Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny: Book Review: "Naughty or Nice"

Is this where I put in key words such as sex, lesbians, vampires, Christopher Lloyd and others things to which this blog do not pertain, but by putting them here, I may get hits from all the Christoper Lloyd lesbian vampire fans (and you know who you are)? This is the primarily humorous and occasionally rambling writings of Leon Tchaikovsky, humor writer. Enjoy.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Book Review: "Naughty or Nice"

Tchaikovsky Sounds Funny

Children believe Santa Clause lives in the North Pole. As adults, we know better. Santa Clause lives in Pennsylvania and works in the Capitol. Finally, Santa has written his autobiography.

Santa’s real name is Frank Linn (or, is Frank Linn’s real name Santa Clause?) and when he is not making lists of who has been naughty and nice, he works in the Pennsylvania Speaker’s office. Since junior high school, when tapped by the principal to play Santa Clause in a school production, Frank Linn has been Jolly Saint Nick. The “official” Santa Clause of the U.S. Justice Department can be seen at a local mall.

Frank Linn’s book begins with a description of his heart attack and his heart wrenching recognition that Santa Clause is mortal. We then read of the life of Frank Linn, from growing up in Oberlin in days when naughty children actually received lumps of coal on Christmas, through his legislative employment beginning as a page for Speaker W. Stuart Helm. The focus on the book, though, is on what it is like to be Santa Clause.

We learn lessons that, upon discovery that mice had eaten the lollipops Santa intended to throw to children, children were just as happy to receive #2 pencils. As Frank Linn explains it, “kids care little about what they actually get from Santa Clause. All they really want is the simple thrill of being near someone they dream about.”

A career begun in junior high school that continued when a boy asked for, and received, a Santa suit for Christmas, we follow the path of a Santa who went from distributing candy canes at local grocery stores to being the main attraction at parades. We learn what happens when Santa catches fire. We are saddened when Santa considers leaving the business when being sued after a girl fell into Santa’s fence, yet are delighted that Santa returns after receiving many encouraging phone calls from people whose lives he’s touched.

We laugh at what Santa hears: a child wants Santa to bring pajamas to parents because they have to wrestle in their bed nude; of the child whose father is in the military but not to worry because “Uncle Henry” visits mommy every night; of the boy who asked for a Mercedes for his father because his father “has been a very good boy”; of the boy who asked for a giraffe which he would keep in his bedroom because “I would cut a hole in my ceiling and let his head stick out”; and of the time Santa posed with a woman who flashed the photographer.

Santa has to be prepared for just about anything. If you wish to learn more about Santa, you will enjoy this book.


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