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Sometimes, being naughty can be nice
Dick Yarbrough
Dick Yarbrough - photo by File photo

Ring! Ring! Ring!

“Hello, Santa Claus R Us. Happy holidays. Donner speaking. May I help you?”

“Yes, I would like to speak to Santa Claus. My name is Dick Yarbrough. I am a modest and much-beloved columnist in Georgia. I have been so busy this year that I haven’t found time to get my requests for presents to you folks. Somebody suggested I tweet the list to you, but the last time I tried to tweet something, I heard back from four candidates for president, three jihadists, two sportswriters and a partridge in a pear tree.”

“Sir, I’m sorry, but Mr. Claus is busy at the moment making toys for good little girls and boys. I am one of Santa’s reindeers and will be filling the requisitions for him along with my life partner, Prancer. Is there anything I can help you with?”

“What’s with reindeer taking Christmas requests? And why is Santa Claus having to make the toys? Where are the elves?”

“We are experiencing a shortage of elves, I am sorry to say. Most of our elves are living off their residuals from the ‘Lord of the Rings’ movies. They also have discovered that it is a lot warmer in Middle Earth than at the North Pole. But I digress. What can I do for you?”

“I wanted to call and assure Santa Claus that I deserve a lot of good stuff. I have exhibited exceptional behavior this year. I blush to even describe how good I have been.”

“Hmm. Hold a second while I check for your name. Prancer, sweetie, would you hand me the Naughty and Nice List? Thank you. You are such a dear deer. Oops, Mr. Yarbrough, what I am seeing here is a bit inconsistent with what you are telling me. I find you listed very prominently on the Naughty List.”

“There has to be some mistake, Donald.”

“It’s Donner, not Donald, and it is no mistake. We have documented your deeds for the year. This hasn’t been one of your better times, buster.”

“Oh, fie! Give me a for-instance.”

“OK. Lizard-loafered lobbyists in Atlanta come to mind. They say you have stereotyped them unfairly. That you are always talking about how they take legislators on golfing trips and donate to their campaigns and then say you fall down laughing when they claim they aren’t trying to influence politicians to vote for their clients.”

“Where did you hear that?”

“A group of them took Prancer and me to Sea Island to play golf and spend a couple of nights at the Cloister and then made a very generous donation to the Reindeer Rainy Day Fund. We found their arguments very compelling. ... ”

“Good grief!”

 “And there was the reader who took you to task for something you said while admitting he was no ‘Einstine.’ And you assured him that was OK because you were no ‘Playtoe’ yourself. Was that necessary?”

“Well, no, but … ”

“And we have heard from a lot of people who have moved from an area of the country colder than the North Pole and may — just may — look down their noses at rednecks like you but wouldn’t move back where they came from for all the bagels in Bayonne. Why do you antagonize these people?”

“I guess for the same reason I like to rile up folks like the angry white guy that called me a bedwetting liberal who voted for Obama because I said we should erect a statue in Washington to Ray Charles Robinson of Albany, Georgia. That really upset me. I have not wet the bed in months.”

“And you think you don’t deserve to be on Santa’s Naughty List?”

“Give me a break, Dominick. I’ve done some really good things this year.”

“It’s Donner, dimwit, not Dominick, and name one thing that would cause us to change our minds.”

“Well, for one thing, I’ve decided I will make a large donation to the Easter Bunny’s nest egg after we’ve played golf at Sea Island and drunk some fine wine.”

“Hmm. When would it be convenient for Santa to hand-deliver your gifts, Mr. Nice Guy?”

“I thought you would see it my way, Dweezel”

“Dweezel it is, sir. Merry Christmas.”

Contact Yarbrough at; at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139; and online at or

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