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


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


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


“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.”