by Zoë Pollock

A Los Angeles detective recounts the tale of Preston Tingle, a watchful troll living under a bridge around Christmas time. Tingle wanted to report on train burglars but was instead subjected to a media blitz and destroyed by Christmas charity and cheer:

We drove him back to the bridge and when we wished him a Merry Christmas and asked if he was going to take the job at the movie studio, he rooted in his ears and nose, scratched his lower body front and rear (encased in brand new Sears khakis), climbed his rope ladder and announced, "This is all a gud-damn sham!" 
 

By Christmas Day, Preston Tingle felt obliged to escape all the do-gooders, well wishers and looky-loos who kept lavishing gifts and food and job offers on him. He left his home under the Fourth Street Bridge and that was the last we ever saw of him.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.