“Well, it’s me again, I guess. Uh, I know you’re, uh…well…I’m told we’re running out of time. I guess we
should just, uh…We should? You want me to…? And NOW for the WINNER of the FOURTH ANNUAL
INTERNATIONAL…fifth annual?—FIFTH annual INTER-national Jack Off Competition.” He gestures
magnanimously toward the wings. “Llewellyn Fitzhugh. Llewellyn!”


Llewellyn, a huge man with a protruding belly, dressed only in a small dirty once-white t-shirt and
oversized jeans takes the stage. In his natural voice he announces:
“Colonel Jessep. You can see I dressed for the part. Oh, and my apologies to Aaron Sorkin, the truly
TRULY great screenwriter.”
He smoothes down his hair and takes on a slightly crazed look, while pulling a sock puppet out of his
pocket.
The sock puppet speaks in a high squeaky voice.
“I want answers!”
Llewellyn responds as Jack Nicholson:
“You want answers?”
High squeaky voice:
“I want the truth. I want the truth.”
“Make up your mind. Which is it, do you want answers or do you want the truth?
High squeaky voice:
“I want the truth. I want the truth.”
“Unfortunately, you can’t handle the…
High squeaky voice:
“I want the truth. I want it. I want it.”
“Well, OK then. Just relax, for god’s sake.”


As somebody emerges from the shadows upstage and touches him on the shoulder, Llewellyn jumps.
It’s Santa.
“You want the truth?”
Llewellyn’s mouth drops open, everyone in all directions is frozen. Llewellyn drops his sock puppet.
“What? Oh my god. What? Oh my god, what?”
“I’ll give you the truth if that’s what you want,” says Santa casually.
And, well you can imagine the response.
Jeremy rushes to the stage and in the midst of the screaming and applause hollers, “JACK NICHOLSON
everybody!”
Jeremy hands Santa a mic and he speaks, “Actually, son, I’m Santa Claus.”
“It’s SANTA CLAUS everybody!”
This leads to more mayhem.
When they finally calm down, Santa asks again, “You want the truth?”
The entire crowd responds “YEAH!!”
“You want the truth?!”
”YEAH!!”
He walks to the very front of the stage with his head held down.


Santa looks weary. He has never looked more sincere in his life.
“OK, I’ll tell you the truth.”
He sighs.
“The truth is that we live in a world with kids, and those kids want toys. Who’s gonna provide all those
kids with the toys they want? You? Winston Jefferson Wong here? No? How ‘bout you, Llewellyn? No?
No, I alone have that responsibility. It falls on me. And, because I take my job seriously, because I
handle my job flawlessly, and expeditiously, YOU get to sleep-in a little bit on Christmas morning. You
have that luxury. You also have the luxury of not knowing who’s naughty and who’s so nice it sets their
own mother’s teeth on edge. And though my existence to you is laughable and the source of your
entertainment…”
He gestures broadly indicating the event he finds himself in the midst of.
“…the truth is-you want me out there. You need me out there. Without me, there would be no Christmas
presents. No morning mayhem, no tears, no squeals of falsified delight, no well-earned disappointment.”



He looks out at the crowd to see if they’re getting any of this.
“I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to any so-called daddy who doesn’t know
his own daughter’s birthday let alone whether she wants the pink or the blue Wubbykin. You call me
jolly, you call me the fat guy in the red suit; nobody ever calls me Mr. Claus, and nobody ever thanks
me for the work I do. A plate of stale cookies is all the thanks I get. It’s a slap in the face.”
The poor man sighs deeply.
“The truth is, I’d like a simple sincere thank you once in a while, but maybe that’s expecting too much. I
may not like you and I may not like your little brats, but I do what is expected of me. I do my job. If you
don’t like the way I’m handling it, I suggest you pick up a sack of toys and climb on board. Otherwise I
don’t give a damn what you want, and it’s none of your business whether I’m jolly or not—I’m here for
the little ones!”
Santa strikes a heroic pose, bows and bows and bows. The lights come up on stage and Jeremy is
there with a check and a plaque of some sort. He hands it to Llewellen without ceremony and stands,
center stage, patting Santa on the back and beaming, as the crowd…. well we’ve been through that
once already.

Jeremy announces proudly, “MISTER Jack Nicholson!” He turns to Santa, “Can I hug you?”
“I would prefer that you didn’t.”
“MISTER Jack NICHOLSON!”
Santa bows one more time graciously and heads backstage. Here’s Rudy with his dog. Rudy
approaches, hand extended.
“Let me shake your hand. That was incredible, man! You sounded just like him. MAN, that was
incredible. No wonder you guys won.” They shake hands.
Santa wipes his hand off on Rudy’s jacket. Rudy’s maybe a bit offended.
“Just kiddin’ there, Buddy.” Santa pats Rudy on the back. Holding him out at arm’s length, he looks
carefully at the grimy young man.
“You might be one of Jack’s bastard sons after all… now that I get a close look at you.”
from: Jack Nicholson IS Santa Claus,
by Darryl Mockridge
An excerpt from Jack Nicholson IS Santa Claus,
found in EARWIG, by Darryl Mockridge