Fred’s Christmas Caper

“Yes Fred, I still like Santa Claus.” Jacob refused to look up from his computer screen.

“Then why don’t you want to come? Huh?” Fred crossed his arms and pouted.

Jacob turned to face Fred. “Because you’re wearing a Santa suit again. The last time you wore a Santa suit, it ended with Godzilla getting its ass kicked by an elder god.” He blinked. “In retrospect that sounds awesome but it certainly wasn’t at the time!”

“This is my own suit. I swear! Scout’s honor!” He held up two fingers on his right hand, fingers crossed. “Wait, I did that wrong.”

Jacob shook his head, frowning. “No, Fred.” He turned around.

“Yes it is, then!” Fred grabbed Jacob by the collar. Both men disappeared in a puff of glittery pixie dust.

They reappeared on a ridge just outside Santa’s village, laying on their stomachs. Fred had a pair of binoculars out. “There it is.”

“Fred! Damn it! I have paperwork to file… Is that Santa’s village?” Jacob began to grin.

“Atta boy.”

Jacob sighed. “Okay. We’re here. What hell are you going to wreak this time?”

“Aw now I’m just going to pull an itty bitty prank is all.”

“You don’t do anything ‘itty bitty’.”

“True…” Fred sat up. “I’m gonna prank dear cousin Santa with this!” He produced a small, green baby alien. It looked at Jacob with glistening black eyes and a tiny little smile.

“Holy shit, Fred! Is that baby Yoda?”

Fred hushed him. “No, no, no! Do you want Disney to hear? This here is a what you call a grade A knock-off! It’s a baby Shoda!”

Jacob smirked. “Right… What are you going to do with it?” He nuzzled the baby’s cheek with a finger.

“Well you see, baby Shodas are super magical. That magic goes all crazy when they cry.”

“Fred, you are not making that baby cry!”

“Of course not! Cute widdle guy!” He noogied the baby’s head. “I don’t have to! What happens when you give a baby to Santa Claus?”

“It cries. Oh, Fred, that’s terrible.”

“Terribly awesome!” Jacob took a double-take. Fred was already up and running towards the village. Jacob sighed and followed.

The baby was starting to sniff and whine by the time Jacob caught up. “I thought you said you weren’t going to make him cry!”

“I’m not! The little bastard is hungry!”


“You’ll agree if he starts crying, son. There!” Fred pointed at Dingle’s Pizza Emporium. “Let’s get him a slice.”

“I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Sure it is! Didn’t ya read the sign?”

Jacob looked back at the storefront. A sign in the window did in fact read “Perfectly Fine to Feed to Infants!” Jacob rolled his eyes. “How foolish of me. Okay, fine.”

Fred frowned. “I uh, forgot my wallet and…”

“Fine!” The baby whimpered. “Hush, little one!” Jacob darted inside. He returned a minute later with a slice of pizza. “You owe me five dollars.”

Fred handed the baby the pizza. It tipped its head back and promptly swallowed the slice whole. “Holy shit!”

“Is that normal?” Jacob grimaced.

“Is any of this?”

“Good point.”

The baby giggled and clapped its little hands. He released a might burp and hiccuped. There was a bright flash. Fred squinted at Jacob. “Say Jacob, have you always been a moose?”

“What are you…” Jacob looked down at his chest, which was now a moose chest, because now he was a moose. “AH! What did you do?”

“I didn’t do it!” The baby hiccuped again. Fred blinked his three eyes. “It must be the baby… I think I’m seeing double.”

“More like triple.” The baby hiccuped. “Oh, what the hell!” Jacob looked down at his ample breasts and buxom hips.

“What? You look all right to me.” Fred winked. Jacob dry heaved. The baby hiccuped.

Fred and Jacob returned to normal, but… “Fred! You look like you belong in a Rankin/Bass show!”

Fred shook his limited-animation finger. “Are you calling me a fish?”

“No! Think ‘Year Without a Santa Claus’!” The baby hiccuped. Half the village turned into cheddar cheese.

“It’s going to be a year without a Santa Claus if we don’t get this baby to stop hiccuping! It’s getting worse!”

“This was your idea! What can we do?”

“Well you can stop being a dildo, I can tell ya that!” The baby hiccuped. Fred burst out laughing.

“What?” Jacob looked down. “I’m a… I don’t even want to know how a baby would even know what a dildo is.” Jacob started jiggling towards Santa’s house. “There’s only one man that can fix this!”

The baby hiccuped again and again. Sparks flew. The village shimmered as it cycled through various textures and questionable references to pop culture.

Jacob came to the stop at the sound of a familiar base beat. He turned to see a wide-eyed, zombified Fred shuffling towards him to the beat. His Santa suit was replaced with a red and black leather one.

A bunch of elves ran up behind Fred. They joined him in shuffling to the beat. Fred started twitching his head.

“Uh, wrong holiday, you guys.” Fred tossed Jacob the baby Shoda. “EE HEE!” Fred and the elves started dancing in formation. Jacob spun around and stood on the tips of his toes.

“Sh’ mon, little Shoda!” Jacob Jackson broke into a run for Santa’s front door.

It opened as he approached. Hiccup. JACOB skidded to a stop, the baby landing on the glossy black hood of the mid-eighties sports car. The red light on the front of Jacob swooshed. “Well this is awkward.”

Santa glowered. “Jacob, is that you?” The baby hiccuped. Jacob caught it in his big, green ogre hands. “It is! And Fred!

Fred trotted up. “Now just listen, Santa.”

Jacob turned. “Donkay!”

Santa smirked. “More like an ASS.”

Fred stomped his hooves. “Language! It’s the baby’s fault, anyway.”

“It was Fred’s idea!” Jacob added helpfully.

Santa harrumphed. “Of that I have no doubt. What to do, though?”

Jacob held up a finger. “Good question!” Another hiccup turned him back to normal… “Hey! Cool! Wait…” Except for his spider legs. “Hmm…”

“Could be worse.” Fred blinked all eight eyes at Jacob.

“GAH!” Jacob tossed the baby up into the air. Santa caught it handily. “No Santa, wait!”

The cute little Shoda looked up at Santa and stopped hiccuping. Then its face screwed up. Then it began to cry. “Aw, poor little guy!”

Fred and Jacob, along with the whole village began to rapidly change. Stupid cat memes gave way to vague references to Saturday morning cartoon shows that nobody remembers. That gave way to gritty reboots, closely followed by direct-to-TV movies with questionable plots.

Santa remained Santa through it all. First he laughed, then he rolled his eyes, then he produced a pacifier. He offered it to baby Shoda. The child took it eagerly and closed its widdle eyes. Everything grew quiet.

Jacob lowered his Buster sword and scratched at his spiky hair. “How come baby Shoda’s crying didn’t affect you?”

Santa laughed heartily. “Do you know how many centuries I’ve been putting up with crying babies?” He winked. “It doesn’t even phase me anymore.”

Jacob looked down at his strangely polygonic body. “Well, can you fix this mess, then?”

“Of course, not! Baby Shoda?” The baby looked at Santa, then at Jacob. It pulled out the binky and shouted “Woo!” Everything returned to normal except for…

“Hey, I’m pretty hot!” Fred leered at his own body. “Nice rack!” He looked up at Santa. “I uh… Where’s the closest bathroom? I have to go real bad. Heh…”

Jacob grimaced. “Dude, gross!”

“Agreed!” Santa looked at the baby, which wrinkled its nose. It pulled out the pacifier again and blew a raspberry at Fred.

The old farmhand was returned to normal, save for his second-hand Santa costume. “Aw, man!”

Jacob turned to Santa. “So, now what?”

“Now I finish getting ready for Christmas. You go with Fred and make sure he returns baby Shoda to his totally-not-a-knock-off-fictional-reality. And…” Santa turned to face you, the reader. “I’ll see you in a few short days. Merry Christmas!”

Jacob nodded. “Yes! Happy holidays!”

Fred shrugged. “Do these stilettos make me look pretty?”

Baby Shoda? Well folks, he just winked and smiled.


DEEP THOUGHTS: Halloween V Christmas

Satan versus Baby Jesus, Dracula versus Santa, who wins?

See what I did there? With the V? For versus? God, that looks so douchey. Anyway…

The two greatest holidays of the year in one arena! Which one will reign supreme? In one corner, you have an ancient Pagan holiday usurped by the Christians to garner converts. In the other corner, you have an ancient Pagan holiday usurped by the Christians to… WTF. Seriously?

Halloween started as Samhain in Ireland. It was meant to be a celebration of the end of the Fall harvest and serve as light-hearted merriment ahead of the encroaching cold of winter. The Christians were like “Nah, that’s All Hallows Eve now, bitches.”

Likewise, Christmas started as Yule in Germany. You know, the whole Yule log thing, cutting down evergreens and stuffing them in your house cuz everything was dying, etc. The Christians (SURPRISE!) were all like “Nah, Jesus got popped and this is birthday and FUCK YOU, weird Pagan people.”

“Look, we’re only killing you to save your souls!”

Christians can be… forceful. Now obviously, that’s painting with a very broad brush, but it hits close enough to the truth for a zoo-based entertainment website. At any rate…

Eventually, the two holidays found their way to the new world and grew and developed in the United States. The early results were um, mixed.

Oh, shit… What about Christmas, though?
Oh, DAMN. It got better though, right?

Okay well, it was a bit of a learning curve. Then again, living through two world wars and the Great Depression probably didn’t help. So what have we learned so far?

  • The Christians like to steal holidays.
  • Both Halloween and Christmas started off looking creepy as hell.
  • Christmas took longer than it should have to stop looking creepy as hell.

Right. So what would happen if we pitted the two holidays against each other? Where do we even start? Well, let’s look at the major players, shall we?

We’ll start with Halloween. Pretty straightforward, right? If you ask Christians, the lord of Halloween is Satan himself.

Artist Depiction

That’s of course on top of Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein’s monster… That sounds pretty one-sided, actually. I mean, Christmas has baby Jesus, an exuberant fat man that breaks into houses, several little people… Although, that one Santa…


Yeah… no. He’s probably just working for Satan. I’ll have to give this one to Halloween. I mean, Satan. Even beyond him, a whole legion of legendary horror monsters and the living dead are going to wipe the floor with a bunch of elves and a man one cookie away from a coronary.

Now okay, baby Jesus has the force of God behind him and all but come on. He’s just a baby. And if ancient portrayals of baby Jesus are anything to go by, he’s also a wee bit on the special side, if you know what I mean.

“Take him… Please, just… Jesus…”

Wow, okay. Halloween wins on that front. Let’s look at something else, though: MONEY.

Now I’ll grant you that Christmas has a lot going for it on this front. You have present-buying, Black Friday, decorations, music, egg nog, professional actors to send to the in-law’s in your stead, etc. that said, Halloween has been surging like a motherfucker these last few years.

People are buying more and more elaborate costumes costing into the hundreds of dollars. Haunted house attractions are booming. Everyone’s throwing parties with expensive props and decorations. That surely adds up, right?

It does, but not like the Christmas season. People spent six hundred billion dollars on the “winter holidays” between 2012 and 2013. That’s compared to a teeny-weenie seven billion dollars spent on Halloween in that same time frame. In fact, even Mother’s Day saw more than double the spending. Then again, I mean


Yeah so maybe she should win? Anyway, Christmas takes that fucking cake by at least like, a few dollars. I don’t know, I’m bad with money.

So in conclusion, in the battle between Halloween and Christmas, clearly big business is the winner.


“My wallet thanks you all!”

Fred and Jacob Save Christmas: Part VI

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V

His competitor slain, Godzilla had turned his anger on a number of nearby buildings. His energy spent, the lizard king had pounded off to the city park. The giant monster laid down, crushing trees as he went, and fell fast asleep.

Jacob stared off at the horizon from Santa’s sleigh, his chin propped up on his fist. “It’s been twenty minutes, Fred.”

“Miracles take time, boy.” The old man was rummaging around in Santa’s sack.

Jacob turned around. “Come on, Fred. Haven’t you messed things up enough?”

“…No.” He shoved his head into the bag and continued rooting around.

“Of course not.” Jacob sighed, returning his gaze to the horizon. He heard a very faint boom. He felt the building beneath them tremble slightly.

Fred popped his head out of Santa’s sack. “Did you let one?”

“That wasn’t me…” An impossibly large shadow loomed over the horizon in the distance, dimming the glow of the city. Jacob half-stood. “What the…”

The shadow grew larger. Two glowing, blood red eyes breached the skyline. Jacob stood and stared. “Fred, what is that…”

Fred crawled out of the sack and stood on the roof. He pulled a telescope out of his back pocket. He gave it a shake, extending it several feet. He held it up to his eye with shaking arms.

He let out a chuckle. “Didn’t I tell ya! It’s our Christmas miracle!”

A sound like a mighty horn sounded across the sky. The air itself shivered, and the massive creature was closer twice over. The massive beast’s eyes cast fear and sorrow on all who fell within their devilish glow.

Its head resembled that of a squid. The many tentacles stretched out into the night, flicking a thick, dark ichor onto the ground below. Perched precariously atop its head was a bright red Santa hat.

The air shimmered again, bringing the dark god Cthulhu before the slumbering Godzilla. The lesser beast stirred, then cried out as he took in the sight of the old god. The lizard king pushed himself to his feet, but still fell several stories short of the mighty Cthulhu.

Despite this, Godzilla roared in defiance. The dark god only stared, tentacles silently whipping at the night. Godzilla roared atomic fire at Cthulhu, temporarily lighting his immense black body.

Cthulhu now answered back. His mighty roar was both mournful and rage-filled, sorrowful and ripe with vengeance. Godzilla stumbled back, the dark green of his scales fading to a deathly gray.

A massive, slimy hand shot forth, capturing the once-mighty lizard. Cthulhu held the creature before him and stared. Godzilla screamed in agony as he was bathed in the hateful red light of the old god’s eyes.

Cthulhu chucked the drained creature into the night. Wherever Godzilla fell that night, it was far enough away that Fred and Jacob never heard him return to earth nor water. The old god turned his attention to the two gentlemen, perhaps hearing their very souls.

Fred was still smiling. He walked towards the edge of the roof, even as Jacob buried himself in Santa’s sack. Fred slow-clapped. “Now that, was fucking, awesome!

The air shivered once more. The massive head of Cthulhu hovered before Fred. The red glare did not appear to bother the old farmhand. Jacob peered nervously from his hiding place, shivering uncontrollably from what, he knew not.

“You always did know how to put on a show. Love the hat!” Fred held up his hand for a high-five. One of Cthulhu’s many tentacles arced down and slapped against the offered hand.

Fred rubbed the black ichor onto his pants. “Ayup… Now, for the rest of the miracle, if you don’t mind?”

Cthulhu’s black fist hovered over the edge of the building. It opened over the roof, dropping a crumpled figure covered in dark green slime. The figure stirred. A bright white light emanated through the slime covering its body.

A humming came from the figure. The slime exploded off of the figure, revealing the nude body of “Santa!” Jacob popped out of the sack and stumbled onto the roof. “You’re alive!”

Santa Claus stood shakily, covering his jingle bells. He turned to Fred and scowled. “No thanks to HIM!”

Fred frowned. “Aw, now… Don’t be sore, cousin! I fixed ya, didn’t I?”

“Fixed? FIXED! You killed me, took my clothes, and then systematically destroyed Christmas!”

“Well, not all of it! Just for these guys.” Fred vaguely gestured at the carnage down below.

Santa grimaced darkly. “Give me my clothes.” Fred blew a raspberry and flopped his way out of the loose-fitting outfit. The clothing glowed faintly before travelling through the air and onto the grateful Claus.

Much better. Now…” Santa stomped over to the sleigh. “Excuse me, Jacob.” He reached past the stunned man and into his toy sack. He came out with a small green package adorned with a red bow.

He paced back over to the edge of the building and held it up. “Merry Christmas, Cthulhu. Thank you for the uh, interesting assist.” The old god rumbled in thanks, plucking the package from Santa with a tentacle.

“Back to the depths with you, old friend.” Cthulhu shrugged his massive shoulders. The ungodly horn sounded once more, the air shivered, and the god of old was gone from sight.

Jacob walked to Santa on rubbery legs. “You… Him… Cousins?”

“Unfortunately!” He glared at the old farmhand. “Right now though, we have a holiday to save!”

“But, how? It’s so late, and…” Jacob gestured sadly to the destruction below.

“Late! Ha! It’s never too late for Santa Claus! As for the unbridled devastation…” He returned his attention to Fred.

“Aw… Do I have to?”


“Maybe they’re better off dead! You never know…”


“Oh, fine.” Fred stuck his thumb in his mouth and started to blow. His body began to fill out like a balloon. He became airborne as he grew larger.

“Jacob, my boy! Would you do me the honor of slapping your unfortunate friend out over the carnage below?”

The young man grinned. “With pleasure!” He ran towards the rapidly growing Fred-balloon and gave him a good whack. Fred cried out, floating out over the side of the building.

“There he is. All right! Jacob, into the sleigh, and quickly!” Jacob did as he was asked. Santa urged the reindeer into the night sky as soon as the young man was seated.

Santa circled around the giant Fred balloon. He handed Jacob a slingshot. “Have at it, boy!”


“Really. He’ll probably enjoy it, the sick bastard.” Santa scowled.

Jacob smirked, knowing the jolly old elf was probably correct. He aimed true, firing a pebble into Fred’s side. The old man went off like an overstuffed pinata.

Sparkling snow fell over the ravaged town. Everything it touched shimmered and became whole again. Victims stood, cars fixed themselves, the liquor store was uncrushed once more.

Santa swooped the sleigh downwards, deftly catching Fred’s disembodied head in Jacob’s lap. “Oh, man! GROSS!”

Fred stared up at Jacob, cackling. “I always wanted to be a head in life!” Jacob juggled the head to a spot between him and Santa.

“Will he… um… be okay?”

“Unfortunately,” Santa grumbled. “The rest of him should grow back by the time we’re done delivering presents. YAW!” Santa cracked the reins, sending the unlikely trio soaring into the night.

So it was, through Santa’s holiday magic, that Christmas was saved. Cthulhu retired to the depths to enjoy his ultra-rare 1995 pink crab beanie baby. Godzilla nursed his wounds in the seas off of Japan. Fred? He eventually became more of a man.

And everyone else had a very, very merry Christmas.


Fred and Jacob Save Christmas: Part V

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV

“This isn’t good.” Jacob watched with a mixture of fear and fascination as Godzilla gave Frosty a healthy bitch slap. “They’re going to destroy the entire town!

Fred nodded. “I know, it’s so cool! Popcorn?” Fred offered the bag to Jacob.

“What? No!”

“Okay, jeez! Thought you might be hungry.”

“No! It’s not cool they’re destroying the town!” Jacob spoke more quietly. “I am hungry, though.”

“TOO BAD! I don’t wanna share, now.” Fred ripped the bag out of Jacob’s hands.

Frosty the snow monster reared back one woody arm and swung his clawed hand into the side of Godzilla’s head. Godzilla snarled angrily and breathed fire into Frosty’s face. The snow monster stumbled backwards over a Greyhound bus and fell into an auto parts store.

Jacob pointed. “See? There had to be people in there! This is terrible!”

“I know! Now I have to wait to get the wheel bearing that I needed for my pal’s 1991 Buick Park Avenue.” Fred whispered, “He’s gonna be pissed!

“Those people have to be dead. This is serious, Fred!”

Fred waved a hand. “Oh… They’ll figure it out. Just watch.” Frosty pushed himself up from the ground, crushing a passing car with his hand as he went.

“Okay, there is no way that guy survived that!”

“He could be all right.” Frosty picked up the car as he went and hurled it at Godzilla. The mighty beast smacked it to the ground, crushing it further. “Well, maybe not.”

Godzilla pounded forward and grabbed Frosty’s head in both clawed hands. The snow monster screamed in pain and defiance as the lizard king lifted upwards. The scream cut off suddenly as Godzilla liberated Frosty’s head from the rest of his body.

The mighty green monster lifted the head high, howling in triumph. It unleashed its nuclear fire with unbridled fury. Frosty’s frozen rictus grin melted away, a hole rapidly melting through the snow monster’s head.

The rest of Frosty fell on top of an old orphanage. Gallons of red ichor jetted from where the monster’s head had been only moments before. Dozens of children screamed as they ran out into the street covered in the blood of the fallen.

Godzilla chucked the half-melted head to the ground, where it splatted into a white and red mess. The mighty lizard roared, then turned his sights on the Piggly Wiggly. “It’s all over…” Jacob slowly shook his head.

“Yep. I was gonna get some pork rinds from there.” Fred took off his Santa hat and placed it over his heart. “They had the best pork rinds. So crispy…”

“No, you idiot!” Jacob punched Fred in the arm.

“Ow! Christ, kid! You been shooting up again?”

“Christmas is over!” He lowered his head, tears in his eyes. “First you kill Santa Claus, then Frosty turns into a monster, then Godzilla kills him…”

“And the Piggly Wiggly…”

“I don’t know how even you can fix this mess, Fred.”

Fred rubbed at his chin. “Hmm…” He suddenly snapped his fingers. “What this story needs is a good old-fashioned Christmas miracle!”

“Like what?”

“Like… You’ll find out tomorrow!” Fred winked over Jacob’s shoulder at the reader.

“Wh… Who are you winking at…” Jacob looked over his shoulder.

“Never mind. Just wait and see!”


Fred and Jacob Save Christmas: Part IV

Part I | Part II | Part III

“Okay. So this isn’t so bad.” Jacob sat numbly staring at Frosty the snow monster as Fred slowly looped around it in Santa’s sleigh. “Santa’s dead. Frosty is a fifty-foot-tall snow demon destroying the town. It’s all good!”

Fred spared Jacob a look and grimaced. “That is one creepy smile, my friend. You okay?”

“Great! Fine! Couldn’t be better.”

“Okay, young Jacob has popped a nut.” Fred turned back to his foe. “Guess I’ve gotta do this on my own. YAW!” He snapped the reins. The reindeer went to a full gallop.

Flame rolled from Frosty the snow monster’s eyes. Fire and brimstone poured from his mouth as the sleigh flew by. The reindeer screamed in terror, just missing the searing heat.

Fred was… less lucky. He blinked, rubbing the soot out of his eyes. “Right! Intimidation… Not successful. Did the bastard get ya?” He looked over at Jacob.

“It’s warm in here, mommy!”

“Uh… Good! I guess…” Fred steered the sleigh onto the roof of a nearby high-rise. “All right, Fred. Think.” A thin wisp of smoke worked its way out of the old farmhand’s ear. “Think… think…”

Fred’s eyes darted back and forth. “Awful smoky around here.”

“Funny! Old man smoky ears. Ha ha!” Jacob pointed, giggling.

Fred frantically waved at his ears. “Must’ve blown a fuse again.” The giant snow monster gave a thunderous laugh as he passed by. “You know, I just wish I knew someone big enough to kick your ass!”

Jacob suddenly snapped out of his funk. “That’s it! Fred, Santa’s sack is full of things that people asked for, right?”

“Well yeah, sure, mm-hmm.” Fred nodded.

“So what if I wish for something to kick Frosty’s ass?”

Fred raised an eyebrow. “You really are out of it, aren’t you? That sounds like something I would think up.”

“I know! I’m scared, too.”

“All right, well… Let’s make it official.” Fred pulled a pen and paper out of Santa’s coat and handed it to Jacob.

“Are you serious?”

“Only when I have to be.” Frosty roared fire somewhere behind them. Men and women could be heard screaming in the streets. “Might wanna get on that…”

“Fine! Let’s see…” Jacob began to write. “Dear Santa…”

“Frosty just took out the liquor store, Jacob. This is getting serious.”

Jacob rolled his eyes and continued writing. “I wish for… What?”

“Something big! Hurry! He’s headed for the Piggly Wiggly!”

“Okay…” Jacob sighed, finishing off his letter. He folded it and handed it to Fred. “There you go, Santa.”

Fred wrinkled his nose, taking the letter. It glowed softly as he opened it up. He began to chuckle. “Not bad. Not bad at all! Hehe…”

He shooed Jacob out of the sleigh. “You uh… You might wanna back up for this one.” Once Jacob was a safe distance away, Fred reached into Santa’s sack.

His hands came back out holding a small Godzilla toy. Jacob’s jaw dropped. “That’s… That’s it? I didn’t ask for a toy!”

Fred gave Jacob a wink and a thumbs up. “Can’t fit a giant lizard in a little old sack, can you?” He turned back toward Frosty the snow monster and launched the mini-Godzilla into the air.

It stretched and grew as it soared into the night sky. The full-sized Godzilla landed on the street below with an earth-shaking thud. The mega-monster reared its head back and screamed into the night.

Fred slipped on a pair of sunglasses and a smile, then crossed his arms. “Ladies and gentlemen? Shit just got real.”