One year. 100 articles. So we're having a Reader's Party. Come along to Upsidecrown.
Never drink with men in red.
28 December 2000
Father Christmas: Do you mind if I smoke?
Upsideclown: No, go ahead if you want to.
FC: Does it shock you? Well, I said you'd get an interview, warts and all. Like or lump it, mate.
UC: Aren't you worried about what sort of example you're giving to millions of kids out there, who will read this? Smoking is a killer.
FC: Yeah, well I'm not responsible for whatever crap kids read on the 'net. It's not like this is the fucking Terrorist's Handbook, or free hardcore porn sex with animals, is it? And anyway, it's not like anyone who reads this is actually going to believe that it's the real Santa you're interviewing. Nobody actually believes in the real Santa any more. Most people will probably think this is some sort of sick joke article, or something.
UC: Yeah, you're probably right I suppose.
FC: Indeed. Now then, would you care to join me in some fine Cuban rum?
UC: Don't mind if I do.
FC: Well, you complain about me smoking, but you don't whine about the dangers of alcohol. Well, tell you what. I've also got some rather excellent weed for when this bottle is finished. If you last that long, that is. Oh, don't look so bloody taken aback the whole time. It's Boxing Day, I've had a pretty fucking busy time recently, and now I get to let my hair down. So, relax mate. Let's down these, and then start with the interview proper, yes?
Clink, ahhhhh, glop glop glop, glop glop glop.
UC: Nice rum, by the way. Anyway, down to business. First things first, Santa: How do you deliver all those presents in such a short space of time? Surely it is not possible.
FC: Well, jumping in at the deep end, are we? Probably better if I slowly lead you into that one.
UC: Ok then, so, what do you do for the rest of the year, when you're not riding about giving prezzies.
FC: Currency speculation. I've made a packet over the past two years betting against the Euro. Kept me nicely in fast cars and fast women, and I've even had enough to branch out into commodity futures, especially oil.
UC: Don't tell me. That whole oil price rocketing thing last month.
FC: Rightyo, laddie. Me cashing in my chips so that I had enough liquidity over the holiday period.
UC: Yeah, I suppose all those zillions of presents can't be cheap.
FC: Nah, the whole delivery operation is just a tax dodge nowadays. No, every year I corner the turkey market, and as demand rockets in the last week, make an absolute killing - figuratively as well as literally.
UC: So the whole Christmas period is one huge profit-making exercise for you.
FC: People have been saying that Christmas has become more and more commercial for years. Well, that's just other people cottoning on, and trying muscle in on the action, with organic, feel-good gifts and alternative remedy bollocks. They haven't got a chance because I've been doing it longer than anyone else. Right finish off that glass, and let's play a game.
Clink. Ahhhhh. Glop Glop Glop. Glop Glop Glop.
FC: Right, from now on, the interview continues, but neither of us can use the first letter of the alphabet.
UC: You just did, though.
FC: You beginner luck. (Glop glop glop) Now, re-begin the questioning, then.
UC: Ok, Santa...fuck. (glop glop glop)
FC: Simple error, foolish boy.
UC: Right. Mr Kringle, so how do you deliver such multitudes of gifts to children in just one night?
FC: Nice one. You've picked this up quickly. The solution to your question is simply this: I don't do the whole world myself. I employ lots of people to do different regions of the world. I no longer do it myself. It's too much fucking bother, I tell you.
UC: Ok, hang, on I concede. I can't concentrate on asking you the questions I want to.
FC: That's five a's. Seven now, I suppose. Ok, game over. But we must clear the debt of downings, Treble for me and quadruple for you now.
UC: Jesus. Ok.
Clink Clink. Glop Glop Glop. Glop Glop Glop.
FC: How you feeling? You hanging in there? It's pretty strong stuff.
UC: No shit. Back to the questions. So, you franchise out the whole lot, then.
FC: Yep, and that 'Santa School' you all heard about in Australia - that's where they all get trained. It's basically advanced lock picking, and how to bypass burglar alarms. And we ask no questions about how the graduates earn their money for the rest of the year. But I think quite a few go in for art-theft. Big commissions for a good art-thief nowadays. And the tuition fees are another nice steady earner for yours truly.
UC: Fuck, I can really feel all those shots now. Can you call me a cab? One last question before I leave - where do all the presents come from?
FC: I have an island in the north pacific. You know, like Saipan where 'Made in the USA' clothes are made with cheap labour from China. I do essentially the same thing. So everyone is happy, all the kids get their presents, I dodge tax by registering the whole thing as 'charitible donations', and seven thousand chinese workers keep their jobs. Hey, you're looking a little green, I think you'd better stand outside before you puke on my tiger-skin rug. You like the rug? Shot the bitch myself.
Here Santa stops the dictaphone and guides me out to the waiting taxi. He gives the driver enough for the fare, and I think, What a nice guy. Until I realise he's nicked my wallet. Cunt.