We finally arrive at Penn Station after what seemed like an eternity and as soon as we get off the train, there they were: Santa Zombies.... EVERYWHERE!  Most of them were in various states of drunkenness.  I mean it was something straight out of a scene from "Night of the Living Dead".

At this point with all of the zombies trolling around, I figured that the bulk of the drunks were situated around the Penn Station/Times Square area. Yeah, right.  As it turned out, the closer we got to the bar, the more Santa Zombies we saw.

We tried to get a cab but it was impossible, so we began to walk across town.  And with each bar we walked by, there were Santa Zombies.  Hell, we even saw a line of drunken Santa Zombies trying to make their way into RICK'S CABARET, a gentleman's club situated near Madison Square Garden.  It was at that point where I started to have a "mild" panic attack.  "The bar's gotta be okay" I'm thinking to myself.  I mean, we had a few waves of Santas during SantaCon in the past, but nothing to worry about.... right?

As the "Honorable Clay Davis" of "The Wire" would say:

I finally make it to Third and Long and immediately there's a red flag:  By now it's dark outside yet the outside lights of the bar were still off.  As I made my way closer to the bar, I can make out red silhouettes of what turned out to be drunken Santa Zombies hanging out outside the bar.  Now I'm in full panic mode as my strides quicken.  I get to the door and I can't see inside because the windows are covered with Santa Zombies.  I try to make my way into the bar and it took what seemed like an eternity to make my way through the crowd.  As I tried to navigate my way through, I looked around and all I could think of was how THE RUNNING MAN was dealing with the madness.  I mean if you could compare what I saw with anything, it would be this:

 Okay I might be exaggerating just a bit.  But you get the gist.

So when saw what was taking place, I immediately jumped into auto-pilot mode and began slinging drinks, cleaning up and anything else I could do to help alleviate the stress that THE RUNNING MAN was going through.  After about an hour of this I finally decided enough was enough.  There were more and more Santa Zombies coming into the bar and the the vibe of the group was starting to change.  What was at first a happy-go-lucky group of revelers was starting to turn into Grinches.  And on top of that, we had a birthday party to prepare for.

With that, I got on the microphone and made the following announcement:

"Okay Santas, it's time to gather up your bag of gifts, your reindeer, your elves and elvettes and get the hell out! "

After about 45 minutes of grumbling and pleading from the Santa Zombies, we finally cleared out the bar and stepped back to survey the bar.  What we saw was something that resembled a SCUD missile hit.  Disastrous would be a conservative word to use here.  However, after taking a deep breath, the staff and I went to work to pull the bar back together and after about an hour of elbow grease and all hands on deck, we had the place whipped back into shape.

I have to give THE RUNNING MAN kudos on holding it all together during the invasion of the Zombie Santas.  Anyone could have easily lost their composure under the stress of that situation, yet he kept it together the whole time.  I had a similar situation happen to me once; during the World Cup Finals between France and Italy.  It was the most overwhelming time I ever had as a bartender and I will never forget how crazy it got,  having to handle a packed house alone. So for him to have handled all of that AND keep his composure?  I tip my cap to you.

The crazy part about all of this?  While we were getting set to reopen for the night shift, there was yet another group of Santa Zombies clawing at the windows, wanting to get in.  Oh, did I forget to mention that it was a full moon?

The night shift was just as busy as the day and while we more or less had the Santa Zombie population under control, it wasn't without incidents.  There were a few disgruntled Santa Zombies who had to be "terminated" because they weren't happy with not being allowed in or being cut off by the bar staff.

Damn you SantaCon.

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