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  • Writer's pictureJeff South

The Kilroy All-Star Christmas Spectacular: The Most Wonderful Chapter of the Year

Let me be clear: I hate the song "Last Christmas." It's not a Wham! thing, either. I dig "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Everything She Wants." "Freedom" is a fun little tune. "Careless Whisper" played on repeat when Leigh Ann broke up with me. I didn't think I was ever gonna dance again. But, the fingernails-on-a-chalkboard that is "Last Christmas?" Screw that. It is the opposite of Christmas. It is the song that Krampus uses to punish the naughty children of the world on Krampusnacht. So, of course Herpezoids would pick that abomination to play at a Christmas party they've crashed. Typical. This is part of their plan to ruin Christmas: play shitty music.

I won't stand for it.

I run to the stage, bounce behind the sound system, and shut the ear death worm off.

"Kenzie," Randi says, "you said the Herpezoids are here. Where?"

And with that a collection of a dozen or so lizard people struts into the cafeteria wearing Santa hats and ugly Christmas sweaters and drinking the holiday punch made from Mom's special recipe. Bastards. We all draw our weapons and prepare to fire but a Herpezoid in a sweater depicting breakdancing reindeer holds up his hands.

"Wait. Please." His voice is gruff and and gravelly. "In the spirit of your season, let their be peace on Earth. We just want to party with you."

"Like this?" Mom says. "By kidnapping a major celebrity?"

"Your Kelly Clarkson is fine. See?"

He gestures behind him and the other Herpezoids parts like the Red Sea to let Kelly pass through them. Her eyes flash with anger and I sense she has a thirst for vengeance that needs quenched. A hunger for retribution that needs nourished. I get it, Kelly Clarkson. I get it.

The Head Honcho Herpezoid works the room even with everyone's weapons drawn. He speaks as he heads over to the punch bowl for a refill.

"Isn't this supposed to be a time for coming together? Or, like everything else on this wretched planet, is it just lip service? Can differences be put aside for just an afternoon? We mean no harm. We even brought gifts."

He gestures to one of his crew who brandishes a Santa bag and broadly smiles. I wish I could say it was an attractive smile, but a lizard person smile is all fangs and drool and tongue. Not a pretty sight. Head Honcho takes the bag from him and hands neatly wrapped packages to Mom and the rest of us. We exchange a few pensive glances, no one wanting to open anything from these bozos.

"How do we know this isn't just another trick?" Tony says and Head Honcho shakes his head.

"Terrible. Just terrible. No sense of the spirit of your own holiday."

The awkward glances spread among us and we examine the packages. Tony creeps up to the stage with me. Finally, Mom takes the lead and tentatively rips a piece of wrapping away, anticipating the worst. I think it's going to something that explodes slime in her face. Probably will smell like poop or vomit or something. A Herpezoid gag gift awaits her. I'm ready to open fire on these sleazy jerks if that happens. She releases a slight sigh of relief and tears the rest of the wrapping away. She holds up a narrow box. The Head Honcho urges her to open it up, so she complies against her better judgment. She furrows her brow as she pulls a bottle of melon-colored liquid out of the box.

"What is this?"

"N'jiarian nectar," he tells her. "A rare vintage of fine wine smuggled across the No Trade Zone. Not even your son has been able to procure such a delicacy."

"That's a true statement," I say. "This shit is hard to come by."

"We got you each a bottle. A peace offering for this special occasion. Let us join in your revelry for a few precious hours and then tomorrow we can return to our usual animosity."

Tony leans into whisper. "What should we do?"

Everyone is looking at me and why this decision has to fall on my shoulders is beyond me. I pull the cork out of the bottle and sip the nectar. Sweet, but not too sweet. The burn of the alcohol warms my insides and the most amazing serenity I've ever experienced consumes me. This is the shit, man. I take another swig, taking in a little more. The buzz is strong with this one. I pull a Mongalisonian cigarette out of my jacket pocket and light up. All is calm, all is bright. I spread my arms wide.

"Joyeaux Noel, all y'all. Let's party!" I walk back to the sound system, plug my phone into it, and fire up Leona Lewis's "One More Sleep" from the A Very Kilroy Christmas Playlist. Mom drinks, followed by Randi, Dean, and Kevin. I turn to Tony and gesture for him to drink up. He doesn't want to but gives him to my peer pressure. I hop off the stage and make my way to Kenzie who looks at me like I've sprouted wings out of my ass. The group starts dancing and I am showing Kenzie my grooviest moves.

"I don't trust this," she says over the music. "Why did you drink that?"

"I can't turn down a good party." I hold up the bottle. "Please. Partake of the libation."

Kenzie stares at me. I continue my dance of love which includes shoulder rolls, random hand gestures, and mouthing of lyrics.

"Libation is a fancy word for drink," I tell her.

"Yeah. I know."

A tap on my shoulder interrupts my seduction, which pisses me off because this is totally working. I refuse to stop dancing for Kenzie despite Tony constantly chattering in my ear about some nonsense.

"Jeff? Jeff? I feel weird."

"That's the point," I tell him. "Now scram. Kenzie and I are having a moment."

"No, we're not."

"I'm serious," Tony yammers. "Weird. I feel like my consciousness is deflating and my feet are all tingly. What the hell is N'jiarian nectar anyway?"

Holy shit. My nano just kicked in. Hearing him say "N'jiarian nectar" triggered that beautiful piece of tech in my brain that reminds me that I know damn near everything about cosmic shit. Including N'jiarian nectar.

We are in some deep shit. This was a cosmic gag gift of the highest order.

God, I hate Herpezoids.

To be continued...

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