Christmas Presence

By Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph
Illustrations by Lucy Taylor

(Published in the December 2010 issue)

Jesus was supposed to walk over Santa like water.

Gomorrah oddsmakers considered the Messiah, hounded by whispers of nepotism, a heavy favorite and set the betting line at 3:16.

And no wonder-Santa had been eating himself to obesity in his quest to find a quarterback with enough vision to run his complicated offense, and out of desperation settled for an undersized walk-on named Rudy.

Why play the game at all?

Old Testament purists were against the B.C./A.D. merger and didn’t even consider “Bethlehem Joe” the Messiah in the first place! Just another brash “Bonus Baby” basking in the spotlight of his 15 minutes of infamy.

For reasons still unexplained, the eight-day playoff system that had been in place for centuries was deemed antiquated by modern radicals. Commissioner St. Pete Rozelle wanted to settle things with a “Super Bowl” to determine whether Santa or Jesus would symbolize a single day of yearend gift-giving.

So it was on: Jesus vs. Santa in Super Bowl ZERO, to be played in the Roman Coliseum.

On Game Day, the paparazzi swarmed to sketch celebrities like John the Baptist, Favorinus Ptolemy and Larry King, as the stars took their seats. However, due to strict religious copyright laws of the day, the living Jesus was never sketched. Not so with Santa, who was a bigger ham than the ones he devoured between meals.

The game didn’t start well for Jesus. On the very first play from scrimmage, he lined up in the wildcat formation, and the snap flew right through his hands. Since the reindeer was Blitzen, Santa’s team recovered and took over on the Jesus 33-yard line. On first down, Rudy pitched out to Dasher, who scampered 27 yards to the Jesus 6. Rudy followed with a play-action touchdown pass to Dancer, who performed football’s first ever endzone celebration: a gyrating goal-post humping that horrified the crowd, drawing a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing kickoff.

Jesus failed to capitalize, and the game turned into a defensive struggle. Despite encouraging shouts of GO ALL THE YA-WAY!, the son of God failed to convert critical third downs. He even failed to convert a single undecided spectator.

Not helping matters for Jesus was when, midway through the third quarter, he accidentally turned his waterboy into a wineboy. As a result, by the time they lined up for their final play, Team Jesus was totally hammered-and still trailing Santa 7-0.

With the sundial winding down, no time-outs remaining and the ball on the Santa 49-yard line, Jesus called a Hail Mother play. The pass soared into the heavens, wobbling awkwardly as it disappeared into the clouds. Then, as if by some miracle, the ball reappeared as a spiral and fell gently into the hands of Jesus’ wide receiver, Randy Moses, in the end zone. Moses held on just long enough before dropping the ball, which shattered when it hit the ground. Jesus quickly lined up and snuck in for a two-point conversion before Santa had an opportunity to challenge the touchdown catch.

Final score: Jesus 8, Santa 7.

Afterwards, Jesus thanked Himself for giving Himself the strength to carry Himself to victory.

Santa immediately jumped into his sleigh and flew off to file a protest with the other bearded man in the clouds, but he was denied. As a concession, the Big Guy promised to give Santa a secondary role in future marketing for the as-yet untitled “single day of giftgiving.”

Still bitter over the loss, Santa pledged from then on to give a lump of coal to any autograph-seeking child who wasn’t polite. Can you blame him for being cranky? Exiled to the North Pole while Jesus opens up a million franchises where people still worship him? That’s football.

Yet, they operate on the same principle, whether you’re seeking a ticket to heaven or a quality gift-they know when you’re sleeping, they know when you’re awake, they know if you’ve been bad or good...

So be good for goodness sake!

Cookie “Chainsaw” Randolph makes his list and checks it twice on the Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw morning show at 101.5 KGB-FM.