Nexus is very pleased to be able to introduce to you the big red man from the North Pole, Santa! Welcome, Santa, and thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be interviewed by us.
You’re welcome. I don’t usually do interviews, you know.
We do know. Why is that?
There’s only so many carols and religious readings I can sit through before I want to kill someone. And that’s just not very Christmassy. They’re nice enough if you believe in them I suppose. But I’ve got to much to do this time of year to be bothered with that.
You don’t believe in Christmas?
Fuck off. It’s an organised commercial holiday there to make money by commemorating the birth of some poor bastard who came to a sticky end. If he existed at all, that is. If you were me you’d want a bit less of it too.
Um. Well, I don’t quite know what to say.
If you had to haul around all the junk I do every year, you and your poor bloody back would know exactly what to say, I can tell you! It’s March before I can stand up straight again.
I suppose Christmas has become very commercialised…
You’re not kidding. And most little darlings get more presents than they deserve. What poor kid actually needs Barbie’s Dream House with a lean-to dog kennel and spa for the homeless? You know what’s going to happen to little Sally when she gets that, don’t you? She’ll play with it for a week or two, break it, grow up to have ludicrously high expectations for her own life and, when she doesn’t turn out to be a seven foot tall peroxided freak with too much money and an angelic personality, adored by he-of-the-missing-genitals and the local destitute, she’ll top herself.
That’s when her parents will say, “We should have gotten her a nice book.” I don’t mind delivering books.
Aren’t they heavy, though? What about your back?
Eh. If it’s for a good cause… And you know, if it’s just one small present each, I can send an elf down the chimney with that. I only have to go because their puny little bones generally collapse under the weight of all the crap in the sack.
You know this by experience, then?
Oh, yes. They’re annoyingly fragile. It’s so hard to get good help these days.
At least it would give you some exercise…
Are you calling me fat, missy? What’s your name again… where’s my list. Can I borrow your pen?
No! I suppose it’s not your fault. All those mince pies, cookies, sherry and milk-
Can I just interrupt you for a minute?
Public announcement please, folks: listen up. I have to cater to your greedy children over the longest night of the year. You’ve no idea what it does to the body to have to shift between time zones all night long, plus the dilation effect of squeezing it all in. And all of this on a freezing night, with icy blasts coming straight at me. Not to mention the endless hours of staring at reindeer arse. I DO NOT WANT FUCKING MILK!
After all I do for you lot every year, alcohol is the least you can give me. Okay? Carry on, then. What were you saying?
I was just going to suggest that maybe if the elves ate some of the goodies, then maybe, um, maybe you wouldn’t be liable to keel over from a heart attack next time you drag hefty little Timmy onto your knee at the local shop?
Don’t remind me. I remember him! Put in an order for more video games. He’s getting a ball, and he better bloody use it.
Does he want a ball?
Who the hell cares? It’s not like he’s been the perfect kid. Screams at his sister, pulls wings off flies, bullies kids who don’t believe in God… try to tell me you feel sorry for him now, ha!
Can you make it an exploding ball, Santa?
I don’t know… have you been good this year.
Are you lying to me?
Yes. But honesty should be rewarded. Go on… it can be my present.
Go on, then. Don’t say I never gave you anything, though. I hate that.
Okay. Thanks, Santa. So, one could say that you’re not blind to the difficulties of the job? It must be tiring…
True. But it’s only once a year so I can cope. A lot of people don’t know this, but Mrs Claus does most of the work during the year. She’s a lawyer, see. Spends her time arguing with the elves about how good is good enough.
So if the kiddies don’t like what they get, and it’s because they weren’t good, don’t take it up with me. I think the missus has a form you can fill out somewhere, apply for a hearing to change their legal status.
Do many people do that?
Not that many, no. She bills those that lose for time wasted, you see. And they all lose.
So while she sorts out who gets what, you make the toys?
The elves make the toys. Do I like like a handyman to you?
So during the year, you do what, precisely?
Eat, mostly. What? It’s cold up there, you know! I need a good layer of blubber. And the reindeer stew doesn’t make itself.
I guess not. Hang on, what?! YOU EAT THE REINDEER?
We don’t have the climate for tropical fruits now, do we? Reindeer get old, you know. What d’you want me to do, chuck ’em out in the snow to starve after all their years of service? This way they get a good quick end and a nice long soak in wine sauce.
Wine… wine sauce?
All that running about, they can get pretty tough. And it’s not as though they don’t have an easy life the rest of the year. Build up a nice layer of fat, especially if you get them half-way through the year, before they go into training.
But, but… Dasher? Prancer? Vixen?
My dear. How long do you think reindeer live? They were lovely beasties, but they were born in the early 18th century. But don’t worry, their descendents live on, even if they are a little inbred. Let’s see, we’ve got a Bilbo, a Britney… and I think little Barack is having his first trot this Christmas.
Screw them. What about Rudolph…?
A little later than Dasher et al., but still dearly departed, I’m afraid. Had a lovely nose. Bright, shiny… always had a good run with him. That nose… it went down well sliced and grilled on toast, as I recall. With just a little onion.
I think I want to go home.
You do look a little green about the gills. Perhaps you’d better go lie down. It was a pleasure meeting you.
Be good, now.