December 23rd, 1995. I was seven years old, warm and happy in my Power Rangers pajamas. A blustery winter night had given way to a peaceful morning, as large snowflakes tumbled from the grey sky in a cascade of silent, glistening brilliance. The Christmas tree sparkled and lit up the living room, a living room decked in wreaths, figurines, and garland. Pine needles had fallen on the few gifts that made it under the tree early. In two days, Santa would come through the chimney once again, and all would be right with the world.
I reached into the drawer under the television and pulled out the greatest VHS I had ever known — Tim Allen’s 1994 mega blockbuster smash hit The Santa Clause. No greater gift hath man ever bestowed upon the world than Tim Allen did with this golden masterpiece. It was my ninth time watching the film that week, and it would be the ninth time that week that I knew true joy and love. Nothing in this world meant more to me than that film. Nothing.
As the opening credits danced across the screen, and a smile spread across my rosy-cheeked face, my parents came into the room. They were still in their pajamas as well, but the joy on their faces didn’t match mine. In fact, they looked concerned. They looked hurt. They looked sad. It was almost as if Tim Allen’s 1994 mega blockbuster smash hit The Santa Clause wasn’t lighting up the television. Something was wrong.
“Ryan, we… we need to talk to you,” my mom stammered.
I would have hit pause if it were any other movie. But it wasn’t any other movie. My eyes rocketed back and forth between the television and my parents. Finally my father reached over, took the remote from my hand, and hit pause. I tried to reach out and stop him, but grabbed nothing but the unforgiving winter air.
“This’ll just be a second, Bud,” he said.
My mom took a breath. “Listen. You’re old enough to know the truth. I… I know this is going to hurt. But every child has to learn the truth someday. Ryan, I don’t know how to say this—”
“Tim Allen isn’t real,” my dad interrupted.
And there it was. Four words that hung in the air like ornaments on Satan’s Christmas tree of lies. Four words that cut to my soul like a machete through the thick Vietnamese wilderness. Four words that crushed me, that rained down on me like a thousand suns. Four words that ripped my heart out and threw it to the ground, dancing on it like the cruelest of gazelles.
“I’m sorry,” he tried, but it was too late. My mom left the room, unable to look at her broken son. He looked back at her but said nothing. He turned back to me. “Bud, listen. Tim Allen is something that grown-ups created, to try and make Christmas a little more fun, to bring the spirit to the children…” His words faded away like the weak winter snow. He went on for what seemed like hours, but I heard nothing. He said something about Home Improvement but I didn’t really care about that as much. All I could hear was my broken heart beating in my ears, the ceaseless drumming that could drive a man to his knees. My life, my world… was over.
I had two options. I could accept this cruel truth, and move on with my life having taken a life lesson to the chin, growing up and becoming a man and dealing with pain and learning from it.
Or I could cut my dad’s head off.
That night I learned how to use the chainsaw and I cut my dad’s head off in his sleep. It honestly did ruin Christmas, and I felt really bad. But someone had to avenge Tim Allen’s wrongdoing. And it had to be me. Because deep in my heart, I loved Tim Allen. I would do anything for him. I would marry him and be his bride. Tim Allen is my whole world and my whole heart.