Saturday, December 19, 2009, 20:28 by
When They asked me to take over the Santa Stint the Missus had laughed at me and said I was too thin, too tall, too blue-eyed, too handsome, too dark-haired, too conceited and too everything to fit.
I think she was a bit peeved, frankly, that when They extended the offer to her she had already committed herself to hands-on lecturing for The Natural International Traditional Practical Contemporary Gourmand Cookery School, and so she couldn’t very well be chief cook and bottle washer for Them, too.
It’s already bad enough that we’d had to knock down the walls between the pantry and the dining room and the kitchen, to make it an open-plan area (I feel uncomfortable if I want to dunk my doughnut in the coffee when there are twenty pairs of eyes stabbing my back…) so that the trainees could move around without a by-my-leave.
Anyway, just for the record, whatever she said was wrong about my not being suitable for Santa is turning out to be exactly what is being recommended for Santa to be, as from this Christmas..
The press was agog with snide comments about how the old man ought to share his reindeer’s snacks, rather than eat cake. And how his rotund figure, with a BMA of at least 30%, was a walking time-bomb, making him a primary candidate for a heart attack or a stroke and dementia.
There were rumours that PETA was going to sue him for animal cruelty, and several letters appeared in the press complaining that the people who protested about the Zoo in your country said nothing about the fact that this overweight ball of lard overloaded his sleigh with more than the amount of presents it could reasonably hold, in order to deliver the gifts on time.
Someone at NASA told me that crashing continuously through the fourth dimension, and black holes at warp speeds, and crossing time zones did the reindeer’s metabolism no good at all – it wrecked their reproductive systems (which was just as well, he said, because the gene pool was damaged anyway). It is also further endangering the ozone layer, but does he care?
And of course, the AA had its say too – Santa’s photographs on Christmas Cards usually showed him DUI, and it was only rarely that a cop appeared in the frame with him, slapping him with a ticket for over-speeding or being drunk and disorderly, even if his beard was askew and his face more florid than usual because of the alcohol he’d have imbibed.
So here I am, the tall, dark and handsome alternative. What more could you want? I don’t smoke – and yes, there are still cards that show Santa with stripy socks, lolling on an armchair beside the fire, smoking one of his priceless collection of Meerschaums and not giving two hoots about the bad examples he is giving without even trying.
My lifestyle is bleached pristine. I know that some of you may consider me too thin, but as you have seen, these last few weeks I have pigged out… My exercise routine makes my metabolism balance out… or something. To think that in some countries, Santa is even more recognisable than Mickey Mouse or Superman!
Or even Santa Muerte. But she’s a totally different kettle of fish…. which reminds me it’s octopus stew this evening (the Missus chucks in a couple of squares of bitter chocolate and a handful of walnuts to bring out the taste better).
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