Beyond the Western
The Substitute Santa
Scott A. Gese

Image Source: Piqsels

Santa is out of commission. Someone needs to step up to the sleigh and make Christmas happen.

It was December 21st, three days before Christmas eve. Santa was busy in his workshop going over some last minute details before the big night. He was putting a few finishing touches on a new gizmo he had been working on. It was a booster to help get him up a chimney.

Last year his calculations had been off. There were more presents to be delivered due to a large population increase. That was expected. What he didn’t expect was the smaller than usual number of bad boys to be removed from his list. Those numbers were way down and it threw his calculations off.

He ended up overshooting his delivery time by one hour. He was hoping to make up for it this year by shaving a few seconds off each of his entry and exit times.

Santa wasn’t getting any younger and he certainly wasn’t in the best of shape.

Too many cookies along the route last year had added a few extra pounds to his belly. A recent trip to the doctor found him to be borderline diabetic and lactose intolerant. It looked like he would have to cut back on the cookies and the milk this year.

Last Christmas Mrs. Clause bought him the exercise bike he had asked for. He rode it a few times, but after the new year, it just sat in the corner collecting dust.

He was thinking about posting it on Craigslist.

Santa still had his magic he needed to get him in and out of those tight chimneys, but his weight was beginning to concern him.

He decided to compensate for it by upping the power on his lift-off that gets him back up the chimney to the sleigh.

Once he had made the final adjustments on his new toy, he decided to give it a test run using his own chimney. He needed to be absolutely certain it was going to work. He put on his suit, grabbed up his bag full of toys, stepped into the fireplace and flipped the switch by twitching his nose.

He blasted up the chimney like a fourth of July bottle rocket.

Two of his elves were outside shoveling snow at the time. They happened to be facing in the right direction and looked up just in time to see Santa shoot out of the chimney like a cork out of a champagne bottle. There was even a loud POP when he cleared the top.

Santa over shot the roof by a good fifty feet. The elves couldn’t believe their eyes. They had never seen Santa get that much air before.

It was pretty impressive.

Unfortunately, the flight back down was less impressive. Santa lost his grip on the sack and toys and they went flying every which way. He showed very poor form all the way down to the roof, which he hit with a loud thud. He slid down to the gutter and then over the edge. When he finally hit the ground, he didn’t move.

The elves ran to his rescue, laughing all the way. The laughing turned to panic when they realized Santa was out cold. One ran to get Mrs. Clause. She knew first aid and would be able to help.

When Santa came to, it took half an hour to get him up and back into the house. He had a slight concussion, a broken arm and a sprained ankle.

“A little too much oomph,” was all he could manage to say.

Santa was hurting bad. Mrs. Clause gave him some Valium to ease the pain.

Christmas eve was coming on fast. Santa was not going to be in any condition to be out driving the sleigh on Christmas eve. Something needed to be done in a hurry.

Mrs. Clause decided to take matters into her own hands. She had the elves load up the sleigh. Then she had the head elf show her how to use Santa’s oomph magic.

He made a minor adjustment so she wouldn’t overshoot the chimney like Mr. Clause did. It took her a few practice runs up and down her chimney, but she got the hang of it fast enough.

On Christmas eve she hitched up the reindeer and told the head elf to hop in. He knew the route and she needed his help.

When she flew out of sight, the rest of the elves took bets on whether she would make it to the end of the route before morning.

Not only did she make it, she beat Santa’s best time by over an hour.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.