This is a tale of police sirens, drunkenness, Santa Claus clowns, and creepy Milwaukee streets after dark.
Proceed at your own risk.
Or better, run.
It was a cool November night. Leaves chattered across the sidewalk. Having just seen a funny musical full of vampires, witches, zombies, and shrieking death scenes (and hugging my merry twin sister afterward, who was drenched in chocolate blood) I was in a spooky mood. My husband and I chatted about the show, and we rounded a corner to turn down a dark street.
Our car was parked forty feet ahead. On the opposite side of the sidewalk, some women huddled under a light.
“Watch out!” they said. “It’s by our car!”
(Yes, this really happened.)
Jonathan and I walked past, a bit faster, and I clutched him as we passed what they were talking about– someone in a full Santa Claus costume was slumped against the door of their car. He moved.
We hurried up to the doors of our car and called across the street at them. I was thinking of all the creepy clown sightings, fake or real, that have occurred recently, and seeing someone dressed as Santa Claus slumped drunkenly or lying in wait was not a pretty concept. I’m sure they were thinking of that, too.
“Are you okay?”
“Did you call the police?”
“Yeah, they’re coming.”
“Thank you for warning us, that would have been freaky as heck!”
Just as we got into our car, the sirens roared and the lights flashed red and blue into the street. Two cars, from opposite directions, blocked the road.
Now that we were walled in, we thought we may as well watch. We saw the cop approach slowly, his flashlight out. Closer. Closer. Then he grinned and started to laugh. A few minutes later Evil Killer Santa Claus was in the grass, both its feet in the air: it was just a dummy.
Jonathan remarked that some college students were probably filming from the bushes. You have no idea what it’s like to see Santa twitching in the dim gray light… or what it’s like to see cops laughing and little kids flocking over to see the dummy lying undignified as a dufflepud.