Werewolf Radar: The World’s a Mess, It’s In My Claus
By Nate Balding
Art by Dave Danzara aka Lost In Time Designs
Published Issue 120, December 2023
I know you have a lot going on and I don’t want to press your schedule at this time. Surely you must be inundated with demands from across the planet. Your various private mailboxes have been made public and must be overstuffed with wishes that will go ungranted. A lot of people don’t realize how much their relationship to your perceived generous annuity has influenced their lives. I’m sure you’ve witnessed the commercialization of the holiday you’ve unreasonably become involved with. It wasn’t supposed to be about you, but you embraced it when the mantle of savior fell toward you. It was honorable. Hospitable even. You made yourself the face of a thing that had otherwise carried every offer of community in the face of a recurring time of environmental resentment. And in lieu of closing doors, you opened them. Even if those doors were chimney flues.
You walked into the woods and found magic. You spoke to headbutting reindeer and convinced them to join a stable. I hadn’t imagined that possible; to convince a wild creature to decide subjugation over living at their own behest. Even Rudolph — the most magical entity in your menagerie — had to be bullied into being part of your Christmas flight. I should have seen this as a red flag but I wanted to believe you were the Saint you’d been made out to be.
1939 was quite a year. Dasher turning out to be a Nazi sympathizer was a strange turn. You’d think the animals were either unaware or uncaring about human interactions, but then we get Dasher, asking to visit Vienna with “gifts” for the Party. You know those bombs didn’t go unused. I know we started developing elvish weapons to support our little economy but toys were working for centuries. The North Pole never needed to get involved in international politics.
And then you did. Against everything you decided, Cuba was going to be the great entrance of Santa Claus the Saviour. I imagined it just like you did. The floating carousel of nuclear weapons behind a benevolent god. Meant to be destroyed. Meant to be part of a new past. An entrance into a society that had been absolved of its many crimes. That they managed it without you is a testament to their tenacity.
Probably could have helped more if you weren’t invisible the whole time. But you did help avert a nuclear holocaust. Merry Christmas to the 1960s.
I didn’t say anything when you voted for Ronald Reagan. I didn’t know you were still taking Kissinger’s wishes. I wish you could have stopped. Could have seen what you were doing. Could have witnessed yourself in the agony of time with anything close to self awareness. But you couldn’t see. You couldn’t know that every time you involved yourself it was for a Christmas wish that would end in horror.
You couldn’t possibly have known that you’d be coerced to perform the wishes of people who would then storm the Capitol on January 6th. I know you have to give out anything that comes via Christmas wish even if it’s ammo. Not that there would be much coercion. You’ve always been more interested in fighting the “War on Christmas” than winning it.
When you get home, I hope you’re okay. I don’t mean to hurt you. That’s what we always say, isn’t it? I don’t mean to hurt you. But you’ve hurt so many. And you’ve hurt me. I haven’t even seen you in years. You’ve been there, sure, but I haven’t seen you. And you’re avoiding it. You’ve been avoiding it for over a century. When you find this, I hope it leaves you hurting. Not because I want you to hurt but because it should. I can’t spend another winter in a rocker in a room where you come in and out complaining about it.
— Linda Claus
(yes, I have a first name)
Have questions about the paranormal?
Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @WerewolfRadar.
It’s a big, weird world. Don’t be scared. Be Prepared.
Nate Balding is a freelance humanoid who occasionally manifests in print and can most likely be seen at Werewolf Radar. Should you wish to hear him manifest audibly you can do so at the aforementioned Werewolf Radar’s associated podcast on Spotify and Apple, and if anything ever becomes humorous again, on a variety of stand up stages around the nation. If you’re truly craving further content there’s always @Exploder on Twitter — even if it is only a form of digital self flagellation at this point. His one thing that he considers actually accomplished was this time he was published in the journal Nature and then later collected into a volume called Futures from Nature, still available in places that have things.
Albuquerque-based Dave Danzara has spent most of his life creating art. Born and raised in California, Dave won a scholarship to Laguna Art Institute of Southern California in 1994. His influences can be found in pop culture, sci-fi, fantasy, film and music. Graphic design and digital collage art have become Dave’s passion and signature. Thanks to social media, Dave has attracted the attention of musicians worldwide and has created album artwork for several bands of various genres. From Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Los Angeles, California, Dave’s art has been featured in many art galleries. He has 10 years of experience as a freelance videographer and is the Director, writer and Producer of “The Video Craze” documentary film. He is the owner of Vector Invader Productions. He has been involved in numerous freelance projects and short films. Dave enjoys the challenge of creating art; for him, it is a lifestyle. Lost In Time Designs. You have to be lost to find where you belong. Find Dave’s work on Instagram.