No one but the powers that be, know St. Nick gets retired and replaced every 100 years. This year St.Nick XXVth is conducting his last run. Age and technology have taken their toll not to mention the changing demographics that have discombobulated the usual routes used for the last few centuries. His replacement has been picked. He has no clue as to whom. Like the pope, the selection is done in complete secrecy
Nick’s sled is fitted out with cloaking, shielding and mass shrinking devices that allows for his huge cargo, in addition to the Time Freezing Clock that without, would in normal time, make his run totally impossible.
Nick is downing Baileys and coffee to stay awake. His catheter is in place. Hey, when you gotta go, ya gotta go and can’t stop at the nearest bar or tree and take a leak. At the close of his route, Nick has finished a bottle or two. He isn’t keeping count. It’s his last run.
He was about to head back to the Pole but chanced to look in the freight box and realized that he missed a new subdivision in NJ. “Damn, I hope the new guy has an updated GPS and plotting. He’s going to need it. AI,” he called out to the Directed Encased Energy Ramjet, “fire up the thrusters and come about 180, cloaking on, running lights off, shielding on, tree top level, utility pole avoidence.” He was sober enough for that and 100 years of training didn’t hurt.
“Yes sir,” the AI responded. “Coming about 180.”
His job completed and always prepared, Nick pulled out the reserve bottle of Baileys. He drank it down. Then in a somewhat blitzed state noticed a sign, Nick’s North’s Bar and Pole Dancing. His brain only recognized Nick’s North’s Pole. “I don’t ever remember putting THAT sign up. AI , landsthere. Keep sloaked and shrielded. I gottaseewhat’sgoingonhere” he commanded in a very slurred voice.
The sled, invisible and shielded, was backed into a number of times by some of the more drunken bar patrons. They of course saw nothing and gave it no other thought until Christmas morning when they viewed the ass end of their smashed vehicles and wondered how that happened. Most thought they hit a big pot hole at the time.
Christmas eve at the bar was not that unusual to have a few patrons come in dressed as Santa. Nick XXVth was Greco-Roman wrestling big, about 6’13 ½ and drunk. A waitress-elf dressed in mistletoe and a two strategically placed ornaments came over and said, “Hey Santa honey, what can I DO for You?” She looked him up and down.
Another dressed in much the same outfit came over to the big guy and said, “Santa baby, you bring me my Bently I asked for?” And kissed him on his fire red cheek
“I don’t ever remember seeing either of you at the shops,” he said playing with the ornaments. “And You two I would have remembered.” He sounded sober then.
“Oh Santa, I’ve seen you before,” they both said. “And I have been a very good girl,” said the first one. She gave him a big wet kiss and sat on his lap. “What will it be? It’s Christmas and I’m in a giving mood.”
Number two came around from behind and gave him a big hug.
Nick, quite drunk, placed a few gold coins on the table and was about to take a bite of that forbidden fruit when in came what can only be described as a woman equal in height to Nick. She was visibly pissed off and pointed to Nick. “Nick you besotted bugger. You should be home by now. I had to come looking for you.”
“Oh shit, his wife,” said one dancer.
“Of all the days to screw off, your retirement day.” She knocked the first tart off his lap, flung the other across the room and threw Nick over her shoulder. She left 12 gold coins on the table to cover any damages and lugged the big guy out.
“AI on! Cloaking Off! DEERS ON, prepare for lift off,” she commanded. The sled responded and lit up appearing like a circus carnival. She threw Nick in the back, covered him and got on to the drivers seat mumbling, “I’ve been following you for a while to get a feel for the job. Then you began to wander and wobble and I knew things weren’t right. I saw you land here, a bar of all places. You’re totally drunk on the job. You were about to be taken for a ride by those two. You can hardly walk no less fly.”
“Theyrerrr my friens and theyerr, hic, our elvers, they told me.”
“Id’s the Nort spole. I wis one of my lobving elbes. She told me so,” he managed to slur back. “And who the hell,” burp, “are you?”
“It’s not the North Pole, it’s a bar in NJ you old fool. And I am your replacement. Now shut up, we’re going home.” She was fuming.
“You’re my replacement? You’rer kinda cute. What do yu slay we do a mile sligh? Whattt’sss’s you name?” He made a grab for her.
“Nicolina.” Then she said, “I hate to do this but …” Then she socked him and knocked him out.
By the time they returned to the factory at the Pole, Nick XXVth was awake and hung-over. He looked at Nickolina. “So you’re for real; not a nightmare,” he said rubbing his jaw.
She laughed, “Of course I am. I’m Odina Sinterklaas the First. Santa to everyone else. You just have to believe and have faith. Now I’m going to get you to bed. It was your last trip and brother, it was a dozy. You’ll sleep it off and tomorrow no one will be the wiser. It’s my present to you. Sleep tight and to YOU, a good night.”