By Mark Edgemon

It was Christmas time and the Salvation Army had their usual rum soaked, red suited, beer stained Santa’s parading in front of store fronts, reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas, by asking us to throw money into their big red pot, to the sound of their ringing bells.

Horace wasn’t happy this Christmas season. He was turned down by the Salvation Army for consideration as a Santa bell ringer, when many other men who were far more destitute than he were accepted.

It wasn’t his criminal record that kept him from getting the position or the fact he chewed tobacco leaving brown disgusting stains on his Santa’s uniform or because he smelled bad or would report to work half drunk. No, the reason he was rejected was because he was a goose monster. He would pinch pretty girl’s fannies, as they would walk by him. Store managers could not have that. Bad for business, good for law suits.

Every time Horace walked by a bell ringing Santa, his angered burned inside him. This was the highlight of his year snatched out of his hands by a few dozen bad reports from female shoppers.

The more he thought about it, the angrier he got. The angrier he got, the more he drank. The more he drank, the more it appeared that these make believe Santa’s were laughing at him. The sound of the bell ringing was loud in his ears.

One evening, he got himself liquored up, took his rifle off the mantle and started his hunting season early.

He started stalking his game in front of the first department store he came to which was called Targets. It seemed appropriate. He approached the first drunken Santa and started blasting away. The clerk, who usually cleans up vomit on aisle 5, had his work cut out for him today. After the fake Santa killing, Horace grabbed the bell out of the hand of the dead former ringer and took it with him as a trophy.

Now, off to Walmart where the picking was good, a dozen homeless looking Santa’s no waiting.

When Horace was finished for the day, he had killed two-dozen bell ringers with his trophy bells tucked safely away in the trunk of his car. The police were out in force looking for the maniac who was silencing the bells on Christmas Eve. All the reports from witnesses described him as an average looking homeless guy with dirty brown hair, a description that would fit them all.

The police were at a loss, until they heard his car slowly coming toward them at the stoplight. They never would have known it was him, except for the sounds of the bells, jingling in his trunk every time his car jolted, which was every few seconds.

They arrested him on 24 counts of murder and threw him in the clink on Christmas Eve, where he awaited trial as the bell ringer murderer.

If it weren’t for the trophies he collected, no one would ever have known that he was the murderer.

Moral: Be sure to stay away from dumb…bells.

Copyright © 2007 Mark Edgemon

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