Friday, December 26, 2008

An interview with Santa Claus by Dr. Fishmonger

An interview with Santa Claus
by Dr. Ahmed Fishmonger, Special Correspondent for Glib Magazine

Although journalistic exclusives are rare for Glib magazine, the prospect arose for one of our staff to interview no less a personage than the merry old elf himself, Santa Clause fresh off of his Christmas Eve run through all of Earth’s Christian nations. Jumping upon this golden opportunity, I was brought by light airplane to a location that I am allowed to be no more specific about save to say that it is in the vast region of northern Canada called Nunavut.

I could devote pages to describing the large factory complex that I was shown, all of which seemed to have been constructed in the early nineteenth century and manned by the most extraordinary personnel I had ever encountered, but that would merely distract from the main event, my encounter with the living legend himself.

I was escorted to an office in a small building that might have once been a small quaint house from some storybook although it seemed almost too perfect. Strangely, it was bigger on the inside that it appeared to be from the outside. Santa’s “den” was at the end of a long corridor. In truth, it was an old-fashioned, but very well appointed office. There was no computer on the desk nor was there a telephone however there was a large brass and glass device that resembled a stock ticker that spewed out a constant strip of paper containing names, addresses and various coded symbols all fed off of a roll of paper that never seemed to diminish in size.

Father Christmas seemed relaxed enough, but even on the day after the big event, he was a busy man and had no time to waste. Santa Claus seems to be a human being about sixty years old, only moderately overweight. He is indeed white bearded and has a decidedly jolly demeanor. He rang a little silver bell and one of several curvaceous female assistants that I had seen in the front office entered with a plate of ginger cookies and brandy-laced hot chocolate in spite of the fact that it was around nine-thirty a.m.

I began asking my questions.

GLIB: So, was that Mrs. Claus?

Claus: Ho ho! They’re all sort of Mrs. Claus, if ya’know what I mean.

GLIB: Ahem…yes, I believe I do. So maybe I should call you “Hef” rather than Santa?

CLAUS: Let’s not get too glib, young man. I work hard and I play hard. You try doing what I do without some serious R&R.

GLIB: No disrespect intended sir, but that brings up a point. Exactly how do you do what you do? It seems utterly impossible for a single human being to accomplish this great feat that you perform year after year and just how long have you been doing this?

CLAUS: The operation had gone on at a small scale since about the year twelve hundred, but we really expanded around the turn of the 18th-19th century and have been growing ever since. I owe a lot to a well-organized support staff and of course I am not a human being.

GLIB: It almost goes without saying that we would make that assumption seeing as you have had the same appearance for centuries. So what exactly are you, then?

CLAUS: It’s no secret, people refer to it all the time calling me a merry old imp and it’s true, I am in fact an imp.

GLIB: An imp?

CLAUS: Yes an imp. A minor demon. I work in the service of the Great Dark One to keep the pagan traditions alive. I doubt that anyone could dispute that I have been quite effective.

GLIB: I think that my readers would be surprised to see you admit that so easily. Don’t you think it reduces your effectiveness to be so straightforward about your intent?

CLAUS: Not at all. Anyone can see that I have no connection with that Jesus fellow, but people still have no problem with me. It would be so easy for the world to dismiss me and I would be gone. The only force that keeps me in this world is the belief that people have in me. It doesn’t even have to be a belief in my actuality, merely the belief in me as a symbol. That’s all it takes. My workers are the elfin gentry, my symbology is that of the West’s ancient ways and yet generations of Christian men and women have encouraged their children to believe in me. I am one of Satan’s greatest triumphs!

GLIB (grinning and making heavy metal devil horns): Hail Satan! He he. But seriously, even with all of that, you don’t seem evil. I mean you bring toys to children. What could possibly be wrong with that?

CLAUS: Who said there was anything wrong with it? I believe in what I do and I think it brings people joy.

GLIB: Well, everyone loves getting stuff.

CLAUS: That’s right. Everyone loves getting stuff. I am the last place where people can simply get material things for nothing more than the act of believing in me and being nice.

GLIB: About that…being nice. You place quite a bit of stock in that, about a child being nice I mean. What defines that? What are the parameters?

CLAUS: Response to authority mostly. Obedience. I never define a rebellious child as nice but always as naughty. Parents find my existence to be a useful tool in enforcing discipline and I am happy to help in that regard.

GLIB: So the toys are bribes?

CLAUS: If you insist on putting it so simplistically, I suppose so. No one is compelled to accept my largesse but I do reward conformity and obedience and let me point out that it does not have to be conformity and obedience to me. It merely is to encourage the cultural value of those things.

GLIB: Why?

CLAUS: Well, the age of the Dark One is coming. I won’t tell you the exact date, so don’t bother asking, but it is coming. Those who have learned obedience as a value, you know, as a moral stance will be best prepared to deal with the new order.

GLIB: The new order?

CLAUS: The era when Satan rules supreme.

GLIB: According to the Book of Revelations, that should only be for a short time so far as Satan is concerned, then God has his kingdom on Earth.

CLAUS: Ah! Don’t you get it? It’s just a game between those two, a pissing contest, nothing more. When the whole human race thing is over with we all move on to something else. We have done it all plenty of times before. No-big-deal.

GLIB: But wait. Then what is the meaning of…

I was never to complete that last question as one of the female assistants chose that moment to enter the office and inform Santa that a group of local Inuits had arrived with several sled-loads of seal meat and they were hoping to trade it for guns and “laughing” privileges with his women. The great man excused himself and I was taken back to the plane, given a truly excellent gift-bag (it had, among other things, an Ipod with the complete Beach Boys preloaded!) and was flown back to Ottawa. Santa’s office has been refusing all of my calls since then.