The old man looked out at the giant boat that was on the edge of the sea. He had just ate a squid salad with his grandchildren, who had now headed back to the beachouse. He was here alone, contemplating his cancer and the meaning of life. He also thought about how he wasn't accepted in the services in World War Two because of a bad knee, and how that affected him. His friends and family fought the Germans, while he had to stay at home and lkisten on the radio. He always felt like a coward for not fighting. But when his friends came back in coffins, he counted his blessings.
He had married towards the end of World War Two, and his wife bore him two sons, Zeke and Franz. the two were extremely mischievious, and ran the streets of Chicago in the sixties, growing hair and dope. The old man named Hans never understood this kind of debauchery. He was from the old country, and he felt it was an honor to be an American. When Vietnam came, his sons were out with all the other hippies promoting peace and doing drugs. Eventually they seemed to grow out of the hippy phase and create families of their own. Each son had six kids each, and it was a delight for Hans to see their youthful faces. Now as he faced his own mortality, he questioned what was really wortth fighting for. If it hadn't been for his bad knee, he might not have lived to have children. And if his children were in Vietnam, he might not have had grandchildren. Now, with terminal cancer, he stared out at the sea and cried.
His wife came behind him and startled him. " Hans, there's a drunk woman in our cabin, dressed in a Santa Claus suit!"
" What!" Hans growled. " Did you call the cops?"
" I think our son Zeke is having an affair!"
" I don't need this right now!I'll be right there!"
When Hans got to the beachhouse Zeke's wife Veronica was sobbing. She was whipping the Christmas presents under the tree at the walls. Zeke was staggering around drunk, singing, " Hark, the herald asngels sing!"
" What are you doing, Zeke?" screasmed Hans.
" He went to the bar last night with his buddies," moaned Veronica. " And I woke up this morning, he was in bed with this floozy."
" But why are you wearing a Santa Claus suit?' asked Hans.
" I'm from Finland. Where are we?" said the lady.
" This is the Bahamas. We're on a family vacation!"
" I was, too. But I forgot where my family was staying. I've been on a week-long drinking binge!"
" How many other men did you sleep with during that time?" screamed Veronica.
" And you still haven't explained your Santa Claus suit!"
" Well, isn't it almost Christmas?"
" Yes, but we didn't want you coming down the chimney!'
" YEs, as they say," said Hans, " Ho, ho, ho!"
" Zeke, why are you drinking?"
" Well, I'm sad because dad has cancer!"
" WEll, you are ruining your life! What exasmple are you setting for your children?"
" Look," said the lady dressed in the Santa Claus suit, "This has all been a terrible mistake! Can you guys help me get back to Finland?"