Mr. Crumpton

Mr. Crumpton owned a manufacturing company that made scrubs for doctors and nurses.  In his employ were about a hundred workers, including cutters, seamstresses, shaders, ticket-makers and quality control experts.

He ran a tight ship and was a strict employer but he was a fair one.  He paid a decent wage and expected a decent days’ work.  Jobs in his company were hard to come by as his employees tended to stay.  Some of them had been with him since the first day the doors opened.

He was feared by a few, as he was an imposing character.  Six foot, four inches tall and still built like a Marine at sixty-five years old.

A few of the older women had secret crushes on him, for no other reason than he was so mysterious.  Being long before the age of computers where everybodys’ life was clearly available, only his secretary knew anything about him.  If he had a family, only she knew and she didn’t talk.

The only thing that was known, was that he had started the company forty years earlier, armed only with a shoestring budget and sheer grit and determination.

Every year around this time, he was faced with having to deal with the holiday season.  There were requests for parties and celebrations.  It wasn’t that he could be labeled a “Scrooge,” he just had it in mind that taking time out for something as frivolous as a Christmas party had the potential for missing deadlines and slower production, both of which translated into lost revenue.

The girls who worked in the office, gave up their lunch hour to put up a tree in the lobby.  Mr. Crumpton didn’t complain but would have never suggested any sort of holiday decorations.

Two weeks before Christmas, the new hospital that Mr. Crumpton had been contracted to provide the uniforms for was going to open ahead of schedule, which had been a possibility stated in the contract.  In order to avoid a penalty, it meant that production would have to increase in order to meet the promised deadline for delivery.  That also meant overtime for workers and no time for parties.

No apologies were extended.  His workers were disappointed but they had always been loyal and dependable and were prepared to meet the challenge.  Mr. Crumpton had always valued their loyalty and after he thanked them, he quietly slipped into his office.

His secretary went in and cautiously suggested that maybe this once, he could give his employees a bonus for their efforts, as he had never given bonuses before.  His response was, “I pay them for a days’ work and I pay them for an extra days’ work.  I don’t pay them for sentimentality.”

The deadline was met and the employees celebrated with cheers as soon as the last bundle of scrubs was packed into a box for delivery on Christmas Eve.  The expected visit on the floor from Mr. Crumpton didn’t come.

The day after Christmas, production once again back in full swing, was interrupted when his secretary asked for everyones’ attention.

“First, I want to thank all of you for a job well done and I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas.”  After the cheers and applause settled down, she said,” but I’m afraid I have some sad news.  Mr. Crumpton died suddenly early this morning.”

All the employees stood silently stunned after hearing the news.  She went on to say that there was going to be a meeting that afternoon at two o’clock but she would like for them to continue working until then, if they were able.

That afternoon, again the employees stood silently stunned when an attorney informed them that Mr. Crumpton had left his entire fortune of 4.1 million dollars…to them.

A Letter To Santa – First, The Sappy One. Now, The Snarky One

Dear Santa,

I don’t have a Christmas tree.
Actually, I have 15 Christmas trees.  I just chose not to put them up.
Would you leave some Boost for me?
I have four cases so I’m set.
You could leave it at my door.
There is a box at my door right now.
I promise I’ve been good and I won’t ask for more.
Don’t know about being good and I’ve learned not to ask for anything.

You don’t have to fill my stocking.
You’re off the hook (and so is the stocking.)
Or read a pleading note.
I don’t write pleading notes, asshole.
I don’t want a car, a fur or something that will float.
Got a car, a couple of furs and a rubber duck.  I’m good.

The cards fell wrong for me and I’m alone.
Hell yeah, and I’d rather be alone than live with a lying, cheating, disease-giving pig.
It’s now my way of life.
Yep.  And like I said.  It’s better than living with a lying, cheating, disease-giving pig.
But, once I was a mother.
Yes, I was and I’m afraid I was not a very good one.
Once I was a wife.
Biggest mistake I ever made.  I’d have been better off being just another tramp.  

I won’t ask for company.
I didn’t bother to decorate so I don’t think anybody would want to come over anyway.
For there’s nobody left.
Oh, they’re there.  They just choose to visit somebody else.
I will be okay, though.
Yes I will, and I have been for the last several Christmases.
I will not be bereft.
I probably will be but that’s nothing new.

I will not ask for calls or texts.
I would prefer not to get obligatory or drunken calls or texts, so that’s why I won’t ask.
I know they will not come.
Nope.  They won’t.
They will go to someone else.
Yep.  They will go to all the important people.  The people who matter.
So, I’ll pretend I’m numb.
No pretense.  I already am.

A case of Boost is all I want.
Well, we all know I want Wentworth Miller but I’m trying to be realistic here.  
It’s full of nutrients.
It is probably some of the worst crap you can drink but it beats having to turn on the stove and open a can of beans.
Please don’t deny my only wish.
You’ve denied so many of my wishes in the past, it wouldn’t be anything new.
Or show insouciance.
I had forty-one years of that.  Don’t need any more.

If you would only bring some Boost.
That would be great, especially if it was free.
I’ll have a happy day.
I’m lying.  What the fuck is a happy day?
I’ll drink it while I reminisce.
I do quite a bit of reminiscing this time of year.  Gotta cut that shit out.
And pass the time away.
I learned how to pass the time away the first week I was married, so I’m a bit of an expert.

You don’t need to wrap it.
Well, if you had any newspaper handy, you could wrap it in that.  That would certainly bring back memories.
Or add a big red bow.
No bows.  They tend to get squished.
When I awake on Christmas morn.
I would actually like to sleep all day so I didn’t know it was Christmas.
From who it is, I’ll know.
I’ll know who it’s from.  Merry Christmas, Laurel.  From Laurel.

I’ve never stopped believing.
Are you fucking kidding me?  I stopped believing in just about everything a long time ago and that includes you.  I don’t even like you.
And I will be right here.
Where the hell else am I going to be?  At a family gathering? Don’t be ridiculous.
So, while you’re loading up your sleigh,
Throw in some Boost.  While you’re at it, kidnap Wentworth Miller but understand.  He’s MINE.  Don’t deliver him to anybody else!
Would you remember me this year?
You haven’t remembered me for the last four years but if you don’t remember me this year, I’m going to tell all the little kiddies that you aren’t fucking real.  Okay?  How about that?

 

 

A Letter To Santa

Dear Santa,

I don’t have a Christmas tree,
but would you leave some Boost for me?
You could leave it at my door.
I promise I’ve been good and I won’t ask for more.

You don’t have to fill my stocking,
Or read a pleading note.
I don’t want a car, a fur,
Or something that will float.

The cards fell wrong and I’m alone.
It’s now my way of life.
But, once I was a mother.
Once I was a wife.

I won’t ask for company,
For there’s nobody left.
I will be okay though,
I will not be bereft.

I will not ask for calls or texts,
I know they will not come.
They will go to someone else,
So I’ll pretend I’m numb.

A case of Boost is all I want.
It’s full of nutrients.
Please don’t deny my only wish,
Or show insouciance.

If you would only bring some Boost,
I’ll have a happy day.
I’ll drink it while I reminisce,
And pass the time away.

You don’t need to wrap it,
Or add a big red bow.
When I awake on Christmas morn,
From who it is, I’ll know.

I’ve never stopped believing,
And I will be right here.
So, while you’re loading up your sleigh,
Would you remember me this year?

 

Twelve Days Of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A six-pack of beer.
“Thanks, babe but I don’t drink.”
“I thought maybe you’d grow up and learn how.  Okay, I’ll drink the beer.”

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“I don’t read books and I have no aspirations to be a journalist but thank you.”
“Not a problem.  I thought if you actually read a book, you might get smarter.  Obviously you’re not interested, so I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
 An art set of oil paints, canvases, complete with sable brushes, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Thank you, my sweet but you know I don’t paint anymore and you know why.”
“Just because I got mad one time and threw your paints across the room, you have to be a martyr.  Okay.  I’ll give it away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Oh, sweetie, don’t you remember what happened the last time I played golf with you?
“Goddammit, aren’t you ever going to get over me jerking your arm out of its socket while screaming at you to get out of the fucking way?  Fine, I’ll use the balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Thanks for the thought, darling but I don’t play the guitar.”
“Well, fuck.  Is there anything you WILL do?  Okay.  I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Oh, honey.  I’m really not interested in going to a bar to watch basketball and you know how drunk you get.  I was kind of hoping that we might spend the day just being with each other.”
“How can you be so fucking selfish?  You know how important Duke basketball is to me!  It’s all about you, isn’t it?  You don’t do anything and you don’t want me to do anything either, right?  Don’t worry about it.  I’ll watch the game by myself, I take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Darling, I really don’t want your friends coming over. They get so rowdy and they break my things.
“Still all about you, isn’t it?  I let your idiot sister come down here and act like a fucking moron and never say a word.  Tell you what.  If you don’t like it, you can leave.  I’ll entertain my friends, I’ll watch the game by myself, I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Three recycled magazines about Tree Houses that had come to his office earlier that year, a notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“I appreciate the re-gift sweetheart but I don’t plan on building any tree houses anytime soon.
“Can you be any more useless?  Don’t you want to at least pretend to know something about something?  If you don’t want the magazines, I’ll toss them.  I’ll entertain my friends, I’ll watch the game by myself, I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.” 

On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
A collection of Christmas cards to display, sent from his family members and addressed only to him, three re-cycled magazines about tree houses, a notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“I am not going to display cards in my house from people who blatantly exclude me.  Do you not understand that?”
“You’re a real piece of work, you know it?  Go ahead.  Ruin Christmas for me.  I’ll take the cards to work, I’ll toss the magazines, I’ll entertain my friends, I’ll watch the game by myself, I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
An invitation to not spend the day at his brothers’ house, a collection of Christmas cards to display, three re-cycled magazines about tree houses, a notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“You’re going to spend the day with your brother instead of me?  The brother who treats me and your children like we’re worthless garbage?”
“Listen, my mama and daddy drove down and I want to see them and I’m not going to take any shit from you about it. Besides, you know you don’t want to go, so I’ll spend the day with my brother and my mama and daddy, I’ll take the cards to work, I’ll toss the magazines, I’ll entertain my friends, I’ll watch the game by myself, I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
Another invitation to spend Christmas alone, an invitation to not spend the day at his brothers’ house, a collection of Christmas cards to display, three re-cycled magazines about tree houses, a notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“You’re leaving me alone again on Christmas?  But I have a pot roast cooking.  Can’t you stay here with me?”
“The family rented a house at Edisto Beach.  Mamas’ cooking and everybody’s going to be there.  I didn’t ask you if you wanted to go because you never want to do anything.  Go upstairs and make a quilt or something.  I’ll go see them, I’ll spend the day with my brother and my mama and daddy, I’ll take the cards to work, I’ll toss the magazines, I’ll entertain my friends, I’ll watch the game by myself, I’ll take the guitar picks, I’ll use the golf balls, I’ll give the art set away, I’ll throw the fucking book out and I’ll drink the beer.”

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:
An announcement that he picked up the WTC in a bar, another invitation to spend Christmas alone, an invitation to not spend the day at his brothers’ house, a collection of Christmas cards to display, three re-cycled magazines about tree houses, a notice that his friends were coming over for a drink, a noon appointment to watch a Duke basketball game in a bar, a pack of guitar picks, a box of golf balls, an art set, a book about journalism and a six-pack of beer.
“Um…what?”
“I’d like to bring her down and I thought we would stay with you.”
“You can’t stay here.”
“Oh, well I guess I won’t bring her then.”
“I think it’s time to talk about divorce.”
“NO.  I am not going to talk about divorce!  I cannot imagine not being married to you.”
“Wait a minute.  Did you really think that you were going to bring her down here, stay in my house, sleep with her in my bed while I slept on the sofa and I was going to be okay with that?”
“Yeah….no.  I don’t know what I was thinking.”
“Sorry, darling. I am not going to be your whore wife but Merry Christmas anyway!