Ahhh, it’s that time of year when the weather becomes unbearable and a young man’s thoughts turn to cooler weather and the flurries of winter. While that may or may not actually happen, it did give me an appropriate intro to today’s topic – Santa Claus. What? Santa Claus? As in the big guy? The Jolly dude in red? Yep, but even better - how about several hundred jolly dudes in red, most of who are currently seeing red.
I recently heard on NPR and read online about a nasty feud occurring within the Amalgamated Order of Real-Bearded Santas (AORBS). Though no one has been around this blog long enough to remember (although it’s probably like no one wants to admit being around this blog long enough), I actually wrote about the AORBS meeting in Branson, Missouri as one of my very first blog posts back in the summer of 2006. So, it brought back memories and stuff when I came across them in the news again. I guess a summer convention of the Amalgamated Order of Real-Bearded Santas is about as predictable as the Perseid Meteor shower every August, or perhaps the complaints of Olympic athletes about the level of smog in Beijing.
For detailed reasons that I will not go into here because of time, space and not wanting to spend the energy typing them constraints, we’ll just say that the Santas are not all getting along too well right now. We shall call it (and get your air quotes ready) a ‘power struggle’ on the AORBS board of directors. The struggle originated with one of the Santas profiting from essentially acting as a Santa casting agent for a movie that needed Santas. From what I heard on NPR, the Santas are accusing each other of doing very Grinch-like things and not acting true to the beard. For the record, ‘true to the beard’ is something I made up. I doubt seriously that they talk like that. However, if they wish to use the phrase, the rights to it are definitely for sale.
I don’t want to be a downer, but this is another sign that the world is ending. I mean we know it’s ending. All signs and predictions point to December 21, 2012, which is why I have already prepared my resignation letter for December 15th, 2012 and will be celebrating Christmas on December 20th that year. That’s all beside the point though, unless you believe in this prediction, but then that really has nothing to do with my topic here. My concern is with how much further our society can fall. When professional Santas who take their jobs seriously enough to have real beards of white start infighting, what’s next? Now the obvious thing to do here would be to insert some random holiday analogy, but I’m not going to stoop that low. Are we next going to start doping our reindeer so they fly better? Crap, I did stoop that low!
Really though, pro Santas fighting and slandering each other? Now what type of model behavior is that during a presidential election year? Santa (or Santas) need to set a good example. When the arbiter of naughty and nice can’t get along well with others or behave in a positive way, then why should we expect the same from our Presidential nominees or anyone else for that matter? By dissing (is it still cool to use that word) fellow Santas, they are saying it’s ok to slander or spread false accusations about your opponent or enemy or frenemy and the last thing we want is a dirty Presidential campaign. Although on my final read through of this before posting it, I am still not sure why I had to equate fighting Santas with Obama and McCain. I’d like to blame the eggnog, but those misers at the grocery store don’t feel they need to stock it yet.
Hopefully the Santa Wars are resolved before this affects Tom and Tami Kiddy at Christmastime. Do you remember how disruptive the writer’s strike of earlier this year was on our lives? Now just imagine having your child right in the middle of the battleground on Santa’s lap at the mall or down at the local Home Depot (where you can do it and we can help). Your cute little offspring is about to tell Santa they want a pony or Red Rider BB Gun with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time at the same moment that rival bearded Santas take aim at the Santa holding your dear child. Now we have an injured innocent child whose only crime was picking this mall or Home Depot (remember where you can do it and we can help) to tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas.
As you can see from the story above, this has the potential to be a very serious epidemic. Ok, epidemic is way too strong a word and you either:
1) didn’t know anything about this before I brought it to your attention
2) were aware of this but couldn’t muster up enough concern to validate it because you are currently focusing all your attentions on more troubling issues like the plight of the Topaz Ringed Lima Bird in the Amazon
However, when innocent kids come home with the battle scars of Christmas and we are opening our daily papers to read about Santa accusing the other Santa of being a two-timing, no good louse with a belly full of vodka instead of jelly, please don’t say I didn’t warn you.
And now that this story is over, does anyone know a good lawyer who would be willing to represent me in the case of the Amalgamated Order of Real-Bearded Santas vs. Michael C. because of slander? I can pay you with PEZ.