Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Cruel stereotype or not...

...but if you are a jolly, portly fellow who can tolerate to be around kids for more than a minute at a time, AND you already have the requisite costume, you are pretty much doomed to dressing up like Santa Claus whenever anybody asks. OH, you might have a legitimate excuse, but if it's one of those things where you are going to be there ANYWAY, and your KIDS are going to be there, well, how can you refuse!?

Of course, after everyone figures out that you have an evil streak for inappropriate ad libbing, they tend not to ask again.


SO, anyway, along back in December, our youthful youth minister decided to have a party for the kids and went around volunteering people to help with it. The appointed day was the Saturday after I had started my vacation, so I didn't get a chance to sleep in because I had to get up and get all my stupid stuff together and then I couldn't find my big black overshoes which meant an early trip to K-Mart to get a cheapo pair of galoshes. And gifts for our kids from us to be presented by Mr. Kringle. (Each parent was supposed to bring something for their own kid, which really didn't work out very well considering that one of the other kids picked out and wrapped her own gift. Whatever.)

Arrived at the appointed house of the host and hostess several minutes late because of all the OTHER running around we had to do and because they live in a remote part of St. Clair county that can only be reached by mule. Stowed my outfit in a secret spot, the kids played a few games, we ate some stuff, they did some crafts, I disappeared.

The appointed room, however, was not secure, and I had to constantly fret that the feral child of the hosts might make an appearance, or any of the other swirling cloud of unminded rug rats running at full tilt through the house. I wound up having to change on a rear stairwell that led from the playroom down into the garage. Thankfully, I was not discovered. Santa's naked butt is probably not the thing children need to see to crank up the holidays.

Got everything on and snuck to the door to see if it was time to make my appearance. Being that the costume is 100% nylon, I started roasting the minute I put it on, which also meant, obviously, that it was not yet time to start the Santaction. So, I had to cool it a bit and sit on the couch amongst the litter of broken toys and torn cushions to await my signal. And sweat.

The time finally arrived and so I put on my flowing white wig and sweaty beard and ball-festooned hat and clomped to the secret entrance. The kids were all singing "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" when I stuck my head out, and they all stopped and stared at me there on the open landing above the family room. I thought by their reaction they were either scared or my pants were open, but I went ahead and started HOing it up and clomped downstairs and back into the family room.

And then, went into my Psycho Psanta schtick. Lots of inappropriately involved and phlegmy hoholaughter, smart aleck asides under my breath, leering at the moms. And then, a wrinkle no one saw fit to tell me about--rather than just handing out the gifts, I was told to go sit down and let the kids tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas and get their flippin' pictures made sitting on my lap. Ah, fer the--

I love kids, don't get me wrong, but I would rather not have them wallow all over me if they don't belong to me. Especially some of these who were on a sugar high and looked to have been hiding from the washcloths. ::sigh:: Whatever.

I sat down and toned down the weirdness for a bit and each kid in turn sat on my knee and described their perfect surprise and got a picture taken. And yes, everyone knew it was me. Except for one little boy who doesn't go to church with us and was visiting. He was probably about two, and had a horrid crust of goo around his mouth. He came over and looked at me and, well, he saw Santa Claus. The real one. He was just in awe, the little stinker. The guys that do this for a living probably get used to that look, but it was a bit of a surprise for me.

My own kids had a slightly different reaction--they knew they were supposed to tell me what they wanted, and they did, but Catherine especially seemed perplexed that I would be all dressed up like Santa, when it's obvious I'm not. The few older kids were pretty game about it all, although they seemed a bit sheepish about the whole enterprise, egged on as it was by all the adults. They would have preferred just playing video games. But they had a seat anyway and got their pictures taken.

Finally, the last kid got photographed and gifted by Santa with the presents their parents had brought, and I had a few minutes to kill. So, I made some veiled lewd and suggestive comments to Mrs. Oglesby who refused to come sit on my lap (probably for good reason). I did manage to get one of the OTHER moms to have a seat, however. She was kind enough to sit on the arm of the chair, though. Kate Moss, she's not.

Anyway, the kids had long since become bored, the activity having lasted for longer than five minutes, so I bid them all Merry Christmas and was about to clomp back upstairs to get changed. And then, the hostess stopped me.

"OH, wait--come outside, Terr--SANTA, I want to make your picture in front of the house!"

Oh, fer the--Grr. Grr.


By golly, if she's gonna get me out on her derned front stoop, we're going to make sure EVERYONE knows about it. No sooner had the front door closed behind me than I went into the full Dancin' Santa on Amphetamines mode--hips oscillating from side to side, arms moving mechanically to and fro, and singing "Dashing Through the Snow" at the top of my lungs. She snapped a couple of pictures and looked about somewhat abashedly--"I hope none...I wonder which one of the neighbors is driving by?"

"OHHHHhhhhOOOOOO-HO-HO! I don't know, but you know, they don't know who I am, but they sure know who YOU are! AAAAHHHHHH-HOOOO-HOOOOOOOOO-HOooooooooOOOOOO! MERRRRRRY CHRISTMASSSSSS!"

And then the picture making was over and I was quickly made to reenter the house, where I clomped back upstairs and put back on my civilian garb.

Man, I just love Christmas!

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