"There are some upon this earth of yours," returned the Spirit, "who lay claim to know us, and who do their deeds of passion, pride, ill-will, hatred, envy, bigotry, and selfishness in our name, who are as strange to us and all our kith and kin, as if they had never lived. Remember that, and charge their doings on themselves, not us." - Dickens (A Christmas Carol).
Don't blame me if I spoil your appetite for cheer and good will this season. I have found out the world has become a very complicated place for me in the last few decades.
I've been around for much longer than most of you. So excuse me my condescension.
I have survived the Cold War, Great Depression and 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' and I have lived to tell the tale.
It's true my red sack is considerably lighter this year and mostly filled with crappy recycled gifts that no one wants but I have an appraisal coming up and I have to still get up and go about my job even when all I want is to curl up with my pint on the sofa.
I was wanting to write to you guys for a long time but postage costs shit these days and Internet connection isn't always reliable in North Pole.
I have stopped using my wi-fi ever since I got a very scary mail from the FBI saying some little known terror group in India had hacked my network to transfer data to their associates in Pakistan.
Those fat fools in the FBI would not believe me when they interrogated me at length about my alleged connections with this Lashkar something group. I told them I wouldn't be involved on principal with a group whose name I couldn't spell.
And beside, terrorism isn't really my field of work anymore. Especially since Social Services has made it illegal to leave out naughty children from my Christmas gifts list, even if they are the devil's offspring.
They say it breeds inequality and the trauma of not getting any gifts can scar children for life no matter what their crimes are. They suggest counselling, I suggest good old fashioned spanking across the knee. They force me to bring goodies to 15 year old dope pushers on street corners.
But I have always been known for my tolerance and love for all, rich or poor. So even as I offer candies to a character who answers to "Blade", he asks my mother to do unspeakable things to his brother.
But how I ramble.
In this yearly newsletter to my followers, I write to let you know that Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet and Cupid have been grounded by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals this year.
Even as I write this, a bunch of them are protesting right outside my office wearing nothing but a great red clown ball on their noses and stuffed reindeer horns on their heads.
Now I really like their costume, distracting as it it for my working elves, who anyway have been complaining about a meager bonus package this year. I would appreciate these PETA kids more if the missus wasn't home to breathe fire down my neck. But as it happens, no one tells me how to treat my rein deers.
As it is, I'm fuming and frustrated over the list I got from kids the world over this year. Now let me tell ye good people, I have been running this show for the last thousand years. I have given out the strangest gifts to good boys and girls who ask me nicely before Christmas.
A black parrot for the prince of Persia, a diet for BritneyS pears, the secret of youth for Dev Anand and facial hair for Himesh Reshamiya. So dont tell me about strange gifts.
But what in Saint Nick's name is an "Xploder"? I double checked the IP address to make sure it isn't a sneaky request from a trainee terrorist to slip one over me. I do not want another visit from the busy elves at the FBI headquarters thankyouverymuch. It's actually from a kid in Chicago and he says "Its like the coolest game, yeah, so like...cudja pls pls gimme me ok?" Sigh. What has happened to Monopoly and Scrabble? Or to grammar?
I have of course the standard requests for world peace and as always I have marked them as spam. But I have one very interesting mail from a black guy in Washington who claims to be the President of US in waiting. He writes to let me know that he has been a very good boy this year and could I please, if it's not too much trouble, get him out of the auto crisis which in a way is his legacy born of mainly an out-moded system of union contracts.
Ho Ho Ho.
I used to be the embodiment of everything jolly and nice. My flowing white beard and huge belly, is a child's delight as he sits on my lap whispering his heart's desire in my ear at super malls.
Not anymore it seems. According to new regulations, any unseemly physical contact with a minor is jailable up to 12 years. Thanks to a ghoulish looking pop star in US and his way with children.
I was discussing this with an elf at work today. I said, really, what are they going to think up next? Sliding down chimneys into homes is breaking and entering? Punishable with 4 years? So Greenbell the elf says "whatever you do chump, don't touch the stockings."
Don't touch the stockings? Excuse me, I was under the impression that was my job. To stuff stockings. So Greenbell sniggers and informs me "you dirty old thing, you. that's a major kink doncha know?"
I had the most harrowing time at the North Pole air traffic controller's office. They ran over everything in my sack with a great big metal detector which went off thrice a minute. "What's in here grampa?" The evil looking officer questioned me. I drew up to my full height and let them know that it's gifts for kids all over the world. "Whatever it is, you have to check it in. Cant allow food items, liquid and weapons on board."
Its a toy squirt gun for a kid in Israel for heavens sake. "Israel, yeah right. Squirt guns are not what they want at the mo, do they?"
When did it become this complicated? At the Cambodia airport I had to line up for vaccination as a very friendly stewardess informed me about a fresh outbreak of bird flu.
If this despair I am feeling is bird flu, then I'm definitely coming down with it. I am Sinter Klass, Saint Nicholas, Santa Klaus for crissake! I have always been around, I have spread love and have worked Christmas miracles.
I have come in children's dreams and I have merry Ho Ho Hoed for years.
I do not have to go under the metal detector, be frisked or stay away from minors. Or for that matter be asked to inject liquidity into the market. (What the hell does that mean, anyway? Weird nerdy requests always bugger me)
So my sugar plums if this Christmas isn't that good for you, do not blame me. Its not "rocking" for me either. I have been asked by the government to quit smoking my pipe as it is bad for passive smokers (yeah, like my rein deers care! snort!) And I do not have the nerve of Shah Rukh Khan to yell back at the government.
Hope you get the discounts at the super malls and the couple night passes at pubs that you really wanted instead of my usual photo frames and gilt bracelets. I waited all year to visit you when you are sleeping in your dark silent houses. But looks like I cannot do that either without tripping up the burgler alarms or getting clicked by the CCTVs.
So Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.