Systrophe


Systrophe (si’-stro-fee): The listing of many qualities or descriptions of someone or something, without providing an explicit definition.


Christmas’s was coming!

“Suit of red, big fat head.” “Felice nasal hair.” “Deck your balls with boughs of holly.” “Jingle bells, Santa smells.” “Rudolph the red-nose reindeer had a weeny like a hose.” “Away in a pager, no room for his meds.” “Walking in a wiener wonderland.” “Frosty the hit man.” “I am a poor boy, too, pa rum pum pum pum, I have no gift to bring, except this cheap Appleton rum.”

I thought I was so funny making fun of Christmas songs. Every year, I’d parade around the house insulting Sanata and blaspheming Jesus on his birthday. I was the only one who thought I was funny. I sang my version of “Felice Navidad” right before closing at the “Drunkin Do-nots” bar. The guy on the stool next to me, who I thought was my friend, whacked me on the head with a beer mug. On the way to the hospital, barely conscious, I started mumbling my version of “Jingle Bells.” The driver pulled the ambulance over to the side of the road. The EMT hovering over me told me “You’ll be rolling out the back door if you don’t shut the hell up.” I shut the hell up, the ambulance’s siren came back on, and off we went. I though I had only a mild concussion. I wasn’t going press charges against the jerk who had bopped me, although I wanted to. What kind of psychopath tries to murder somebody over a Christmas song? Santa? Ha! Ha!

The ambulance went silent. The driver and the EMT were gone. I was barely able to sit up. I looked out the window. Holy Shit! We were flying through the sky. There was an elf in a little green suit driving the ambulance now. And there was Santa, his reindeer and his sleigh keeping pace alongside us. Santa looked me in the eye gave me the finger, and peeled away. Instantly, the ambulance was back to normal, but I wasn’t. Everybody on board denied that anything unusual had happened. I was devastated: Santa had given me the bird. Why didn’t I listen?

For years, when I sang “Jingle bells Santa smells,” my little daughter would get REALLY upset. She would tell me that Santa will get really mad and may not come to our house. I thought what she said was really funny, and told her she shouldn’t believe stuff like that—it was stupid—there wasn’t even such a thing as Santa Claus. That was a huge mistake. I don’t know if she’ll ever forgive me. However, after my ambulance Santa experience, I became a believer, but she didn’t believe I believed. Truly a conundrum from hell.

I didn’t know what else to do, so I went to the mall to apologize to Santa, and have a picture taken of me on his lap as proof that we got along. When I sat on Santa’s lap, the mall disappeared in a flash of red and green light. We were sitting on a snowbank by a giant red and green striped candy cane with a sign that said “North Pole.” Santa told me to mellow out and quit acting like such an immature asshole. He told me to show more respect for my daughter’s feelings. He told me to hug her every day and tell her I love her. There were some other things he told me to do that I can’t disclose here, but suffice it to say I promised to do everything Santa told me to do.

Santa laughed his signature laugh—Ho, Ho, Ho—and we were back in the mall. Nobody seemed to have noticed what transpired. I went home and hugged my daughter and told her I love her, and this was just the beginning! I left Santa a gift under our tree. It was a new digital camera to replace the piece of crap he was using at the mall.


Definition courtesy of “Silva Rhetoricae” (rhetoric.byu.edu)

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