This following is a guest post by ex-pastor Pat Green, cross-posted with permission from his blog Night Moves: Diary of a Chicago Area Cabbie ex-Preacher Man.
Santa is a very busy man, especially in December. Sometimes he has to subcontract for hire Santa’s to make public appearances at malls, department stores and events.
Sometimes those Santa’s have parties. In December of 2010 I saw many of those Santa’s in a pub crawl on Beale Street in Memphis. Wish I had my camera ready for that.
Anyway, December of 2013 on a Saturday night at 3 am I got a call to pick up on the West side of Joliet and go to the East side.
I pulled up to a small ranch style house and in the front yard was a night I will never forget. Several Santa’s wandering about with red solo cups stumbling about the yard. One Santa came up to me and said,”Thank GOD you are here! Look, we gotta get an asshole out of here. How much will it cost to take him to the address we gave your dispatcher?”
I looked at Santa and said,”About $13.”
He handed me a twenty and said, “Run the meter, man, whatever is left is your tip. You will have earned it. Sorry, dude.”
I looked at him and said, “Just look after me on Christmas man.”
While we waited for the passenger to come out I asked the Santa by the cab what was going on. This was an annual party for mall and store Santas in the area. They get together in an online meet up and do this every year to blow off some steam. Unfortunately, one was being an asshole and they wanted him off the property.
In a few moments, two more Santas came out half carrying, half walking a Santa who has what looked (and smelled I would later find) to have dried vomit on his natural beard and front of his suit. As they were bringing him into my cab he was shouting drunken epitaphs at the other Santas. Once they had him situated he said something that really pissed off one of the Santas who tried to pull him out of the cab and it took three Santas to get him away from my cab. I chose this as a good time to leave.
Though this is the first time it was Santa, it was not the first time I had a extraction. The passenger is not my customer, the person who pays me is and therefore I go where the money tells me to. Drunk people do not like this.
He looked half aware and was babbling so I kept my peace, then a few blocks away he spoke to me.
“Take me to Stang liquor store.”he demanded.
“They are closed at this hour.”
“For liquor? No one, Santa.”
“Take me to the strip club. The fuckin Slipper!” he shouted.
“I’m taking you home.” I said.
“Fuck you, cabbie!!!!” He shouted. “Take me to the fucking slipper!”
“Santa, you wouldn’t make it past the doorman and you are a disgrace to the red suit, but at least the rosy cheeks are spot on.”
He threw his hat at me.
“Santa!” I screamed, “One more outburst like that and you walk! I am NOT in the mood to screw around with you.”
“If I were the real Santa you would get dog shit instead of fuckin coal.”
I held my tongue. For most of the ride he kept with the digs and I refused to take the bait. Then he crossed the line.
“If I can’t fuck a stripper how about your mom?” He asked. We were almost to the trailer park he lived in. I held my tongue.
“Got a daughter? Maybe I had her on my lap? Maybe she will give me a lap dance?”
As we pulled into the trailer community I went off.
“The only thing keeping you alive right now is that I’m too pretty for prison. It is bad enough that you get kicked out of a party and puked all over your drunk ass, but to do this as a seasonal gig and DARE to bring a minor into this? When I took my kid to see Santa I treasured her beaming smile and cling to those pictures as happy moments. Her first Santa visit was when my ex and I found out that her heart would need no more treatment after 3 years of great expense and worry. The black cloud always over us lifted and we took her to a mall Santa and that is one of my most treasured pictures in my collection of her. It was a day of freedom and hope and clarity and a new beginning. The very thought that he could be a piece of drunken shit trash like you is horrifying. It was bad enough to find out for any kid, including me, that you were a lie. That there was more to the Santa story. To find out that his false ambassadors could be YOU?!?!?!?! FUCK!!!! Jesus! I remember believing that if I was good and did well I would have some reward, some gift, someone looking out for me after my dad left, someone who could make it all right and it doesn’t exist and some representatives of that lie are reprehensible, disgusting assholes is almost too much.”
We pulled up to his trailer.
“We ain’t talking about Santa anymore, are we?” he asked.
“I don’t know. I’m mad and I really don’t like you. Get out.”
“I used to be a priest,” he said in a quiet voice,”I wish I lost my faith. Instead I have to live with myself.”
With that, he left the taxi and stumbled to his trailer.
Pat explains his atheism in his video for the Openly Secular project below:
This was a guest post by Pat Green. Read more of his vignettes from his work as a cab driver at Night Moves: Diary of a Chicago Area Cabbie ex-Preacher Man. Unless otherwise noted, Camels With Hammers guest posts are not subject to editing for either content or style beyond minor corrections, so guest contributors speak for themselves and not for me (Daniel Fincke). To be considered at all, posts must conform to The Camels With Hammers Civility Pledge and I must see enough intellectual merit in their opinions to choose to publish them, but no further endorsement is implied. If you would like to submit an article for consideration because you think it would be in keeping with the interests or general philosophy of this blog, please write me at camelswithhammers@ .