Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Cerebal Ballsy for Christmas

Thank god I don't have cerebal ballsy. It's been one of those months.

A screwed code release, performance issues, accounting people who don't know how to write feature specifications screaming about things being on fire (SEV. !1!@), and I terrorized the children of half of the company whilst pretending to be a fat man in a red suit.

Actually, I was a fat man in a red suit. Well the suit was red. I've also kind of put on a bit of extra padding. I'm not that worried, and neither were the damned kids. Infact, my extra pounds appeared to be the least of their worries. At this point, I feel I should probably explain a little more.

Kids. Don't get me started there.

The little tackers are meant to be foolishly naive and believe in Santa. At least, that's what I had thought. That was until I was standing outside of the men's toilets in Tusmore park, sweating and itching in a Santa suit.

Me, and my two non costume wearing helper elves (one who may or may not have been Chloe) were waiting. We were waiting for the other professional looking Santa to beat it; so I could go in, hand out presents to children at the company picnic, and get back to drinking beer.
You see, a few weeks earlier, I'd foolishly volunteered to play Jolly Old Saint Nick in a fit of what I can only describe as heat inspired insanity.

So anyway, I'm standing there, feeling only a tiny bit seedy. In a park. In a red suit. Next to the toilet. Waiting to go and entice children to sit on my lap.
You can see where that train of thought is going. I'm creeping myself out, even now. While I'm feeling distinctly less and less comfortable and lost in jolly introspection, two kids run up.
There's a girl, and a boy. I don't know them from bumpkis. They know me, however.

It's obvious.

I'm Santa. Another potential mark in the Christmas strong arming racket they have.

The little girl gets a crafty look in her eyes, carefully checking out every detail of my ill fitting beard and non regulation boots.

"Santa," she says. "Santa, I won't believe in you if you don't give me a present."

I blink. This is ballsy. Santa doesn't like blackmail, you little shit. Time for some creative lies.

"Ho, ho, ho, that's very funny of you. I don't have a present for you, because my sleigh crashed, and I had to bring only the essentials. That's why I'm here early too, you see. I had to eat the reindeer to survive in the suburban wastelands of Adelaide. You can see how I didn't have any room for your present. It was survival of the fattest.. uh fittest."

She contemplates this for a moment. She's not buying it. She knows the truth, and she's willing to exploit it.
I try to ignore her, but foolishly I look back. That was a mistake. There's more of them now.

Seeing she has my attention, she renews her efforts. "Santa, give me a present."

I turn.

"We have rocks!"

Uh oh. I panic, and make an exit as gracefully as the ill fitting suit will allow me.

I hightail it back to the company picnic, chased by little screaming insurgents. I leave an elf behind to fend them off, and don't look back.

I can only assume that's one elf that made the greatest sacrifice for the greater good.

Shortly thereafter, I get back to the picnic. I'm huffing slightly. They seat me on a bench, and surround me with children. Children as far as the eye can see, but hey, I'm shortsighted so that's not too great of a distance.
The first mother is dragging her child towards me. Before I can think, it begins, and I'm handing out presents to the company kids.
The suit won't stay shut. I keep worrying I'll show too much belly. It's a $5 cheapie, and the kids aren't impressed. First up, and setting a tone for the evening, is my Boss' son, Tom.

I am Tom's dejected Christmas spirit.

Tom breaks out into a big fat wet one, tears gushing from his little face. This does not bode well. Eye contact is a prospect he's not up to. I try my damnedest, and try a bit of the friendly approach.

Suddenly, I remember my parents' frequent warnings about not taking candy from strangers. I understand. It's like Michael Jackson just walked into the kiddy playground at McDonalds. It's just total shock and awe, with an ominous undercurrent of fear.

That's it, time to bail.

I bundle him off with a candy cane and call out the next name.

This kid won't even come near me. A parent sneaks up to me and snatches the gift and cane out of my hand.

I ho, ho, ho a little, and continue on.

Pretty soon, 50% of the children are crying. All are afraid. Only one is clever enough to grab a quick description; and notes the make and model of my shoes, before extorting two candy canes out of me.

I sit through the photos. I sit through the polite coworker ribbing. None too soon it's over - I get the fuck out of there, hitching up my pants, and striding for freedom.
I get changed, and dash back to the beer stash. Damn, Santa really needs beer after that shambles.

Standing next to the cooler is the one clever enough to take down my footwear's licence plate. I go for the beer, and as I'm fishing about in the esky I hear her.

Daddy, he's wearing the same shoes as Santa. Do you think he stole them?

You can't win, can you.

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