A Very Tarpy Christmas and New Year Story
Greetings people and peoplettes.
I think Christmas is a wonderful holiday. Yes, despite my curmudgeonly demeanor, I love the warmth and overall friendship of the event. With that in mind I will now give you the gift of a free original Christmas and New Year story, from me to you.
So sit around the crackling fire and cradle your cup of hot cocoa as you read:
A VERY TARPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR STORY
Zarby Darfenol liked to poop.
He didn’t care who knew it.
Zarby was open and honest as the day was long. The social dogma and stigmasus associated with day to day happenstance was altogether lost on the lad. If he felt good about something he declared it. If he felt bad about something then he did the same.
Zarby did not understand why you couldn’t just say, “I like you.” Or “I don’t like you” and have that be that. Why take something so profoundly simple and complicate it with a series of socially appropriate rules and regulations? Zarby never did.
It was therefore the case that when Patricia Cornwallis III was first introduced to his class as a new student that he walked right up to her at recess and said “I like you. And I like your name.”
And he meant it.
There wasn’t much that came out of Zarby’s mouth he did not mean. He had never heard of a girl with roman numerals behind her name and it was just that kind of interesting nugget that made Zarby’s appreciation fire on all levels.
That and he liked the way the falling snow clung to her long black hair making it look like a starry night.
Patricia, for her part was taken aback. She was not used to such directness in a boy, and certainly not because of her unusual moniker, which had been the bane of her existence all her life.
She secretly believed that her mother, a single woman (which) in the town of Northbrestford made Patricia a bastard, had been struck with a wee touch of the loony at the time of her birth.
The fact that her mother’s name was Samantha may have had something to do with Patricia’s inclination in this matter. So then it should be perfectly understandable when I mention that she was taken aback by, to her mind’s eye, the unusual attention from Zarby.
“I’m sorry? I beg your pardon?”
Zarby realized that even in the loosest interpretation of social protocol proper introductions were in order before his feelings of all things “like” were to be declared to Patricia. Zarby had overstepped even his unregulated boundaries.
He blew into one glove and placed it over his nose to warm it. The nose was turning red.
“Oh forgive me. How incredibly rude. My name is Zarby Darfenol.”
He shook the startled girl’s hand.
“And I like to poop.”
It was all poor Patricia could think to say as the boy holding his nose with one hand and shaking her hand with the other told her he liked to poop.
“And I like you.”
There, that seemed the proper order to Zarby. Name, interest, inclination. All seemed to be in perfectly functional order.
Patricia stood there, the young lad’s hand cranking her own; she thought long and hard on the matter, as long and hard as the situation allowed for, and decided that yes she did indeed like Zarby Darfenol and his appreciation of a lovely poop.
Patricia secretly enjoyed pooping as well but had never thought to utter it so boldly. It had just seemed unladylike. But in Zarby’s presence everything seemed fair game.
“A pleasure to meet you Zarby. I am Patricia, or Pat if you prefer…and I am a bastard.”
Patricia had never said that before. The word held such taboo intentions on the lips of others. But on hers it felt powerless. On Patricia’s lips “bastard” was her bitch.
Patricia felt she liked Zarby very much and that this was going to be the beginning of a rich and rewarding friendship.
“Zarby, I believe this is going to be the beginning of a rich and rewarding friendship.”
Zarby Darfenol smiled.
“Then let’s decide right here and now to be friends for life.”
“I don’t think I can promise that Zarby but I do promise to be your friend until I find good reason to not be.”
Zarby thought for a moment and then smiled even brighter.
“I like your style Patricia Cornwallis III. Agreed.”
And just as the boundaries of friendship were made official with mutual assertion and a ceremonial handshake a huge snowball smashed into Zarby’s left cheek.
The Pair looked over at Billy Blevins. He was the schoolyard bully and he had never liked Zarby or his often socially unacceptable declarations. He and his gaggle of friends laughed as Zarby wiped the frozen precipitation from his cheek.
“Got you Darfendunce!” screamed Billy as the crowd laughed harder.
“Tis the season!” someone else screamed.
Billy and several of his friends began picking up more snow to pack into balls and chuck at the pair.
Zarby had never understood the attraction of throwing snow at people and calling it a game. It just seemed like another socially acceptable excuse to be mean. A snowball hit Patricia and she cried out. Not even bothering to duck or hide, Zarby took several hits as he scoured the ground. Finally finding what he was looking for he picked it up and strode confidently toward Billy.
“You’re supposed to run for cover dumbass!”
“I’ve never been very good at doing what I am supposed to.”
Zarby smashed the side of Billy’s face with his rock.
The formerly boisterous crowd fell silent as Billy Blevins fell to the ground unconscious and quietly bled into the snow.
Zarby dropped his rock to the ground, shook the smashed snow off his face, and brushed it off his shoulders as he walked back to Patricia.
“Are you OK?”
She looked at Billy lying prone in the snow.
“Do you do that often?”
Zarby looked back at Billy.
“Nope, first time.”
The recess bell rang and everyone went back to their classes leaving Billy to be covered by fine layers of falling snow. It was all any of them could do. Billy would later tell the school nurse he slipped and fell.
Billy Blevins never again threw a snowball.
“Today, boys and girls, in honor of the holiday we will be getting a very special visit from a very extra special guest.”
Mr. Bloxby the English instructor seemed super serious about this announcement. It had been Zarby’s experience that the announcement was of little to no importance at all.
Patricia passed Zarby a note.
(THANKS AGAIN FOR WHAT YOU DID EARLIER AT RECESS…J)
Zarby smiled. He would take credit, although in all fairness he did not do it for her. He simply did it because it needed to be done. But motivation not withstanding it had made her happy and that was not a bad thing.
“Today, class, in honor of Christmas, we are joined by the most specialist of guests ever. Boys and girls, I give you the one, the only, Kris Kringle.”
Shouts of “Yeah!” and “Wow!” filled the room as a fat man with a white beard and a red suit with white trim entered the room holding a big red bag.
Zarby remembered earlier in the week when they had discussed the history of Kris Kringle in class. What he had learned, or at least what he had been told by Mr. Bloxby, was that Kris Kringle is Santa Claus and that he was born in sixteenth-century Europe, becoming famous for making toys and giving them to all the boys and girls in the village.
Zarby did the math in his head. If the year was 2012 and giving appropriate doubt simply stating that he was born at the very end of the sixteenth century, that being 1599, that would make Mr. Kringle…Zarby furiously scribbled on his notebook…413 years old.
Zarby’s great grandmother died last year at the ripe old age of 102. She had been bound to a bed and barely able to raise her head. The man in front of them was supposedly over four times that age, jolly and chuckling even with his readily apparent weight problem. He should have died of high cholesterol or fatty arterial buildup long ago given the hefty chunk of milk and cookies he assumedly ate.
It dawned on Zarby as plain as day that the man standing before the class was a fake.
And he said so.
“You are a fake!”
The imposter Kringle was startled and looked around the room.
The other boys and girls began to boo Zarby.
“No, listen it is true. Remember Mr. Bloxby telling us Kris Kringle was born in the sixteenth century? That would make him, at the most conservative, 413 years old.”
Zarby pointed an accusing finger at the hefty be-bearded man before them. Kris Kringle looked the picture of guilt. Some of the kids stopped their boos and looked at him with an increased sense of scrutiny.
Pat spoke up for her friend.
“He’s right. That man is not 413 years old!”
“OK, You and you!”
Mr. Bloxby pointed his long bony finger at the pair. Even from here Zarby could see the yellowing under his fingernail.
“Leave my class! Report to Principal Faltmeyer’s office at once!”
He turned to his special guest.
“I am so very sorry Mr. Kringle, they do not know about the magic of Christmas.”
The fat man laughed nervously.
“Yes…er, the wonderful magic of Christmas…”
He swept his fat hand across the air in front of him slinging sparkly stuff from his fist.
“Who wants a present boys and girls?”
The class burst into cheers and applause as his fat hand dove into the Kringle bag.
Zarby and Patricia heard the squeals of delight all the way down the hall as they walked towards the principal’s office.
Patricia put her hand on Zarby’s shoulder.
“You tried Zarby. That is all you could do.”
“Thank you Patricia Cornwallis III. People can be so stupid at times when they are confronted on the falseness of their beliefs. It is as if by saying that the belief is wrong, you are invalidating all of who they are as a person. And that with this invalidation comes resentment for the truth on a very basic and primal level. It makes them dumb. And then dumb things come out of their mouth.”
“Zarby, you talk funny for a nine-year old.”
“I am aware.”
“I like it though.”
“Thank you Patricia Cornwallis III.”
The pair reached the principal’s office and found the man on the phone as they entered.
“Yes…I understand…they just entered now…yes I called them as soon as I heard…well they should be here soon…hopefully everything will be contained…yes…I love you too.”
Principal Faltmeyer hung up the phone. He studied the tiny pair of social deviants before him.
“Well, what do you have to say for yourself?”
Zarby Darfenol knew exactly what he had to say for himself. And he said it.
“Santa Claus isn’t real.”
The Principal stood up out of his chair and pointed his entire rigid arm at Zarby.
“You shut your fucking mouth!”
Patricia cringed but Zarby remained calm. He had never heard that word before. It was an empty word.
The door opened and two men entered. They wore identical black suits with black ties and shoes. They also had on dark sunglasses and earpieces in their ears. The one on the right stood forward with his hands clasped while the one on the left held back by the door with his hands clasped.
“Are these the children in question?”
“Yes sir, thank you for arriving so fast.”
“Not a problem, that’s what we do.”
The man knelt in front of Zarby and Patricia.
“Santa Claus is a magical man who rides around the world on Christmas Eve and delivers presents to all the good little boys and girls while they are asleep.”
Zarby and Patricia looked at each other.
Zarby decided to use the empty word.
“That is a fucking lie.”
The principal gasped.
The kneeling man before him just spoke into his lapel while holding his earpiece.
“He didn’t buy it sir…OK…the girl too…understood.”
He stood up and addressed his partner.
“Operation cover up is in full effect.”
The man simply nodded.
Principal Faltmeyer pointed at Zarby and Patricia.
“What about them?”
“Oh they will be coming with us sir.”
One man grabbed Zarby by the arm while the other grabbed Patricia. The pair were rushed out of the office and down the hall to the door leading outside.
The door was opened to reveal an Apache attack helicopter parked in front of the school. When they walked out into the snow the copter’s turbine engines began to turn its huge blades with an ever increasing whine.
“Who do you guys work for?” asked Zarby as he was dragged along.
“The President of the United States of America” replied the dragger.
“And where are we going?”
“We are taking you both to the North Pole to see where Santa Claus lives.”
“But according to you, Santa is in our math class right now.”
“That is correct son; we are just going to see his house.”
Zarby knew it was all a lie. He scanned the roof of the school.
Just as he thought, no reindeer.
“That’s fucking wrong” he thought.
The word did not seem so empty anymore.
The two men pulled the pair into the cockpit and one stood outside while the other talked to the pilot.
“What are we going to do?” screamed Patricia.
A person had to scream in the cockpit because there was no other way to be heard.
Zarby looked at Patricia. Then he looked at the man in black chatting with the pilot. Then he looked at the stick in the middle front of the machine with the lock-back switch and the red fire button. Then Zarby Darfenol had to look no more.
Without hesitation he leaned forward, just past the man in black and flipped the lock-back switch into the weapons armed position.
Zarby did not know that the red button was attached to the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles in the machine’s four cans. Zarby didn’t know that the cans were aimed directly at the school by default of the copter’s landing job. All Zarby knew from his experience with the video games he had been playing most of his life was that this was what must be done…to set things right.
Zarby pushed the red button in rapid succession releasing all four missiles into the school.
The resulting explosion could be heard well into the adjoining counties. The helicopter’s armaments protected the people inside. The man in black standing outside was not so lucky. His face was sliced off by a flying section of window pane causing his body to spin in a bloody pirouette into the snow.
The vast majority of the school was obliterated.
“Jesus Christ son, what have you done?”
Zarby answered calmly.
“You claim the real Santa Clause was in that building. Now he is dead. Now we don’t have to leave, and you don’t have to take us to his house. This silly nonsense is over. There is no Santa Claus.”
The man sank into the passenger seat.
He was a man of authority. And the one thing which a man of authority can never admit is that they are wrong.
“Son,” he said. “You are absolutely right.”
He pulled the pair off the helicopter and then yelled at the pilot.
“Take off; the little bastard destroyed the institution!”
Patricia started to say that she had nothing to do with it but the door slammed shut and the Apache lifted into the air.
Patricia and Zarby ran into the playground as the whipping winds from takeoff shoved them about. Zarby held her tight against his little body and felt her hair whip around him until the machine was far enough in the air to not be felt.
In the distance there were sirens blaring, but they were far away. Here, close to the crackling fire, every sound could be heard clearly. It was mostly silence and crackle. Zarby looked at Patricia in the eyes.
He leaned in and kissed her softly as the snow and ash fell all around them.
It was his first kiss.
It baffled his normally calm mind. All he could think to say was,
“I…um…I…I…I like to poop.”
“I like to poop too.”
An ashy Santa hat floated down gently from the sky.
It landed softly in the snow.
D.B. Tarpley's Lick the Razor is available on this website as a downloadable eBook or from other sites such as Amazon, iTunes, etc.