Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Santa Claus holds Madison press conference to announce his retirement effective immediately
Gesturing expressively for emphasis, a tired and ticked-off Christmas father figure said that he was hanging it up for good. He held his press conference right here in Madison on Monroe Street -- in the doorway of Paragon Video & Stereo, known as a soapbox for celebrities to sound off and air their grievances.
Why now? "I couldn't stand it anymore. People are just too rotten," he said. "I just couldn't face the futility of going on for another year and nothing changing."
Journalists from around the world crowded in front of the store and asked him to clarify his sudden new year's Eve announcement.
"I've been doing this forever, and it hasn't done any good," he said more in sorrow than anger. "Year after year, I promise to bring toys to children who say they'll be good. I thought it was helping make the world a better place, but for all I can see, it just stimulated a corrupt, debt-ridden consumer culture that now has collapsed of its own weight.
"But that's not all," said the weary holiday magician. "Worst of all, year after year, the kids say they'll be good. Then they grow up, and year after year, they kill each other. Afghanistan, Iraq -- and now Gaza. That's the last straw. I mean, what's the point? I've had it. Mrs. Claus and I are going to move to Hawaii and we're going to put the sleigh up for sale on eBay."
Was this his final decision? Any chance he would reconsider and change his mind? What if people learn their lesson? What if peace breaks out?
"Fat chance!" he said before realizing this sounded too harsh for an icon like him. "I suppose there's always hope. Never say never, and all that... Maybe if the world stops fighting and people become less greedy, then yes, I might reconsider. But I'm not sure what that would accomplish. After all, look at what happened when Brett Favre un-retired.
"Maybe people should think about celebrating Festivus instead."