JINGLE ALL THE WAY
My partner, Irma, and I were mistletoeing all cozy-like on the office couch when the phone did a jingle-jangle.
"Buck Tuff, PI."
"Hey, Buck, I need a favor," said my buddy, Smiley.
Irma's unwrapping some damn fine holly jolly Christmas presents in my lap and answering is a bit of a struggle, but, "Sure, Smiley. What's up?"
"I got Santa Claus holding down a bar stool here at the club, and the old guy’s creating a bit of a problem. He’s just one of those Mall Santas, but Chickie's got it in her head that he's the real deal, so I can't just bounce him outta the joint. Can you come on down and maybe ease him out the door?"
"You want me to evict Santa from your club? You been hittin' the inventory, Smiley?"
"No, I ain't been drinkin', and its a wonder. When Chickie manages to get a thought in that blond head of hers, all it does is boogie around in her skull and cause me trouble. She's got all the girls refusin' to strip in front of Santa. Says it's naughty. Jeez, Buck, this is Smiley's House of Strippers. The customers got expectations."
"Gimme half an hour,” I managed to choke into the phone. Tossing Santa out of Smiley’s is gonna have to wait. Me and Irma have a little lap dancin' of our own to finish up first.
"I gotta head over to Smiley's," I told Irma a few sweaty minutes later.
"Because Santa Claus is checking his list down at Smiley’s and Chickie and the girls are on strike until he sleigh rides outta there."
"Smiley's definitely in trouble. I guess you'd better get over there and help Santa find his reindeer," laughed Irma. You gotta love what a good chuckle does for Irma's chest area.
Smiley's was packed fuller than a Christmas stocking. But the crowd wasn’t their usual jolly selves, what with the girls refusing to deck the poles with bodacious bodies.
"Hello, Buck," said Santa as I slid my backside onto the barstool next to his. "I see Irma gave you an early Christmas present."
I eyeballed the guy warily. "And you would know that, how?"
"Trade secret...not to mention that hickey wreath decorating your neck."
"And your trade would be?" I said, flipping my collar up.
"Santa Claus, of course."
"Of course. Stupid of me to have missed that, what with the red suit and all. So...what are you doin' at Smiley's? It ain't exactly a Santa hangout."
"Now that's a fact, but I had an interesting letter drop into my lap this afternoon. It wasn’t your every year request for a baby doll or a bicycle. As a matter of fact, it was such an unusual request, that I thought I'd check it out personally."
"Yeah, odd one, that. A gal named Chickie put in a request for a pair of jingle bell pasties."
"That's not an unusual request if you know Chickie."
"Now, there's the rub. I don't know Chickie. Thought I'd check out her act and see if she deserves a visit from Santa. I wanted to see for myself if she's naughty or nice."
"I can vouch for Chickie. She's very nice. A little flaky most of the time, but there ain't a mean bone in her body."
"What you might call voluptuous."
"Sounds delightful. Any chance I could catch her act?"
"Hate to say it, but she's refusin' to dance in front of Santa. Says it would be too naughty."
Santa sighed, "You know, there's a lot of drawbacks to being a jolly old elf."
He reached into the pocket of his red coat and pulled out a package, "Will you see that she gets this?"
"Anything to help out, Santa."
"You always were a good kid, Buck. Since I can't watch the show, I might as well shove off. Besides, the reindeer are doubled parked out back."
As Santa walked out of the club, Chickie came bouncing over. "Did Santa leave me a present?" she giggled.
I handed her the package, watching as she tore at the wrapping paper. Inside the box, laid out on a wad of dollar bills was a pair of holly red pasties with strands of golden bells. The customers jingled with glee as she walked through the crowd modeling her present.
Cheers echoed off the rafters when Chickie took center stage, rocking Smiley's House of Strippers with her own version of Jingle Bells. I wonder if Santa’s got an extra pair of those pasties he could drop in Irma’s stocking. Sure would make my Christmas.