The first time a kid sat on my lap, all I could think was “I need a cigarette.” – and I don’t smoke.
I know I scare children. I try to connect with them but they don’t see the real me.
It’s not that I’m unfriendly. It’s not easy for me to smile or make eye contact. Why can’t they understand that? If they took the time and got to know me, rather than running in tears to their parents, they’d realize I’m a decent Santa.
I’ve never been a ho ho kind of Kris Kringle. I’m jolly in my own cerebral way. Kids never pick up on that. That shtick worked for Mort Sahl. Why can’t it work for me?
This is not an easy job. The small talk is brutal: “Have you been good girl this year?” “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” What I really want to ask is: “Are you adopted?” Do you have ADD?” “Is you’re mother divorced?” “Is she dating?”
The youngsters that I don’t scare off talk to me like I’m their friend, but they don’t really know me. To them I’m a jolly old man from the North Pole. There’s so much more to me than that.
Yes, it’s nice to bring joy to their lives, but it would be also nice to have an intelligent conversation about child labor exploitation in Bangladesh.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a total pessimist. I still believe in the miracle of Christmas and the goodness of man. And I believe that one day an adorable little child will jump up on my lap and say, “Santa, I get you.”