Wednesday December 19th, 2012

The exercise:

This year's countdown to Christmas continues with: Bad Santa.

Is there a theme developing here? Not intentionally. We'll see what happens tomorrow, I guess.


There are no songs or bedtime stories revolving around his exploits. No movie franchises, no television specials, no clever merchandise tie-ins. He does not receive sacks and sacks of letters filled with misspelled entreaties for toys and candies and other such drivel.

No, the handful of letters he receives are precisely worded, not an i left undotted, no t left looking for its cross. They are magnificently descriptive, each transgression outlined in often excessive detail. The keenest of the lot even include photographic evidence.

Often to his great dismay.

But his services are in demand enough to keep him interested in the job. And the pay, though inconsistent from target to target, is always impossible to turn down. Underneath it all there might even be a little job satisfaction involved.

So on those occasions when a mere lump of coal is not message enough, Bad Santa rides across the night sky once more.


Greg said...

Hmm, an assassin-Santa? I wonder if he still wears the red-and-white outfit, or if he's got a sleeker black number with discrete armour-plating for these jobs?
I love your description of the letters he receives though. There's a whole story idea just inside that I think!

Bad Santa
If you were solving a cryptic crossword and the clue were "Old Nick makes a bad Santa(5)" then the answer would quite clearly be Satan. Bad is, more often than not, an anagram indicator for a cryptic clue, and anagrams of Santa are hard to come by.
Of course, Old Nick is well-known as a name for the devil, so the clue is a bit easy. We can make it harder by considering what Satan actually means: the adversary. And then our clue becomes "Adversary makes a bad Santa(5)" which is harder, but not quite as good a surface reading (whose adversary?).
Or we can strike a middle ground with a gently punning definition: "Devilish gent makes a bad Santa(5)" which almost brings a smile to our face as we picture the raffish chap with the twirlable moustache and goatee beard scaring children a little more than Santa ought.

Marc said...

Greg - not *necessarily* an assassin Santa, just... it's within the world of possibilities there ;)

Fun take on the prompt. I particularly enjoyed that final line :)