We’re selling our Suburban, and as I’ve said before, I love writing Craigslist ads. I’m posting here as well, as the ad will eventually expire.
It was as wintry a Christmas as the Greater Seattle Area had ever known. It’s Christmas Eve, and the snowmen are keeping a vigilant watch over your now silent neighborhood. You settle down into your comfortable old recliner, and watch the snow continue to fall heavily out your window, as you slowly sip the steaming mug of cocoa in your hand. You sigh a deep, happy sigh, looking down at your wool socks, and thinking about how cold your feet were earlier while shoveling the driveway and walk. As you recline back, you look past your feet at the blaze now burning in the fireplace, and your toes wiggle thankfully.
The warmth of the cocoa in your belly, and the dancing of the flames has you drifting into sleepiness. In that dreamy land, between asleep, and awake, you hear a voice far off. You open your eyes fully, realizing that you had just nearly fallen asleep, and wonder if you had actually heard a voice, or dreamt it.
You listen intently.
After a few minutes, you realize that you were simply dreaming, and you begin to lift your mug toward your lips, and there it is again! This time you are sure of it. You set your cocoa down, and get out of your chair. It certainly came from outside, so you get closer to the window, and listen again.
Very faintly, you hear the voice yell just a single word. Did he say help? It didn’t quite sound like it, but just in case, you head for the door. You slip on your boots, coat, hat, and mittens that you had left over the heater earlier to dry. You open the back door and the wind nearly blows you back into the house. With some effort you get out the door, and close it sharply behind you.
Squinting through the snow and wind, the first thing you see is the large snowman in your neighbor’s yard. You laugh a little, thinking it likely that even a snowman might be the one calling for help in weather like this. Your thoughts are interrupted by the sound of the voice again. This time, you hear it very clearly.
It’s actually coming from far behind your house, out in the ball field. You press on slowly, purposefully, fighting against the wind, and the deep drifts of snow. The voice gets a little louder now.
“Again now, PULL!”
The wind has created such a mess of snow that it’s impossible to tell now if it’s still falling, or just being tossed about relentlessly. As you get closer, you begin to see a figure, and a very dim red light. He cries out again, in a booming voice “Put your back into it you bunch of Doe’s! PULL!”
It’s just then that the rest of the figures become clear, and you stop dead in your tracks. You know you must be dreaming. You must still be lying there in your recliner, with a cup of hot cocoa and a warm crackling fire. There in front of you, is a half buried sleigh, and the heads of 7 reindeer, and none other than Santa Claus himself, attempting to get his sleigh out of a huge drift of snow. The roar of the wind is drowned out by the pounding of your heart in your ears.
A sharp gust breaks your trance, and you begin to move closer and yell “Hey, do you need a hand?”
Eight heads turn in your direction at once, and it stops you again. After a moment, you see him turn his head back to his fleet, and mutter “…can’t get the sleigh out of a little bit of snow without a muggle here to help you out. Wait’ll the elves get a load of that!”
“What happened?” You ask.
Santa looks down at you from his sleigh, “Well, as you can see, instead of the usual 9, I’m down to 7 this year. Economy being what it is, I had to cut back somewhere.”
Sure enough, you look down the line, and 7 there are, with the red light coming from the front of the pack.
“Where are the other two then?” You ask.
“Well,” Santa says “You know what they say, nobody likes a skinny Santa.”
You ponder this for just a moment, before realizing what must be done. “I’ll be right back!” You yell, and then turn to run back towards your house. The excitement and adrenaline carry you with twice the speed that you arrived there with. As you begin running, you hear Santa again “That’s great, you know he’s just going to get his phone now. At this time tomorrow we’re going to be all over Facebook!”
You burst into your house, and spilling snow all through your kitchen you grab your keys and head to your garage. There, shining gloriously before you, is your 2003 Chevy Suburban. You know that there isn’t a moment to spare, Christmas is at stake. You throw a chain into the back, and sit down in the cockpit. You run a hand across the dash. To the untrained eye, this is just another SUV. You know though, that this is not any truck, it is The Flying Dutchman. You turn the key, and 8 angry cylinders roar to life. At 96,000 miles, it’s feats are legendary. Other SUV’s are speechless in its presence.
The garage door is open, and the garage is now fully engulfed in the storm. The Dutchman quakes in anticipation. You press the button for 4×4, shift it into D, and let the big dog eat. The great green monster plows through snow drifts unfazed, like a battleship in rough seas. In a moment you see the faint red light again, and in a great explosion of snow you erupt into the field where the team lay stranded.
You pull to the front of the pack, open your door, and step out onto the running board, holding the luggage rack with one hand. The wind whips your hair as you stare back across the scene. The entire pack, even Santa himself, are awestruck by the presence of you, and The Flying Dutchman.
You leap from the truck, open the back and grab the chain. In a flash the chain is attached to the back of the truck, and the front of the reigns. With the Dutchman now leading the team, you open the door, stop, look back over your shoulder and say simply “Hold on”
Years of traveling in his magical sleigh couldn’t prepare Santa for his next ride. The Dutchman yanked them from the drift like a string of rag dolls, and for a moment, the reindeer were more dragged than they were aided out of the snow. They were struggling in the deep snow to get airborne again, so you cranked the wheel left to create centrifugal force. You spun them around full circle only twice before they began climbing further and further into the air. Just as you felt that the Dutchman might not be able to take any more, the chain broke free.
You looked out your window to see the sleigh, and the reindeer go careening off uncontrollably into the night air. You smiled when the dim red light seemed to right itself, and you heard faintly, over the low, soft growl of the Dutchman “Ho Ho Holy $#!*” You smiled, knowing that you, and The Flying Dutchman had saved Christmas.
Does that sound about right?
“Yes Officer, that’s exactly why the ball field is all torn apart with my tire tracks all over it.”
“Well, nice work son. The city, no, the world thanks you. I only have one other question though, those are fairly new tires and all, but even still, how did you make it through all of that snow?”
“Oh, you see, the guy I bought it from even threw in chains for the tires at no extra cost!”
“Well, god bless him, and god bless you for buying it. If you hadn’t bought The Flying Dutchman, there might not have been a Christmas this year.”