“Santa! Aren’t you a little early? You usually don’t come in here until after Christmas.”

“I needed a break from all of those ‘Dear Santa’ letters, Joe. Sheeesh. Sometimes I can’t believe how greedy people can be.”

“Kids giving you a hard time?”

“Heaven’s sakes, no, Joe. The children are fine. It’s the adults.”


“You know how it is, Joe. As long as one believes, I still deliver on Christmas Eve. That’s the rule.”

“Of course. So, tell me, Santa, what’s on everybody’s list this year?”

“What does everybody want every year, Joe? Concert tickets.”

“That should be simple enough.”

“It usually is, but this year everybody’s asking me for extras. Tickets for Vince Gill or Charlie Daniels Band aren’t good enough. Everybody wants more.”

“Is that so?”

“Uh, uh. Especially on the East Coast. For example, Johnny the accountant in New York wants free parking with his 3 Doors Down tickets. And Freddy the dentist in Boston wants front row seats and backstage passes for Sevendust and Shakira. Then there’s that lawyer in Philly who demands T-shirts and hats for every show next year, including Camper Van Beethoven, Creed and Pearl Jam. I’m telling you, Joe, I’ve been reading my mail all day long and it’s nothing but gimme, gimme, gimme.”

“I guess that comes with the territory, Santa.”

“I know, but dammit, Joe, I’m Santa Claus, not Clear Channel Entertainment.”

“Easy, Santa. ‘Tis the season to be jolly.”

“I guess, but sometimes it gets to be a little too much. Even for me.”


“For example, there’s this one guy on the East Coast, a long-time believer, and no matter what I give him for Christmas, it just isn’t enough.”

“I guess some people are like that.”

“You’re telling me? Back in the ’70s I gave him tickets for Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones, but that wasn’t enough. I also had to give him a MBA. Then two years ago I gave him tickets for Cher, Springsteen and that Elton John / Billy Joel co-headline. But, was he satisfied? Heck, no. I also had to give him a new job, a real, high-profile gig.”

“Well, after all, you are Santa.”

“I know, Joe. But you haven’t seen his letter for this Christmas. Cripe, sometimes I wish he’d just get off my back.”

“Simmer down, Santa. Relax. It can’t be all that bad.”

“I suppose you’re right, Joe. It’s just that he’s never satisfied. I mean, I’ve already given him both Houses of Congress this year.”

“That was your work? I’m impressed. Want another whiskey?”

“No, I best be going, Joe. I still have to fill this guy’s order and I have no idea as to how I’m going to deliver Saddam Hussein’s head on a lance. Oy, it’s gonna be a long, long Christmas.”