Santa Claus Is Not Coming To Town (He's Surfin' the
by Patrick Holland
I've just received some shocking news, via e-mail sent from the North Pole.
While I'm not at liberty to identify my source, I can say his email address
is that of "firstname.lastname@example.org." I fear the worst.
The situation being as it is, I feel it's my duty as a journalist to pass
along to the children of this country whatever information has been sent
to me. As a human being, though, I wish I could just close my eyes and
make it all go away. Kinda' like how most folks felt towards the '96 Presidential
The message reads as follows:
Urgent! I send this in hopes someone can help! Christmas is in jeopardy!!
Santa Claus has become a recluse up here, and rumor around camp has it
he's going to sit this year out. For the past two months, thousands of
children have foregone their traditional requests for bikes, dolls, little
puppies and Scooter Pies and instead have asked for computer modems that
will allow them to "Surf the Net." Santa, confused by such a huge demand
for phone utensils, took it upon himself two weeks ago to check out the
Internet and see what the fuss was all about. He hasn't left his room since.
It gets worse.
Production in the toy factory has come to a halt. On December 4th, The
North Pole Elves Union walked out on strike. Officials here thought they
were bluffing, but now the streets are full of striking elves. Santa's
only response to the Union's action was to hire inferior Replacement Elves,
including the Lucky Charms Leprechaun (who technically is not an elf at
all), and that annoying Little Sprout who for years was the Jolly Green
Giant's sidekick. Both were signed to one year contracts. (Santa's also
said to be in negotiations, via an Internet chat line, with two former
members of the 1986 Keebler Elves' unit who were kicked out of their tree
for illegal use of a controlled substance known only as "pseudo-buttery
While these Replacement Elves have infuriated the North Pole Elves Union,
the situation nearly came to blows after yesterday's incident. With Santa
locked in his room downloading pictures of Pamela Anderson, Lucky the Leprechaun
convinced the other Replacement Elves to stop work on Barbie and Ken dolls
and instead begin producing 4,000,000 action figures resembling the cast
of Showgirls. (Thankfully, a truce between the Union and the Replacement
Elves' was finally arrived at hours later -- with help of negotiator Jimmy
Carter -- just as production was about to begin on Ishtar sock puppets.)
Worse yet, there's chaos in the reindeer stable. To start
with, Rudolph was picked up by border patrol last night carrying two kilograms
of "snow." (Explains that red nose, now, doesn't it?)
Then, Donner and Dasher assembled the North Pole's Board of Directors this
morning to complain about Santa's recent return flight from the annual
Dr. Seuss memorial service somewhere in the States. Both reindeer claim
they were unrespectfully assigned to fly towards the back of the sled.
To add insult to injury, they say Santa didn't speak to them the entire
flight. Donner had planned to discuss with Saint Nick a sure-fire way to
balance Santa's budget deficit that's grown steadily since the Cabbage
Patch Kids and Hello Kitty! went out of fashion in the late 1980s.
The North Pole Post, our local tabloid, caught wind of the story when Santa
released photos to the paper of both Donner and Dasher clearly engaging
in heated discussion with him during the flight. Dasher explained how he
and Donner were merely arguing the significance of Lady Diana's recent
BBC interview. No one bought the story.
With rumors circulating that tomorrow morning's front cover of the Post
will show Donner and Dasher along with the headline, "On Donner, On Dasher,
On Everyone's Nerves," the Board of Directors quickly voted to ban any
copies of the paper from Santa's workshop. This accomplished, they've taken
the rest of the week off and given themselves a pay raise. The issue of
the striking Elves has been ignored.
What's truly sad is that throughout all of this, many of the Elves' children
have been neglected by their parents. Not due to the strike, mind you,
but because the elders have been watching a special Beetles Anthology television
special in which an unfinished John Lennon Christmas song has apparently
been found that the singer had planned on releasing before his untimely
death. The surviving Beetles collaborated on the tune, changing its original
title, "Oh Little Town of Liverpool," to "'Twas the Night Before We Used
John's Voice Ordering Pizza Over The Phone To Make Millions."
So bad has the Elves' Neglect been towards their children, many of the
younger kids have not been fed in days. And these kids are hungry, let
me tell you. This morning Vixen woke up to find the name tag on her stall
door replaced with a sign reading, "Venison." Things are getting nasty
Yet I'm afraid that's still not the end of it. Yesterday found nearly two
dozen Coca Cola polar bears wandering around Santa's village begging for
a caffeine fix. The Coca Cola Company has apparently put them out of work,
citing polar bears have been replaced by frogs and ants that pitch beer
as hot marketing trends. Besides, with advances in computer animation shown
in Toy Story, Polar Bears who grin and chug highly carbonated beverages
just aren't on the cutting edge of technology any more.
The only person that could possibly save the situation up here is Mrs.
Claus. But after a stellar 1994 in public opinion poles, Santa and his
Happy Advisors have reduced her duties to reading mail. They've also changed
her hairstyle to reflect a more soft-spoken, traditional wife. And when
she tried to release a statement concerning her views on the O.J. Simpson
verdict, Santa's press secretary intercepted the statement, altering its
content to read, "Mrs. Claus expressed surprise during the O.J. trial when,
just as the jury was about to read its verdict, her gingerbread cookies
burst into flames while cooking in the oven."
With all these distractions and obstacles, there appears
to be very little hope for Christmas as we've come to know it. I now ask
you to do whatever you can to prepare the children of your country for
a Santa-less Christmas. Years ago when the jolly fat guy would get in a
funk around the holidays, we'd just get him to enjoy a nice glass of egg
nog and watch Johnny Carson. Today, with egg nog considered a killer of
overweight, older men in today's fat-infatuated society, and late night
television about as entertaining as, well, Saturday Night Live, there just
doesn't seem to be an answer.
You know, at this late stage of the game, you'd think everyone would pull
together and get things done. They always have before. But attitudes seem
to have changed. Christmas isn't what it used to be. People aren't who
they used to be. Alas, tonight find Prancer, Comet and the guys from accounting
over in Sweden getting drunk. Prancer's already been pulled over twice
for DWI -- if he does it again he'll be permanently grounded. Which is
unfortunate, because he's a role model whether he wants to be or not. Just
like the other reindeer, the elves, and Santa himself. I've sent e-mail
to Santa reminding him of this, but his only response has been, "Did you
know slugs can mate with themselves? Says so right here on the World Wide
Web." This year, that's as far as the big guy's going to get to traveling
Where's Colin Powell when you need him?
Patrick Holland still believes in Santa Claus, but isn't so sure about
the Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Social Security.