It was the day after Christmas at the North Pole and the Big Man was exhausted from his furious efforts the night before. His reindeer’s tongues hung out and the sleigh definitely looked like it could use a good cleaning.

Santa stepped out of the sleigh and started taking off his coat, releasing a cloud of coal dust that caused him to cough, as it did Mrs. Claus and Jingles, his personal valet elf, both of whom had rushed in to welcome him back.

“Oh my! People really need to do a better job of cleaning their chimneys!” Mrs. C exclaimed while waving off coal dust floating in the air. “I’ve never seen you so filthy.”

“Jingles, have this thing dry cleaned please. But before you do, pour me a double whiskey, neat,” Santa said, handing Jingles his dusty coat.

“Goodness!” Mrs. Claus said sheepishly. “It’s a bit early to be getting into the hard stuff isn’t it? How about a nice warm glass of milk or some cookies instead dear?”

Santa shot her a hard look, patted his belly and said “No thanks. I think I’ve hit my limit there, dear. I need something to calm my nerves.” He started to walk and dust shook off his pants and boots.

“Oh Dear! You may have to strip down out here,” Mrs. C said. “I just can’t remember when you’ve been so dirty. Maybe it’s time to start going through dog doors or unlocked windows or something.”

“No, no, there’s nothing wrong with the way I’m magically getting into people’s homes carrying ridiculous amounts of items. Chimneys are still fine. All this mess came from delivering down in Alabama. I was flying low over Mobile near the river and they’ve got some kind of coal terminal there and the dust was kicking up something awful. I thought reindeer were going to choke out from it and I had to hit my inhaler a couple of times. It was rough!”

“Alabama? Isn’t that where they towed our cruise ship in February after the power went out? That was so awful!” Mrs. C said.

“Same place — Mobile. Cute town, but man did it give me fits this year. I had some of the strangest requests down there and in Alabama as a whole. Must be something in the water,” Santa said as Jingles delivered his whisky and he downed it quick as a wink.

“Like what dear?” she asked.

“Well you remember me telling you about that one guy who keeps writing about wanting me to bring him money for some kind of cookie or … moonpie, that’s it! He wrote all these letters saying how he is the king of some moonpie festival and it was being ruined by a redneck woman and everybody was out to get him. I didn’t really get it, and you know how I feel about just leaving money. It’s just so tacky, plus I don’t need the elves getting locked up for counterfeiting. So I went down his chimney to drop him off a few boxes of moonpies and a new watch and I’ll be darned if he wasn’t standing right there waiting. Got all upset when I gave him the present too. Started complaining that I was against him too and wanted to see him fail too because I’m a racist white guy. I tried explaining I’m an elf, but he was ranting, so I just left. That guy might end up on the naughty list next year or at least on the crazy list,” Santa said.

“Well what else happened?” Mrs. Claus asked as Santa motioned to Jingles for another round.

“After that I flew out to Semmes to make the rounds there and had the strangest thing happen,” Santa said. “Near the center of town I got out of the sleigh and there was some pretty funky music on the sleigh’s stereo, I think it was that ‘Blurred Lines’ song, and I started to boogie down — you know how I like to drop it like it’s hot, right?”

“Oh yes indeed I do!” Mrs. C said excitedly.

“So I’m doing a few kicks and twirls and twerking a bit and I’ll be darned if this woman doesn’t come running up and point her finger right in my face! She said ‘You disgust me! You ought to be ashamed!’ Then she turned and yelled ‘Hey, them Prancing Elites is back at it!’ All of the sudden a couple of guys came running out yelling and waving baseball bats. Of course they saw the reindeer and went crazy. We just barely got out of there. I thought Donner was going to end up with this head on a wall!” Santa said.

“Oh my!” Mrs. C exclaimed, while Santa caught his breath and pounded another whisky.

“It gets weirder. I flew over to the Mobile Police Department to drop a few things off and ran across this lady cop. And man was she friendly. Kind of too friendly, if you know what I mean,” Santa said. “You expect that kind of thing when you’re delivering in big cities but not quiet little Mobile, but it caught me off guard. Next thing I know she’s ‘frisking’ me and telling me I ‘have the right to get busy.’ I’ll tell you I laid a finger aside of my nose and rose on out of there quick!”

“My goodness!” Mrs. Claus said shaking her head angrily and putting a hand on her hip. “I hope you told her you’ve got everything you need right here!”

“Um … yeah, that’s what I told her,” Santa said slowly.

“I suppose if there was any good part about Alabama this year is there were so many people on my Naughty List that it didn’t take as long. I even bypassed the Governor’s house this year because he and that RSA guy Bronner are fighting so much. I started to drop them off a coupon for couples’ therapy but I thought it’d be a waste of time.

“I also had to pass over several public officials who quit their jobs early to take other jobs as lobbyists and made everyone waste tons of money on special elections. I did have a little fun, though. This year for all the Alabama and Auburn fans who’ve been such jerks to each other I left clothing from their most hated team under the tree. I can just imagine their faces.”

“Well I’m sorry you had such a rough time in Alabama dear,” Mrs. C said soothingly.

“Oh it wasn’t all bad. A lot of people were cheering and clapping for me this year. At first I thought they were just sucking up for presents, but I finally realized most of them thought I was in ‘Duck Dynasty.’ I guess I’ll take what I can get.”