A Different Slant
by Brian Robison
(currently aliased as Dr. Brian Robison, associate professor of music at MIT)
Once upon a time, in a small town west of Philadelphia, a high school student
wrote a regular column for his local newspaper, the East Branch Citizen.
This column appeared on Thursday, December 20, 1979.
It is the East Branch Citizen's dubious honor to be the first newspaper to
report the latest political revolution -- the most recent coup d'etat -- on
Earth. This political overthrow has taken place not in southeast Asia, not
in Africa, not in the South or Central America, but at the North Pole. A
mob of radical elves has "rid the North Pole" of the "decadent cruel regime
the corrupt Santa Claus."
The revolution first began to take root in 1975 when dissatisfied elf, Hoagie
Krogmeyer, published a pamphlet pointing out how Santa was living a life of
luxury at the expense of his little helpers. To give you an idea of the
book's accusations, here is a short excerpt:
"We must awaken to the evil that is visible in Santa. He gives us
barely enough food to survive, such that our growth is stunted to a mere three
feet in height. Whereas, he indulges in such gluttony that his belly
shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.
"On top of this, he drinks to excess. His cheeks are rosy and his nose
is redder than Comrade Rudolf's. His eyes are so merry that one cannot
help but wonder what's in his pipe."
Egged on by propaganda such as this, the elves finally revolted. Santa
fled for his life. But all his visa applications have been rejected, since
no government believes in his existence. He is still wanted back at the
North Pole to be put on trial for crimes against the elvish people. The
reigning elves are also threatening not to deliver any toys on Christmas Eve
until Santa is handed over to them.
This entire situation has greatly alarmed many of the world's remaining
monarchs, such as the Easter Bunny. the Forecasting Groundhog, the King of the
Leprechauns, and Jerry Brown. (True, he's not a monarch, but he's just as
believable as the others.)
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TO INSURE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY:
Is it truly open season on reindeer on Christmas Eve?
Can your roof support the weigh of eight reindeer, a loaded sleigh, and an
obese deposed ruler?
Is your Christmas tree animal, mineral, or vegetable?
Did you remember to extinguish the fire?
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!
TO ALL, GOOD NIGHT!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!