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imagesIt’s not that easy being Santa — working on an impossibly tight deadline to meet the fevered expectations of millions of kids; managing a workshop of strong-willed elves; keeping a reindeer herd in shape for an exhausting, once-a-year marathon.

But that’s not the half of it:

 

(Early Christmas morning)

Dearest, I’m home.

(From the kitchen).  Make sure to take off your boots.  You must be famished.  I’m making breakfast — oatmeal and waffles and pancakes and eggs and sausage and toast and …

Dammit, she never learns.  (Entering the kitchen)  My dear, you know I always get home absolutely stuffed with cookies and milk.  I couldn’t possibly …

And you know that, every year, I tell you to toss your cookies … in the waste basket, of course … and pour the milk down the drain.  You’re not getting any slimmer and, besides, who knows how much time you waste having a pee and taking a …

Please, dear, the elves can hear.

All right, all right.  Just have a cup of coffee.  I can give the food to the elves.  So, how was your trip?

Well, it’s not getting any easier.

Yes, you are getting older.

No, that’s not it.

So?  

Well, drones, for one thing.  I mean, competition with Amazon is tough enough, and now they’re using drones to deliver.  How can I compete?

But millions have faith in you.  After all, Amazon is not a saint.  You are!

Yeah, but they depend on Amazon; they trust it; they love it.  Isn’t that worship?  Isn’t that faith?  What else does it take to be a saint?

In case you forgot:  a miracle and, of course, the Pope and the Vatican.

Not the way they’re headed.  Anyway, the drone problem isn’t just the competition.  It’s getting dangerous up there.  Even kids are flying them.  There’s no regulation.  As we were coming into St. Louis, one ran smack into us.  It hit Rudolph right on the nose!

You mean …?

Yeah, everything went dark.  I had to do an instrument landing.  

Thank goodness you had that!

Well, yes, but it alerted the military, and they called the police, and the police called ICE and …

They have ice, like us?

No, it’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Anyway, they wanted to see my visa and I told them, “I don’t need no stinkin’ visa!”

Wow, so you got to use your “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” imitation?

Yes, but I think that may have been a mistake.  First of all, they didn’t buy the Santa Claus thing.  One of the cops thought he’d seen me at the mall; he didn’t even catch the accent joke and thought I sounded drunk, and wanted to do a breathalyzer, but the ICE guys figured I really was Mexican.  They wanted to hold me as an illegal alien, and then somebody checked the reindeer, saw how exhausted they were, and wanted to callSanta Claus isolated on white flipping the bird animal control.  At that point, I just decided, “I’m finished with this God-damned country and all its suspicion and hostility.  I don’t care how many kids are disappointed; there are enough kids in enough other countries who appreciate what I do.  The hell with America.”

 So how did you get out of it?

images-1I just made us all invisible and headed straight for Mexico.

Why Mexico?

Well, they’re not disgustingly rich like the Americans.  Maybe that’s the difference that makes them really appreciate me!  It was a love-fest!

Saints preserve us!

Don’t hold your breath!