One Christmas a long time ago I was standing in line buying Christmas stuff. I'd waited very late, because payday was only a couple of days before Christmas and I really hadn't bought much ahead of time.

So there I was standing in a checkout line a mile or two long at K-Mart. I don't like crowds, never have, never will, especially if there are little children running wild with little or no control. The woman behind me was reading magazines oblivious to her frenzied, sugar-crazed child running up and down the line. She kept mumbling noises into the air telling the rampant child to stay near her, but nothing happened.

Eventually the yuppy spawn started to orbit me. He ran little laps from behind his mother past me around the little old lady ahead of me and back around, over and over.

On one lap, I set my packages on the floor and knelt down just as Sputnick was due to fly by. He stopped and we were eye-to-eye and I told him as earnestly as I could, "You know, kid, Santa Claus is dead."

The kid didn't make a peep, just went back and stood right next to his parental unit. Nobody else in the line heard me, but most of them were grinning at me after that.

I grinned back.

Rocky McCoy© December 23, 2001 All Rights Reserved