Did you hear the one about the dyslexic witch?
She sold her soul to Santa.
Haha, you say. Or not, as the case may be. I’m pretty sure Gee is already cursing my name and regretting ever asking me to write something for I Saw Elvis.
Still, it’s an easy mistake to make, eh? One minute you’re bartering for executive control of the dark arts, the next you’re in perpetual servitude to Saint Nick in his Lapland sweatshops with nothing more than a half-eaten candycane to your name.
But Santa wouldn’t do that, would he? No, of course not. He’s a pleasant fellow dressed in red who visits every house in the world in the course of a single thirty-one hour work period. Not only that, he apparently does so while 47 million times over the drink-drive limit (according to a bunch of Australian researchers with far too much time on their hands – but we’ll come back to them later) thanks to the kind folks of the planet pouring sherry down his fur-clad throat. Oh, and being medically super-obese after eating 31 billion calories worth of mince pies in a single night. Oh, but it gets better:
Other dangerous activities he could be accused of promoting include speeding, disregard for the Highway Code and extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney jumping. Despite the risks of high-speed air travel Santa is ‘never seen wearing a seat belt or a helmet’.
Helmet? Santa needs no stinkin’ helmet! I’m pretty sure that fuzzy red hat’s woven from pure adamantium. And did Santa ask for your lifestyle advice? What is this, an intervention? Rather than beat the old guy up for his choices, how about making him out to be a role-model for how to be successful and hard-working in diverse fields despite being rather big-boned and/or alcoholic?
I mean, my workplace motivation tends to bottom out after four or five hours at most. Thirty-one? That’s a Deadliest Catch level of commitment right there. Admittedly, the job does come with generous annual leave, but let’s not forget Santa’s other roles as factory manager, elf and safety representative and public relations. And yet this rambunctious old coot still has time to engage successfully in interplanetary defence? Clearly there’s more to this Santa fellow than first meets the eye.
Not that his involvement in extra-terrestrial affairs should necessarily come as a surprise, of course. Based on that single thirty-one hour period, it has been estimated that he would have to travel a little over 212 million miles, at an average speed of approximately 6.65 million miles per hour. If that’s not convincing evidence of alien technology at work, I don’t know what is.
That’s not the only explanation, of course. Another possibility is that Santa can teleport, a theory supported by our local council’s Christmas Lights extravaganza where Santa can clearly be seen teleporting from one rooftop to another with nothing more than the judicious application of a ninja smoke-bomb. This is the most appealing to me, as it not only removes the necessity of Rudolph being some semi-cybernetic repository of alien technology but also suggests that when I eventually catch Santa in the act and steal his teleporter, I’ll no longer have to walk past five minutes past my office on the wrong side of the river before reaching the bridge. Take that, inconvenient footpathery!
Unfortunately, my plan falls apart because if Santa can indeed teleport, it’s probably not due to alien technology, but instead due to his pact with the forces of darkness. Yup, we’re back to that old hoary chestnut. Santa = Satan + spellchecker. It’s hardly a surprising assumption considering his previous incarnation as the Scandinavian tradition of the Yule Goat, an invisible man-sized creature that snuck about just prior to Christmas to make sure preparations were going ahead as planned, and in Finland was known to scare children and demand gifts. Presuming, of course, that this wasn’t just Grandpa in a goatskin trying to intimidate his way to a better bounty of Christmas swag, it must have been Beelzebub himself. No other explanation for it. Nope. None at all. Lalalalalalalala. Not listening!
Okay, so the case for Santa = Satan isn’t particularly convincing for the most part. Except, of course that they both divert attention away from Christianity’s big day, and for some reason that leaves a certain portion of the population rather miffed. Perhaps Satan and Santa aren’t the same person.
Perhaps they’re just good friends.
Enter Krampus, Santa’s mythological incubus-buddy. That’s the one, with the long tail, twelve-inch tongue, horned head, and a predilection for beating the fairer sex with a birch rod while kinky ol’ Saint Nick watches – usually through windows and the like so he can publicly deny that he was ever ‘there’.
You can firmly consider Krampus the anti-Santa. Santa gives out presents to the good little boys and girls. Krampus carries away the bad children in his basket and dumps them in the pits of hell. Perhaps a slight over-reaction for pinching apples or whatever it is kids do to get up to mischief these days, but admittedly more of a deterrent than a lump of coal and an Amazon.com gift voucher.
Even so, I’d much rather Santa was a little chubbly and intoxicated, like a rather embarrassing uncle who can’t keep his hands off his reindeer at parties, than him being the close confidant of a goat-faced Lucifer-impersonator whose idea of a good time is an old-fashioned beating and infant flambe.
Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think even teleportation’s worth that.