An Orillia Christmas Tale

A Geezer’s Notebook, By Jim Foster

I just listened to the Twelve Days of Christmas for the 33rd time. That song must be Christianity’s answer to 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.


I would like to have ended 2020 on a high note (as if there is even a ghost of a chance of that with all this COVID crap going on) but I may have uncovered the news story of the century. There is obviously a cover-up going on between the O.P.P and the local news media since this scandal didn’t appear in SUNonline/Orillia, Orillia Matters or Orillia Today. It is my duty therefore as a private citizen and a known busybody to break the story. Early Christmas morning, Santa Claus was picked up in the R.I.D.E. program.  

According to my sources, which for obvious reasons cannot be revealed, somewhere around 3:30 in the morning the local fuzz set up their Christmas Surprise unit across the road from the Front Street car wash. They were just about to flag down a few cars to wish season’s greetings to members of the driving community, when careening from post to post down Atherley Road was a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

The driver, obviously under the influence of far too many Christmas treats, drove through the stoplights at Gill St. rolling over and wiping out a number of Ford trucks on the lot of Thor Motors.

Apparently no one was hurt and the gentleman, who appeared to be somewhat the worse for wear, proceeded to crawl on his hands and knees up Front St.

According to witnesses, the elderly driver was helped to his feet by the arresting officer and asked to produce his driver’s licence, proof of insurance and his age of majority card. The accused, who apparently had no identification of any kind, claimed he was ‘a jolly old elf’ and if the cop didn’t like it maybe he would like to step outside.

After the officer explained that they were already outside, the accused said, “Well wha do you know abou tha?”  He then lit up a pipe and proceeded to sing a number of bawdy verses of “Barnacle Bill, the Sailor.”

By this time, a Department of Transport team arrived on the scene to inspect the vehicle and found one of the runners was loose and Dancer was leaking a toxic substance all over the road.

The SPCA was contacted to take charge of the reindeer and after a whiff of the smoke from the accused’s pipe the local narc unit was also called.

Police brought over a breathalyzer unit and explained to the accused that they would need a sample. He apparently misunderstood and thought the officer meant specimen. After some confusion, a wet foot and a minor case of frostbite, the officers managed to get him to blow in the tube, which promptly exploded. From the remains of the breathalyzer, it appears that the reading was somewhere between total abstinence and pure alcohol.

After listening to threats of taking Commissioner Tom Carrique’s name off the good boys list, the officer in charge tossed the accused into the back of a cruiser and proceeded to drive him out to the West Ridge slammer.

In the meantime, the Commissioner was called, a stupid move since he was sound asleep with visions of sugarplums swirling around under his nightcap. Claus was immediately notified that he was in hot water already since the Commissioner had asked for a Blue Jay hat the year before and had received nothing but a photo of Doug Ford on a bearskin rug.

The contents of his pipe were sent away to the police lab on Memorial Avenue. Without thinking, the officer took a little whiff. When last seen, he was standing naked in Couchiching Park asking a passing squirrel when Champlain was coming back.

The SPCA reported that the reindeer appeared to be well fed but may have been drinking since the lead animal’s nose was bright red. (Some witnesses even said it glowed, but they were the three seedy bozos jammed in the back seat of another cruiser who failed their season’s greetings test.)

When they got Claus to the station, Inspector Eaton told the officers to put him in a cell to cool off; then went back to trying to find the idiot who woke Carrique up in the middle of the night.

Suddenly it dawned on her who they had arrested and yelled over the intercom, “Don’t let him near the chimney!” but it was too late. Claus found it, stuck his finger up his nose to the second knuckle and was gone. When they looked out the window, he was heading west and shouting, “On Dancer, on Prancer, up over the wall. We’re off to Alberta to catch the last call.”

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