And for the sordid tale of how and why I wished that Santa would die. Many years ago I realized that I am a target for nutbags, wack jobs, loonies, meshugehnehs and wingnuts. If there is someone who is slightly offcenter I can guarantee that in a crowd I will be one of people that they pick out.
Some people have a sixth sense for picking stocks or horses at the track, I just have a sick sense for picking out people who are sick. Ok, that is a little unfair, not everyone is sick I am just not all that tolerant of some of the people who approach me.
During a recent trip to the mall I received a visit from a couple of people who wanted my children to sit on Santa’s lap and have their picture taken. I politely declined and said that I wasn’t interested. They asked me why and I told them that I didn’t owe them an explanation but thank you for playing.
I was just about to walk away when one of them accused me of being Ebeneezer Scrooge. Actually he called me Scrooge and I said the name is Ebeneezer. I like to play highbrow snob sometimes. He didn’t catch the reference and said that I was being unfair to my children.
I explained to him that we are Jewish and that my children do not believe in Santa.
Me: Sorry, we are Jewish and we are not interested.
Him: “Even Jewish children believe in Santa.”
Me: “Actually they really do not, in our home they learned long ago that Santa is a myth.”
Him: “That is horrible, how can you do that to them. You are stealing something precious from their childhood.”
Me: Not really. When I explained that there is no monster in the closet did I take something precious from them.
Him: It is not the same, Santa is good and kind and….”
Me: “And a myth that we do not believe in so there is no need for them to participate in this.”
Him: “Don’t say that out loud, there are children here, you’ll ruin the mystery.”
Me: “If I were you I would consider how this conversation began, you call me ‘Scrooge’ and expect me to be nice.
Him: “If you had any Christmas spirit you would just let them do this.”
Me: “If you had any common sense you might be dangerous. Tell you what, if you set up a picture booth with Judah Maccabee I’ll bring a slew of children for the pictures.”
Him: “I don’t know who you are talking about.”
Me: “He is one of the heroes of the Chanukah story.”
Him: “Oh you don’t really believe all that do you.”
Me: “No, you are right I believe that a fat pedophile goes slinking through the night where thief like he tries to break into homes to leave gifts while robbing the family of their cookies.”
Him: “Now that was uncalled for, you are just being rude.”
Me: “So calling me ‘Scrooge’ and saying that my beliefs are a myth isn’t rude. Here let me make this clear, I wish that Santa would just die. The fat slob is a walking timebomb who is overdue for a major heart attack, not to mention that he is completely unkempt and if you pulled him out of his underwear and left him on the streetcorner people would throw change at him and offer to put him up at the local homeless shelter.”
Him: Sputtering with anger he starts to try and speak before I cut him off and say “What makes you think that you can just approach people the way that you did and not receive this kind of response. I am not ‘Scrooge,’ I am the freaking ‘Grinch’ and I am done speaking with you.”
Ok, I really should have just walked away and that would have been the end of it, but I didn’t do that. The upside is that when I did walk away I got to feel like Moses because the crowd parted and made room for me.