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Hogging Santa

We Wish You a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Ujjwal Dey


It has a mind of its own; it grumbles when bored, is a pain in the ass when bothered too much and stretches out whenever satisfied with his greed. My belly, or should I say pot-belly is a personality distinct from me.


Winter vacation at the law college and I have many grand plans to utilize my time. Currently all plans are taking a nap and I have kept the television volume low to keep them asleep. Stray students of mine keep coming up to bother me with their assignments. I had given them these to keep them well-occupied but it’s all coming back to haunt me like a vagabond ghost who has lost direction.


I love my students and they appreciate me. Teaching at the local college has helped me stay steady and focused in life. No more late parties that last till dawn, no cruising across states to see which has the stalest beer, no unknown women lying next to me when I wake up. My best students often toast to me and I feel I have made a difference to society and especially the youth.



Plans have a knack to fold themselves up and seal up with a kiss of lethargy. Unfolding them needs iron will or maybe tequila. I was to look into consulting in law, do home repairs, plant a garden, wash the old Ford and exercise myself till my bathroom towel wrapped to cover me entirely. So much for organising holidays.


The mobile phone vibrated in my pant pocket. After one minute I decided the call might be more satisfying or important than my electronic pleasure.


I answered, “Hi! Prof. Joseph here.”


“Hey there big boy, how is the holiday this season?” It was my old biker buddy Dean ‘Twisted’ Straw.


“A lot to do but am open to new ideas.”


“We at L.A. Hog MC are holding a fund raiser for a community gym, you know keeping kids off the street and stuff.”


“I really can’t spare much cash now but I will volunteer”, I moaned.


“Exactly! We need some volunteers – there will be fancy dress competition, tug-o-war, best singer, etc. The idea is to get the winners to donate their cash to our cause, so we want our own people participating.”


“Neat scam, you need legal advice?”


“No, no, no; the sponsors have their own judges for our little fair. We just need talented people like you to win them money for us.” Dean explained.


“Okay! SMS me the date & address. I will be there.”



All right! Something to do this weekend and it involves riding my hog to L.A., I could guarantee the tug-o-war victory – just wrap the rope around me – they would need a cavalry to drag me. I stuffed a backpack with essentials and went to my garage to dust off my 20 year-old H-D.


Checking everything on the two-wheels I locked up the house and kicked the beast. Difficult even to lift my leg to kick-start with my belly bothering us – he has to push himself into everything. I parked on the side-stand and stood to my 6’2” height. I held the throttle with two fingers and kicked, the hog roared to life. Sitting on it now I paced onto the street to its beat – good vibrations – '70s charm seemed to be feeding itself into me.


I raced the empty afternoon highway and rode till the outskirts of L.A. till evening. I checked into a motel and slept off the fantasy emerging in my mind of riding free of the society image I had established.


Saturday morning and off to the L.A. Hog office in downtown. I met up with the members and rode to the park where they organised the event. A good crowd had gathered willing to pay the $5 entry fee. I paid my own way in and went about hunting for contests I could win. Dean was on a platform informing people about the event schedule.


I saw the dart contest and passed that, the dunk the clown contest and laughed as our members dunked the poor bozo most successfully, the three-legged race which made me sweat just looking at them run...


A couple of hours passed and people were really enjoying themselves. Dean came to me and panted that they still need to win three more contests while the local public were really coming in and raking up the moolah. I followed his twisted thoughts and realized this was way too important to him than I had imagined. Dean introduced me to his son Jeremy and asked me to team up with him since he as host couldn’t.



So off we went, 12 year-old Jeremy and me, “Where is the tug-o-war, I came here just to humiliate others in that.”


“Hahaha! Straight ahead, wow, with you we will win hands down - literally," he was enjoying the fair.


The teams were divided. I stood at the back-end of my team as they all stared and pointed. Kids giggled and screamed in excitement, in anticipation of seeing me in action.


“GO!” yelled the referee.


I stood still with the rope in my hands. They pulled and grunted; no one in my team budged. After two minutes of the opponent’s agony, I heaved and pulled in a single roar as the 10 kids in the other team flew into the mud ahead of them.


“Uncle Joseph! You were wonderful.” The kids in my team were pleased. We notified our intention to donate unanimously.


Almost all the events mostly had children participating while some others with their dads. Jeremy dragged me to a karaoke contest. ‘Geez! How do I gracefully walk out of this one?’ I wondered.


The most talented singers in our MC were ladies who belted great ballads to appreciative applause. I decided to use my baritone and groove to Barry White. The trick to singing like White is just flavoring your grunts to sound sexy. I crooned and counted to twenty between words and thus did a great impression of the music icon. I was second runner-up and the top two went to our ladies who were eyeing me such that I felt naked to the bone.


Little else was left, Dean was still restless.


“Joseph, you should participate in the fancy dress competition, it’s our last chance.”


“What! Haven’t I humiliated myself enough?” I was aghast.


“Come on! You will fit best in the costume that will bring maximum applause.”


I rolled my eyes, hung my head and followed ‘Twisted’ to the backstage.


The audience laughed and screamed as participants stepped on to the stage one-by-one. Batman was laughed at for his underwear on tights; Dracula dropped his fangs on opening his mouth; Lone Ranger had a cardboard horse; Rambo sprayed water over the judges with his gun; it was all as if being trapped inside MAD magazine - only that I was to be the next joke.


I walked out to the parking where I had left my Hog and stroked it under the noon sun. I mounted and decided that this battle needed my trusty companion beside me. My name was being announced, I rode to the stage and onto it.


“Ho, Ho, Ho! Christmas is coming and if you want me to visit you, say so.” I was dressed as Santa Claus.


“Coolest Santa ever!”

“I want a bike Santa!”

“Give me a ride Santa!”


All pandemonium broke out as kids yelled out ‘Santa this’ ‘Santa that’; a dozen kids got on stage and adored the Hog wide-eyed. The whole park was calling out to me as one.


I easily won the fancy dress contest. I felt sympathy for the younger ones who participated but they seemed only too happy to be able to get to see Santa on a Harley.


“Stop hogging Santa!” Dean yelled as he reached out to hand me a cheque which I gladly signed back to his cause.



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Tuesday, December 26, 2017
Editor Response Thank You Sir. We live to please.
Ujjwal Dey

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