Kermet Apio's Laugh Corner
` EWA BEACH
It’s Christmas time in Seattle. Time to lie down in a puddle and make mud angels. Time to buy something at the Hawaii General Store and make a mainlander think you brought it back from the islands. Time when parking spaces are pursued like the Sorcerer’s Stone.
I remember a simpler time growing up in Ewa Beach. Old school Ewa Beach. 8 miles of sugar cane separated you and the rest of civilization. The closest we ever came to a white Christmas was when my older cousins put a cherry bomb into a Styrofoam cooler. It’s true what they say; no two Styrofoam snowflakes are exactly alike. Then one Christmas morning, Santa came to town, or small district, if you will.
All of us kids were hopped up on Luau Punch, that fruit-juice-free juice that had so much sugar you actually had to pry kids off the ceiling with a broomstick. Add that to the excitement of brand new toys and our house was like an NBA game in Detroit.
As he got out of the taxi we couldn’t believe our eyes. Santa Claus came to Ewa Beach . No one comes to Ewa Beach. Our relatives in town never came to Ewa Beach. We climbed over each other to get a glimpse of him. I hoped Santa was too busy at Christmas time to notice a few mean things I did to my sisters earlier that week that could have been “Good List” deal breakers.
It wasn’t an uncle, or a family friend, or that creepy guy who worked at the bowling alley and for some reason owned a Santa suit. It was definitely him. He was sweating the way only a visitor would. He asked if we had all been good kids. I tried not to make eye contact. As he gave out presents, our eyes were as big as saucers and I don’t think any of us blinked. One cousin cried, but he cries playing Candyland. Not really Santa’s fault there. I got skates. Well, actually, they were metal wheels you tied to your shoes that, according to a sticker on the bottom, Santa made while he was in China . It was awesome. But now I had to get shoes.
Okay, so he showed up in a cab. Yes, the presents were in a Hefty garbage bag similar to the ones my Dad used. Sure, he had a hard time pronouncing the Hawaiian names. And I know, a couple of presents still had the Payless price tag on it. All circumstantial evidence. We saw Santa!
That afternoon I realized my skate things didn’t have brakes. Helmets were yet a concept of the future. As I lay on the sidewalk I saw Santa’s sleigh flying through the sky. Could have been a bird. I hit the telephone pole pretty hard.
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