Monday, December 12, 2005

Santa Bullock and the sexy elf packin' heat.

Remember that episode of Batman... I don't remember which incarnation. The one with Batgirl and Harley, after The Animated Series... anyways, the episode where Sgt Bullock is the mall santa, and Montoya is his hot little elf. It's LIKE A Christmas Story, but without santa kicking the kid down the slide. And Batgirl saves the day. Which would have made that thoroughly depressing movie a hell of a lot better.

That wasn't what this blog entry was about. There's a Santa theme burried in here somewhere, but really this was about kids and clowns.

Why are kids scared of clowns? Arn't they supposed to be happy fun things? I don't know. I was never scared of clowns. I always felt sorry for them. They had oversized feet that were so large, they had to wear plastic shoes. And they had red, ruddy noses like alcoholics. Or Rudolph.

NO, wait, this wasn't about clowns. It's about kids being scared of Santa. Why're kids scared of santa? He has a belly that jiggles like a bowl full of jelly, and the ruddy red nose and cheeks of an alcoholic...

Wait, it isn't about that either.

I was reading this blog post about a crazy santa beaming kids with candy and scaring the living crap out of them (see above comments about clowns and santas), and I remembered when "Santa" showed up at our house.

It was our first Christmas in Connecticut. My sibilings had been bugging my mom for weeks, asking her how Santa would know that we had moved. Mom tried to explain that whenever you did a change of address forms at the post office, Santa got a copy. My brother was worried all of our Christmas gifts would have those yellow redirect stickers on them. He was a weird little kid.
I didn't live in one of those scenic little villages full of historical character and stone walls like you see in the postcards. I lived in a housing development that sprung up probably in the early 80's near the place that screwed up the Hubble telescope, between a swamp and a creek.

My sister Jenn, who was like two and a half or three at the time, blonde and cute as a button (people used to give her things just because she was sooo fricking cute *bitterness*) was misbehavin' and had climbed up onto the back of the brown sofa with the squishy back and was looking out the window. It was late afternoon in December, so it was almost twilight. She was all excited and clapping her hands about something.

I really didn't care. I was watching cartoons (a very important job to be doing when you are a newly-minted ten year old). All I really cared about was that I'd get in trouble for "letting" her climb up onto the back of the sofa. Y'see, I'm responsible for everyone elses' behavior. But I didn't grow up with a complex over it. No, not me.

She starts yelling "It's snowing! It's snowing! It's snowing! It's Santa! It's Santa! It's Santa!

So my brother comes over to see what she's yappin' about, and he's getting all excited too. I was still skeptical. This was the girl that had recently peed her pants playing kickball in the back yard because she wasn't sure whether she should leave first base and risk being picked off or run to the potty. Granted she was like three, but come on ;)

I also didn't want to be disappointed. I didn't THINK I believed in Santa. I was ten, after all. But I kind of wanted to. It meant that there was still some magic in the world, and it wasn't just always boring adult reality all the time where life is hard and miserable and everyone hates their jobs.

My brother ran to the sliding glass door in the dining room just as my sister declared that she saw reindeer. "Santa's on the deck!" he announced, his face pressed up against the glass.

I still hesitated. It would really suck to be made a fool of by a three and five year old. Finally, I got up and went to the living room window. It was twilight then, and my glasses needed changed, so the ole' eyesight wasn't all that great. And I didn't see no stinkin' raindeer. I didn't even see santa. Or half-covered over footprints in the heavily falling snow. I ran into the dining room. My brother was pointing at the steps, which you couldn't see from the glass door, because they were attached to the house. "Santa's leavin'. He looked in here! Santa knows where we are!"

Right. Because there are no other children in the world that believe in Santa, we're so important he has to check in on us. And there's no chance that Santa delivered to other kids here last year. Wait a second, was I starting to believe again?

Maybe it was just some thief dressed up like Santa, casing the joint. I was kind of a bitter 10 year old.

If it wasn't some thief, then maybe it was dad. He was a rotund man, it was't inconcievable that he'd dressed up like Santa, even if it was hard to imagine. First of all, my parents never did anything cool like that. Second of all, they never did anything that cost money. And I couldn't imagine a Santa suit being cheap.

I think I'd have felt more special if it was dad, than if it really was Santa. That means they'd have spent money and done something frivelous for us.

My mom had a box of photos in her room. Some of them were newer, and just hadn't been put into albums. Some of them were old when she was a kid. One is a portrait of her mom's family when they were all kids, everyone standing on a persian rug in their Sunday best, looking very dower, because it was once illegal to smile in old photographs. Another is of her mother's father in a Santa suit. It's black and white, tinted red with a touch of green.

Mom says he dressed up as Santa every year for the kids. That seemed so cool. It was never an official policy in my family, but it was certainly something my mom aquired from her dad--kids didn't matter. Kids got the second-best, the hand-me-downs, and if you got so much as taken out for icecream, you'd best be bowing down to your parents in worship for weeks to come.

Dad dressing up like Santa, and feeding into childish hopes and expectations, making his kids happy, even? That would be awesome beyond words.

I figured, if it were true, dad would be home shortly on the tails of "Santa." It was a long commute, and it wasn't like he really had anywhere to go and hang out after getting off of work. We lived in the vast suburban sprawl, and the nearest thing that looked like a town was a single main street of shops several miles away. It was the 23rd, and I doubted any place was opened in this podunk.

But dad didn't come home for almost an hour. Granted his shoes were wet, and it might have been from trapsing around in the yard. It might have also been from opening the garage door. We had a garage, but an automatic opener, big in the 1950's, was a luxury that we had somehow missed out on. So dad ditched his shoes on the tiled landing between the two sets of steps that came up from the basement, walked the rest of the way up into the living room, and asked us how our day was. He was immediately barraged by little kids, telling them how they saw reindeer and elves and Santa, and the works. And I guess, when you're that little, it's hard to distinguish between what you saw and what you hoped to see, or what your imagination put there.

Too bad I didn't see anything.

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