I haven’t always been drunk and jobless. When I was younger and hadn’t yet worked out what I wanted to do with my life (which, as it turns out, consists of little more than getting drunk and watching pro wrestling), I worked a whole bunch of shitty retail jobs. I got fired from each and every one of them, but two of my firings stand out above all the rest like a 15-year-old Polynesian in a second grade class.
When I was 22 and had recently been fired from Bunnings for pretending I was retarded whenever customers came near so I wouldn’t have to serve them, I scored a job at a place called the Christmas Cave. You won’t be surprised to hear that it was a shop that sold nothing bust Chrimbo crap – trees, ornaments, weird little statues of Santa with his arse hanging out of his pants. I could put up with all that, but then there was the music – it was only August and already I had to listen to rubbish Christmas carols for eight hours a day while I hung up plastic snowflakes.
There are so many good Christmas songs (Christmastime by the Smashing Pumpkins, Hey Santa Claus by Kevin Bloody Wilson and Unwritten Christmas by Unwritten Law and Sum 41 stand out) that I don’t understand why we have to listen to the same dozen or so completely shithouse old timey carols every December. The little drummer boy can choke on a broken schooner as far as I’m concerned and Jingle Bells is best used as a torture device for kiddie fiddlers and Greens Party voters.
I’m getting off track. As well as hanging stuff on walls, I also had to dress up as Santa and dance for children. I had an inflatable costume that left me looking like a beach ball with a fake beard, but it was the easiest way to get through the day, so I’d always volunteer for the job. I was pretty good at it, too, ‘cos I’m all charismatic and everything.
I had a big day of playing Santa lined up on the Sunday, so when my brother invited me to a party on the Saturday night, I was all sensible and just took a single six-pack around, fully intending to go home early. Next thing I know, it’s 6am and I’m getting turfed out of the filthtastic Mojo’s nightclub in Gosford. I’d been dancing with a pot plant for the last hour, and by the time I got home I was as wobbly as a jellyfish’s ballsack.
When my alarm went off, I was still drunk enough to think I could work, so my mum drove me out the the Cave. I stunk like stale piss, looked like I’d crawled out of a crypt and was as much use as a condom in a nursing home, but I knew that if I could get into the Santa suit I’d be fine, because I pranced around like a fucktard anyway. I swaggered into the shop, dived into the stupid inflatable costume and got on with my day, gyrating for children while my drunkenness slowly subsided and a killer hangover took over. A few mothers commented that Santa smelt like a homeless man, but I just wobbled my big, fat inflatable tummy and they forgot all about it.
It was about 32 degrees and after a few hours of that I needed to shit and spew badly. But there was a never-ending line of children wanting to cuddle Santa, so there was no chance to relieve myself. Every time I’d try to duck off to chunder, a small person would race over to cuddle me. I now know what it was like for my father when he was battling bulimia back in the mid-80s.
My six hour shift finally, mercifully, came to an end and for a change there were no children around. I couldn’t hold on any longer and yacked up about 20 litres of electric yellow stomach lining all over a bush, and the sense of relief was so great that I also shat myself, with the brown goo splashing around inside the inflatable suit like I was wearing the world’s largest colostomy bag. I felt great until I looked over and saw a young girl standing a few metres away in tears, with her horrified mother next to her.
“What’s Santa doing, Mummy?” the girl asked.
“Right now he’s being sick, and tomorrow he’ll be riding his sleigh to Centrelink,” Mummy replied.
She was close to being right. I did get fired by the handsome homosexual chap who ran the Cave. He was the one who had to hose out the shit-stained costume, though, so he got the rough end of the stick. But I had another job lined up, on the Gold Coast with Anaconda camping store. I’d last a year there, before getting fired in a manner so spectacular it would make the end of my Santa career look like as tame as a 70kg man in an argument with his 140kg wife. I’ll tell you about that one tomorrow!