Dear Santa Claus,
In case you don’t remember me, I’m the one who left the empty shotgun case hanging from the mantle with the grandkids’ stockings last Christmas. I know it was wishful to think you would fill it on such short notice with a new Benelli 12-gauge semi-auto, but I thought perhaps there would be an extra one lying around somewhere in your sleigh on Christmas Eve.
I’m just sick I didn’t get a chance to talk with you about that shotgun earlier this month at the mall, but the line was long and I was being viciously berated by a score of whining 5- to 7-year-olds who did not understand it is not considered “cuts” if you’re over 60 and have to pick up your Aunt Tillie from the airport in a few minutes. When I hollered my requests in your direction, you didn’t appear to hear me.
I wasn’t going to mention this, Mr. Claus, but I think you may be a candidate for a hearing aid. Two years ago, I clearly remember sitting on your lap in the department store window and asking for a new shell vest and some good rain gear.
You can imagine my disappointment when I opened my presents Christmas morning and found a blue percale dress and a carved wooden reindeer. Don’t try hunting ducks in a blue percale dress, Santa, as it doesn’t have a single shell loop and it stands out like a sore thumb. The wooden reindeer wasn’t much fun, either. Yes, I think a hearing aid would do you a lot of good.
As long as I’m here, Santa, I might as well ask you about some of the other items on my list for this year. After the shotgun, I would like another puppy – preferably a large hunting breed. Oh, I know what you’re saying: “You already have two bird dogs,” but I always wanted a puppy for Christmas.
When I was a child, I saw a picture of a springer spaniel pup with its little brown and white head, droopy eyes and floppy ears sticking out of a Christmas stocking, and I’ve wanted a pup for Christmas ever since. I mentioned this to my folks some 60 years ago, and every year until I went off to college I hung an oversized “dog stocking” on the mantle. Every Christmas morning it was almost empty.
Mom and Dad always told me the pup had escaped during the night, and I believed them, too, because there was always puppy residue inside the stocking. The worse part of the whole thing was the pup wasn’t just content to run away. He always took a bunch of my other presents with him, Dad said.
In case you already talked with my lady friend, Santa, please know she doesn’t really want a new beau – she just says that every year or so to keep me on my toes if the winter looks to be a long one and I’m doing too much ice fishing. What she really wants is a larger thermos and maybe a new fly reel. She probably forgot to mention these, but I guarantee they will be used and appreciated.
Well, that’s about it, Santa. I’ll leave the cookies and the gun case in the usual places. The milk’s in the fridge. If the fire’s still burning in the fireplace, come on in the back door. Don’t let the dogs out.
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