I’ve written about Benny before. He was a bad kid. I often wonder if he grew up to be a normal person, just like most people.

But, I do know one thing for sure, he didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas one year.

Back in the day, going to see Santa Claus was a big deal. I guess back then he didn’t have the same transportation options we have these days. So, I guess it took him a while to get around.

In any case, Santa didn’t visit the small towns much. So, the moms had to load up all the kids and go to one of the bigger towns to see Santa.

Well, one weekend my mother and some other kids’ moms packed us into the station wagon to go see Santa. Now, this wasn’t an ordinary trip. We were going to Montgomery to see Santa.

We were also going to the mall. At the time, I didn’t realize that was a bad thing, so I was really excited. I was going to see Santa and was going to get to shop at Eastdale Mall.

The drawback was Benny was going, too. We hadn’t even made it to the one traffic light in town before Benny and my sister got into a fight.

Benny had her by one of the pigtails and my sister was trying to shove his glasses down his throat.

My mom just kept driving while Benny’s mom reached over the back seat and tried to knock a knot on his head. But, Benny escaped from my sister and climbed over the back seat.

My mom had to stop so Benny could get a whipping. But, Benny had other ideas. He jumped out of the car and ran off into the woods. His mom chased after him and we could hear screams from the woods.

When, Benny’s mom finally drug him out of the woods she slung him into the backseat and off we went.

Benny’s mom told him if he acted up again, he wouldn’t get to see Santa Claus. I don’t think that scared him any, but he behaved the rest of the way to the mall.

When we finally got there, the folks at the mall had pulled out all the stops for Santa. There was a huge Christmas tree with presents everywhere. A long, red carpet led up to where Santa was sitting in a huge wooden chair. He had elf helpers running around everywhere and there was even a guy there to make pictures.

There was also an extremely long line of kids waiting to see Santa.

We finally made it to the front of the line. I was right behind Benny in the line. You see, I didn’t want Benny behind me. I’d learned if you couldn’t see Benny, something bad was likely to happen to you.

Well, Benny jumped up on Santa’s knee and the old elf asked, “Young man have you been a good boy?”

Benny promptly said, “No.”

Well, Benny’s answer wasn’t in the script, so Santa sat there for a moment with a blank look on his face.

Finally, he said, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Benny didn’t bat an eye, he just said “A bottle of whiskey, a double-bladed axe and a subscription to Playboy.”

Huck Treadwell is managing editor of the Sand Mountain Reporter, a sister publication in Albertville.

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