Hardboiled Santa

Herewith for the Holidays is a favorite of mine I’ve posted before but bring back out albeit in slightly different form, for the Views from the Muse readers.

There’s certainly material to be mined about the historical Saint Nicholas of Myra, whose lessons of kindness seems to have been recounted in various cultures. Though if the facial reconstruction is accurate, he looked like an aging customizer from Pimp my Sleigh. Nicholas was said to have been born to wealth.

But that like scion Bruce Wayne he would be orphaned at a young age and this would have a profound effect on the rich kid who was deeply religious. While Wayne is not particularly religious, he is driven and dedicated as Nicholas was for like Wayne’s alter-ego, Batman, he would come at night and do good. For example there’s a persistent story of Nicholas delivering three bags of gold to three penurious young sisters to save them from being sold into prostitution by their hard-pressed parents.

Santa

In my version the orphan Nicholas St. Nicholas, with more than a nod to Dickens, is cheated out of his fortune by his evil, greedy uncle who has the lad imprisoned on trumped up charges of having killed one of the sisters. In prison the young man meets various sorts of cutthroats from cat burglars, street corner magicians to bare knuckle brawlers. Because he is a personable sort he learns various skills and methods from these rugged types. In particular he befriends and protects an older gent named Klaus, imprisoned for unfair taxes, a man who used to be a circus high wire performer who wore a colorful red costume trimmed in white fur for flare. The old fella dies in prison, whispering a secret to Nick.

Our hero engineers a break out and seeks to right the wrong his uncle has done. Unk has used his ill gotten gains to become king of the local rackets – having forced the two other sisters to be on the stroll among other misdeeds. But also seeking to be a symbol of hope to the downtrodden, Nick St. Nick finds old Klaus’ hidden away trunk of wonders and dons his costume to honor him and adding a crimson domino mask, strikes fear in the hearts of his uncle’s blackguards as Saint Klaus, a ghost of justice from the grave.

From 19th century political cartoonist Thomas Nast, credited for first depicting an American version of Santa Claus, Frank Castle, the killing machine known as the Punisher in comics who has donned Santa’s gala garb so as to inflict his mayhem on unsuspecting mobsters, old school illustrations with the Claus selling Pepsi or Lucky Strike cigarettes (my dad’s brand), to that Smiling Bob sumabitch in one of these damn Enzite (no matter the company founder was found guilty of fraud a few years ago) male enhancement commercial as Santa with a retinue of middle-aged women eagerly, nay joyfully, lining up to sit on his lap, Santa Claus has proven to be a lasting touchstone in our pop culture.

Time now for some nog and rerunning the minor mini-classic from my man David Walker’s Badazz Mofo Productions, Black Santa’s Revenge: He Knows When You’ve Been Naughty.

So hell yeah…Happy Holidays!

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