elf giggled.
“Of course! What do you think this is, the 18th Century?” The cabin elf grabbed the walkie-talkie he had fastened to his belt and clicked on the talk button.
“Carl the Elf, this is Vernon the Elf. Got your ears on? Over.”
There was a click and a garbled reply.
“This is Carl the Elf, what’s your 10-65? Over.”
“The Jolly Red Gimp wants the twenty on Skeletor-Pop’s voodoo beanie. What’s the eyeball reading? Over.”
“The sky rats clawed the voodoo beanie at a hair past 845. Took Caribou Starbright to the diner. Over.”
The elf clicked off the walkie-talkie.
“Did you get that, sir?”
Long John Santa stood slack and extended his arms out. “I didn’ understand a word of what ye jus’ said.”
The cabin elf grinned.
“He said a seagull snatched Frosty Bones’ hat and fed it to Rudolph.”
“Ah,” replied Long John Santa, he put his candy cane hook to his lips and looked as though he should have known all along. “That would explain how Rudolph’s poo became magical all o’ a sudden.”
But then Long John Santa had another thought and a look of intense confusion returned to his face. He furrowed his brow, squinted his good eye, and turned his head to have a chat with his feathered shoulder-dweller.
“Cap’n Peppermint,” said Long John Santa, scratching his beard with his candy cane hook. “Didn’ ye say some land-lubbin’ pillock stol’ me first matey Frosty Bones’ magic hat?”
“Aye,” the parrot replied.
“But seagulls can’t talk. They can only squawk!” Long John Santa protested. “They wouldna tol’ ye that!”
“Then why’d ye tell me ye heard someone natter they pilfered the hat?”
“I don’t know,” Cap’n Peppermint replied. It shrugged its wings. “I’m a parrot! I have no idea what’s going on most of the time. Bkaaaww!”
At that moment, one of the cabin elves switched on the Christmasola’s loudspeaker system to full volume and played Jimmy Buffett’s “Christmas in the Caribbean.” Cap’n Peppermint proceeded to dance on Long John Santa’s shoulder, bobbing its head to the gentle rhythm.
Long John Santa, however, hated that song with every fiber of his being. He stomped his candy cane peg-leg on the deck with a tap-tap-tap demanding that it stop. However, no one listened, and he cried out in despair.