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The Tentacle


December 29, 2004

Santa and His Reindeer Imbibed Too Much

John W. Ashbury

It was early in the morning on Christmas that there was an awful accident near my Thurmont home. I rushed out to discover Santa sprawled in the snow and the reindeer sitting on their haunches wondering what had happened. Rudolph's nose was blinking - and almost to the flickering stage.

Packages were strewn about. Seems Santa had been drinking what he thought was milk on the mantles of the houses he had visited, but in actual fact, numerous children had substituted Mom and Dad's egg nog, not the kind you buy in the store, but the kind you mix up yourself.

And Santa had a snoot full; thus the accident.

I couldn't help but notice the packages Santa still had to deliver as I helped him reload the sleigh.

He was headed to Urbana, or was it Bethesda, to leave District 3 Republican State Senator Alex Mooney a conscience so that when an ethical dilemma arises the good legislator will actually recognize it. He also was to leave 10,000 fund-raising Christmas cards on which the senator had forgotten to put the proper postage. And Santa left a bill, too.

Next Santa was headed to the home of Frederick City Alderman Marcia Hall with a well reasoned treatise which proved that everything in life did not have to be politically correct - like wishing people a Merry Christmas.

Staying in Frederick, Santa was to stop by Alderman Joseph Baldi's home on East Third Street. Joe, Santa said, was also known as Jellyfish Joe, so he was leaving him a backbone and a year's supply of maple syrup for his waffles.

And since he was so close to City Hall, Santa scheduled a stop to leave a package for the Frederick City's chiefs and directors. In the box were body armor outfits for the brave souls willing to pull their heads out of the sand and stick them up out of their City Hall foxholes

Mayor Jennifer Daugherty was to be paid a visit next. At her house Santa had a note that he had paid the postage for a C.O.D. package she had refused earlier in the year which contained a signed copy of Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

And because she has worked so hard to stick it to everyone doing business with the city during the past year, especially her fellow elected officials, he had another note guaranteeing she would enjoy her retirement in 2006.

Santa's next stop was to be at Alderman Bill Hall's home where Santa was to leave a divorce from Marcia.

Santa's next package was huge. I had to get my sons to help load it back into the sleigh. The package was marked "To Alderman Dave Lenhart." I asked Santa what was inside and he said it was a year's supply of vegetables that taste like cheeseburgers and French fries. He remarked that someone had to keep an eye on Dave's cholesterol.

Then it would be off to Worman's Mill and the legal residence of former Mayor Ron Young. Santa's package for Ron contained an engagement ring from Colonial Jewelers for his current girlfriend so Ron can continue to maintain his residency in the city as he campaigns again for mayor next year.

Santa was headed next to County Commissioner Mike Cady's house on Motter Place to leave a present which contained the ability to ask - or answer - a question in less than 30 seconds.

Next it would be off to Spring Ridge and the home of County Commissioner Jan Gardner where he was to leave the realization that she has reached middle age and that her appearance should reflect that.

Then it was off to Jefferson to the home of John Lovell where Santa planned to leave a motor for the county commissioner's mouth so that his constituents would know his brain was in gear.

In his condition Santa was sure to make a few mistakes in the order in which he was delivering presents, so he had to backtrack to Walkersville where he would leave County Commissioner John L. "Lennie" Thompson the tuition for a law school course that will teach him NOT to make light of personal ethical issues when he confronts them.

Then it would be off to Middletown to deliver a strangely shaped package marked "Delegate Joe Bartlett," which contained a new visage so that Joe could start looking like he has a clue.

And while he was in the neighborhood, Santa planned to stop by Brunswick and deliver a special gift for the mayor. It was a large box containing yard signs reading Carroll Jones for County Commissioner.

Near the top of the pile on Santa's sleigh was a small package which contained only the best wishes for a happy retirement. It was labeled "Thurmont Town Clerk Rick May."

Fortunately for Santa, right next to Mr. May's gift was a bank draft for Thurmont Town Commissioner Wayne Hooper so that the gentlemen and his family can keep current with their water and sewer and electricity bills in the north Frederick County community.

Tucked in the side pocket of the sleigh was a reminder for Frederick City Aldermen Donna Ramsburg which said that her change in attitude toward the mayor would undergo alteration again next year when someone else is sworn in as mayor.

Oops! There was another gift for Mayor Dougherty. It was hard to overlook it was so big. When asked, Santa said it was a crying towel to wipe away the mayor's tears when she comes out on the losing end of any issue before the aldermen or the public.

And there was a tag along the sleigh hooked to Santa's which would also be left at the mayor's house. It was filled with Hershey's chocolate kisses to calm her down when anyone disagreed with her during the coming year. Fortunately, the kisses were wrapped in pocket size packages so they weren't too hard to reload after the accidental spill.

Finally I dusted the snow from the jolly gentleman's red suit. I noticed that Rudolph's nose had been recharged and the rest of the reindeer were rested. So off they flew.

And I heard him exclaim as he disappeared into the night, Ta! Ta! And A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.



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