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The Hopelessness Issue

Santa Daddy

She walked into the other room and came back holding up a Santa suit. And you bet your ass I put it on. I put it on like it was my bar mitzvah suit and we had to be at temple in five minutes.

All photos by Janicza Bravo. Featuring Angela Trimbur.

Well, now I’m depressed. Really down in the dumps. I don’t know what to do. My mind is spinning like a dreidel. And my body feels like a couple slabs of corned beef that have rotted in the California sun for way too long. Not lean corned beef, mind you, but the really fatty stuff. The type of corned beef that’s so fatty you gotta pull half of it out of your mouth while chewing to keep yourself from gagging.


I don’t deserve any of this. I’m a good guy who’s just trying to make some movies and have some fun. But these other people with their uptight meshuga ways keep bringing me down. Sartre was right: “Hell is other people.” Was Sartre anti-Semitic? I don’t know. Who cares? He’s right. A lot of anti-Semites have interesting things to offer. Say what you will about Goebbels, but the schmuck knew how to sell.

Maybe a walk will do me good. Yeah, a walk. I never walk. Always driving. Why did they build this place so spread out? Feels good to walk and say hello to the trees and bushes and birds.

Then, BOOM! A hot piece of shiksa bumps right into me. Gorgeous, in some kind of French number that made me think she might be an anti-Semite (which made me harder than matzo). She gives me a look that screams, “Follow me, you sexy Hollywood producer, you!” And I do. This one knows how to tease. Oy vey, that walk, it’s doing me more right than a shot of penicillin. And she knows how right it’s doing me. She gives me a little extra and randomly straddles a tree like a dancer.

She leads me to what I can only assume is her apartment. Before she opens the door, she turns to me.

“I’m Angela. I’m an actress. I like spy movies, salads, and naughty afternoons. By the way, what time is it?”

“The afternoon.”

“Perfect. Why don’t you come in?”

Nice apartment. She’s done well for herself. It’s funny that I’ve never come across her till now. If I had met her, I’d have given her a contract for five movies faster than two rabbis can stretch a penny.


She paces back and forth, sizing me up. I sit down. So much walking. I’m a little tired, and if this is going where I think it’s going, I’m going to need all the strength I can get.

“I just turned 20 two days ago,” she says. “I feel so old. So very old. I’m really missing my childhood. I long for it. It’s such a deep longing. Something that goes to the very core of my being and then spreads to my senses. I realize I haven’t giggled in quite a while. Sure, I’ve laughed, but I ache for a prolonged giggle. The way I used to giggle at the zoo or circus. Before I learned what the zoo and the circus really were. Before I learned what life really was. Do you ever long for your childhood?”

“Well, that depends,” I reply. “My parents used to beat the shit out of me. Not in a bad way. That’s what people did back then. But that doesn’t mean I liked it.”

“You were probably born a man, weren’t you? Just like Santa.”

“Excuse me?”

“Hold on. I’ve got something for you.”

She walks into the other room. Should I follow her? No. She comes back. She holds something up. A Santa suit. My spine tingles with horny glee.

“Put this on so I can tell you what I want for Christmas.”

You bet your ass I put it on. I put it on like it’s my bar mitzvah suit and we gotta be at temple in five minutes.

I emerge from her bathroom as St. Nick.

“Why, hello, Santa.”

“Hello, ho ho ho, Angela! Thank you for inviting me over. You seem very nice as opposed to naughty. Ho ho ho!”


“I’m a little bit of both. Don’t you want to know what I want for Christmas?”

“Of course. I am, after all, Santa Claus. What do you want for Christmas, little girl?”

“I want my big Jewish Santa Daddy to spank my nice-naughty ass!”

I oblige her. I lean her over my red velvet lap and spank away like her tuchus is Rudolph’s back.

“Spank me, Santa Daddy! Spank that ass, Santa Daddy! Spank that 16-year-old ass! Merry Christmas!”

My hand goes cold.

“Sixteen? I thought you said you were 20!”

“Did I? Oops! Guess I’m even less nice than you thought!”

“Where’re your parents?”

“What does it matter where they are? They’re gone. We’re here. Now kiss my fucking mistletoe!”

“No way!”

“OK! Well, in that case… RAPE! RAPE! SANTA’S RAPING MEEEEEEEE!!!!!!”

I run. She chases. I run faster. Alone. Will I always be alone? I will. I’ll always be alone. No one is here for me. And why should they be? I run. RAPE! I’m alone.

This is the ninth chapter of Combover, Brett Gelman’s new novel about Hollywood, the beauty of the Jewish tradition, baldness, and murder. We will be serializing it until March.

Read the previous installment: The October War