sedaliademocrat.com

McMullen: A conversation with Santa

December 25, 2009

I sat at my computer and thought about what I'd write – it needed to



be perfect and the spelling must be right. I thought about it long and hard



and eventually decided I needed to interview the man in charge of it all —



I'd have to give Santa Claus a call. Who would have thought I had the



gall?



How did I have his number, you might ask? It's no really so hard a task.



He's got a working relationship with the press – to better maintain his



public image, I'd guess. We've got a paper taped on the wall with numbers



and names encompassing people of various levels of fame.



When you call there's a whole call center of elves to get through, but



it's always quite worth it — let me tell you. The first elf you talk to is



a receptionist elf named Holly but I have trouble describing her demeanor



as jolly. Every elf wants to work in the big man's workshop but some of



them are forced to pick up what the reindeer drop.



Eventually I reach Kris Kringle himself: the fat and jolly king of the



elves. I introduce myself and tell him about my press credentials — but I



hardly needed to, he already knows all my essentials. He's already pulled



me up on his computer, a program called “The List” and he makes personally



sure that no human is missed.



“So, Mr. Claus,” I asked of him, “The financial situation in Sedalia is



grim.”



The phone went silent as the clock ticked and tocked and then finally he



started to talk.



“I'd love to help,” he said with a frown, “But what makes you think I can



help your town?



“You give away millions of free toys each year but you head into the



future without financial fear – you manage to eat a whole lot of losses



without going under and it really makes me wonder.”



“Hire elves, it works for me! Their union's not very good, you see.”



“So they pretty much work for free?”



“They work for the glee, that's what they swear – I don’t believe them,



but what do I care?”



“That's well and good,” I replied, “But if we could do that we already



would. We had to cut something, many departments got hit but the Sheriff's



department is one of the deepest in it. We've all been assured by the



sheriff himself that a few law enforcers would be put on the shelf.”



“That's not good,” he sighed and said, “Without my security team I'd



probably be dead.”



“What we need can't be made in a shop — if you tried that the Secret



Service would come and force you to stop. We need the best financial mind



in the world and I thought that was you.”



“All right; here's what you must do: don’t stop believing. Listen to Steve



Perry and my good friends from Journey and one day you’ll be achieving.



Believe in Santa Claus and believe in each other — trust your fellow man



like your own brother. If we tell our elected officials that they have



lost our confidence then they won't accomplish anything because they'll be



much too tense. There's no reason to properly serve a populace if they're



always on your case. Trust that they can fix the mess that they've made at



least until election day comes and you can put them up for trade.”



“I don’t know Santa, if the comments on our site are any indication then



more and more people feel nothing but indignation. They don’t need much



excuse to scream and shout — seems to me like they want to throw the bums



out.”



“They will just start coasting if they know that they're through — for now



just sit back and see what they can do.”



“I don’t know; it will be a hard sell — but this isn't a topic on which we



should dwell. There's really only one topic at hand: what are you bringing



me? What's the make and the brand?



He laughed real hard like only Santa Claus can, “There's some people in La



Monte who say you've been a very bad man.”



“Oh no, that's all been fixed. All those problems have been eighty-sixed.



I've been a good opinion columnist; I swear — even if some people think I



just blow hot air.”



He laughed again, “It's what I tell all the members of the press that call



me: you’ll just have to wait until Christmas to see.”



“So Santa do you have any other words for Sedville?”



“Yes; my message is one of good will. Your troubles will pass, I just



know. Sedalia will shine and your cash flow will grow. You can't let bad



times get you down — there's a bright future for your medium-sized town.”



tmcmullen@sedaliademocrat.com