The Legend-News

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Saturday, 2006 December 23 : Volume 9, Number 5

“Fitful news, y’all.”

Rudolph T. Red Banned For Alledged Use Of Illegal Enhancement Drugs

The North Polypmics Committee has banned Rudolph T. Red from further participation in the annual Reindeer Games competition. Mr. Red, who was suspected of using banned enhancement drugs, failed a urine test shortly after his historic win in the 1000-meter dash. A follow-up blood test was ordered, to confirm those results, and Mr. Red again failed.

Mr. Red’s attorney, Donald Donner — of the law firm Dasher, Dancer, Donner and Blitzen PLC — said in a statement released this afternoon that the Committee’s decision will be appealed.

Mr. Red stated in a press release that “the charges again me are unfounded”, and that he hopes these accusations will not affect his negotiations with Arctic Antlers, who drafted him earlier this year.


Underneath The Christmas Tree

As I write this, I’m sitting in my office on the second floor of Casa del Prole and looking out on a scene of pouring rain. Yeah, it’s the twenty-second day of December, less than twenty-four hours after the Winter Solstice, and the only snow that I can see is what remains of a pile that was plowed onto the street corner three weeks ago, when ten inches of holiday cheer got dumped on me. And in the pond out back? A dozen or so Canada geese who have apparently forgotten that they should be in Mexico by now.

Some ‘winter wonderland’!

Here are a few items to get you through the holidays (or being stuck in Denver).


Old Home Café

Environmentalists and politicians are constantly urging us to conserve. In that spirit, The Legend-News will recycle some electrons. Here’s the Old Home Café Christmas story, originally published in the 2003 December 24 issue.

Episode XXVIII: The Night Before Christmas

Snow was falling as Jon cleaned the tables that night, preparing to close up the Old Home Café at 10. Tomorrow was Christmas Day, and the Café would be closed, not to reopen until 5 A.M. on the 26th. He yawned as he worked; he’d been at the Café since opening that morning, and he was tired.

Out in the lot sat two 18-wheelers, their engines idling to keep their drivers warm. They’d be gone in a few minutes, hoping to beat the storm that was coming across the Rockies tomorrow. For now the snow in Pisgah was just flurries, sticking to the frozen ground and piling in the corners of the curbs, but the roads were relatively clear.

Jon picked up the mike on the Café’s CB, which was always tuned to Channel 19. The channel was silent now, until Jon hailed the rigs outside. “Hey, drivers. This is the Café. Last call! Do you want some road food?”

“Yeah, a quart of Colombia’s best and a burger sound good,” say one driver. “Ditto on the coffee,” said the other.

“Trudge on in. I’ll get the burger started,” said Jon. “10-10,” he added, clipping the mike back on the unit before going to the kitchen and tossing a couple of beef patties on the griddle. Then he when to the counter and checked the coffee. Not enough for two, he noted, so he started a second pot.

A few minutes later, the drivers walked in and stomped the snow from their boots. “Thanks for the holler,” said one. He was wearing a red NASCAR cap and a blue Carhartt jacket. “Nick Santos, out of Custer, South Dakota,” he said, shaking hands with Jon. The other driver introduced himself as “Chris Knowle, from Denver. Been so long since I’ve been home, I’m not sure where it is.”

“I hope that you get home soon,” said Jon. “I’ve had a few holidays away from home, myself. I was working for Uncle Sam at the time. I’m Jon Bach, proprietor of this fine eating establishment.” The three men shared a smile.

“Overseas?” asked Nick.

“Underseas,” said Jon. “Submarines. Six years in the Navy. I spent a lot of time without seeing the sun.” He checked the progress of the coffee: almost ready. “Your thermoses, gentlemen? I’ll fill ’em up.”

Jon took the stainless steel containers back to the kitchen, where he first flipped the burgers then washed out the thermoses before pouring a quart of hot C into each. Capping them, he returned them to Nick and Chris. “Thanks,” he heard from both.

“What’s your loads?” asked Jon. “Must be important, if you’re out on Christmas Eve.”

“Canned goods. Vegetable and stuff like that,” said Chris. “I’m hauling the lot to a shelter in Boulder. Picked them up from a charity in St. Joe.”

“And I’ve got a load of donated toys,” said Nick. “Used stuff, mostly, but some new. They’re going to an outfit in Rapid City. They’re giving them to hard-luck kids around town. And I gotta be there by morning,” he said, looking at the weather outside, and hoping that he really wasn’t seeing the snow falling even more quickly.

Jon scooped the burgers off the griddle and wrapped them. “Who gets these?” he asked.

Chris raised his hand. “But I only asked for one,” he said.

“It’s on the house,” said Jon.

“Well, thank you!” said Chris.

Nick rose from his seat. “Sorry to dash, but I’ve gotta go.”

“Me, too,” said Chris. “Or I’ll be late for my Christmas dinner. Jon, it was nice meeting you. Probably catch you again in a few weeks,” he said, shaking hands with Jon. “Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all that other stuff.”

“Same here,” said Nick. “I don’t get out this way much, but I’ll be sure to stop in again.”

The drivers waved as they stepped outside and walked to their rigs. Jon shut down the coffee maker, pouring what brew remained into his own thermos. He heard the diesel engines roar as the drivers stuck their trannies in gear and headed out. A final greeting came from the CB: “Merry Christmas, Old Home Café!”, said Chris. “And to all a good night!” added Nick. Jon grabbed the mike and hollered back, “Merry Christmas to you, too!”

Jon clicked off the CB, turned off the lights, and locked the door. As he walked away from the Café, heading for his house three blocks away, he passed the parking lot. Jon gave the view only a quick glance; but a few steps later he stopped, feeling that something was wrong.

He looked back at the parking lot. There, in the middle of the lot, were two clear spots where the trucks had sat. Those spots were clear of snow, and a light dusting covered the remainder of the lot. But he didn’t see any tire tracks! Neither of the lot’s driveways showed that anyone had driven out of or into the lot, and the snow was not falling quickly enough to obscure any tracks in the two or three minutes since the drivers pulled out. Then where are those trucks?

He heard the sound of a distant engine, and looked toward the west. There was no truck over there; only the red lights from an antenna tower shone through the blowing snow. Then Jon realized that the lights were getting smaller, and they were rising in the sky. For the next minute he watched those lights as they faded into the distance. He thought that he heard bells jingling, but that was ridiculous, he decided.

I need sleep, he thought, as he walked home on that Christmas Eve.


The Legend-News Christmas Vacation

Squirrel in Christmas tree

Sing Silent Night
(C.W. McCall, Bill Fries, Chip Davis)

When the snow falls on Christmas Eve,
And everything’s white
I sit by the window,
And remember another night
When Mama played the organ,
And we turned off all the lights
And we all stood around her
And sang Silent Night

The organ is quiet now,
And Mama’s gone
The sound of that Christmas Eve
Will live on and on
We sang all the old carols,
The hymns she loved to hear
And she played them over, one by one,
From memory, and by ear

And then she’d find the ancient album,
With its pages turned gold
And the crayon-colored paper star
I made so long ago
But brighter than any star
Was the love in Mama’s eyes
As she said, “Merry Christmas, kids”,
And she kissed us goodnight

And the organ’s quiet now,
And Mama’s gone
But the sound of that Christmas Eve
Will live on and on
The years have gone by now,
Since that last Christmas Eve
But the joy is still with me,
And the love will never leave

When Mama played the organ,
And we turned off all the lights
And we all stood together
And sang the last Silent Night


The Legend-News is published randomly by TechRen Enterprises, a fooly-licensed waste of time. Copyright 2006 TechRen Enterprises. Send complaints, kudos, suggestions, news and other contributions to legend-news@cw-mccall.com. “Where’s Eddie? He usually eats these God damn things.”