This story is called How The Chimp Saved Christmas, and it features the unauthorized appearance and desecration of many beloved Christmas characters. Parents, you may wish to preview this story yourself first, to determine if it is a welcome addition to the catalogue of Christmas classics. Children, if your parents and caregivers have allowed you to hear this story, then please––at the conclusion of this tale––return to your previous understanding of these beloved characters, and forget this ever happened. I am presenting this original work as a busk––like a musician with their hat out, playing on the sidewalk––because my tapidly deteriorating eyesight has made it impossible to do any of the things I have done to supplement my writer income. Two lens replacement surgeries––one for each eye––figure to restore my sight fully by mid January. I am also reading HOW THE CHIMP SAVED CHRISTMAS on YouTube––which should be easy to find. If it brings you profound tidings of comfort and joy, or anything that floats your boat, then feel free to Venmo me a tip @Paul-Mosier-1, because only a desperate man could have produced a tale such as this. Happy Holidays!
Santa was in a pickle. Not a gherkin or a giant dill pickle like they sell at elementary school bake sales in spite of their requiring no baking. No, not that kind of pickle, because this isn’t a bake sale or a condiment bar, or the sort of story with that variety of pickle.
It was Christmas Eve. Eight tiny reindeer were hitched to a sleigh piled high with presents. Rudolf was at Buddy’s Tavern, topping off the glow on his nose-so-bright. But Santa had locked himself in the bathroom and refused to come out.
Ever-so-gently, Mrs. Claus rapped on the door. “You mustn’t keep the good children waiting,” Mrs Claus said.
“Please go away, Mrs Claus,” Santa said, his voice quavering and pathetic. “I’m afraid I’m unfit for duty.”
For the sake of expedient storytelling, let’s presume that news of Santa’s lock-in spread more or less immediately across the entire planet. Blink 182––who had been hired to perform a private concert at midnight for the exhausted toymakers––demanded advance payment before taking the stage. Late night radio hosts urged their listeners to gather up their silver and gold and head for the hills. Citizens were forced to choose between despair and outrage on social media polls, and many people found themselves wishing for more nuanced choices, and thus spent Christmas Eve staring undecided at their phones instead of reading ‘Twas The Blight Before Christmas as they should have..
This development also finally inspired the little blond elf––who had for years complained that he would rather be a dentist than a toymaker––to at last make good on his promise and resign, announcing his intentions to enroll in the Barbizon School Of Toothsome Arts. His resignation was received with glee by Twinkletoes––who supervised The Little Blond Elf Who Wanted To Be A Dentist. This because the Little Blond Elf Who Wanted To Be A Dentist was not only exceedingly dull––to the point that the other elves working alongside him referred to him privately as The Little Bland Elf Who Won’t Shut Up About Dentistry––but also had an abysmal product safety record, and was personally responsible for ruining hundreds of Christmases, damaging the average score of Elf Team Six and dashing Twinkletoes’ hopes of ever winning the Egg Nog Cup and getting a promotion out of the work camps.
Here it must be noted that Santa looks very unkindly on the use of the words shut up, and Santa sees everything, so please use only kind words.
Of course, The Little Bland Elf Who Wouldn’t Shut Up About Dentistry had to make a big production out of his exit. He pulled off his apron and flung it across the workshop, then banged his wooden mallet on the bench and shouted So long, suckas! I’m off to where the lady elves dwelleth!
This caused some of the more tender-hearted elves on Elf Team Six to hang their heads in sadness––not because they were loathe to see him go, but because they had long endured his embarrassing participation in the team-wide grumblings about the need to hire some fine-looking lady elves. His claim to be off in search of the ladies seemed to indicate that The Little Blond Elf Who Wanted To Be A Dentist would continue living a lie, no matter where his travels took him.
Ah, but this was 1964. And, ah, but it was not to be.
The Little Blond Elf Who Hated Christmas headed straight to the North Pole train station and boarded the Polar Express. He shared a private compartment with Frosty The Snowman, who was headed to Vegas for a winter-long residency at The Sands, his usual Pipe and Carrot routine. The two drank piping hot chocolate and shared laughs as they swapped stories of what a pain in the butt Santa could sometimes be.
Unfortunately, the Polar Express was ambushed by the Abominable Snowman, who threw the train into the depths of the Peppermint Fjord. Thumpity-thump-thump it went, ricocheting off the brittle toffee walls of the fjord before landing on the crust of the Hot Fudge Geyser, instantly killing both The Little Blond Elf Who Hated Christmas and Frosty the Snowman, thereby ending the careers of two of the most annoying members of the Central Christmas Casting roster. Attempts to revive Frosty by putting a top hat on his head and posing for selfies proved fruitless.
Tragically, this incident might never have occurred if not for one man who lived far away in The Land That Snow Forgot. The man––let’s call him Pablo––sat at his work desk one day and started a list of The Top Ten Abominations Of The Abominable Snowman. It began with
1 The Abominable Snowman loaded his own poop into Frosty’s corncob pipe
2 Threw a snowball at some kid but instead it hit the kid’s grandma and knocked her down, and her false teeth got lost in a snowdrift
3 Brought blizzard which stranded your racist great uncle at your house through New Year’s
This was as far as he got before his supervisor came up from behind and demanded he get back to work. Pablo had begun the list in jest, as he thought perhaps The Abominable Snowman had been judged unfairly. After all, Pablo thought, if he is so abominable, what are his abominations?
The Abominable Snowman caught wind of the list––most likely through Santa, who somehow sees everything, and who above the Arctic Circle is most famous for being a terrible gossip. Naturally The Abominable Snowman felt he had been disrespected, and flew into a rage. All of this was years before the invention of Twitter, so he felt he had no choice but to prove his Abomination Cred by plucking the Polar Express from its tracks and hurling it into the abyss of the Peppermint Fjord. On that foggy Christmas Eve of long ago, none would have guessed that one day parents would go to the deli at IKEA and buy edible gingerbread dioramas recreating the tragic final moments of Frosty and what’s-his-face, that blond elf kid who hated Christmas.
In what diehard supporters of Frosty would call a case of cosmic justice, Pablo––the man who began the list when he should have been toiling at his miserable job––was fired when the results of the accident investigation were made public, and spent the rest of his days drifting from one meaningless gig to the next.
But all of this is beside the point, and I apologize for wasting so much of your time, especially on Christmas Eve.
The point is that Santa was in a pickle. Eight tiny reindeer were hitched to a sleigh piled high with toys made with the blood and sweat of elf labor. Rudolf was at Buddy’s Tavern, topping off the glow on his nose-so-bright. But Santa had locked himself in the bathroom and refused to come out.
It’s always something with him, thought Bernard, the Head Elf. Every Christmas Eve, it’s always gotta be some kinda drama.
Mrs. Claus was summoned. She had been occupied enjoying hot rum with Lady Elaine, who was visiting for the holidays.
“What is it, Papa?” Mrs. Claus called through the door. “All the good children of the world are depending on you! And me and Lady Elaine were gettin’ cozy!”
Santa––who was concerned that Mrs. Claus kept insisting he fatten up after having increased the amount of his life insurance policy––was reluctant to disappoint his wife. She complained that Xmas Eve was her one chance each year to have a girl’s night, which usually meant hot rum with Lady Elaine.
I’m sorry, Dear, Santa said through the door. I’ve got a touch of diarrhea, so I’m going to have to cancel Christmas. There’s nothing I can do!
Mrs. Claus sighed in frustration. “Well, Nicholas, we can’t have you traveling through the night sky squirting feces on the good people below!” She snapped her fingers. “I know! There’s a 24 hour Rite Aid in the Sugarplum District––we can send The Little Blond Elf Who Hates Christmas to get you a bottle of Kaopectate!”
The crisis which unfolded became the basis of The Wall Street Journal’s scathing investigative report, which cited the lack of contingency planning as foremost among the reasons they labeled Santa’s Workshop the Worst Run Business In The History Of Business.
Of course, The Little Blond Elf Who Hates Christmas But Loves Dentistry was already headed to a date with a fireball at the bottom of the Peppermint Fjord. And, unbelievably, sending the Little Blond Elf Who Hated Christmas to get something for Santa’s diarrhea was literally the only idea anyone had to save Christmas.
Surely Christmas was lost! Santa’s inability to produce a proper Yule Log would put an end to centuries of joy! Children across the world woke up to get a drink of water and found themselves with an uneasy feeling! President Johnson asked constitutional scholars if he had the authority to command Santa to deliver presents as an economic emergency, but was told that the North Pole was not in his jurisdiction! Air Force jets were scrambled! The John Birch Society demanded the establishment of an American North Pole. Subcommittees were formed, whose work continues to this day!
These developments were cheered by Ebenezer Scrooge, who had backslid considerably since his mid-19th century enlightenment. He and The Grinch––who was a few years yet from his own transformation––were enjoying champagne in the hot tub on The Grinch’s terrace far above Whoville, and they raised their glasses to toast the demise of Christmas. Unfortunately, when their champagne flutes clinked together, a twinkling of vibration rose to a gurgling, and the gurgling rose to an uncertain flatulence, and the uncertain flatulence gained resolve and became an angry bellow, as an avalanche of the snowpack atop Mount Crumpitt buried the village of Whoville below, just as they had gathered in a circle to sing Bahoo Doray––an entirely unnecessary and gratuitous Christmas tragedy.
So, again, the village which won Christmas Aficionado Magazine’s Town That Understands The True Meaning Of Christmas award in 1953––and again in 1961––was wiped from the map. Are you not Outraged? Or would you describe yourself as Despairing?
Well, Santa moaned through the bathroom door, I guess I’m going to have to cancel Christmas! The Little Blond Elf Who Resigned Without Giving Two Weeks Notice has ruined everything!
Children cried! Elves wandered aimlessly on the featureless tundra! Chinese restaurants wondered whether they’d still be busy! George Bailey jumped unnoticed into a frozen river in Bedford Falls! Roast Beasts would be consumed without a appropriate degree of merriment!
Bernard, the Head Elf, wondered why canceling Christmas was always the first thing to occur to Santa.
But at that moment, the roar of an engine drowned out the cries of despair and general whining. A bright green, souped-up 1974 Chevy Nova––with sled blades instead of tires––came into view. The engine roared for effect, but the car was being pulled by 8 tiny reindeer––none that you’ve heard of previously, and please forgive me for not knowing why they are tiny. The tiny reindeer pulled the souped-up red Nova right to the front doors of Santa’s Workshop, taking the coveted Elf Of The Month parking space without prior authorization.
A gasp of excitement went up among the crowd of elves. The Elf on the Shelf fainted and fell to the floor, where he was mauled by the family dog. Who was this visitor in the muscle car?
The driver door opened and a chimpanzee emerged. But this was not just any chimp––it was Crisis Chimp, who appears whenever he’s needed most. He wore a white business shirt with red tie, dark shades, and held a briefcase which was handcuffed to his wrist.
“Who is this pant-less primate?” one elf wondered.
“Has he come to put the mas back in Christmas?” asked another.
“I saw a pair of pants with no-one in them,” offered a third.
“Stop wandering off into Dr Seuss stories!” demanded Bernard, the Head Elf.
Crisis Chimp shut the door of the Nova and quickly surveyed the scene. He was certain that his opposable thumbs and keen observation skills would be coming into play on this assignment.
“It’s old Saint Nick,” said Mrs Claus as she emerged from the workshop, a sloppy Lady Elaine in tow. “He’s got a serious case of the squirts. We were going to send the Little Blond Elf Who Hates Himself to get some Kaeopectate, but he and Frosty crashed into the Peppermint Fjord.”
Crisis Chimp frowned, wondering whether––in spite of the tragedy––Frosty would be back on Christmas Day.
Mrs Claus sighed. “If Santa can’t produce a proper Yule Log, Christmas will be cancelled forever.”
Send them all away! Santa cried from behind the door. Why does my diarrhea have to become a circus?
“That’s it!” exclaimed Bernard, the head elf. “We’ll save Christmas with a Diarrhea Circus!”
“Hooray!” arose a cheer.
“Hooray?” said one elf in a tone which was more of a question.
“Does that mean we have to get back to work?” complained one disgruntled elf.
Nobody’s going back to work! the Jolly Old Elf called from behind the bathroom door. Christmas is cancelled forever!
“Unless…” began Mrs. Claus. For she observed that Crisis Chimp was putting a key into the steel briefcase handcuffed to his wrist.
What was inside?
Could the briefcase contain something to save Christmas from ruin?
A hush fell over the crowd.
A snowflake fell.
An elf toward the back coughed.
An elf somewhere near the front farted.
Several elves complained about the smell.
Then the hush fell on the crowd again.
Crisis Chimp held the key to the briefcase between leathery index finger and opposable thumb.
“He’s got opposable thumbs!” someone shouted.
“Obviously,” another elf replied.
The key went in.
Utilizing the very same trusty digits, Crisis Chimp turned the key.
The bathroom door creaked open just an inch, and Santa’s Yellowy Eye appeared, watching. Gently, ever so gently––Oh! You would have thrilled to see just how deliciously slowly Crisis Chimp parted the two halves of the steel briefcase, opening it by the increment until just a shaft of brilliance sprang forth!
Finally the briefcase was fully open, and all could see the Christmas Miracle it held––
Children! Christmas is literally hanging in the balance here, with one tray holding liquid human feces and the other holding––
Orange Wedges! Chock full of vitamin C and potassium, a veritable ray of sunshine on a dark Christmas Eve!
Crisis Chimp quickly distributed the orange wedges. Fully 2 dozen of the thousands of elves had a taste of the magic!
“Ho, Ho, Hojo!” Santa shouted as he burst from the bathroom, his furry red pants around his ankles. “You’ve saved Christmas! Now I can deliver Christmas joy to all the good children of the world`!”
Santa made his way to the sleigh. “On Dasher, on Dancer, On Prancer––”
“On pantser––” Bernard called out. “Pull ‘em up, Santa!”
“Dang it!” Santa shouted. “Now I gotta start all over again!”
A laugh of merriment went up among the elves.
Bernard the Head Elf turned to the camera and grinned. “That’s my Santa!”
Crisis Chimp saluted the Elf In Chief as Santa’s sleigh disappeared into the dark sky, and wondered whether saving Christmas would finally take him off the naughty list. Then he shut his briefcase, climbed into the Nova-sled, and fired the engine––ready for whatever pickle came next.
Good work, Crisis Chimp! Happy Holidays!
Thank you everyone. Now let’s forget this ever happened, and children, please return to your previous understandings of Santa and the others. If this story brought you new joy and insight, then please Venmo me a lump of coal or the fuel of your choice to
Hope you all stay safe and healthy and surrounded by the people you love. Here’s to a better 2022. Thank you.