And now, Scary-Crayon presents...
Sure, Christmas 2004 has come and gone, but that doesn't mean you've seen the last of old Saint Nick. Even though he's apparently been barred from making appearances in public schools, with people returning Christmas presents well into the new year and all Christmas-related paraphernalia being considerably marked down to make way for naked babies and blood-pumping muscles with eerie, lascivious grins stamped on their faces, it's a good bet that you'll continue to see Santa's ruddy face until at least mid-January -- and then, of course, he'll be back in late September to spread more Yuletide cheer and piss the demons off for raining on their monster bash. Some people -- especially children -- await Santa's return with bated breath and Christmas carols perpetually playing in their hearts. After all, who doesn't love a happy fat man that brings gifts and whose arrival serves to remind the masses of
selfish kind-hearted Christians that, though the vast majority of people on Earth will die violent deaths and will be sent to a fiery place of neverending torment, they will be taken up by Jesus and live in a place of pure and unadulterated cotton candy bliss? Yes, many people can't wait for the big red fat man to alight on their rooftops and slide down their chimneys and eat their cookies and stuff their stockings with a hearty, "HO HO HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!" But that wasn't always the case.
You see, Santa didn't always cry, "Ho ho ho!" as he neared the homes he was to enter, and people didn't always respond to his approach with cries of joy and kind feelings towards their visitor. No, long ago, the people's response was one of terror, for Bloody Nick's distant "YO HO HO!" was hardly associated with the good things that now come to mind when one hears his cheerful shout. The sack that he carries slung over his left shoulder did not always contain gifts for the well-behaved children of the world -- no! In fact, when the former Kristov Krink first approached the homes of his victims, the burlap sack was empty. It was full when he left, though -- full of wedding rings and silverware and human hair and spices and bottles of rum and live babies to be roasted and eaten by his crew of grey midgets with glowing eyes.
And were there smiles and songs left in old Nick's wake in those days? No! Slain corpses and battered women and weeping children and the ruins of sacked and plundered and burned towns were the only gifts that Krink left behind. And when he took his leave, he didn't do so by laying his finger aside of his nose and floating up the chimney -- he simply swaggered out of the open front door, which he had kicked off its hinges upon first entering the homes. Nor did he climb into a sleigh driven by a team of flying reindeer! Rather, having finished his looting and killing, the vicious Bloody Nick and his crew of wicked midgets clambered back onto his blood-red sailing vessel and let the wind steer them along on their uncharted path of destruction and terror and death. Oh, woe to those unfortunate souls who found themselves visited by Bloody Nick at night!
This is because... Santa Claus was a pirate.
Yes, it's true -- Santa Claus was not always the kindhearted and charitable soul we associate with sugarplums and candy canes and festive winter decorations of all kinds, nor did he fly from home to home giving out presents to the good little children of the world. There are two people in this world -- givers and takers -- and, originally, Bloody Nick (this was before he became a saint, you see) was decidedly among the latter class. With a patch over his left eye and a hook in place of his right hand (because the most fearsome pirates always have eyepatches and hook-hands, even if they're only for show), Kristov Krink traveled the seven seas, drifting from town to town according to the fancy of the waves and violently sacking each port at which Fate saw fit to temporarily dock his vessel. And while, even then, some people argued that the future Father Christmas was doing the work of the Lord -- punishing the wicked in accordance with the will of God -- few people would have viewed the sight of their child sitting on his lap as a Kodak moment.
However, while the Santa Claus of those times was a murderous pirate, even today there are several behavioral similarities that he continues to share with his former self and, as a result, have been incorporated into today's legends. For example, it was true that Bloody Nick had quite the sweet tooth, and, while he carried most of his booty back onto the ship in his great burlap sack, he was known for sitting down in the living rooms of his victims and eating their cookies -- or biscuits, as they called the treats in England -- on the spot. For this reason, his teeth were also a creamy shade of yellow and were riddled with holes -- for it is a fact that pirates know nothing of brushing or flossing.
Furthermore, while men who crossed his path were likely to be spitted on his swashbuckling sword (all fearsome pirates carry swashbuckling swords, you know) or raped by his grey-skinned, green-clad midgets if they were women, with the exception of babies, which his crew devoured, children were more or less left alone in the physical sense. They were, however, made to watch as their parents were raped and murdered -- which undoubtedly produced a few psychological scars -- and, though they could weep and bawl all they wanted, if they shrieked too loud Kristov Krink would pelt them with coal until they were knocked unconscious. As you well know, the coal thing stayed with him, which is why naughty children today find coal in their stockings. And of course the man has always had the great white beard and has always worn his heavy red-and-white coat, even during the hot summer months. Given the amount that he sweated during the warmer seasons, it may come as a surprise that ol' Nick never once took the coat off -- but then, pirates have never been known for their exemplary hygiene.
We could go on and on about the raunchy tales of Santa's pirate days, but suffice it to say that before he found himself shipwrecked in the sub-zero temperatures of the North Pole he was not a very nice guy. While wandering the snow-white expanse in search of aid, however, he came to know the true meaning of helplessness -- and suddenly he understood how his victims must have felt as he skewered them on his blade, their last sights in this life being the image of their wives ravaged by sadistic, depraved grey midgets and their screaming children being pelted with chunks of black coal. It was here, in the frozen wasteland, that Santa encountered the magical polar bear who transformed his wicked midgets into jolly elves and gifted him with the various powers that he now possesses, charging him with the task of delivering toys to good little children in order to atone for the evils he had committed as a bloodthirsty pirate. And that is how he came to be the Santa Claus we now know and love, except in public schools, where, as it was in the olden days, kiddies are more or less forbidden to speak his name on pain of spankings and suspension and other lamentable consequences.
Still, always remember the truth of Santa's origins, lest he forget them and return to his wicked ways.
-- Wes --
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