Debriefing Saint Nicholas

Now that Christmas has come and gone, the Clown reached out to Saint Nicholas to get the jolly old elf’s take on this year’s recent holiday. What with rumors of a War on Christmas being pervasive this year, especially on certain cable news outlets, the Clown wanted some insight from one of Christmas’s main players. And, other than the Baby Jesus, who doesn’t give interviews, St. Nick is ‘da man.

The Clown, not eager to drag his easily-chilled bones all the way to the North Pole, arranged a Skype call. What follows is a slightly edited version of our conversation.

The Clown: First things first, Nick…may I call you Nick?

Saint Nicholas: Actually, I much prefer “Santa”. It has a softer, warmer, more friendly brand feel. “Nick” sounds like something irritating that happens when you’re shaving.

The Clown: Point well taken Santa, even if you don’t, you know, actually shave. As I said, first things first. How the blazes do you get around to every single solitary house, apartment, condo and various domiciles of the world in a single night?

Saint Nicholas: Speed, lad, speed. We travel at the speed of a twinkling, which is quite fast. NASA has been pestering me for years regarding the technology but certain things need to remain mysterious. Twinkling speed is the reason that boys and girls who stay up to see Santa never do. I’m in and out so fast that there isn’t even a blur. I pull some serious G’s and that’s hard on an elf of my girth. We also work at twinkling speed in the workshop most of the year. Mrs. Claus requires, I should add, that I slow down to normal speed in the marital bed. She prefers a Saint with slow hands, if you get my drift.

The Clown: Besides being close to too much information, your answer doesn’t explain the NORAD Santa Tracker. It reports your progress across Canada and the radar blip appears to travel at sub-sonic speed throughout the evening.

 Saint Nicholas: Oh, that’s just a little trick that Bell Gates, our technology elf, came up with. NORAD falls for it every year. We hook a GPS device to the leg of a Canadian gander, tell the bird that it’s mating season in Fort Myers and that there is a shortage of ganders in South Florida. These birds are two things if anything, oversexed and dumber than frozen turkeys.

The Clown: I see, very clever but even with twinkling speed, the world is a big place.

Saint Nicholas: Too true, but there are lots of places around the globe that don’t celebrate Christmas so I can just breeze past. If you look at the list of some of those places, “breezing past” is a good safety tip. For instance, Somalia, Eritrea,  Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Yemen, Kazakhstan, United Arab Emirates, Libya, Iran, Azerbaijan, Oman, Turkmenistan, North Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Mauritania, Tajikistan, Bahrain, Jordan, Tunisia, Afghanistan and Turkey, to name but a few. In many of these places, I would be considered just another behead-able apostate and the reindeer would become exotic sex slaves.

The Clown: So much for the coverage of territory. How about the sheer volume of presents for good little girls and boys? How does all that go into one sack?

Saint Nicholas: ‘Tis true that until we struck a deal with Amazon, the sack was getting burdensome, especially for an elf of my vintage. Now, however, the sack contains mostly lumps of coal for which, by the way, the EPA has been on my back. It’s probably Obama’s fault. Given the uptick in the number of bad girls and boys, the coal load is now getting ponderous. I really think that many of these greedy little buggers need more drugs.

The Clown: Sounds like the whole Santa gig could be wearing thin.

Saint Nick: Thin?! That’s not the half of it, Bozo. My mailbox is packed with demand letters every December, usually nearly illegible, I’ve got the whole upscale mall crowd to contend with year after year, talk about an entitled bunch, we run short on the most popular toys and gadgets because these fickle little twerps decide at the last minute so then I get wads of complaint letters. In addition, I freeze my butt delivering stuff in the middle of the night. Thin? Ha, that’s rich.

The Clown: Take a deep breath, Santa. Let’s change the subject and please don’t call me Bozo. I imagine that keeping your weight down is a problem, what with all the milk and cookies left under the stockings.

Saint Nicholas: Here’s a little secret, Clown, I never eat or drink anything that I haven’t seen Mrs. Claus prepare herself. It’s a safety thing; there are some wackos out there. Besides, I’m diabetic and lactose intolerant. The sugar would be life-threatening in those amounts and if I drank some milk I’d be gassy the rest of the night. I just pinch off a bite-sized piece of cookie and slide it under the refrigerator for the roaches and then pour most of the milk into the fireplace ashes. Kids are really easy to fool, thank goodness. They’re much like Donald Trump supporters in that way.

The Clown: Are you still smoking the pipe these days? Is doesn’t seem a good example for the tots.

Saint Nicholas: What are you some kind of War on Christmas PC nut? The pipe is part of the shtick. Actually, however, I have stopped smoking the pipe; it yellows my teeth but I still clench it for effect. In addition, it helps stop the cold-induced chattering. It’s damned cold most Christmas Eves. When you calculate in our twinkling speed, the wind-chill factor gets way low.

The Clown: So, Santa, any other news from Christmas 2015 that you want to share?

Saint Nicholas: Yes, yes I do. Dancer and Prancer chose 2015 as the year to come out of the closet. Truth be told, no one at the Pole was the least bit surprised, I mean “Dancer” and “Prancer”, come on. We’re planning a big engagement party in March and, now that it’s legal, a wedding in California next August. It will be a small ceremony at Venice Beach where we won’t attract much if any attention.

The Clown: Wow, Santa, I think that we made some real news in this conversation. I’ll share it with my loyal readers who hang on my every word.

Saint Nicholas: My pleasure, Clown. Anyway, I’ve got to go. Consuela–I mean Mrs. Claus–is calling from the bedroom. She’s probably modeling the new teddy I got her at Victoria’s Secret. She’s using her husky, come hither voice. “In a twinkling, darling.” Click!


Observoid of the Day: Elves are neither dwarfs nor midgets, except in Hollywood.

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