Book ‘Em, Santo

(The latest mutation of a seasonal favorite that previously appeared, with various different-one words, here and here.)

The frenzy to arrest people long ago veered completely out of control. And now, as we enter this holiday season, we learn that these days it is necessary to place in the pokey even people who but publicly deny the existence of Santa Claus.

And this didn’t even happen in America. It was the Canadians, who did this.

Seems that during a Kingston, Ontario Christmas parade, a man, seized by the need to speak truth to power, and fortified by alcohol, shocked the children assembled by volubly informing them that Santa Claus is just made-up shit.

Police promptly picked him up and heaved him into the hoosegow.

People at the annual Santa Claus parade reported that a man was moving through the crowd telling childrenReal “the truth” about Santa Claus, saying that he wasn’t real.

“It hits every officer,” [Kingston policeman Steve] Koopman told the Canadian National Post, “as most of us have children ourselves. Some people have been saying, ‘We didn’t know police arrested for telling the truth.’ Some of us may disagree with that. In all honesty, he was disturbing everyone there on the thoroughfare.

“He was disturbing the families, obviously disturbing the children. We felt it very necessary to take him off the street and think the charges were warranted,” Koopman explained.

Koopman noted that the person arrested had his hair gelled into two “horns,” making him look like the famous Grinch from the Christmas classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Probably we will next be subjected to stories in which the children assaulted by this horrific Grinch and his inconvenient truth, were all rounded up and clapped into camps, for intensive psychological counseling. As the years go by, we will recurrently learn that many of them, permanently crippled by this incident, all counseling and treatment having, alas, failed, ran utterly wild in lives of the most heinous crimes.

I mean, shit, it happened to me.

Though when I was told that Santa was a figment, no squad cars came roaring up to disgorge beefy men with big clubs, to grapple my dad into the back seat, and then screech him off to the jailhouse.

It happened like this. I can still picture it. Some pint-sized smart-ass in kindergarten arrogantly declaimed that Santa Claus was a figment, shit just made up by grown-ups for Some Unknown Reason. He said he knew this because his father had told him so. I told this kid he was heavy with bollocks, because my father had told me Santa was Real, and my father would never lie. And anyway, the previous Christmas Eve I had seen Rudolph, when I peered out my window. And I really had.

I think the kid said I was crazy. And then the teacher came over and told us to get back to playdough or naps or whatever other important task we were about, there in kindergarten.

That evening my father was working in the garage, as he often did. I can still picture this, too. I informed him that over there at the school some Criminal had claimed that Santa Claus was fake, but that I had set him straight.

My father then said that, well, actually, there really was no Santa Claus. For a momentReal I was still as ice, and felt like it, too. Then I launched into a barrage of questions.

Well, who brings the presents, then? Who eats the cookies and drinks the milk? Who’s that who makes all the noise on the roof? And what was that small ruminant with the red nose doing outside my window?

After my father had thoroughly dematerialized Santa Claus, all his relations, and all his works, I moved through the roster of other magical beings.

Well, the Easter Bunny is real, right?

No, I was told, the rabbit’s a phony, too.

And the Tooth Fairy actually does have a thing for digging discarded molars out from under pillows, right?

No, in reality she never comes around, because she’s not Real.

Furthermore, I was informed, there ain’t no such thing as fairies, or leprechauns, or giants, or unicorns. Or any of that stuff. All fake.

Okay, I said, crushed. I get it. They’re all figments. And God—I understand now that he’s made up, too.

Oh no, I was assured. God is real.

Uh-huh, I thought. Sure. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. And that was the end of that god guy for me. Standing there on the concrete of my driveway, my world fallen down around me, five years old.

Making shit up, convincing someone to believe it, then pulling a “gotcha,” and telling them it was all bollocks—this can definitely damage a person.

I mean, look at Hitler. This is a guy who might all his life have remained a pacific paperhanger, if not knocked on his ass by the Santa banana peel. The evidence is right there, in the bunker footage embedded below.

2 Responses to “Book ‘Em, Santo”

  1. 1 Elva December 9, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Too bad you did not go to your Mother for the answer to your Santa Claus question. She would have told you a different kind of truth. I am sure she is sorry for this unhappiness you suffered and wish things would have been different in your young life. Maybe it is time to forgive your Father, as he was probably concentrating on the project he was working on.

    • 2 bluenred December 9, 2012 at 2:19 pm

      Oh, he’s forgiven. The conversation had to come some time. ; ) And no, he was not distracted. He very patiently laid the whole thing out, and at length. But you’re right about the mother thing. From her would have come a different story. Because she is Santa Claus. ; )

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When I Worked

December 2012

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