Orange is the new black

By: Dan Hutchinson

Daniel Hutchinson
From The Hutch

‘Tis the night before Christmas and noisy as heck, the sun is still shining and we’re out on the deck.

Stockings are hung by the aircon with care – a sweaty Saint Nick will need the cool air.

Children are silly but trying to sleep, though there’s a fat chance of that with all the excitement and heat.

With the sun finally set, we shut up the house, not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.

Children are sprawled all over their beds, blankets discarded, just pillows for heads.

Then out on the lawn there arose such a clatter that I spring from the couch, spilling a cheese and nut platter.

There’s deer slurping from the fountain and they’re eating my grass, so I pull out the phone and take them to task.

SunLive and Facebook are first with the news, then DOC’s pest programme gets bad Google reviews.

On closer inspection though, something seems odd – a woman is beckoning with a wink and a nod.

“Team of five reindeer, there should have been nine, but social distancing is in place at this time.”

All dressed in red with brilliant white teeth, sporting a Kate Spade handbag and a pohutakawa wreath.

“Saint Nick?” I ask, scarcely believing it myself. “You used to be chubby and now you’re an elf.”

Her head tilted sideways, “it’s Jasanta to you, Saint Nick didn’t make it through MIQ”.

More rapid than an antigen test, the reindeer came. She whistled and shouted and called them by name. Come Grant, come Kelvin, spread your legs Chris – this guy thinks he’s funny, he’s taking the piss.

And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

“That’s one way to bring house prices down. Get off the roof you dozy clown.”

I gave up complaining and turning around, when down the chimney she comes with a bound.

She’s dressed in a Jacinda coat by fashion label Kilt, now scuffed and dirty from all the soot.

A bundle of presents flung on her back and what looked like a traffic light sticking out of a sack.

Her eyes, how they twinkle, face mask fashionably risky, she happily accepts a smoky peat whiskey.

She exclaims: “What a ride,” while Bloomfield is nodding solemnly by her side.

This was my big chance to pose them a query, while both were just a little bit merry.

“What are you putting in the bottom of the stocking? I know it’s not coal because that would be shocking.”

“We actually signalled this weeks ago, but you’re absolutely right, coal’s a firm no. It’s an orange for everyone except up the top, where people are naughty and have not had a shot.”

Bloomfield snorted and pawed at the ground, Jasanta looked slightly annoyed at the sound.

“What is it now, I’m trying to reason, it is after all the festive season.”

“We should move along, there isn’t much time and unvaccinated heathens are forming a line.”

With a friendly smile and a flourish of papers, the pair spoke not a word more and went back to their capers.

They filled all the stockings and straightened with a jerk, then headed for the chimney to continue their work.

I offered the door, it seemed like the right thing to do, but the pair had already been sucked up by the flue.

They sprang to the Sleigh and to the team, gave a whistle and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard her exclaim as she drove out of sight.

“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.”

Then back round they come with a deafening din.

“Sorry dude, we forgot to scan in.”


From all of the team at Sun Media, we wish you all a happy holiday season and we will be back in your letter boxes on January 14.