Another Bad Santa?

A Mayo man in Galway
Another Bad Santa?


I’m not best pleased with Mr S Claus this week.
Not since I was writing to him as a young fella was I so disappointed in him as I am now.
Back then I was very upset when I requested a snooker table and got a table football game instead. I swore it was the last time I would ask him for anything and I’ve been good to my word since.
In fairness to him it would have been practically impossible to get the snooker table down the chimney. But an 11 year old isn’t always able to rationalise such considerations.
But this year he came to me with a little request of his own. He had been due to visit the Sunny Days crèche in Manulla in the build-up to Christmas but AA Roadwatch warned him against making unnecessary trips before the big day itself so he asked me would I step into the breach.
Part of me was honoured to be entrusted with such an important job. But then the self-conscious part of me asked the question. Was he asking me to do it because I had let myself go to the extent that I looked like him?
Santa reassured me that it was because of my innate friendliness and nothing else, adding I’d need a pillow or two to pull off the appearance. So he sent me the costume in time and I got ready for the two mile trip over the road.
It went well. I wasn’t unmasked by any of the kids and my deep voice (put on of course) seemed to work the magic. Some of the kids were crying though. I don’t know why. What’s not to love about a grey, heavy old man?
Most of the kids in the crèche were aged between two and four. They had not yet got to the stage where they ask the real man for the sun, moon and stars. One boy had a very simple request, he wanted Santa to bring him a football. Long may that ease of request continue.
A couple of older children were about the place and new that I wasn’t the real Santa. They knew the craic. They looked at me with sheer contempt. ‘You’re nothing but a fake’ was what the expression said.
But, that aside, the wee uns were made up and it would remind you of how magic is must be to be a child at Christmas.
So why am I angry with jolly St Nick then? Well when he recruited me he said I would have to take out my eyebrow stud. ‘Just wouldn’t look right,’ says he. So I did. Trouble was it is next to impossible to get back in after and in the process of doing so - after much bloodletting - one of the screws fell, and I still haven’t found it. By the time I get into town again to buy a replacement the hole will have healed over. I’m blaming him though and not my own clumsiness. Santa promised me that I can write to him next year and ask him for whatever I want to make up for it.
Fair enough. I might get that snooker table after all.

Email Edwin at edwinmcgreal@gmail.com