‘Secret Santa’: 12 Sleeps to Go

secret (n.) late 14c., from Latin secretus “set apart, withdrawn; hidden, concealed, private,” past participle of secernere “to set apart, part, divide; exclude,” from se-“without, apart,” properly “on one’s own” (see se-) + cernere “separate” (see crisis).

As an adjective from late 14c., from French secret, adjective use of noun. Open secret is from 1828. Secret agent first recorded 1715; secret service is from 1737; secret weapon is from 1936.

Dear Reader, I’m given to understand that sales of The Underdog Anthology have been ‘brisk’, which is very heartening – it’s an ideal stocking filler or Secret Santa gift…

*/sharp intake of breath… That’s a good idea, Clicky! I could definitely do that… /pats snout…*

I have a Christmas tale that I wrote for the ‘Christmas Underdog Anthology’, but that won’t now happen until next year. So here, Dear Reader, for your entertainment is the first installment of ‘Secret Santa’ by Roo B. Doo…

a-storyteller-needs-a-pipe

*******

I’d been watching her do the rounds all afternoon. She was shirking again, moving from desk to desk as slowly as she possibly could, irritating the hell out of everyone with her silly bloody ritual. Eventually, she got round to me. It was inevitable really. I gritted my teeth and braced myself for the explosion of seasonal bonhomie.

“Hi Harry! How’s it going?” Shazza gaily chirped from behind a stack of reports I’d neatly stacked along the edge of my desk. She was gripping some red velvet tat between nervous fat fingers.

“Shaz. What do you want?” I replied. For once my curtness was justified; I was actually quite busy formatting and pivoting tables on my computer screen.

Shazza briefly frowned but quickly recovered. “It’s Christmas in two weeks,” she smiled brightly, holding up her hands to reveal the tatty Santa hat she’d been holding.

“Really? Who’d have thought? Why don’t you come back in two weeks then?”

I really was very busy and not in the mood for another of the ‘bonding’ activities that the Fat Kontroller dreamed up to keep our airhead receptionist entertained. If you’re in need of a raffle, bake-off, dress up, dress down or sweepstake, especially if it’s for charity, then Shazza’s your man.

“Ooh, looks like we’ve found our Scrooge!” she squealed for the benefit of the entire office. “We all have to play our part, Harry,” she continued in that irritatingly positive sing-song voice of hers, “and I’ve been chosen to organise Secret Santa this year.”

I sat back in my chair and swivelled round to face her. “Sharon, you’re chosen to organise Secret Santa every year. Look, I’m up to my arse in it at the moment, I don’t have time for this shit.”

I must have hurt her feelings, because she suddenly came over all professional. “You are required to select a name from the hat to buy a gift for. Minimum £10 spend. Wrap and label it with your recipient’s name, and place in under the office tree, no later than 23rd December as they will distributed at the Christmas party at The Exchange that night.”

She thrust the Santa hat toward me. It was the same cheap hat she used last year. A threadbare velour Poundland job that was probably past its ‘sell by’ date on the day she bought it. Its fur trim was meant to be white but was tinged grey from the entry and exit of dozens of grimy wrists. I really didn’t want to put my hand in there, but the sooner I got it over with the sooner I’d get Shazza out of my face. I winced and took the plunge.

“You do know my great-grandfather was half Jewish, don’t you? Next year, Shaz, I’d appreciate it if you used a yamaka, so my cultural sensibilities aren’t infringed.”

The hat felt empty. I rummaged around until I felt a slip of folded paper that had worked its way down into the pointy end. I pulled it out, looked at it, and held it up for Shazza to see. “It says ‘Harry’,” I sighed.

“No! You have to buy for somebody else!” she cried, snatching back the hat and peering inside. Her dismay quickly diminished as she spied another slip of folded paper wedged in its grubby depths. She took it out and handed it to me.

I opened it out, read it, put it in my pocket and turned my attention back to my PC screen.

“Who did you get?” Shazza asked excitedly.

“It’s secret,” I replied, focusing on the numbers on my screen.

She looked crestfallen. “Don’t you want to know who’ll get you?”

I slid the slip of paper with my name on across the desk toward her. “No. Now piss off. We must be missing tons of important phone calls because you’re fannying about over here. We’re a very busy company. Chop, chop.”

Shazza scowled, turned on her heels and left. A few heads from neighbouring workstations bobbed up and quickly lowered. People walking away from my desk in a huff is not an uncommon event.

I thought about the name in my pocket. I hate the Secret Santa ritual – in the two years I’d been at the company I’d selected the Fat Kontroller from the hat on both occasions. The score so far was two bottles of malt whiskey for him and two £10 gift vouchers for me. They were from Boots and had all the hallmarks of an afterthought purchased whilst out buying haemorrhoid cream or a sandwich.

I hadn’t gotten my boss this year though. No, I’d picked out Josie’s name instead. Lithe limbed Josie in HR, with an elfin face, raven hair and legs up to her armpits. She was new to the company and the only honey in the office I’d even consider getting my fingers sticky with. Unfortunately, she came with baggage in the form of a muscle-bound boyfriend called Alfie, who chauffeured her to and from the office. With the visage of an Easter Island statue and phyisque large enough to affect gravity, Alfie would have no problem effecting profound change on the features of any love-struck suitor.

Still, an anonymous gift given legitimately might just open some doors, maybe some legs too. My mind began to whirl as I considered the possibilities. I checked the time: just 45 minutes until close of business. There was no point continuing with what I was doing now that Shazza had so inconsiderately shattered my concentration. A little Christmas gift web browsing might help me wind down and would, in all honesty and with hand on heart, be completely work-related…

*******

The second installment of ‘Secret Santa’ will follow in a couple of days. In the meantime, Dear Reader, have a Song…

 

 

22 thoughts on “‘Secret Santa’: 12 Sleeps to Go

  1. >>>>whilst out buying haemorrhoid cream or a sandwich.

    I read this as…“A hemorrhoid cream sandwich.”
    ROFL!

    I guess if you are gonna build a shit sandwich, build a shit sandwich. Not to be nitpicky or anything. ;P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ‘A hemorrhoid cream sandwich.’

      Well, that should help it go down easy. Especially if it’s wholewheat bread. Seems its the go to ‘healthy’ choice of bread for purveyors of ready-made sandwiches these days…

      *Don’t care what it tastes like, Clicky, wholewheat lays on my chest… /swallow grimace…*

      Haven’t had any reviews for The Underdog Anthology yet, Cade. Hopefully it will get some…

      *Oh, you are an optimistic soul, aren’t you Clicky… /rolls eyes…*

      Like

      1. You said sales were good or “brisk” yeah? That’s great. I’ve been thinking about asking, but have refrained out of the goodness of my wicked little heart. That said, this whatchacallit forums is bumming me out. Mainly for them.

        I’m taking Frank to task over taking me to task, and tasking me with blabbing up his blog because whatchacallit forums are down for reasons quasi-unknown-ish…so I can’t/won’t write until and unless it does. But not really kinda, but yeah…that’s my intent. Always has been since I started writing there.

        I have backup copies in text files of most/much of what I have written over there. But it just ain’t the same. PLUS…there are VOLUMES of shit that others have put into that site and others. Meh…whatcha gonna do. 😦

        Tis’ the season eh? :/

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a right fucking pain – I’ve got links in LoL posts to stuff I’d written over at Sync Miss. Why anybody would purposefully vandalise the site in the way that they have is beneath contempt. ‘Repent and your soul will be saved!’ What a crock!

          If *fingers crossed* it can be recovered, you could always link back to the stuff you post on Merovee, or here at the LoL. We’re not lost. Frank’s pretty robust; he can take your muscular posting 😉

          Like

            1. There is no cake better than sex, unless it’s bad sex then pretty much any cake is better than sex 😉

              And I take this opportunity to neither confirm or deny about the inclusion of Celebration Pie…

              Liked by 1 person

        1. What the…

          Is that some form or adaptation of ye ole Figgy Pudding? Typically, I’ll try anything at least once…but I just need to know what that is in the center.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I like where Harry’s mind’s heading with Josie in HR! Only…I would begin to wonder about his…ahem…work ethic…if he decides to use the office computer for his…ahem…Christmas shopping. But then…I feel there’s a twist coming on!

    Oh…and I laughed when I saw this on the way in…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The second installment will be up tomorrow 😉

      I fear Skippy is right about young Jennifer – so she successfully pepper sprays someone she sees Open Carry a gun, what about others around Open Carrying a gun? What will they do when they see somebody going about their lawful business being attacked with pepper spray by someone trying to take their gun? Hopefully young Jennifer won’t be fatally shot 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I saw someone open-carrying a gun in the grocery store a coupla days ago. I have been thinking about it/have thought about it quite a bit…but I’m still not sure what to think about it. I don’t read the news so I have no idea what is going on with this, nor what “the public consensus is” regarding this practice nor its necessity. But thinking about it now, I do have a thought.

        Q: When two “open carriers” meet in a public place, do they consider each other a threat?
        A: ???
        Q: What about when a “concealed carry” meets an “open carry” in a public place?
        A: ???

        I’m not really worried about the licensing per se, because all it really tells me that they have received training and instruction as to some basic safety and maybe even some history. The marksmanship portion of the licensing process is stupid. If the bullet fired goes to somewhere downrange, they prolly did enough correctly to earn their license, assuming they’ve been observed by the instructor to demonstrate safe handling otherwise. These are weapons, and they are designed to do one thing… kill …period. In the “real world” its quite well known that you are prolly gonna hit everyone and everything except who you are shooting at…ASSUMING…that you make the first move. Otherwise, someone is prolly going to take the weapon away from you. So yeah, I see some problems there with respect to what some may call “hero mode” of someone who is armed blundering into a crime in progress. That’s when things are gonna get REALLY fucking whacked out, because you don’t simply pull your weapon and start blasting away and whoever you think “the guilty party requiring some street justice” really is. Most firearms used as weapons in the commision of a crime, are used as deterrents…ironic eh?

        The rules with respect to firearm weapons are simple.
        1. Never point a weapon at someone you do not intent to shoot.
        2. Never shoot someone you do not intend to kill.

        A firearm being used to mame is horseshit. Getting shot is like getting hit by a fucking train. How fucked up that train gets, gets all kinds of fucked up from there. Especially with smaller caliber weapons that have small-grain bullets/projectiles like .22 caliber. They have a tendency to “go inside and rattle around a bit” kinda like grinding hamburger meat from the inside. Why am I thinking about “Strontium” and “Spall” all of a sudden? Must been that thought that I had the other night regarding “spin” with respect to radioactive particles, and how Strontium enters the body, then just “stops” when it hits the bone. Prolly some Calcium and Phosphorus kinda stuff there that contributes, and maybe even some Iron types of “spin adjustment” as it travels through the body. Meh…what do I know.
        Q: I wonder how much high-altitude nuclear weapons testing leftovers rains down on, or shines down on us on a daily basis?
        Q: I wonder about this underground bullshit that continues, and also about these new low-yield nuclear fueled explosives, that are in the sub-kiloton range/ranges of 1/3 kiloton or so?

        I’ve worn a handgun in public before. But it never felt comfortable to think of doing this all of the time. I’ve only worn one concealed in a slow-draw shoulder holster, and only when traveling into questionable areas in the company of someone who was uncomfortable being in that area. (They did not know that I was carrying until after we were already there, and they stated that they were glad that I was/it made her feel better knowing that I was carrying, and why) Of course, the better answer is to stay out of areas like that, but that is not always possible. And after I thought about it for a while, it’s almost like driving a tank to a peace summit.

        Meh…sorry for ranting.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Are off duty police officers more or less likely to Open Carry when out and about in the community?

          Honestly, I don’t know much about guns, but it seems does awfully dangerous to go around pepper spraying people carrying guns so that you can steal their weapon because you don’t like them carrying a weapon…

          Bilbo Bagshot: I used to know this guy, Minty. He had a dog who he’d train to attack rich people. He was into the whole class-war thing. He called the dog Gramsci after an Italian Marxist. Rumor has it, it could smell wealth from up to 20 feet. The thing is, it all backfired. Minty won 100 grand on a scratchcard and Gramsci bit his knees off.
          Tim: That’s terrible.
          Bilbo Bagshot: Not really. He used the money to buy new knees.

          Spaced S1.E5 ‘Chaos’

          With regards to nuclear fallout, that’s one of the things considered with regards to lung cancer over at Frank Davis.

          Like


          1. >>>>Are off duty police officers more or less likely to Open Carry when out and about in the community?
            Usually the opposite. It varies from state to state, county to county, and city to city based on the commission of the law enforcement officer in question, but typically most are required to carry firearms at all times, and some are prohibited from carrying firearms except when on duty and/or within their particular area. That said, most are required to conceal if not uniformed and/or openly displaying a badge. There’s all kinds of bullshit going on with respect to off-duty uniformed officers moonlighting for private businesses, unmarked police cars, federal agencies skirting federal and local laws, operating outside of US borders and/or beyond their charter…it’s stupid. We have more law enforcement than soldiers, and yet people still can’t figure out that all they need do is police themselves, instead of this rule by proxy bullshit. Police have their place, irrespective of armed or unarmed. Personally, I don’t care if cops carry goddamn bazookas and drive tanks as long as their is a reason for it. To protect their own lives? Nope…that’s not good enough.

            A weapon is a weapon. Weird eh? 🙂

            I think in the State of Texas anyway, that Texas State Troopers/Department of Public Safety are the only law enforcement officers that are allowed to carry a firearm anywhere at any time anywhere. The only exception would be Texas Rangers, but I think they are only allowed to come into a certain jurisdiction in an official capacity by notifying the county sheriff. I think all of this nonsense with car chases has really muddied the fuck out of the waters, especially when highway patrol/state troopers get involved. And of course, any involvement of Federal Agencies like ATF/BATFE, DEA and FBI at the behest of other agencies like CIA and/or NSA makes me wonder what in the FUCK these fucks are really looking for. Course, with shit like Jade Helm 15, now suddenly the military is involved…and two groups that should NEVER be in proximity to each other is the military/Army and the police, because now the National Guard and any State Militias need to get involved, because you are crossing state borders. Testing states rights? FEMA again? FEMA relies on a shitload of private agencies/groups and businesses/contractors just like all other government agencies. So now we are talking about private security forces/professional soldiers, hidden groups and their own security forces and systems, INTERPOL, and now all kinds of foreign governments and their whathaveyous of all kinds, both legal and illegal here there and everywhere. So much for the rule of law eh?

            So now, we are back to trying to see who is looking at who and where and when, and who is chasing who and why…all under the guise of “security and safety” in a realm where these things do not exist in the way that they are trying to manifest themselves. Why? Um…I look to the past, and a group of ancient migrant people being caught outdoors in a storm and possibly bludgeoned to death by a hailstorm. Was that a curse? Or a blessing? Maybe someday we can ask them. Afterall, what were they running from? What were they running to? Were they running at all? Save for a lesson in life, and a lesson in what is and is not security, I’m not sure that I would say anything other than…”Sorry that happened to you. Thank you for the lesson tho. We hear you. You are not forgotten.” ❤

            The past is both behind and ahead eh? Weird. /me shrugs

            Liked by 1 person

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