Scrunch, scrunch, scrunch. I was walking back from the shop when it really struck me. Scrunch, scrunch. That noise, that sickening noise of boot on snow, like a rat gnawing through my skull. Snow. How much I hate it. White, endless white, it’s all the eye can see. I’d punch it if I thought it would make a blind bit of difference.
I’ve been thinking about it since yesterday. Escape. Screw the threat of legal action and the loss of pension. That’s what I should do, just escape. Get a hold of some false identities, shave off my beard, scoop up Margaret and then the pair of us bugger off to Barbados or somewhere equally sun-kist, to be collected by the Grim Reaper replete with burgeoning melanomas and livers gone wonky through one too many beach-front cocktails. Sounds like bliss to me. Fuck Christmas, fuck children and an extra-special fuck reserved for those sharp-suit wearing sons of dogs at Coca Cola.
I used to really enjoy my job, the status of being Santa – it used to really mean something. And the snow didn’t rankle so much when I felt like I was making a difference. Not now though. It was around the conclusion of the six-thousandth snowball fight that the malaise really kicked in, and shortly after the construction of the nine-thousand-and-fiftieth snowman. How I despise snowmen now. Now, at Christmas time, when I go on my deliveries, I take great delight in decapitating those I find in children’s gardens. Sometimes, with a hearty laugh, I sculpt sets of biologically intricate genitalia onto their icy bodies. The snowmen, that is. Not the children. To pass the long, bitter and freezing days here in the North Pole I’ve taken to erecting rows of snowmen, blindfolding them and mowing them down with an industrial strength hairdryer. Sometimes I douse them in petrol and set them alight. I swear that sometimes I can even hear them scream. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking.