The Miracle On Mustache Street

To Clifford Hetherington, it was just another normal day in Midtown Manhattan. The bottleneck into and out of his office building a constant, the harsh New York Winter crisp in the air, the habitual moving parts like clock gears and cog wheels in motion. Yet for every element of mundane detraction, there was an overwhelming element of motivational attraction in the hopes that a greater profit margin could be attained. Such is the life as a wildly successful hedge fund manager. Such was the day-to-day for Clifford Hetherington.

He poured 75 hours a week into his job, and whatever was left of his soul. Seemingly forgetting that he also had two children and a beautiful wife. However, as many a story has been penned, so too was the story of Clifford, and how he was obviously incomplete, and how an intangible something was missing.  

One day, December 24th to be exact, Clifford took an unusual early departure from work that strayed from his daily routine. Having closed business with a client early in the afternoon, Cliff decided to head home for the holidays. As he trotted down the stairs in his freshly-pressed Valentino suit, his equally expensive loafers swiftly caressing each step, he came to an abrupt stop upon a rather inquisitive fellow. Little did Cliff know, that fate had just led him to The Christmas Dude.

“Who is this unkempt gentleman?” Clifford muttered to himself.  “Why it is I, The Christmas Dude!” the highly perceptive vagabond exclaimed. “I am here to fill you with a true sense of Christmas spirit,” he continued. “But I have all the Christmas spirit I need,” Clifford pseudo-confidently retorted. “Ahh yes, but do you have this?” The Christmas Dude then promptly produced a most radiantly brilliant polyhedron from his tattered coat pocket. “What the F*** is that?!?” Clifford inquired mid-grimace as this seemingly grody guttersnipe revealed an object so uselessly perplexing.

“Your prejudice proceeds you, Clifford,” the Christmas Dude remarked omnipotently.  “You assumed I was just another homeless wretch whom lurked around your place of work until I brandished this brilliantly bright polyhedron. “Yes, that is true,” Clifford falsely conceded.  “But you must understand, your foul stench coupled with your patchwork clothing had thrown me astray,” Clifford said as he checked his watch. “I know,” the Christmas dude responded as he wiped the sweat from his left palm. “You are probably still wondering why I’m here, and why I have presented to you the most precious polyhedron in the World.”  “Not exactly”, Clifford chided... “It’s just that you are standing between me and where I plan on heading, and the radius of your raunch odor is quite lengthy,” Clifford noted as he raised his handkerchief to his upper lip and nostrils.

The Christmas Dude insisted on fully explaining himself. He provided Clifford with an entire backstory. He would go on to explain how he too had once had two kids and a beautiful wife. He spoke of his downward spiral into psychedelic drugs, and how he had to sell some of his teeth once just to get a bite to eat and how incredibly ironic that situation was. Clifford however, listened patiently since he had both left early from work, and since he could now not keep his eyes off of the Christmas Dude’s remarkable polyhedron, which was in and of itself, a true sight to behold.

The Christmas Dude went on to explain that Clifford was heading down a tumultuous path of misfortune if he continued to hold on to life as tightly as he had. “You need to spend more time with your wife and two kids, dude,” the Christmas Dude finally said in summation.  “Where is the dude your friends became enamored with in college... better yet... where are your friends now?” The last of the Christmas Dude’s insights had resonated deeply with Clifford.  

“How do you know so much about me?”  Clifford bristled.  To which the Christmas Dude replied  “psychedelics aren’t all bad.”  Dismissing what the Christmas Dude had just said, Clifford went on to exclaim: “You’re right Dude! This shall be the last year I will work on Christmas Eve. This shall be the last time I attempt to use scarcely worked working hours to pad myself financially. When I get home I will embrace my wife, I will let my kids open a few presents early, and I will drink just as much hot chocolate as the next guy!” “Good, good,” the Christmas Dude said as the stripper glitter on his forehead glistened in the weak Winter sunlight. “But first, let us go to the bar and have a few epiphany-encouraged lagers.”  “Sounds great!” Clifford gushed gayly.  

The two went on their merry way that day to a local public house of brewery and talked for hours, they talked so long in fact, that Clifford had lost all track of time. He arrived late with the smell of Pabst on his breath and was greeted by his angry wife. Clifford attempted to explain his encounter with The Christmas Dude, but his slurred speech and Nick Nolte mugshot appearance failed to pay dividends. Clifford awoke several hours later on the basement couch and was greeted by news that his wife and kids would be spending the 12 days of Christmas with his in-laws. 

Thanks to the Christmas Dude, this would be the shittiest Christmas ever.

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