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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Special: No, Virginia, There is no Santa Claus

This is something I wrote while in college. While almost nothing from that period is worth reading today, this, arguably, stands up. So, the management over here at DATSUN FLAMBE is starting a new Christmas tradition. We present to you.....No, Virginia, There is no Santa Claus.


Editor's note: It's Christmas time again, as evidenced by those people who ring bells outside of department stores in an effort to annoy people into giving them money. Soon we will once again see re-printings of "Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus," the world's most famous editorial. The 1897 New York Sun editorial was prompted by a letter from a little girl, Virginia O'Hanlon, who wanted to know if Santa Claus existed. The editor, Francis P. Church, responded with a heartwarming yes, telling the little girl to believe in Santa Claus, fairies, hope and other unseeables. Rarely are the later exchanges between the eight-year-old O'Hanlon and Church reprinted. The following are the letters from the curious girl and the printed responses of the editor after the editorial was printed:


Dear Mr. Church,

Phew, what a relief! I was worried that Santa Claus was something made up to fool kids. I mean, really, it is pretty fantastic, even for an eight-year-old. But hey, it was printed in a newspaper, and I know a newspaper would never willfully tell the public anything that's inaccurate. I'm glad I can count on adults to give me the unvarnished truth.

Since you know so much about Santa, I have a few more questions: That whole flying reindeer thing, what's up with that? How does he manage to make it to billions of houses in one night? 

It's all very strange and I would like to get to the bottom of it.

Virginia
***
Dear Virginia,

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
FPC
***

Mr. Church,
That's your response? I type out a thoughtful letter and that's all you can say? I need answers to important questions, man. I know you said not to be skeptical, but some of these things aren't adding up. Like take my Uncle Charlie for instance, he is about the size Santa Claus is described as being. He can barely move around much less make a worldwide trip in a single night. I need some answers!

Virginia
***
Dear Virgina,
Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. And he is a fat man, a very, very fat man.
FPC
***

Mr. Church,
I'm confused. Wouldn't a man of his girth weigh down a sleigh? And I have another more serious question: Among my friends are a Muslim, a Buddhist, two Jews and a couple of poor kids. Santa never seems to visit them. I was told that Santa only neglects the bad kids. Is being Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist or poor bad? I mean they all seem like pretty nice kids to me. I need answers.
Virginia
***

Dear Virginia,
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT FROM ME? I'm a newspaper editor, not a philosopher. I tried to give you some hope, but you're trying my patience here. I just got a call from Santa. He said he's been reading the New York Sun and he's a little disturbed by your queries. He said if you keep on with the questions he's not bringing you any toys.
FPC
***

Dear Virginia,
This is Santa Claus. Leave Mr. Church alone. He is a very busy newspaper editor. He doesn't have time to be dealing with your questions week after week. The question was cute at first, but now it's getting annoying. I have information on you. If you don't stop bothering Mr. Church there will be repercussions. If you think this is an empty threat, consider this: I know when you are sleeping, I know when you are awake...
Very Sincerely,
S. Claus
***

Mr. Church,

I think I'm on to something. I just received a letter from Santa (By the way, he uses the same stationery as you). He seems very fearful of anyone finding out his true motives. He even threatened me. I've come to the conclusion that he does what he does for very dark reasons, perhaps world domination and mind control of the kid population. He might even be in cahoots with some of you adults. I just need a little more information to blow the lid off this whole thing. I could be up against some very dangerous men, those elves seem a tad unsavory, but the truth must prevail. I'm off to investigate this Santa Claus mystery. I will mail you my findings.
Virginia


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