Lonnie’s wife, Leona, is a hard-shell Baptist who doesn’t hold with the commercialization of Christmas. So when Lonnie asks Tiny to help him put Leona’s giant Santa on the roof, Tiny is understandably dubious.
excerpt from “Lonnie, Me, and the Blowed-Up Santa”
by Marian Allen
“Where in the world did you get this thing?”
I toed the pile of red vinyl that took up way too much of Lonnie and Leola’s front yard.
“I ordered it out of a magazine. It come yesterday.”
“Like this? I mean, wasn’t it in a box or something?”
“Yeah, it was in a box.”
“All folded up nice and neat?”
“And you unfolded it and slopped it all over the yard like this because why?”
“You been in our house. You think we got room for this bad boy in the house? We’re gonna put it outside, so I unpacked it outside.”
That kinda made sense, so I said, “We don’t have to blow it up with our own personal air, do we? Did it come with a pump?”
“Come with a pump and a connector hose and all.”
“Still in the house in its box.”
“And the pump and hose are still in the house in the box because ….”
“We got room in the house for that.”
“How about you bring it out here,” I said, promising myself an extra bourbon ball for not raising my voice, “and we’ll get to pumping.”
“Wouldn’t it be better to put it in its place before we pump it up?”
I tried not to sound surprised when I said, “That’s good thinking, Lon. You know whereabouts Leona wants it?”
He looked at me like I asked him what he fed it or something.
“On the roof,” he said.
“On the roof?”
“Well, sure. So’s it’ll show up good.”
“And Leona wants it on the roof?”
“She wants it on the roof?”
I was saved from asking him again by Leona, herself, coming out onto the porch all bundled up against the cold.
“Lonnie says you want this Santa Claus on the roof,” I said, trying not to sound like I was tattle-telling.
“I do,” she said, and hugged herself. She bounced up and down on her toes a few times and, just like Lon had said, she got kinda teary-eyed. “Wait ’til you see it!”
Well, that must be some Santa, is all I could think.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Put a character on a roof.