After many months of tracking down this famous figure, the Scribbler was finally able to get Santa Claus to agree to answer 4 questions for the 4Q Interview. The query was submitted to the admin division of SC Enterprises, North Pole, on July 15th, 2014. We received a last minute email only an hour ago. The note was apologetic for its delay, albeit a cheerful assertion of Mr. Claus’ demanding schedule. It went on to thank us for our patience and delight in participating on the Scribbler.
It was difficult to consider only four questions for one of the world’s most famous people. We decided to pose a dozen and let Santa choose. Here they are.
4Q: Are elves real?
SC: Ho, Ho. Ho! You don’t know how many times I’ve been asked that Allan. Is gravity, space, time or magnetism real? They’re totally unexplainable but certifiably so; that’s what elves are. Centuries ago, these supernatural beings were made known to civilization through Germanic and Nordic mythology and all kinds of elves exist. It’s true that they have magical powers. They’re especially beautiful figures. And they’re clever. Oh, whatever would I do without them?
In our ultra-secret complex, we have over twenty thousand of the rascals, they breed worse than rabbits. The logistics sometimes can be a tad overwhelming. Thank goodness they are all happy, there are never any conflicts. Lucky for the Missus and me the elders keep everything in order. I always say the more the merrier, especially since we just secured the Toys-B-Us account. We’ll be making all the toys for the 14,329 locations as well as our own 100,000,000 pieces I give away. All profits will be invested in the elves retirement program, of course.
Oh yes, they are very real. I remember JR (Tolkien) and I having a long talk about this eighty years ago or so when he began writing. An interesting man that had odd ideas of his own elves and my goodness but his characters are popular toys today. As far as the elves that only I can see, I can’t describe them to you. They need to remain part of your imagination. I can tell you this for sure, they are mischievous and quite short. Ho, Ho, Ho!
4Q: How is it Santa that you can truly know if every boy and girl is good or bad, who should get gifts and who shouldn’t?
SC: Well now that’s a good question coming from you. You were a bad little bugger sometimes. I still showed up though, didn’t I? I knew all about Mary McLaughlin’s plastic dinner set and what you did with it. The worst thing you did was when you shot John, your next door neighbor, in the buttock with the BB gun I left you one year. It was only for your mother punishing you properly and taking it away from you that kept you on the list.
There really aren’t any bad children Allan, only parents that don’t teach their children right from wrong. I mean, have you ever heard of someone having to teach a kid to be bad. Ho Ho Ho! They do that on their own. No, we have to teach them to be good.
And to get back to my elves, they and I have mastered time manipulation of course, because how else would I get all those gifts delivered in one night. Phew! There is about 2000 that all they do is check up on children all year round. They are part of the Lollipop and Derogate Division of the Elves Union. On a good day, an experienced elf can visit several thousand homes and deliver verbal reports to the Head Decider and she in turn reports to me.
Most tykes are just mischievous. I have found that the worst imps are from Kent and Albert counties in your home province of New Brunswick. Especially the ones that grow up to be authors, they have these weird imaginations getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. My goodness but I think it’s from too much sugar.
There are not many that don’t get presents.
4Q: Please share a childhood anecdote or memory Santa.
SC: Hmmm! I don’t think I ever was a child Allan; at least I have no memory of being one. No, nothing comes to mind.
I do however have a thought to share with you and your readers. When kids stop believing in me, they normally stop believing in magic and mystery. That’s kind of sad. I love it though that some adults never stop believing. You see them with antlers sticking out of the windows of their cars or a fake Rudolph red nose on the grill, or a huge inflated replica of me on the lawn, or they’re working in the food kitchens, or buying gifts for people they don’t even know. Ho Ho Ho!
4Q: What do you do in the off season Santa, or is there an off season?
SC: Oh yes, there is definitely a time away from the hustle and bustle of the North Pole. Ho Ho Ho! The Missus and I have a condo on the island of Bequia in the Caribbean. Down there, I’m just the nice fat guy next door that needs to trim his beard. I go by the name of Ralph and the wife is Suzie. We live next door to an author you might know, her name is Susan and I especially love her last name Toy, it holds special meaning for me, of course. Great gal, quite the storyteller. I have a sailboat as well, a 27 foot CS27 that we meander about the coast with. I drink cold beer on Friday nights when the missus (she’s the red wine drinker) and I have our weekly happy hour. Although we can’t have children, we still practice making babies as often as we can (wink wink). Ho Ho Ho!
I collect Christmas movies which shouldn’t be a surprise I guess. My favorite one is Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase. I love it when Clark gets tongue-tied with the pretty lady selling lingerie. Another funny part is when his cousin Eddy shows up with no money and an especially long Christmas list. And the old guy with the wig cracks me up each time.
I’m part of a jazz trio. I play the doghouse bass with two of my cronies down there, Jaspar on the piano and Merle on the saxophone. We have gigs most Sunday afternoons all over the islands, quite the following actually. We call ourselves Digger (that’s Merle’s nickname) and the Dots. When she’s in town, we always have Kitty LaRoar join us, such an angelic voice. We diddle with the old classics, especially Cole Porter’s collection of jewels.
I do a little gardening, actually as little as possible but the missus likes her flowers. I have short naps two or three times a day. I forget about chimneys, pass keys, good and bad, elves under my feet, reindeer in their stalls, the chilly weather, the logistics, gift wrapping and signing my name a million times.
I never wear anything red when I am on holidays. The elves have strict instructions Not-To-Peek-In-Our-Windows. Sometimes I like to be mischievous too.
Thank you Santa Claus for sharing your thoughts on the Scribbler. All the best for the future of Christmas when we celebrate the birth of Christ. Oh and by the way, next year I want…….
Next week on the Scribbler, you will meet Louise Boulter of Moncton, New Brunswick and have the opportunity to read her touching short story - Date Night.