First of all, son, I’m not angry with you. I just want you to tell Daddy more about the man you say you saw Mommy kissing, okay?

You said it was underneath the mistletoe. Do you know what mistletoe is?

No, it’s not a bomb that flies out of your foot. Nevermind what Jordy said after school. Let’s stay focused here.

So, last night, you saw mommy kissing “Santa Claus.” This was in the house?

Downstairs. After our grown-up party was over. By the Christmas tree.

Okay, good, now we’re getting somewhere.

I know you were supposed to be in bed asleep. It’s okay.

From your bedroom window you saw my car leave…

Right, I was giving Ms. Leslie ride home. She’d had a little bit too much to celebrate.

Really, Daddy’s not mad at you for getting up out of bed and peeking downstairs. That’s fine. Yes, I understand that you were hoping to see the real Santa Claus bringing your presents…

But the man you saw didn’t look exactly like Santa is supposed to look. Huh. He didn’t have a big white beard and a red suit? No beard. Okay. And a blue suit instead of red.

Okay, I think I know—dark hair? Yes? A bald spot on top?

Son of a fucking bitch! God fucking damn it! I should have fucking known!

Oh, no. I’m sorry. Son, no, please. Please stop crying. I know Daddy said the F word. It was a mistake. That happens sometimes. Daddy is trying to say a good F word, like “Fudgsicle,” and instead he gets his words mixed up and says the bad F word. Okay? Grownups make mistakes.

And Santa-Todd-Farlow-fucking-Claus has made a serious motherfucking mistake, I can tell you that for goddamn fucking sure.

Shit.

All right, look, I’m sorry again. Please stop crying. I know Daddy just smashed the Lego dinosaur. And said some more bad words. Like I said, grownups make mistakes. We can fix the dinosaur later, all right? Santa Claus, on the other hand, is going to be busted into such tiny little pieces that not many of them will be found this yuletide season.

Ha, ha! I’m kidding! Daddy is not going to hurt anyone. No, no, no—I wouldn’t do anything to the real Santa Claus. I just thought it was a good joke, imagining a man like a Lego figure that got shattered into a bunch of pieces. Funny, right?

Everything is going to be fine. Daddy’s not mad at all, okay? I have to go now.

No, I won’t be gone for long. Don’t worry. Daddy’s going to be right back after he beats the living crap out of—sorry!

No, of course not. No, poop can’t come alive. Just a figure of speech. Don’t worry about it.

I’ll be back soon.


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