By Nik Korpon
‘It really wasn’t supposed to go down like that, hear? It’s just, well, a man can only be pushed so far before he’s bound to spring back. And, brother, I told that fucker that I’d spring, and spring like God’s guiding my hand.
‘And just so you understand where I’m coming from, his daddy’d been trying to beat out the missus and me for years. Probably since, well lemme think, at least since Eisenhower was down there. You’re a young-un, so mind, back then there wasn’t this whole spectacle gaggle of geese there is now. ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and what-all. Back then, we’d just crack some Bohs and have us some neighborly rivalry.
‘Anyway, somewhere round ’64, ’65, things changed. Can’t remember exactly how it happened, but some money was laid, the stakes was upped, some decorations was tampered with. Huh? Course it was that sonbitch. Look, I ain’t the type of man to lose, but when I lose, I’m a man. I don’t go round no one’s house in the dark of night and stick pins inside the electric socket to blow out someone’s lights. Someone’s ass get turned to fried chicken that way.
‘What? Of course there was retaliation. I won’t strike first, but sure as shit I’ll strike back. Well, I waited till they were out shopping for their little one—the one in question, today, that is—then let myself in the back and gave their candy canes a little extra attention. Big Dick wasn’t none too pleased.
‘From there it just kind of, well, escalated. What do I mean by that? Let’s put it this way, the right kind of fiberglass insulation looks a whole hell of a lot like fake snow. One year you remove most of the screws in the gutter, the next you tarpaper some nails to the roof. A few years later, you’re spraying down the herd of plastic reindeer with acetone and to even the score, you get back on the roof with a can of black paint. You wouldn’t know it if I didn’t tell you, but when you got an illuminated ‘Peace’ over ‘Season’s Greetings,’ just cover up some of them lights, and sure you gotta look at it for a little, but you get one gander and all you see after that is ‘penis,’ five feet tall across your neighbor’s porch.
‘Shit, why’d you think we call ’em Big Dick and Little Dick when their name is George and Junior. What, about Little Dick? Yeah, I’m getting to it. See, you need to understand the basics of the situation so you understand the severity of response.
‘It was all in good fun, or close enough. And we had our rules. We never touched any of the Nativity, being good Christians and all, and we understood when something was over the line.
‘Anyway, after the fiberglass incident, things cooled out for a while. We were both getting on in years and thought an unspoken truce—’cause neither of us would concede to the other—would be best for our families. So we quieted down.
‘Till this year, that is.
‘I first caught Little Dick messing around with my decorations two winters ago. Childish stuff, you know, but there was a certain amount of fecal matter that pushed it from juvenile to what-the-fuck. I got Big Dick on the phone and read him the act. Next Christmas comes round, same shit—literally and figuratively—but worse. I ring up Big Dick again, threaten him this time. Little one’s creating a biological hazard, I tell him, breaking our cease-fire.
‘That? Nah, none of that was him. He’s a fucking sociopath, but that’s from those hoodrats been coming round here as of late. I mean, who thinks that KISS makeup looks good on our Lord and Savior? Sure, I got my dick wet to them a few times. Who the hell hasn’t. But chopping off the Blessed Virgin’s head and putting it in the cradle with baby Jesus? That’s just something I can’t step to.
‘Now, you might be one to say, “Hell, you monkeyed with their reindeer. How can you get mad about yours?” And you wouldn’t be totally wrong, but when I melted Rudolph and his friends, they was just those pieces of shit you bought from Caldor. You know how long I had to wait in line for mine? Animatronic reindeer ain’t cheap neither, specially when they’re brand god-damn new this year. That Japanese poly-whatever it is feels like real fur, and they got some supercomputer in their brain-pan so they make random movement, like real reindeer. These sons of bitches are top of the line.
‘So you understand why, when I walk out of the house this morning and see Little Dick balls deep in my reindeer’s butthole, you see why my first thought is grab my gun and tag the son of a bitch. Hell, way I see it, boy’s lucky I aimed for his leg. It all goes back to what I was saying about the principality of the whole situation, officer, about knowing what’s what. Some things should just be understood.
‘You can’t fuck a man’s reindeer and not expect to get shot.’
Nik Korpon is from Baltimore. His novel STAY GOD just came out. His stories have ruined the street cred of Out of the Gutter, Everyday Genius, Sex and Murder and a bunch more. Mutter sweet nothings at nikkorpon.com.