The Greatest Kwanzaa Ever

The Greatest Kwanzaa Ever

A Story by Gustav Strom

A drug fueled tale of racial acceptance, clowns, and giraffes. Features tasteful nudity and a soundtrack by The Gaslight Anthem. Rated PG-13 for cursing and adult themes, whatever those are.


“What has two thumbs and hasn’t had a herpes outbreak in a month?” I asked the beautiful girl in the deodorant aisle of the pharmacy. She looked at me, trying to figure out if I actually just said what she thinks I just said. There was no way she’d ever guess the right answer, so I pointed to myself and proudly exclaimed “THIS GUY.” Visibly mortified, she threw the women’s deodorants she was comparing at my face and ran out. Whatever.

I perused the different flavors of deodorant and wondered how they came up with the names for the scents. Old Spice makes a scent called aqua reef. I have never smelled an aqua reef, because smelling things underwater is impossible, but I assumed this would make me smell like an Australian. Why an Australian? Because they have the world’s largest coral reef, which I assume is very similar to an aqua reef. Intrigued by Old Spice’s ability to make up a scent and motivated by my love of koala bears, I decided to purchase their product.

“That will be six dollars and thirty-six cents, please,” the cashier said, smiling.

“SIX BUCKS FOR A STICK OF DEODORANT!? I didn’t come back from Vietnam without hands to pay six bucks for a f*****g stick of deodorant!” I yelled, gesturing wildly with my hands.

“I’m sorry sir, that’s the price,” she stammered.

The girl behind me tapped me on the shoulder. “Excuse me, I don’t think you’re old enough to have been in Vietnam and it’s rude to joke about that,” she said.

“There’s no age minimum to go to Vietnam, retard. I went there when I was 17 and lost my hands!”

“You had to be 18 to be drafted and the Vietnam War was over 30 years ago. You clearly aren’t old enough to have been there. Stop being a jerk,” she demanded.

“Draft? War? What are you talking about? I went to Vietnam to ride yaks and study the art of auto-erotic asphyxiation. I can prove it!” I pulled out my wallet and showed her the photo of me giving the thumbs-up on top of a yak while a tiny Vietnamese w***e strangled me with an old tie. That shut her up right quick. As a display of my newly proven dominance, I grabbed the pharmacy bag she was about to pay for, pulled out the bottle of pills, and punted them into the ceiling.

“My prescription!” she screamed as the top flew off, scattering pills everywhere.

“Free pills!” I screamed, grabbing as many as I could and stuffing them into my mouth.

“Those are birth control pills!” she yelled, on the verge of tears.

“Good, I don’t want anyone knocking me up when I’m high. I have very poor self-control when I’m high,” I mumbled, still stuffing pills into my mouth. Having had my share of free high, I turned back to pay for my deodorant.

“So where were we?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow.

The women behind the counter reached into her pocket, searching out what I presumed to be her wallet so we could compare vacation photos. Maybe she had spent time in Vietnam too. However, I was wrong. Instead of showing me some disturbingly erotic photographs, she sprayed me with mace. “Oh god! It burns worse than the time I watched Soul Plane!”

 I flailed my way out of the store, knocking over several displays and decapitating a cardboard display. Actually, I take that back. I decapitated the cardboard display on the way in.

After washing out my eyes in a nearby fountain, I decided to head to the zoo. I had always heard the zoo was great when you’re high, but I had never had the chance to mix the experiences. On the bus ride down, the crazy birth control high started to kick in. I know this because there was a clown sitting next to me drinking whiskey out of a bag, and that s**t’s too crazy to be real.

“Hey Trippy,” I said. I decided that the clown’s name was Trippy. Trippy the clown. “Hey Trippy,” I said, prodding him with one of the hands I lost in Vietnam.

            “What?” he asked, spraying imaginary drug trip whiskey on my sleeve.

            “Wanna go to the zoo with me?”

He sighed and took a swig from the bag. “Why the hell not?”

            Unfortunately for us, this particular bus did not travel to the zoo. Trusting in my extraordinary powers of persuasion, I approached the driver to ask if he could make a special deviation from his ordinarily scheduled route.

 In my most pleading tone of voice, I asked the driver, “Do you see that clown-like gentleman sitting over yonder?” He looked into the mirror and nodded.

“He says that if you don’t take him to the zoo, he’s going to open fire. And if you try to scream, he’s going to open fire, then go home and beat his dog. And if you try to take us anywhere but the zoo, he’s going to open fire, beat his dog, and illegally download the Best of Tom Petty CD. Because he likes Tom Petty.”

“Oh my,” whispered the bus driver and then took the next right, driving us towards the zoo.

Upon returning to my seat, Trippy remarked that this wasn’t the normal bus route. I remarked to him that his mom wasn’t the normal bus route. He nodded in both shame and agreement.

“So what do you want to go see first?” I asked Trippy, stepping off the bus.

“As a kid, I always used to like the reptile house.”

“I’m sorry, the correct answer is the giraffes.” And we headed towards the giraffe exhibit.

As we gazed pensively at God’s most graceful creatures, I pondered aloud, “Why do you think their necks are so long?”

Trippy furrowed his brow, clearly ensconced in thought or suppressing the urge to vomit. He belched loudly, then said, “I think it’s some sort of natural selection or something.”

I paused trying to figure out how natural selection could have occurred. “Oh, I see. Like the giraffes with shorter necks all got strangled and eaten by gorillas, leaving only the giraffes with longer necks. Because things with longer necks are more difficult to strangle. Especially for gorillas.”


“You know Trippy, you’re pretty intelligent for somebody who puts on makeup and terrifies children for a living.”

“Thanks, I used to be a security guard at a bank before the recession hit and I got caught stealing poodles from customers.” Already bored with Trippy’s life story/political rant, I decided to hop into the giraffe pit. Because I’m a boss.

“What are you doing?” Trippy asked in an overly concerned manner.

“Making friends. It’s called being social.”

 I approached a giraffe that appeared to be my age in giraffe-years and introduced myself. “Hello. My name is Jeff and I would like to be friends.” The giraffe said nothing because it’s a giraffe, but smiled shyly at me. I think. Good enough for me.

“I shall call you Patches,” I informed the giraffe. Having given the giraffe a proper Christian name, it was now appropriate for me to start petting it. Patches didn’t seem to mind, but another giraffe, perhaps a more old-fashioned one that didn’t approve of interspecies friendship, kept giving me the stink eye.

“You got something to say to me giraffe?” I yelled at him. Having been called out, the giraffe stalked over to me and lowered its head until we were at eye level.

“I will not be intimidated by you. You are a RACIST, Mr. Giraffe!” Racist was technically not the right word, but it would have to do because “speciesist” isn’t a word. Apparently the giraffe didn’t not take kindly to being called racist, as racists never do. He lifted his head back up and then let out a fierce roar, which is a sound I did not know giraffes could make. Then he wheeled and unleashed a violent kick aimed roughly at my face. Instinctively, I dodged the kick. My years of zebra cage fighting had not gone to waste.

“Trippy! Help! I’m being attacked by a racist giraffe!” I screamed while zig-zagging to avoid being trampled by Adolph Giraffe-ler.

“But how!?” he cried.

“Pornography! Giraffes love pornography! Lots and lots of pornography!”

“Where do I get pornography?”

“The gas station across the street!”

I would have to hold my own with the giraffe until he returned. Eventually it figured out that I was just running in a loose pentagon. He cut me off so I did the only thing I could: I dove at his legs. I undercut his right foreleg and he went down like the big awkward giraffe he was. Seeing my chance, I climbed to the safety of one of the exhibit’s trees. Everybody knows that hooved animals can’t climb trees. Sadly, I underestimated the length of the giraffe’s neck. Now instead of trying to trample me, he was trying to bite me.

For several minutes I slapped and punched at the face of the world’s most racist and only carnivorous giraffe. Finally, Trippy returned with a plastic bag overflowing with pornos.

            “What do I do with all the porn?” he shouted.

            “Just toss it in here!”

            He threw the bag at the giraffe. It bounced off his hide and scattered adult images everywhere. More intrigued than perturbed, the giraffe took a break from his attempts to eat me and stooped down to investigate his newly received bounty of all the finest triple-x literature money could buy. He seemed particularly fixated on one magazine in particular and forgot entirely about me. I seized the opportunity and climbed down from the tree and out of the exhibit as the giraffe munched contentedly on this month’s copy of Asses, Asses, and More Asses. Once out, I collapsed on the ground.

            “Thank you Trippy,” I sputtered.

            “The pornos cost 35 bucks. Whenever you get a chance,” he replied. I reached into my wallet and pulled out a fresh blue Monopoly twenty-dollar bill.

            “I’ll pay you the rest as soon as someone lands on St. James Place,” I explained. I didn’t want to seem like a mooch.

            “What the hell is this? I want real money,” Trippy said ungratefully.

            “I will, just as soon as someone lands on St. James place. I rent a house there.”

            He punched me in the stomach. You wouldn’t think being punched by a clown would hurt, but it did. He probably would have beat me some more, had his wristwatch not started beeping.

            “Oh s**t, I’ve gotta go to this party. You, you’re coming with me and picking up some cash to pay me back on the way.” He picked me up by the collar and dragged me towards the exit.

            The buses had stopped running because of some sort of terrorist hijacking earlier that day, so we had to walk. Trippy kept dragging me by the neck for a while, but acts of simple assault involving clowns tend to attract onlookers. He let go of me only after it became clear that if he dragged me any further, somebody was going to inform the local police.

            “Stop at that ATM and get me my money,” he said as he tossed me towards an ATM.

I didn’t have a bank account so I couldn’t really do much. I don’t trust banks. What with their suits and monocles and compounded annual interest being just fancy talk for witchcraft and all.

             However, what I lacked in traditional money storage techniques, I made up for in pick-pocketing techniques. I deftly snagged the wallet off a man who walked past me, pulled out 42 dollars (35 for Trippy, 7 so I could buy a calzone) and tossed the wallet into the sewer. I paid Trippy and began to follow him to his party, but he said I couldn’t come to a children’s party, no matter how much I loved moon bounces and piñatas or told him he would never be my real father.

            Things were said, mittens were thrown, and someone somewhere was plotting a terrible revenge on the Black Eyed Peas for producing “Boom Boom Pow.” None of it mattered. As with all great partnerships, my pairing with Trippy had come to an end. And it was then that I had a revelation. Nay, it was an epiphany. As Ayn Rand would say, I was no longer high on those delicious birth control pills.

            Realizing I was sober was kind of a downer. I decided I had to start doing something with my life, no more partying at the zoo with hallucinated clowns and extraordinarily unfriendly giraffes. Since getting pizza was neither of those two things, I decided to get pizza.

            I walked into my favorite local pizza store, Chuck E. Cheese’s. Standing behind the counter was a young African American fellow. I had always wanted a black friend (or a friend in general) so my heart skipped a beat. I would have to play this one cool.

“Can I get a slice of cheese?” I asked.

            “Sorry man, we’re closed,” he answered.

            “GOD D****T I NEVER GET ANYTHING I WANT!” I cried and dove into the ball pit to do some sobbing. He tried to ignore me while locking up, but it soon dawned on him that he couldn’t leave until I did.

            “Hey man, are you alright?” he asked. I sobbed loudly in reply. He clearly pitied me. Something must have seemed pathetic about my torn clothes or my giraffe-bite wounds or the sobbing at the bottom of a urine soaked ball pit. He reached out to me.

            “Hey man, would you wanna come back to my aunt’s place with me? She’s a church deacon, you can get a shower and something to eat and maybe she can help you out or something.”

             I accepted his offer of interracial friendship and pulled myself out of the ball pit. He sprayed me briefly with some Febreeze before leading me to his car.

“My name’s Joe, by the way,” he said.

            “Call me Poontang Ragekill,” I replied, shaking his hand.

The ride to his aunt’s home was uneventful, mostly consisting of my new amigo refusing to work on a super awesome secret handshake because he was “driving.” After a short ride, we pulled up in front of a quaint brick suburban house.

            “Wait here, I have to talk with my aunt real quick. Don’t steal anything,” he told me. I considered stealing his radio just because he said not to, but I didn’t have time. He reemerged moments later and waved me inside. I skipped inside because I was happy and skipping is my preferred mode of transportation when happy.

            Inside, I was greeted by a large, smiling black woman. She sat me down at the table and offered me a glass of water. At the center of the table was a large and unusual candelabra.

            “Pardon me ma’am, but I have a question,” I called to her in the kitchen.

            “Ask away,” she called back.

            “What’s the majigger on the table?”

            “That’s a kinara. It’s for Kwanzaa.”

            “Bwah?” I asked tactfully.

            “You know, Kwanzaa? Let me explain.” The whole family gathered round as she went into a lengthy and detailed description of the holiday and its ideals.

            “Oh. So it’s kinda like Christmas mixed with Hannukah without consumerism?” I asked at the conclusion.

            “Well I sup-”

            CRASH! The window shattered as a fat man resembling Rush Limbaugh in army fatigues and a Groucho Marx disguise burst into the room.

            “The Drunk Who Hates Kwanzaa!” exclaimed the family.

            “F**k you!” declared the Drunk.

            “Who the hell is this a*****e?” I inquired as the Drunk Who Hates Kwanzaa stumbled around the room, pulling down the Kwanzaa decorations.

            “He’s the Drunk Who Hates Kwanzaa. He goes around every year and tries to ruin the celebration,” Joe answered.

            “Affirmative Action is just a scam invented by Jews to get blacks into the NFL,” muttered the Drunk.

            “But why?” I asked.

            “Tradition, I guess,” Joe explained.

            “Barack Obama’s a socialist secret muslim illegal immigrant from Kenya who’s really not that black anyway,” grumbled the Drunk, as he roundhoused the kwanzaa candle majigger to the floor.

            “Have any of you ever tried to stop him?”

            “Well, no. We always kind of assumed he was some kind of supernatural being. Like the Ghost of Christmas Past in Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol or Cyclops from the X-Men,” answered Joe’s father.

            “Tiger Woods having sex with all the white women, drinking all the Arnold Palmer. Makes me sick,” complained the Drunk.

            “Hmmm… allow me to perform an experiment,” I requested. I picked up my chair and walked quietly towards the Drunk, who at the time was mercilessly teabagging a picture of Joe’s grandmother. Like Bobby Brown on a typical Tuesday night with Tina Turner, I wound up with the chair and BAM! cracked the Drunk in the face. He was immediately knocked out and also bleeding rather profusely.

            “You just got RAGEKILL’D!” I taunted. Then I did my touchdown dance.

            “One of us probably should have tried that,” Joe commented, which elicited general nods of agreement.

            “Now let’s see who this really is,” I proclaimed as I emphatically removed the Groucho Marx disguise.

            “Rush Rimbaugh!?” gasped a shocked Scooby Doo.

            “GET THE F**K OUT OF HERE SCOOBY DOO! IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE THAT YOU’VE BEEN INSERTED AT THIS POINT IN THE STORY!” I yelled. And just as randomly as he had entered, Scooby left. “God, you guys should really get a security system or something. You have a real problem with intruders.”

            “Later. Tonight we celebrate Kwanzaa,” said Joe’s Aunt. And with that she brought out a delicious Kwanzaa dinner complete with Kwanzaa Ham and Kwanzaa-tatoes. We sat at that table for hours, eating, drinking, and ignoring the Drunk’s fading in and out of consciousness. It was all I ever wanted in a holiday dinner. And so ends my story, the tale of the greatest Kwanzaa ever.

The End.

© 2010 Gustav Strom

Author's Note

Gustav Strom
All criticism welcome, drunken ranting encouraged.

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Featured Review

This was laugh out loud hilarious in all of the worst (best) ways!
"Pornography!Giraffes love pornography!"
Seriously one of the funniest, most random stories I ever read. Where you high when writing this? I'm gonna share this with a few of my friends.
Popeye is a b***h.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


I found this thanks to Fictari and I gotta say this was one of the most insanely entertaining reads of my life! Completely bizzare, very well (if oddly) written. Definitely would read again.
10/10 would throw porn at

Posted 8 Years Ago

This was laugh out loud hilarious in all of the worst (best) ways!
"Pornography!Giraffes love pornography!"
Seriously one of the funniest, most random stories I ever read. Where you high when writing this? I'm gonna share this with a few of my friends.
Popeye is a b***h.

Posted 8 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on March 6, 2010
Last Updated on March 6, 2010
Tags: Humor, Birth Control, Clowns, Giraffes, Kwanzaa, Interracial Friendship, Vietnam


Gustav Strom
Gustav Strom

Chicago, IL

In the biz, I'm Artie Crescent. I can capture the mood of a room through hastily put together collage. I would like to hug a penguin at some point in my life.I'm a veteran of war, expert ice sculptor,.. more..