Monday, December 12, 2005

Probing Santa's Psyche

Yesterday, as I will several times between now and December 24th, I was walking through a shopping mall and spotted the traditional department store Santa Clause. On his lap was a girl who looked to me to be about 13 years old sporting a physique desirable in few places outside of the world of Sumo wrestling. I found it amusing that she was also wearing a t-shirt that suggested she was a member of a local middle school’s track and field team. Exactly what activity she participated in was not identified but if I had to guess I would say that she was either the team’s champion shot put thrower or the matt the pole vaultors landed on after clearing the high bar. I can’t imagine her running very fast unless it was in pursuit of a jelly donut that a strong wind was blowing across the parking lot. As I took in this spectacle though, I could not help but wonder what in the name of God would drive a man to subject his lap to that kind of punishment.

I took a break from searching for a jeweler who looked like they knew what my wife wanted for Christmas and took a post within eyeshot of St. Nick. I wanted to see if I could figure out what his motivation was for working this particular racket. I doubted it was the $8.00 an hour they were paying him. Did he do it because he loved children? I would say no. I love children myself but that doesn’t mean that I would want to deal with them while they’re amped up on candy canes and shaking from the adrenaline rush they get in anticipation of the loot they think they’re going to receive on December 25th. Hell, with Christmas less than two weeks away, I’m hesitant to face my own kids unless I’m equipped with a tranquilizer gun and a cattle prod.

Has he finally figured out a way to get paid to indulge his golden shower fetish instead of dishing out a couple hundred bucks a week to a crack addict to satisfy his urges? That’s a strong possibility. Getting soaked by incontinent toddlers has got to be one of the most common occupational hazards of a department store Santa and I can’t think that someone would put themselves into that kind of danger unless they got some sort of charge out of it. If that’s the case, I also have to wonder if they get the same fulfillment picking chunks of partially digested McDonald’s Happy Meals out of their beards as well.

Is he on the prowl for hot single mothers? Possibly, but I can’t imagine he’d be experiencing much pick-up success dressed in a red felt suit and reeking of toddler urine, diaper rash ointment and the stale malt liquor he’s been sweating out of his pores for the past four hours. He’d have better luck trying to feel up the teenaged “helpers” the mall hired to keep the lines flowing or putting the moves on one of the electric reindeer when no one’s looking.

Does his soul just need the type of soothing peace that could only be provided by the screams of a two-year-old who just discovered that he has a glorified-carnival-worker-with-bratwurst-breath-in-a-red-suit phobia? That’s about the only perk I can think of with that job that could possibly bring me any satisfaction: scaring a timid toddler half to death with the full expressed permission of the little people larvae’s sadistic parents. Without that, I’d have to resort to passing out packs of matches to the little tykes along with their candy canes just to keep myself amused.

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