American Consequences - December 2018

WHAT IF SANTA CAME FOR GROWN-UPS? Well, for one thing, he wouldn’t land on the roof! Do you know what roofs cost ? We had ours re-shingled a couple of years ago and... “skyway robbery” is what I call it. No thanks to an overloaded sleigh and eight sets of sharp, pointy hooves busting through my rafters. Although Santa is welcome to come down our chimney. We’ve been meaning to have it cleaned. Santa-for-Grown-Ups also wouldn’t arrive in the middle of the night, setting off our ADT burglar alarm and causing the Neighborhood Watch to panic and the old lady next door to call 911. Jolly Saint Nick won’t be so jolly in a Santa’s got that big sack. He could fill it with money... This seems a bit crass – not in the Christmas spirit. (Although, if Christmas spirits are what’s wanted, Santa could always stick a bottle of 30-year-old Glenfiddich into our bag of cash and he and I will share it while we smoke our cigars.) However... Christmas isn’t supposed to be a season of boundless greed. Christmas presents should be more thoughtful than mere unthinking moolah. Gifts ought to possess an emotional significance and have a personal meaning. Meaning, at our house, that we need a new washer and dryer.

By P.J. O'Rourke

standoff with a state police SWAT team. Speaking of guns, according to the fish and game regulations where I live, deer season (which presumably includes flying reindeer) runs through December 28. Santa would be facing not only tear gas and flash grenades but also a bunch of guys up in tree stands wearing camouflage and taking aim with .30-06 Remington autoloaders. Assuming Santa gets here in one piece, we promise not to leave him any milk and cookies. Scotch and a good cigar is what a more mature, more fatherly Father Christmas would prefer – or so this mature father thinks. What shall we ask for? What gifts would we like “Senior Claus” to bring? (At a civilized hour of the day, such as 3 p.m., with his reindeer having previously visited the “Pet Relief ” area at the local airport.)

Santa isn’t going to bring us these. Santa’s no fool. He’s got a Mrs. Claus at home. He understands how it goes with the gift of “Surprise! A Household Appliance!” I once bought my wife a refrigerator for her birthday. A nice one, too – a Sub-Zero. Men, if you’re reading this, take it from me, don’t buy your wife a refrigerator for her birthday. Or, if you do buy your wife a refrigerator for her birthday, you’d better make sure there’s a string of pearls in the vegetable crisper. I guess Santa could bring us adult toys. (No, not that kind of “adult toys.” Christmas shopping is bad enough without a “Put the X-Rating Back in X-mas” ad campaign.) I was thinking more along the lines of a 61-foot


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