SNOWMANMatthew Lee
Illustration by Bailey Sterling

I decided it was time to teach my youngest son, Crispin Glover, a valuable lesson regarding the holiday season. Not only was he grounded for failing his middle school algebra exam, he had vandalized the neighborhood. Crispin crept into our neighbors’ yards, one by one, and removed every single carrot from every single snowman’s head, then stuck them down lower, to resemble a phallus. In layman’s terms: Crispin displaced the traditional nose from the smallest, top ball of snow and placed it on the lowest, largest ball of snow, imitating human male genitalia. He had to be punished for this crude trick.

First, I filled up a long stocking with coal and beat him over the head with it. Afterwards, I made Crispin shovel the entire neighborhood sidewalk while his older brothers ate warm gingerbread cookies and laughed as I regaled them with fantastic tales of holidays past. When I was their age, I would collect road kill and chop it up to use as decorations. There is something timeless about warm cat brains and tinsel oozing from a tree.

Crispin came inside, frozen nearly half to death from exposure to the unrelenting elements. He was not allowed near the fireplace where his brothers were having a sword fight using oversized candy canes. I instructed Crispin to march right back outside and fetch our own snowman, which the children had created a few days ago when it first snowed. Crispin Glover carried our cliché-looking snowman inside the house. Crispin’s brothers were then sent into the kitchen to drink steaming cocoa while there mother coddled them.

I told Crispin to put the snowman right beside the fireplace. I ate the snowman’s penis in anger (I don’t even like carrots). Then I made Crispin throw more wood on and stoke the flames until the room grew uncomfortably hot. I told Crispin I knew how much he loved our snowman, but it was his own fault for behaving incorrectly. Crispin was crying as he watched the snowman melt into a pitiful puddle. I handed him a bendy straw. He was not allowed to eat dinner until every drop of lukewarm water had been sucked up.

On the patio out back, I sat with my arm around my wife’s shoulder, gazing at my oldest boys smiling as they opened their early gifts. We’d gotten them exactly what they’d wished for. Crispin Glover, meanwhile, stood in the white, desolate backyard. I yelled for him to go ahead so we all could see. I’d even invited the neighbors out to watch from their own backyards. It was a regular block party. Crispin pulled out his own carrot-shaped phallus. He wrote in urine on the snow, “SORRY NEIGHBORS FOR MAKING YOUR SNOWMAN NOSES INTO PENISES HAPPY NEW YEAR.” I’d like to say Crispin Glover learned his lesson, but that was the fifth time this year.

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