At the supermarket today I stopped by the Community Bulletin Board. This time every year they post photographs of local kids and the Santa who visited the store last weekend. Holiday memories, don'cha know.
Only this year I think Santa joined the ranks of memories. Because he wasn't in the pictures.
The kids looked cute, as usual, but I have to say many of them looked, well, uncomfortable. Puzzled. Baffled, even.
Actually they looked kind of freaked out.
Which is probably how I'd look, too, if a giant ptarmigan were trying to put his stubby little wing around my shoulders.
I read last week that a YMCA in New York canceled Santa's visit to the children this year in favor of a drop-in by Frosty the Snowman. The powers that be at the Y had decided that Frosty was a more "inclusive" figure than Jolly Old St. Nick--
OMG!! Did I just say "Saint"? Well, thank God the Young Men's Christian Association tossed him out on his fat white glutes. Obviously they had to get rid of him. You can't have saints around at Christmastime--
OMG!! Did I just say "Christmas?" Oh, jeez. Sorry, everybody.
Some professional Santas were asked what they thought of this move by the Y. A Jewish man who has played Santa in Central Park for twenty years was disgusted. "They're not thinking of the kids," he fumed. Because, as we all know, Frosty the Snowman DOES NOT GIVE OUT PRESENTS. You're bad, you're good, Frosty doesn't give a damn. He just watches the thermometer, that's it. Really gives the average American child a thrill, wondering if Frosty will turn into a puddle anytime soon.
I thought substituting Frosty for Santa was bad enough. But a giant ptarmigan? What is this world coming to? What's he going to do, hand out frozen fish?
There are those who would nitpick. "It's not a ptarmigan, it's a penguin." My eye, it's a penguin. Penguins have some dignity. Not this giant beaked creature. It looked like it just lost a bet and had to take the last available Christmas-ish costume. It looked stumpy, even though it was probably six feet tall.
Well, the ptarmigan did it for me. I'm going to say "Merry Christmas" to absolutely everyone I meet until the 6th of January. I'm going to don a furry red stocking cap and stuff my pockets with jingle bells.
And if I see any signs of "Meet Sammie the Christmas Seal," I'm going to start carrying a club.