Story by Kathy Collins
Listen to this column read aloud in pidgin:
Last year I wen’ ask you fo’ bring me some rain an’ you wen’ come troo . . . not as much as what I was hoping fo’, but nemmind. Was my fault, I no was spa-cific enuff.
Dis year I writing fo’ tell you, you no need bring me nottin’. I guess you know awreddy, us guys down heah, we been havin’ one rough year. Plenny guys been lose their jobs, even their homes. So I figgah you going be smashed wit’ lettahs dis year, mostly from grownups askin’ fo’ simple kine stuffs, like clothes fo’ da kids go school, ‘nuff food fo make t’ree meals a day, everyday, or one job—any kine job. Not too much guys t’inkin’ about new cars an’ big toys dis year.
Kinda like da olden days, yeah, Santa? When you used to give all us kids brown pepa goodie bags at da town party. And da grownups all got rice and canned goods. Every brown pepa bag had one apple, one orange, couple-t’ree pieces ribbon candy or peppamints, and nuts, still yet in da shell!
Da nuts was my favorite. Candy, you pop ‘em in your mouth, and da bugga is ‘ono, but gone in couple-t’ree minutes. Da nuts, you gotta work for ‘em. Like getting two presents in one. One food and one game.
Excep’ fo’ boiled peanuts, da only time we seen nuts in da shell was da ones you wen’ bring Christmastime. Mac nuts from da tree in da backyard no count; I talkin’ about haole nuts, mainland kine. Every bag had couple-t’ree nuts, mostly walnuts, but get almonds, Brazil nuts, even da manini filberts. And nobody had nutcrackahs. So we wen’ use hammah and pliahs, see who can crack open da shell widdout smashin’ da nut.
Da Brazil nuts was da mos’ hard fo’ open, but to me, dey taste da bes’. Maybe da flavah stay connected to da dagree of difficulty. If you tap da shell in jus’ da right place wit’ da hammah, and den squeeze ‘em jus’ right wit’ da pliahs . . . ho, some good you feel when you pull out da big fat nut in one humongous piece!
Nowadays, plenny folks’ life get Brazil-nut dagree of difficulty. Maybe you no more resources fo’ give groceries to all da guys who need ‘em. So I was t’inkin’ . . . maybe you gotta look at outsourcing an’ corporate partnahships. T’ink about da gazillion people you wen’ make happy ovah da years. Ask dem fo’ help you out. Tell dem donate their time or money or whatevahs to your official distribution centahs: Take canned goods to Maui Food Bank, household items to Women Helping Women, ring da bell fo’ Salvation Army. Get plenny folks li’dat who try fo’ make Christmas wishes come true all year long.
Dis year, Santa, give us da gift of giving. Tell everybody who evah wen’ write you one lettah fo’ give what dey can. If everybody help out, we can crack dis economy t’ing like one giant Brazil nut. And den maybe you goin’ have ‘nuff time fo’ look around an’ see if you get some rain left ovah from last year.