A Craven Christmas
Carefree snowflakes swirled around the bustling throng of holiday shoppers outside Macy’s department store.
“Hey, Betty. How do we know that guy in the Santa suit ain’t stuffin’ his own stockin’ with all that coin people are puttin’ in the bucket?”
“The way I figure it, Mr. Danger. Any guy that dresses himself in a red suit and silly hat while ringin’ a bell shoutin’ Ho! Ho! Ho! in weather so cold you could cry icicles, deserves every penny he can pinch. Now give me a couple a quarters for the bucket and stop bein’ a grump about Christmas. I’m sure it’s goin’ to a worthy cause.”
“Worthy cause? Is that what they're callin’ bartenders these day? I ought to get a bucket of my own.”
“Don’t be an ol’ stooge, Mr. Danger."
“I think ya mean Scrooge, Betty."
“I know exactly what I mean."
Santa rang his bell and beckoned the holiday shoppers to consider those in need.
“Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas! Help us feed and clothes the needy! Show some love and spread the spirit! Ho! Ho! Ho!”
“Let me ask you a question, Santa.”
“Oh, boy,” said Betty. “Here we go.”
“Yer gonna ask poor Santy some stupid question.”
“I just wanna know what happens to my four bits when they go in the bucket.”
“I can answer that, young man” said Santa. “They go to warm the hearts and fill the bellies of the cities poor. No donation is too big or too small. So, come on and help put a smile on the faces of the less fortunate.”
“Is it tax deductible?”
“Your fifty cents? I suppose.”
“Do I get a receipt?”
“If you insist and if you have a pen and paper. You see, Santa has no pockets.”
“Now we’re getting somewhere, Santa. One more thing. Can you break a dollar bill? And no pennies in the change neither. A fifty cent piece would be appreciated. I hate that jingle-janglin’ in my pocket when I’m totin’ too many coins.”
A sudden and wicked snowball knocked Craven Danger’s brown fedora into the middle of 34th street.
“Hey! Who’s the wiseguy that threw that snowball!”
“Drop the dollar in the bucket, Mr. Danger. I got plenty more ammo! As a matter of fact yer gonna drop in that fiver ya been hidin’ in your shoe, as well!”
“Ah, c’mon, Betty! Not the shoe money. I was savin’ up for a new fedora. Which I’m now gonna need considerin’ my hats just been run over by two cross-town buses and a garbage truck!”
“Off with the shoe!”
“Six dollars!” said Santa. “That’s the most generous donation of the day. Many thanks and bless you, sir.”
“Don’t thank me. You can thank Miss Snowball over there.”
“Now ya can buy me dinner with with that tenner ya been stinkin’ up in yer other shoe.”
“Ah, not the tenner, Betty! That’s my old-age money!”
“Make mine sirloin. Medium rare. Throw in a slice of apple pie with ice cream and a coffee and ya may just get ta see that old-age of yours. And how about we bring back a nice container of hot chocolate for Santa?”
“I think next year I’ll get into this Santa Claus racket myself, Betty. I’m goin’ broke bein’ me.”