From the Archives: A Christmas Story (2000)

From the Archives: A Christmas Story (2000)
High Times

At the finale of the Christmas show last year in Eugene, OR, I came out as a skid-row Santa, complete with rubber nose, plastic sack full of beer cans, and a pint of peppermint schnapps to fortify the holiday spirit. I also borrowed my wife Faye’s blue egg bucket and labeled it: “Homeless.” I’d jangle the cans like a bagful of aluminum sleigh bells while I worked the mainfloor aisle seats: “Hey, come on, buddy. Put something in the bucket, for Chrissakes. Don’t you know it’s Christmastime? Hey, that’s better. God bless you. You’re beautiful.” I ended up with only about seventy-five bucks. Not much of a take for a full house at a Christmas show. But even seventy-five bucks was a wad too big to pocket. So after I got out of my red suit and rubber snoot I drove off to seek a worthy recipient. I spotted a likely assortment of candidates in the 7-Eleven parking lot, on the corner of Sixth and Blair. I swung in and held the bucket out the window. “All right. Who’s the hardest-luck case in this lot?” The candidates looked me over and edged away—all but one guy, pony-tailed and slope-shouldered, his chin tucked down in the collar of a canvas camouflage jacket. “I got a streak of hard luck runs all the way back to New Jersey,” he said. “What about it?” “I’m on a mission from St. Nicholas,” I told him. “And if you are, in fact, the least fortunate of the lot”—in the spirit of the season, I refrained from saying “biggest loser”—”then this could be your lucky night.” “Right,” he said. “You’re some kind of Holy Roller? Where’s the string? What’s the hustle?” “No string, no catch, no hustle. I’m giving. You’re getting. Get it?” He did. He…

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Source : From the Archives: A Christmas Story (2000)

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