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December 11, 2014
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Last Christmas Eve, I made a mistake.


Last Christmas Eve, I did something I now wish I hadn’t; I hooked up with Santa Claus. I had just gotten back to my Mom’s house after having dinner and exchanging some gifts over at my aunt Sharon’s place. I’d had a few drinks but I wasn’t drunk. When I got home, I decided to stay up for a little while and watch TV in the living room.

Now, before I go any further, I should point out that I am a 30-year-old man who has not believed in Santa Claus for many years now, making what happened next a surprise on multiple levels. I was watching VH1 Classic and must have dozed off for a while, because when I woke up I saw him there, already in the house, bending over to situate some final presents under the tree.

I felt like I shouldn’t be seeing this, and honestly, I couldn’t believe I was. I mean, Santa Claus — the real Santa Claus — in my house, delivering presents. He turned and smiled when he saw I was awake. “You weren’t supposed to see me,” he said. I didn’t say anything. He came over and sat down next to me on the couch. We both sort of just sat there for a minute until he finally broke the silence: “Sinead O’Connor” he said. I looked at him, confused, until I noticed the video for “Nothing Compares 2 U” playing on VH1 Classic. “I love this song,” he said, which took me by surprise. I’d never imagined Santa Claus being into anything other than Christmas music, but then again, I’d never imagined having his tongue in my mouth either.

At this point I should also mention that I’m not gay. I believe we’re all on a spectrum in terms of sexuality, but the fact is I had never hooked up with a guy before that night, let alone Santa Claus. I don’t know if it was the music, the heat of the fireplace, or the stars in my eyes from being so close to someone I’d idolized as a kid, but the next thing I knew we were hooking up. We didn’t have sex, but we did everything else. It was all over pretty quickly, and honestly, I think he felt a little embarrassed about that. He got sort of weird and distant afterward, saying he had to go back to work. I got it, it was Christmas Eve. But still, I couldn’t help but feel a little dirty about the whole thing.

As he was pulling up his red fleece pants, I noticed a small tattoo on his lower back: a deer. This struck me because it wasn’t a reindeer — just a regular deer, like a buck or something. Out of all the things I’ve since gone over in my head about that night, that tattoo has stuck with me the most. I wondered what its significance was, how old he was when he got it … It’s funny what our minds choose to focus on sometimes.

As he was maneuvering his bag of presents back up the chimney, he gave me his number, but I could tell it was just out of obligation. He said he didn’t have a cell phone, only a landline, and I certainly wasn’t about to call and have his wife pick up. As a police officer, I had enough problems already.

As he left he turned to me and said: “I should tell you something; I have HPV.”

“Oh.” I said, not sure how he expected me to react to that.

“It’s not detectable in guys so you won’t really know if you have it, I just know because my wife gave it to me.”

“Yeah, right.” I thought, but I just stood there,forcing a smile, and said “OK.” “OK” he said, “I guess I’ll see you later.” And then he was gone. I don’t know what I expected, but I couldn’t help but feel like Liv Tyler’s character in Empire Records after she hooks up with her idol, Rex Manning — that tangible loss of an innocence you didn’t even know you still had.

Do you guys remember that movie? I love the part where Mark eats the weed brownies and thinks he’s in a GWAR video.

Some of my male cop friends have since told me that they also hooked up with Santa Claus that night. I felt a little ill about this but not entirely surprised. I’ve since come to terms with what happened, but I can’t help but wonder how Santa feels about it. Would he even remember me? Or was I just another notch on his belt?

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter. This isn’t meant as an attempt to “expose” anyone. People hook up and sometimes one of those people is Santa Claus. I just wish I could shake the image of that lone buck … searching for something he may never be able to find.

Anyway, I gotta get back to being a New York City police officer. Have a Merry Christmas and please don’t tell my wife about this (she’s Jewish and would never understand). Oh, and if you happen to see Santa Claus around, tell him Officer Pat O’Brien says hi. Something tells me he won’t be stopping at my house this year.

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