An unexpected Christmas call . . .

I love Christmas! From early, early memories more than 60 years ago of watching for Santa, to the year I found car keys in my sock (and a payment book), to early years of marriage and walks in the snow, to a few years later and seeing our girls fly down the stairs on Christmas morning, to just a few years ago and the wonder of watching grandchildren.

Of course that does not even include the years as an altar boy at midnight mass.

Heck, back then I even liked snow!

What is there not to love about Christmas?

So I was sitting at my desk with a little Christmas music on – Go Fish’s I Got the Joy – when the phone rang.

“The Times, Timmons.”

“This here is a person-to-person call from the North Pole to one Tim Timmons,” a twangy nasaly voice said. “Can you hold for the big guy hisself, Mr. Santy Clause?”

Hmmm. This here? Person to person? Hisself? Santy??? All this could only mean one thing . . . Bubba Castiron.

If you haven’t met Bubba, he’s one of those folks you go two aisles over in the grocery store to avoid. Not only is he a pest, loud, brash and talkative, he’s about six eggs shy of a carton.

“Hello Bubba, what can I do for you?

“Dang, Timmons! “How’d you know it was me? I thought for sure that this being the Christmas season and all you might think this was one of them telemarvelers or something?”



“Never mind. Listen Bubba, I’m kind of busy here. What can I help you with?”

“Actually, I’m here to help you, Timmons. I got a story that I think you’ll really like, and you know, you have a way with words and all, I thought you might ought to write it up for your readers.”

I couldn’t imagine what tale Bubba had cooking this time, but I was pretty sure it wouldn’t be anything worthwhile.

“Look, Bubba, I-”

“My grandpappy lived to be 103, but before he passed on to that great still site in the sky, he told us about when he almost bought the farm right exact on Christmas day three years back.”

I thought about how to stop him, but at this point it was probably quicker to let him tell his story and get it over with.

“Grandpappy had a heart attack and whilst he was riding in the ambulance with the sirens going he actually passed over,” Bubba explained. “He said there weren’t no white lights or nothing, just an elderly angel who sat down beside him. This here angel told him not to fret, that the days was numbered for the entire world.

“Well, ol grandpappy always was a curious sort so he asked the angel what he meant and the angel told him that God had been watching things go farther downhill with all of us human sapiens-”

“Homo sapiens.”

“Nah, it didn’t have nuthin to do with that. Anyways, the Big Guy wasn’t liking what he was seeing out of our behavior so he sent this angel down to check it out. Well, you know how angels can’t lie. So when the angel gets back to heaven he tells God that 98 percent of all humans are up to no good and only 2 percent are decent folk. Well sir, that ticked God off something fierce. At first He was going to send down all that hell fire and limestone-”

“Brim . . . oh never mind.”

“But before He did, He decided to double check just to make sure the angel got it right. Instead of sending another angel God decided to find out for Hisself.”

In spite of myself, this story was intriguing. Maybe it would be worth a column?

“So God decided to send an e-mail to the 2 percent to find out for sure if they were really good and decent. And Timmons, do you know what that e-mail said?”

“No, what?”

“Me neither!” Bubba howled!

I could hear him laughing hysterically as I slammed the phone down.

Timmons is the chief executive officer of Sagamore News Media, the company that owns The Noblesville Times. He is a proud Noblesville High School graduate and can be contacted at