Season’s Victims: Three Casualties by Linda Boroff- Creative Non Fiction

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The Annual Death of Frosty the Snowman

Watching Frosty, that merry soul, once again die slowly under the sun’s relentless onslaught is one of winter’s most dreaded tragedies. Grief-stricken and impotent as the temperature creeps toward death-spring, we watch, hoping just this once to dodge the solar bullet, or at least make Frosty’s remaining days good ones.

As long as Frosty was still “alive as he could be,” they didn’t tell him the truth, and they even tried refreezing or transplanting him when he began to shrink, but the writing was on the wall. Frosty even seemed to know and accept it. When he saw that his hat would no longer fit, he told the kids only that he wanted have some fun before he had to “hurry on his way.” I always hoped that maybe this one time Frosty could live, but I knew his fate was sealed.

We pictured in our minds what the screen mercifully didn’t show: Frosty losing his button eyes and his beloved corncob pipe being chewed by dogs. One horrible morning, his cheery hydrocephalic head will have shrunk to a lump, and his button nose slid down his face and fallen off like a leper’s.

“I’ll be back again someday” Frosty consoles us bravely, but we know he won’t. The essence of Frosty will be gone, and whatever comes back will be an imposter, maybe an evil one. It might look like Frosty, have the same features, but it will be a lie. The water that made the snow that made Frosty has sunk into the wormy, bacterial soil, or else been sucked up by the sun and spat down on some grimy street in a nameless city. Frosty is doomed. He will waste away with snowpeople’s disease, and where he once stood and rolled about will remain just flattened grass.


The Revenge of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Rudolph never got over the trauma of his birthmark. From fawnhood, as the other reindeer laughed and called him rummie and alkie and ostracized him from reindeer games, Rudolph would seethe in isolation, self-goring and indulging in suffering-hero fantasies.

He tried to cover up his nose with the coal that Santa stocked to give to bad children, but it just blew right off in the first winter gale. He wanted to get it tattooed black, but Mrs. Claus said that would be phony to his true self and what if he got a flesh-eating virus from it? Santa even had the elves make Rudolph a special harness that hid his nose, but it glowed through anyway. Finally Mrs. Claus that bitch said let Rudolph learn to handle it instead of weeping with self-pity. But when Rudolph one time dared a kick, he was dragged out of sleighing school by the cops and hoofcuffed.

So by the time that ice fog set in and Santa came to say, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Rudolph was a ticking time bomb. Oh, so now all the reindeer loved him, did they? Did they know what they had done to him?


Yes, Rudolph would speak in class today. He’d go down in history, all right. But they never imagined that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reject had already decided to guide that sleigh right into the side of a building or maybe straight down onto the freeway, to expose all the lies and bullying, and to finally watch his snotty foul-weather friends smash into the asphalt after him in an orgy of death, and lie there under the sleigh with their legs and antlers all broken and Santa dead in a pool of blood. And all those gifts wrecked and torn open and whose fault was that? Not Rudolph’s.

Maybe he would even live long enough to see those evil little reinsnots who used to laugh and call him names get slung onto the hood of a truck and carved up and turned into reindeer jerky or maybe boiled in a stew. Let the whole rotten thing come down and the kids find out the truth. Fuck Christmas.


The Chipmunks’ Goodness Didn’t Last

It all started coming apart when Alvin’s voice changed, so he had to sing baritone. Despite his contract, Alvin was kicked off the trio, even though that exploiter David could have used a baritone in the Chipmunk Song if he had cared the least bit.

So Alvin got his own lawyer and tried to get a fair share of the residuals, but David prevailed, calling Alvin a chronic troublemaker and saboteur. So Alvin’s case was thrown out.

As if that weren’t enough, when Alvin again got what he termed “that fucking toy that loops the loop” instead of the Razor he had asked for, he became despondent. A laptop was out of the question after he got busted hanging out with the black squirrels, cheek-pouching weed and watching videos of mating season.

One night, when Christmas was, as usual, not hurrying fast, Alvin talked Simon and Theodore into chewing some weed too, and they got the munchies and ate up all the nuts they had stored for winter and even threw them at people.

When Alvin started shouting “Let’s do it again,” was when David lost it and shoved him out the door. He said he didn’t mean any harm to Alvin, but Alvin had always provoked him, and he “just didn’t want to deal anymore.” Sometime during the night, there was a lot of squeaking out in the backyard, and Alvin was seen being chased by an unidentified cat wearing a red Christmas dress. He never appeared again. When David replaced him with a female chipmunk named Chloe, Simon and Theodore got into a vicious fight over her and ended up as framed pelts under their gold record. Heartbroken, Chloe ended up an activist trying to change the way young rodents are either stereotyped as cute little anthropomorphized fakes or exterminated as vermin.

Linda Boroff graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in English. Her short stories and nonfiction have appeared in McSweeney’s, The Guardian, Gawker, Blunderbuss, JONAH Magazine, Hollywood Dementia, Word Riot, Thoughtful Dog and others. She has written one produced feature film and has two scripts in development, with Sony, and with Angry Films.