An Open Letter to Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

When I told my friend Ted I was writing to you, he asked whether I had recently suffered a severe blow to the head. He said any idiot knows that Santa doesn’t exist. This, from a man who believes the Bible to be a true story. Don’t talk to me about brain damage.

The thing is, Santa, I live in South Africa, a country where anything is possible. Take our president, for example. Here is a man so tainted by scandal that he would almost certainly either be in prison or the poorhouse if it weren’t for the power of political patronage – and yet millions of people will allow him another five years to well and truly finish the country off.

While this may sound like a grim fairy tale to you, the harsh reality is that it’s true. I can hardly believe it myself some days. This is why I don’t feel silly writing to you. If my fellow citizens can voluntarily do this to their own country – and to their descendants – then anything is possible.

Top of my Christmas list, then, is a shiny, new president. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Perhaps someone with the eloquence of Barack Obama, the integrity of Fidel Castro, the humour of Evita Bezuidenhout and the decorum of Queen Elizabeth. In other words, a highly intelligent socialist who appreciates satire and understands why one should keep one’s willy in one’s pants when it comes to the daughters of one’s friends.

Comrade Claus, I know this is a big ask, but I would also like you to put an end to poverty. I don’t particularly care whether you do this by making everyone rich or everyone equally poor. The important thing is that you rid my city of the beggars who fill me with shame and guilt and make me wind up my car window and pray for the robot to turn green before they can get to me. Damn their selfish homeless eyes.

I know I’ve been a very bad boy this year, but could you please do something about the price of beer? I paid R30 for a Windhoek Lager the other evening. It wasn’t even a particularly classy bar, either. There were no topless waitresses, for a start. Or even free peanuts. Many of us in this country survive entirely on beer. Without it we would have jobs and wives and that kind of foolishness never got nobody nowhere.

I also want you to get rid of the hadedas that are roosting in the tree outside my bedroom window. I know this is not the right season to be declaring war on wildlife, but these birds are the antichrist of the avian world. Yes, I know they scream because they are afraid of heights, but that’s no excuse. Please arrange for them to be relocated to Steve Hofmeyr’s house.

And I want a new car. My last one died alone, far from home, after being serviced to death by a supa kak garage in Fish Hoek.

My next one must be able to go from 0 to 200km/h in under four seconds and should be big enough to accommodate a double bed. Something in metallic blue with a matching duvet would be nice. Maybe with a sunroof. And a bar with its own barmaid. She must be able to go from standing to kneeling in under a minute.

By the way, are your elves unionised? If not, they could probably do with a break. You’re welcome to take some of our teachers and put them to work in your sweatshop in the North Pole. We have nearly ten thousand in KwaZulu-Natal who refused to comply with a government order to write competency tests before sloping off to cast a lazy eye over the matric exam papers. This means they won’t have any quality control issues and rubbish toys can be churned out in record time. It could even be a permanent arrangement. You keep the teachers and gives us your elves. They couldn’t do any worse, that’s for sure. And they won’t look down on the kids, either.

So. What else. Oh, yes. Will you bring Kgalema Motlanthe a pair of balls?

Let’s talk about you for a bit. I think you are ready for an image overhaul. The first thing you need to do is lose the white fur trim on your outfit. You’re not a male stripper, for heaven’s sake. You’re some sort of saint. Dress accordingly.

Maybe hold on to your black leather boots and the whip you use on the flying reindeer. It won’t be long before someone writes 50 Shades of Santa and you can market your own range of festive S&M gear.

Speaking of which. Something must be done about those reindeer. With names like Dancer and Prancer, your team runs the risk of becoming gay icons in the animal kingdom. The rabbits won’t like that one bit. And what’s with Donner and Blitzen? You have Germans working for you? Get rid of them. They can’t be trusted. Replace them with dogs.

While I’m at it, you might want to lose some weight. Plump is one thing, but obese is just plain wrong. Imagine how it would look if you had a cardiac arrest in someone’s house and the paramedics defibrillated you right there in front of the children. Not nice.

See you on the 25th. Don’t forget the car.

Regards to the missus.

One thought on “An Open Letter to Santa Claus

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