“Coming right up, sport. Say, why the sad face? Come on, it’s Christmas. Get with the spirit.”

“Spirit? Heck, it’s because of Christmas that I feel so down.”

“Wanna talk about it?”

“Well, Joe, it’s my daughter. She’s starting to ask questions.”

“Oh, oh.”

“Every day since Thanksgiving she’s been asking about him. Morning, noon and night, that’s all I hear. ‘Is he real? Does he exist? The kids at school say he’s make-believe.’ I’m telling you, Joe, I don’t know what to say.”

“I hear you, sport. I’ve raised a couple of daughters of my own, and I can still remember when they started asking questions at Christmas time.”

“Really? What did you do?”

“Every time one of them asked if he was real, I gave her a CD and said it was an early Christmas gift from Santa Claus.”

“And that worked?”

“Oh, sure. One year I gave my oldest the latest CDs by UFO and Melissa Etheridge. Another year I gave my youngest the box sets by David Bowie, Neil Young and Fritz’s Polka Band. You should try it the next time your daughter asks the question.”

“You really think handing out CDs is the answer?”

“I know CDs are the answer. Besides you got to nip this in the bud. Once they stop believing, they’ll start questioning authority every time they open their mouths. Then it’s too late. Not even Fox News will be able to help.”

“Okay, okay. I get the message, Joe. I’ll start giving my daughter CDs every time she asks about him. I think I’ll start off by giving her the new Britney Spears, CD.”

In The Zone? Now you’re talking.”

“And if she keeps it up, I’ll give her the new ones by Puddle Of Mudd, Damien Rice and Eric Johnson. That should keep her quiet until Christmas.”

“Don’t worry about it, sport. Trust me. You keep handing out those CDs and she’ll keep believing in Santa Claus.”

“Uh? Santa Claus? She loves Santa Claus. She doesn’t have a problem believing in Santa Claus.”

“But you just said -“

“It’s Axl Rose she’s having a hard time believing in.”

“Ah, yes. The Chinese Democracy CD. It’s coming, brother. You just gotta have faith. Wanna another beer?”

“No thanks, Joe. It’s getting late, and I still have to stop by the CD store on the way home. Oooh… It’s gonna be a long week.”