Soot or Smut? Either Way It's Dirty

This dirty little Christmas story happened to a friend of mine, a single mother named Dee.* Her kids were young and still believed in Santa. After they went to bed on Christmas Eve, Dee poured the milk in the sink and ate the cookies, but she wanted to do a little more. She’s a creative gal and thought having Santa Claus’s fingerprints seemed fun.

She called the man she was dating because she knew he had a fireplace, and because she wanted an excuse to see him. The convoluted conversation went something like this:

“Hello?”

“Hey, Mike,* it’s Dee.”

“Hey, Dee. Why are you whispering?”

“Because I don’t want to wake the kids up. I’m hoping you can help me. I need some smut. Do you have any?”

“Wait? What?”

“Smut. I really need some.”

“Did you say ‘smut’? Did you just say that you really needed some smut?”

At this point, Mike was very confused and thought he really misjudged his new girlfriend.

“Ummmmm, I don’t keep that kind of thing here, but I guess I could go to the store. I guess the gas stations are open. I don’t think they sell that kind of thing at Walgreens. What kind do you want? Dee, this has really caught me off guard. I was not expecting this at all.”

“Wait, what? What kind of man has to go to the store to get smut? You don’t have any at your house? And what do you mean what kind do I want? The dirty kind. Dirty smut. And why would you go to a gas station to get smut?”

Now they were both confused. Dee decided to end the call. “Sorry I bothered you. I thought you had a fireplace,” she said and quickly hung up.

The minute Mike heard the word “fireplace” it all made sense. He got a small container from the kitchen cabinet, filled it with ashes from his fireplace, and headed on a Christmas errand. Dee got just what she needed: ashes for creating Santa Claus’s fingerprints and a visit from her new sweetheart.

Turns out, what Dee called smut, Michael called soot. The official Websters thesaurus calls both words synonyms used to describe ashy substances, but an urban dictionary defines smut very differently.

No matter what you call it, Dee’s Christmas hack of using ash from the fireplace to create evidence of the Big Guy is a good one. But let’s all learn from Dee’s mistake. If your house or apartment doesn’t have a fireplace and you plan to ask a friend to borrow some ash, make sure to use the word “soot” not “smut.” No smutty Christmases this year, please. 2020 has been hard enough.


*Names changed for privacy.

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