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A Merry Little Christmas

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Note: This story takes place in 1971 and briefly in 1972, and before Starsky and Hutch aired on TV.

Although they get into some arguments about some stuff having to do with Christmas, in this story, there are things Hutch likes about the holiday. That includes Starsky and he getting into a nice discussion about things that are Christmas related. One about Santa's reindeers, and in this story, Hutch is very familiar with what their names are and other things about them.

Reviews are very appreciated!
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Title: "A Merry Little Christmas."

Chapter One

It was so easy for the adult Hutch to have fond memories of when he was twelve and learning how to drive not only a car, but also a tractor during his visits to his grandpa's farm.
There it wasn't illegal to be behind the wheel of a moving vehicle once you reached a certain age below sixteen.

It was now 1971, and in front of Starsky's downtown Bay City apartment, Hutch was sitting behind the wheel of his light blue Ford Fairlane.

The other night, Starsky and he were sitting on Huggy Bear's couch. Each with their own bowl of lettuce with whatever vegetables they wanted in it, and also some nice strips of ham and turkey spread throughout it.

Huggy hadn't forgotten to sprinkle some shredded cheddar cheese on top of their salads. Starsky wanted Red French Dressing on his, but didn't check to see if the lid was screwed on tight. Vigorously shaking the bottle, off came the lid! The dressing flying out of the bottle and drenching the whole left side of Hutch's face! Some dressing also sliding down onto his good white shirt.

It was the first time in his life Hutch had anything like that happen to him!

"Oops! Sorry!" Starsky should've apologized, but he couldn't. Not just yet, anyway. Too busy laughing his head off because it was so funny!
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Chapter Two
In Southern California and just three weeks before Christmas, the midday's temperature was usually on the cool side. But this year it was hot enough that although Hutch didn't have on his Fairlane's air conditioner, he had all the windows rolled down.

"Come on, Starsk. Get in the car."

"You want me to sit in the front passenger seat?"

"Of course, I do. You're my best friend! It wouldn't be right if you didn't sit there, now would it, buddy?"

"Am not your best friend, even if you just did call me buddy."

"What's got you so suddenly thinkin' you're not my best friend?" Hutch had a very puzzled look on his face as he continued to look closely at him.

"Just having a day when I'm in a strange mood," Starsky replied, still outside the car and out of the blond's two arms reach. "Well, you see," Starsky further explained. "If I go around to the other side of the car and sit in the front passenger seat, you'll chop my head off with that axe! The axe lying right there next to you. And if I was your best friend, you wouldn't do that to me!"

"Chop your head off with that axe."

"Yeah."

"The axe lying right here next to me."

"Right."

"Quit being silly. Why would I want to chop your head off with it for? Like I said, you're my best friend and it wouldn't be right if you didn't sit in the front passenger seat, now would it, Gordo?"

Starsky then gave him a crooked, although friendly smile. Hutch returned it with a more straightened, but still good-natured one.

Both their smiles, most females found highly attractive. Not that today they would be taking one out on a date, when Hutch reached across the front seat and popped open the passenger door for Starsky. Chuckling with amusement at watching Starsk nervously trot over to that side of the car and get in.
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As Hutch was driving down the streets and on the way to wherever it was they were going to, and with Starsky no longer worried about the axe, though they were off work, out of habit they were busy scanning the city neighborhoods. Also, the countrysides, for any criminal activity going on.

Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, even while he was driving, Hutch started daydreaming about this lady he had seen the other day at the mall. Instead of being scantily clothed, she wore a beautiful long dress made of shiny, soft silk.

He was having a wonderful time of daydreaming too, but it was soon interrupted with Starsky snapping his fingers like he'd just thought of something to tell him.

Then he brought up to the blond half of the team some stuff his brother Nicky and he would argue about when they were kids. Just one of those many things, who got the last cold chicken leg in the fridge.

Now that Starsky had ruined Hutch's daydreaming, Hutch wasn't about to be outdone by a chicken leg and informed Starsky, "I love my sister Katie and she loves me. But when we were kids and Dad was driving us to somewhere, before Katie and I would even get in the car, we would argue over who got to sit in the front passenger seat. Was the same if Mom instead of Dad was driving us anywhere. Come to think of it, when Dad was out of town on business, we would argue over who got to sit at the head of the dinner table where he always sits. Also, when he was out of town, we would bicker over who got to sleep in bed with Mom the nights he was away. Of course, the time came I got too old to sleep with her, and eventually so did Katie."

Then twenty-five minutes went by that Starsky and Hutch, who had lost most of their suntan they had gotten over the summer, didn't say anything in the Fairlane at all.
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Although the quiet companionship was pleasurable and especially with sitting not that far away from each other, Starsky's curiosity got the best of him, and, "Where is it exactly that you're driving us to, huh, Hutch?"

"To a place where no one will see me chop off your head with this axe still lying right here next to me!"

In immediate reaction to that, Starsky swung his head to the left, looking in horror at Hutch.

"Ha! Ha! Ha! I was just kidding you! I only said it to tease you about the other night. Not checking to see if the lid to that bottle of salad dressing was on tight before you shook it. Then laughed when you saw the dressing on the side of my face. Laughed at me too when it slid down on my good white shirt!"

Then to extra assure Starsky he was just kidding about taking him somewhere to chop off his head," I'm driving us to a place where I can use this axe to chop down a real Christmas tree to put in my living room!" Hutch said, grinning from ear to ear. Obviously, feeling gleeful about chopping one down.

Starsk was thankful he wasn't going to behead him, but wasn't happy at all about Hutch chopping down a real tree either.

"I don't like real Christmas trees!" he groused. "And how come? Because unlike some people, most of us Starsky's including my 'ma' don't like the smell of them. They smell too much like Pine-Sol!"

"That's because there's pine oil in it."

"In 'it' what?"

"In Pine-Sol. There's pine oil in it."

"I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me, but I still don't like the smell of Pine-Sol or of real Christmas trees. That's why during this time of year you always see in my living room an artificial Christmas tree."

"I've been meaning to talk to you about that and for some time now. Regardless of how real Christmas trees smell, they're still better for the environment than artificial ones."

"I disagree! And why for? Cause unlike real Christmas trees, artificial ones last at least 10 years." Then, for good measure, Starsky added, "That's at least 10 years of not having to use up gasoline to go get another one."

"True. But artificial trees are made mostly from PVC plastic and although PVC plastic is recyclable, many people don't bother taking their too old to be used anymore artificial Christmas tree or trees to a recycling center! Take them to a landfill instead, and I'll have you know PVC plastic isn't biodegradable! Gives me the willies it's not!"

"Gives you the willies. As in causes you to have a feeling of fear, dread, or squeamishness!? Wow, Hutch!"

Insulted by what he had said, "Wow, Hutch! What do you mean by that?"

"Wow, Hutch! In our line of work, there are things. Lots and lots of things! That we too often come across that are 'worthy' of giving not just you, but also me the willies! Take, for instance, that guy dead by being shot in the head. Oozing onto the street he was lying on were his brains full of white n' squirming worms! Certainly you haven't forgotten about that! But gives you the willies that PVC plastic isn't biodegradable! Come on now! Get real, Blondie!"

"You're making fun of me," Hutch complained, sulking in the driver's seat.
"So I am, but it's not the end of the world either!"

"Okay. You're right about that. Although another thing about artificial Christmas trees- Don't you have a problem with that most are made in China?"

"I'm not a racist, so don't have a problem with that at all."

"Well, I'm not a racist either!" Hutch shot back. "But airplanes use a lot of fuel. Lots and lots of fuel! And each year to fly artificial Christmas trees from China to the U.S.! The amount of fuel used puts a real strain on the environment! Much more so than the amount of fuel an airplane uses to fly real Christmas trees from states in the U.S. that grow them to ones that don't!"

"Okay. Okay. But it still isn't a good reason to get your panties in a knot over," Starsky said very calmly, trying to settle down his riled up partner.
Failing at getting Hutch to do so….

"Yes, it is a good reason to get them in a knot for!"

"No, it's not."

"Is!"

"Isn't."

"Is!"

"Take a chill pill, Hutch. Your face is almost as red as Santa's suit."
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Chapter Three
Hutch originally hailed from the more well-known Duluth, Minnesota, though there were other places with a Duluth, like Georgia. He took a glance in his car's rearview mirror and saw that his face was really almost as red as Santa's suit. Meaning that his blood pressure had gone up too high and he best do something quick about it unless he wanted a heart attack or a stroke…

"Okay. I took that chill pill. But I still say a real Christmas tree is better than an artificial one."

"Why is that?"

"Because each year after Christmas is over, who is it that has to put your artificial Christmas tree back in the cardboard box it came in? Only because you don't want to mess around with doing it, just so you can sit on the couch and watch whatever's on the boob tube. I'm the one who has to put it back in the box. 'Me.' And you know being that close to whatever's in that cardboard always makes my nose run. Wouldn't be so bad, but after I put the tree back in the box, you don't even tell me thank- you."

"I do to tell you that!"

"Do not."

"Do not! I mean do to!" Starsky shouted and at the top of his lungs.

"Take a chill pill, Starsk. Now it's your face that's almost as red as Santa's suit. But this year after I put your tree back in the box, I don't want to hear you grumbling 'bout you're running out of room in your apartment for you to store it. Deal?"

"Deal!" Starsky agreed. Crossing his fingers behind his back. Having no intentions at all of not grumbling about it.

Yet Hutch was a detective and for a good reason, and in case he figured out what Starsky was doing with his fingers and get onto him about it, the brunet uncrossed them, bringing his hand out in front of him.

Right afterward, "Say!" the curly-haired man exclaimed. "This year, how about you being smart about it and take some antihistamine pills before you mess around with putting the tree in the box?"

"How 'bout I don't take those pills. They dry out my nasal passages too much! I'd rather put up with a runny nose! To keep me from getting one in the first place, how about this year 'you' put your tree back in the box?"

"Sure. I can do that, pal. Not watching the boob tube isn't going to kill me, I guess." Then without missing a beat, "Hey Hutch. How come when you watch TV, you never call it the boob tube?"

"Well, you see, buddy. Though you watch things good for the brain like 'Jeopardy' and some PBS documentaries, and you watch some good non-educational shows simply for the pleasure of it, you also watch a lot of junk!"

Starsky was about to protest he didn't watch a lot of it, then admitting to himself that 'yes' he did, he completely changed the subject to, "Hey! I'm in the mood to listen to some Christmas songs on the radio! What about you, huh, Hutch?"

Apparently, he was also in the mood, because he didn't hesitate turning on the radio and to a station that was playing only Christmas songs.

"Silent Night" was the first one they heard-

Starsky liked it just okay, but it was one of Hutch's favorite Christmas songs. Though technically there was nothing calm about the night Jesus was born, considering that Bethlehem had swelled to capacity because everyone was there to register for the census. The inns, the restaurants, and the streets were so crowded; Bethlehem was a complete madhouse! But there were things Hutch loved about the song. Like he believed Christ was real, and even as an infant, was holy like it said so in the song.

However, he didn't know why, after he'd moved to Bay City, though he hadn't totally stopped reading the Bible, he had completely quit going to Bible Study and worship services. Nevertheless, the next song on the radio was, "We Three Kings of Orient Are." And here it was that after Jesus was born, they came to look for him and were probably from an area which is now in either Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Yemen. Although they are often called the 'Three Kings', the Bible doesn't say how many there were, but it still didn't interfere with, "We Three Kings of Orient Are" also one of his favorite Christmas songs.

It was another one that Starsky liked, but just okay. When the next that came on was, "Jingle Bells." Now that so happened to be one of his Christmas favorites, because some of the lyrics were, "Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!" And though he hadn't ever done that, he hoped he could do that someday!
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"Blue Christmas" was the next song, and a rather sad one at that. It was one of Starsky's faves too. Especially when sung by Elvis Presley like it was now.

Hutch, however, had a problem with Elvis singing it. Sure, he thought Elvis sang well. Extremely well! But thought there were singers just as great as him, but their records unfortunately hardly got played on the radio.

Regardless of that, Hutch let Starsky enjoy listening to, "Blue Christmas", and didn't complain to him about hearing it on the radio.
The same went for, "Jingle Bells," about not griping about it. Not that the blond hated the song, and in actuality, thought it was, though not a fantastic song, found pleasing to the ears.
Not just the music, but also the lyrics, and if the truth be told, he knew what it was like riding in a one-horse open sleigh and with the bells jingling, and it truly was such fun! Would be even more-so when he surprised Starsky by taking him on one tomorrow some place with snow, but not that far away.

The disc jockey then played, "Feliz Navidad." Written and recorded not that too long ago in 1970 by the Puerto Rican songwriter and singer José Feliciano.
And now that was a song both Starsky and Hutch really got into! What with its extremely catchy tune and all that!
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Then, "Santa Baby" came on the radio, but the off duty-yet finest detectives in all of Bay City!- In unison, groaned at the song! It was popular enough with other people it got played quite a lot each year, but to Starsky and Hutch the music, the tune, as well as the female singer's voice, grated sorely on their nerves!

Then, although the guys didn't have a problem with a woman wanting Santa…'Santa Baby'…giving anyone something expensive for Christmas. The lady in this song wanted too many expensive things! Talk about being greedy!

Neither Starsky nor Hutch had bothered to turn off the radio, thankfully the song ended, when the disc jockey played an instrumental Christmas song and for the life of them couldn't remember the name of, but it didn't stop them from whistling to it.

It was time for a commercial break, Hutchinson didn't make any comments that scientifically speaking, though it wasn't impossible for a male reindeer to still have its antlers on December 24th, it wasn't typical. But though he hadn't, Starsky, and he then got into a discussion about Santa's reindeer.
Hutch went first. "Dasher is male and known for both blazing speed and stamina, and Dancer female. She is very nimble and often when Santa gets stuck in the snow or mud it is she who can help lead the team out of the mess."

To that Starsky replied, "Prancer is female. She's Dancer's sister, and Prancer, as her name might suggest, is an expert runner. She flies well but does very, very well on the ground too. Vixen is also female and a really feminine one at that 'cause she loves to wear bows, even when she flies."

"Right, buddy boy!" Hutch exclaimed, and Comet is male and has thick legs and muscles all over his body. He is so strong that sometimes Santa takes him on trips all by himself. The Valentine's Day 'Cupid' is definitely a male also, but Santa's Cupid… She's a real sweetheart and that's why Santa named her what he did!"

"And Donner is Rudolph's brother," Starsky replied. "As you know, he keeps track of which reindeers' hooves and coats need some attention. Blitzen is also a male. Known as the loud one, he's still the reindeer who never wants to stop working and take a nap."
T
hen, still in the spirit of the Christmas season, but not liking the idea that despite those reindeers' nice attributes- they used to laugh and call Rudolph names, or let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

However, they had learned a very valuable lesson concerning not treating Rudolf, different from them, when: Then one foggy Christmas Eve. Santa came to say, "Rudolph with your nose so bright, won't you guide my sleigh tonight?" And after that, all the other reindeer loved him and told him he would go down in history!

Then, the radio disc jockey who called himself the non-creative name of 'Mr. DJ' said, "Before becoming tied up with Christmas, what was Yule? The first who calls phone number 252-525- 2525 with the right answer wins two tickets to go to The Bay City Theatre and see the award-winning hilarious Christmas play, "Twas the Time the Mice Ate all the Cheese on Christmas.""
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Starsky knew the correct answer to the disc jockey's question and in a panic loudly yelled, "Where's a payphone when I need one!?"

"I see one right there!" Hutch burst out.

"Where!?"

"There, just a few feet in front of us," Hutch said, bringing his mid-sized car to an abrupt stop.

They hurried out of the vehicle and didn't bother to close the doors. As soon as they were inside the phone booth, Starsky picked up the handset to place the phone call to the radio station.

But to do so he exclaimed to Hutch, "I need a dime to put in the coin slot!"

"Oh, yeah!" Hutch yelled. Not having one on him, he rushed to the car. Digging the coin, and hurriedly, out from under the passenger seat, he got to Starsky with the dime, and with time ticking away, "Here!" he breathily panted out. What with his adrenaline even more-so kicked in from the physical exercise and the urgency to give Starsky the coin, and slapped it into Starsky's left palm.

Inserting the coin into the slot, and dialing the phone number, all Starsky heard was a female voice recording telling him, "We're sorry. You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service. If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check the number and try your call again."

And so Starsky did try the call again. Not having to re-check to see if he had the easy to remember phone number correct, as it did have five 25s in it and Christmas was Dec. 25th. But all he got was the same stupid recording!

Hutch wasn't being bossy about it and was just trying to be helpful, "Let me dial the number," and gently but firmly took the handset away from him. But sure enough, he got the same recording as the brunet had!

And after so many times trying to get the disc jockey to answer the phone instead of getting that frustrating recording, both Hutch's wrists and his index fingers…his dialing fingers… were achingly sore.

Then, suddenly, he heard the disc jockey say, "You've reached radio station KMCM and so far we don't have anyone who knows the correct answer to before becoming tied up with Christmas what was Yule?"

Hutch had the handset pulled away from his ear so Starsky could hear what the disc jockey had just said, when the brunet quickly snatched the thing out of the blond's right hand.

"Before becoming tied up with Christmas, Yule was a pagan midwinter festival!" Starsky, excited, yelled into the mouthpiece.

"You're right!" said the disc jockey. "And celebrated by Germanic peoples connected to Norse mythology. Now if you can tell me who according to Norwegian mythology led the Wild Hunt across the sky, you'll win two tickets to go to Super Bowl VI!"

"Go to Super Bowl VI! Wow!" Starsky gushed out the words. Although looking entirely dumbfounded, not having any idea who led the Wild Hunt across the sky (whatever the Wild Hunt across the sky was, because he surely didn't know!) he informed the disc jockey, "I'm Jewish! Hutch is the Norwegian one! If he tells you who led the Wild Hunt across the sky, do I still win the two tickets?"

"Yes, just as long as he's who goes watch the game with you. That's only fair."

"He's my best friend. Of course, he can go with me!" Starsky also had the handset pulled away from his ear, so Hutch had heard everything the disc jockey had said. "Tell him, Hutch. Tell him who led the Wild Hunt across the sky!" Starsky exclaimed with even more determined that he did so.

Hutch held his hand out, "To tell the DJ who led, I need you to give me that."

"Give you what?"

"That thing in yours and not in my hand. You big dummy."

"This thing? This handset?"

"Yes!" Hutch, and with fond exasperation for his partner, rolled his eyes at him, and took possession of the handset.

Using the manners while growing up his parents had taught him, "Hi! How are you today?" he sincerely asked the DJ.

"Fine, thanks! Thanks for asking me that! You're the first caller whose done that today! So, what's your answer, Blintz?"

"Blintz. That's what Starsky sometimes calls me!"

"This Starsky. Where is he right now?"

"Still standing right here beside me in this almost isn't big enough for the two of us to fit into, phone booth."

"Ah, Starsky. He's the guy you'll be going with to watch Super Bowl VI if you can tell me who led the Wild Hunt across the sky."

"Right!"

"Right what?"

"Right that he's the guy I'll be going with to watch Super Bowl VI if I can tell you who led the Wild Hunt across the sky!" Hutch exclaimed. Then chuckled in amusement at the disc jockey.

"So, who was it who led the Wild Hunt across the sky, Blondie?"

"How do you know I'm blond?"

"Aren't all Norwegians?"

"No."
"But you are blond?"

"Yes."
"And with blue eyes?"

"Yes," Hutch sighed out."But not all Norwegians have blue ones. Don't know what color Odin's were, but being the Yule leader, he's who led the Wild Hunt across the sky." When Hutch paused. "Ah, you want me to expand some more on this, or not?" he asked, and moving the soles of his shoes back and forth on the phone booth's floor. Self-conscious and nervous, the DJ and those who were listening to the radio might not be interested in what else he could tell them about the Wild Hunt and Odin.

"Sure, go ahead, Blintz."

"Well, Odin is also the god of the dead, inspiration, ecstatic trance, battle frenzy, knowledge, the ruling class, and creative and intellectual pursuits in general. Two of Odin's hundreds of names further show his association with midwinter, Jólnir and Jauloherra, both which mean something like 'Master of Yule'. The myths describe him frequently riding throughout the nine worlds of Yggdrasil on Sleipner, his eight-legged steed with super strength.--- Or Odin on quests of a shamanic nature, another theme that connects him to the Wild Hunt. As H.R. Ellis Davidson put it, speaking of the manifestations of the Wild Hunt that continued well into the Christian era, it was natural that the ancient god of the dead who rode through the air should keep a place in this way in memory of the people, and it reminds us of the terror which his name must once have inspired."

"Well, aren't you just a wealth of fascinating information! For that you've also won a 16-ounce can of gourmet coffee!" Mr. DJ then informed him.

"Cool beans!"

"I can see you saying 'Cool' but, 'Cool beans!'… Hutch!?" Starsky was laughing at him for having said that.

"Oh, shut up, Starsky. I'm on a roll here. Mr. DJ just told me I'll win a trip for two to the Bahamas if I can answer what plant-based Christmas tradition did servants in Victorian England popularize?"

"The Bahamas! I've always wanted to go there!" Starsky rubbed his hands together in excitement.

"Ah, Blondie, I need an answer from you and now. It's almost time for me to play some more Christmas songs," said the DJ.

"Okay. Kissing under the mistletoe is that Christmas tradition."

"Right you are! Stay on the line and I'll get back with you on when on Monday you and Starsky can come to the radio station to pick up all you've won today!"
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It was still Saturday and mid-afternoon, and back inside the Ford Fairlane, Hutch was still driving them to cut down the Christmas tree.

"We get to go watch Super Bowl VI! We get to go to the Bahamas!" the two best friends sing-songed together. When they were through, Starsky and with a very cheerful smile still on his face, added, "We get to go see that award-winning hilarious Christmas play, "Twas the Time the Mice Ate All the Cheese on Christmas.""

The blond stayed smiling too. His again less lop-sided than Starsky's whose sometimes reminded him of a Cheshire's cat.

"But I think it's kind of a stupid name for a play," Hutch commented. "Although I am looking forward to seeing it just as much as you are! And that 16-ounce can of gourmet coffee, I'll even give you half of it! Ain't that nice of me, Starsk?"

"Ain't' isn't a word! It's ' Isn't' that nice of me, Starsk?' Though you already know that ya goofus college boy!"
At which point Starsky opened the glove box and got out a snow-white balloon.

After blowing the balloon up and tying a knot in it, he affectionately, although briskly, rubbed the right side of Hutch's head with it.

(The last time he was in Hutch's car, he'd put the balloon in the glove box.)

Hutch was letting him rub the balloon on his hair too. Actually, enjoying the feeling of it, even though it felt rather…well, weird!

Then, when Starsky's hands got too tired alternating doing it anymore, he took the balloon back far enough away from Hutch's head before popping it loudly between his palms.
Continuing to look at Hutch… the fair hair was still humorously sticking out all over the place and from all the static electricity still in it! Starsky just wished he had his 35mm camera with him to take a picture of Hutch with!
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It was a half-hour later that Hutch chopped down his real Christmas tree. Albeit, he had to dish out $55.00 to the owner of the Christmas tree farm to do it. And now he was low on cash, and there was still a week to go until the next payday. Yet he had no complaints about having spent that amount of money on the real one. Even if he could've gotten an artificial tree at a store for 30 bucks cheaper.

Besides that, the real tree he had chopped down was a beauty! Even Starsky agreed it was. Also, another nice thing was that the owner of the farm had provided the twine, and at no extra charge, for Hutch to tie the tree to the roof of his car so it wouldn't fall off while he was driving.

The two detectives arrived safely back at Hutch's cottage by the canal. Currently, some ducks were swimming contentedly on it...

Right after Hutch untied the tree from the Fairlane's roof and pocketed the twine to re-use when it was time to take the by then dead tree to where it would be turned into compost to put under a Bay City's public park's playground equipment, he swung the still alive tree over a shoulder and brought it inside his place.
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Not asking the six-foot-one blond where he'd gotten the tree stand and some other Christmas things already in the living room, Starsky wasn't too short to help him set up the tree.

After they did that, Starsky was tapping his foot on the floor and waiting for Hutch to give him something else to do. The blond had big hands, but was good at doing a lot of things by himself with them. But when opening the box with the strings of Christmas lights, and seeing somehow they had gotten tangled together, gave Starsky the job of helping him get them out of the huge knot.

Then both went to the kitchen and with each having their own sewing needle, strung the popcorn they'd just popped onto some strands of Christmas-colored sewing thread. It was a struggle to not eat some popcorn, when it was back to the living room yet again and after Starsky poured a pitcher of water into the tree stand's water reservoir, helped Hutch decorate the tree with the Christmas lights, Christmas ornaments, silver tinsel, and strands of popcorn.

Hutch placed the gold and still very shiny star on top of the tree--

Even with Starsky thinking the tree was absolutely stunning and exclaimed, "Wow!" He soon whined, "Come to think of it, real Spruce and Fir trees are also evergreens, but don't have quite the same smell as real pine trees do. So why couldn't you have chopped down a Spruce or Fir tree instead! Hum!?"

On the other hand, Hutch was enjoying the smell of the pine. The two reasons he didn't go off on his belly-aching best friend and tell him to go home if he didn't like it was because he loved the guy so much, and wanted to spend more time with him.

"How bout sharing a bowl of salad with veggies in it you like too, and with Red French Dressing poured on top?"

"That actually sounds good right now," Starsk remarked, rubbing his empty stomach with his left hand.

Sitting beside each other on the couch with their feet comfortably propped up on the coffee table, the curly-haired man vigorously shook the salad dressing bottle when off came the lid! Drenching the whole left side of Hutch's face with it.

The stuff ran down onto his nice white shirt and ruining yet another one. It was now the second time in Hutch's life that he'd had something like this happen to him, and he was really tempted to yell, "Starsky! You idiot!"

But something stopped him from doing so, though he didn't know yet what it was- other than he still loved Starsk, and wanted to spend even more time with him.
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Later in the week, they went to that award-winning hilarious Christmas play and afterward, on the way back to Starsky's place, with Hutch again driving his Ford Fairlane, told Starsky, "In the forest, mistletoe is a bit of a scourge… a parasitic plant that latches onto trees and feeds off of them. So, during Christmastime, where did the tradition of kissing beneath the mistletoe come from?- Well, the plant's association with romance dates back to ancient Norse mythology. But by the 18th century, stealing a kiss beneath the mistletoe became a common practice among British servants, and the tradition spread from there."

The brunet felt like he was back in his senior year of high school, but he was listening to Hutch attentively instead of being bored to death and falling asleep like he had on that one teacher, Mrs. Donald. "But I still don't know what a Wild Hunt is and according to Norse mythology that god Odin led!" Starsky felt like he might bust a kidney, in sheer exasperation wanting to know the answer before his curiosity drove him nuts!

"It's a wild hunt…a desperate search... for wild turnips."

"Wild turnips! How odd!"

"Yeah, it is!" Hutch readily agreed, then a few minutes ticked by when…

"I see that mischievous look on your face, Goldilocks! You're just yanking my chain it's for wild turnips! So really, what is a Wild Hunt?"

"Honestly, it would take too long for me to tell you what it is, so I'll tell you what, partner. When we get back to my place, I'll give you a book that's one of the ten best there is about Norse mythology. Would you like that?"

"Hum. Now that I thought it over, if I read it, will it give me nightmares? Nightmares, so I wake up on your couch in the middle of the night and irritated about it, you chop my head off with that axe after all? The one that was in your car and you chopped your tree down with, but now is in your bedroom closet?"

"What do you think?" Hutch and teasingly, not giving him any more than that.
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Then during Thanksgiving Starsky and Hutch had an argument, albeit a friendly one, over if stuffing and dressing (not salad dressing) were the same thing.

On Christmas Day they had lunch at the Dobey's and sweet Rosie was only three-years-old, and Cal, also a great kid to be around, was eight.

Later in the afternoon, they had dessert, and though Starsky had helped himself to some cookies and apple pie, and cherry, and mincemeat pie too, he'd intentionally skipped out eating any of the German Chocolate Cake that Hutch had made earlier at his cottage house by a canal.

Everyone was sitting around the table where they'd sat during lunch, and Starsky was right next to Hutch when finally the blond took a fork, and picking up some cake with it, told Starsky to open his mouth. But all Starsky did was complain, "I hate coconut and you know that, and there's coconut in that there frosting on that cake!"

"Oh! Shut up, Starsk," Hutch scolded him, silencing him, then re-ordered him to open his mouth and stuck some cake in it, withdrawing the fork.
Starsky didn't feel awkward about smacking his lips while he munched on the cake and with just the right amount of moistness. Additionally, the frosting had just the right amount of sweetness, chopped pecans, and also to his surprise, he didn't hate the coconut.

He stopped chewing long enough to confess, "Oh this is sooooo good! I think I've died and gone to heaven!"

"Knew you'd love it!" Hutch beamed at him. Although without being haughty.

After Starsky swallowed what cake he had left in his mouth, he couldn't stop helping himself to some more and some more and some more of the cake!
One might even say he was addicted to it. "Why is it called German Chocolate Cake, though? Did the Germans invent it?" he asked everyone except Rosie and too young to know.

"Actually, its roots can be traced back to 1852 when American baker Samuel German developed a type of dark baking chocolate for the Baker's Chocolate Company. The company named it after him, but 'German's Chocolate' didn't become well known until 1957," Edith explained. Then added, "I wouldn't have known any of that if I hadn't read it in a cooking magazine."

Starsky belched, and excusing himself from the table, went over to the record player and put on an album Hutch had given him for this year's Christmas present. He had played it several times that morning and while he and Hutch were still at his mid-Bay City apartment.

But what made the present so special to Starsky was that it was Hutch who was singing the songs on the record album. All of which he'd penned himself, with more than one having to do with working partners and best friends!

It was the first time Edith and her husband had heard Hutch sing, "You have a very beautiful voice, Hutch!" Edith enthused. "Don't you think so too, Harold?"

"Harumph!" was his "Yes."

Still, there was a reason Hutch had asked Starsky to not bring the record album to the Dobey's. It was because he didn't yet have the self-confidence to not get all shy about being heard singing, and 'solo' by anyone other than, of course, Starsk. Also, his close relatives like his mom, Dad, and sister Katie (all he'd known a long time) and was comfortable singing for them.

"Tha-tha-thank-you for the compli-ment Edith and Cap'n Dob—ey," Hutch anyway stammered.

While still sitting at the kitchen table, "Humph!" was Dobey's only comment and could be taken as, "You're welcome."

Edith hurried out of her chair and putting an arm around Hutch who hadn't gotten out of his, "I have faith in you dear that one day you'll do just fine singing by yourself at the annual Spring police picnic."

(Although he didn't know approximately five years from now when he sang in a Country and Western bar, in front of a crowd with his favorite guitar… that even standing right beside Sue Ann Grainger, a famous female singer with long blond hair, and would help him out singing if he needed it, that he'd still get stage-fright.) "
Thank-you" he said to Edith, and this time without any shyness.

He then got to thinking about something else, little Rosie's crying interrupted it, and he helped Edith put her down for a late afternoon nap.

As she slept, everyone else including him played board games until it was dark outside and time for everyone to get in the Dobey's station wagon.

Harold driving them through some neighborhoods that had lots of houses with dazzling Christmas lights on them, and Christmas displays in their front yard.
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January 16th, the year now 1972-the two Bay City detectives could be found at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans.
It was the 2nd time the Super Bowl was being played in the city and despite the southerly location it was unseasonably cold, with a kickoff air temperature at 39 °F (4 °C). Making it the coldest Super Bowl ever being played.

However, they, like everyone there, were properly dressed for the weather...

It was the American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champions the Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champions the Miami Dolphins and to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1971 season. To Starsky and Hutch's delight, the Cowboys defeated the Dolphins by the score of 24–3, to win their first Super Bowl!

As for the Bahamas, summers there can be rainy, with daytime temperatures reaching around 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celsius) and the guys didn't want to go there during that. Hurricane season lasts from July to October, and though the beaches are the most crowded during the high season which runs from November to mid-April, it's the best time of the year to go to the Bahamas. The radio station who'd been playing the Christmas songs, and they'd won the trip from, made it so they could go in mid-March, and where they celebrated Starsky's birthday.

Although Starsky and Hutch were on vacation, surprisingly, nothing bad was happening. Other than Hutch was very tired at a restaurant Starsky and he were at and kept bobbing his head up and down. He opened his eyes, then closed them again.

Finally, he fell asleep, but what woke him was his face falling in the middle of a plate of over-easy eggs and some toast with jelly he'd ordered at the restaurant, but hadn't yet got around to eating.

Endnotes: One website I looked at differs from the one I first read about mistletoe. It has it as an important part of Celtic and Norse religion and became intertwined with Christmas. But no one knows how the tradition of kissing under mistletoe got started.
Also, Hutch and Starsky's descriptions of the reindeer I got off a Santa update website. Additionally, although there was a census (most likely not in December, but more likely in August or September and would be warm enough for travel for the census and also the shepherds to be out with their flocks.) Also, I don't know how much of a madhouse the census was as it doesn't say so in the Bible.