From the Archives – The Fat Man Is Tapped Out

Art by Gustavo, a/k/a Carmen Stiles. From our Christmas 2008 issue.

By S. Claus


Hanging out along the Emerald Coast sure as heck beats freezing your butt off at the North Pole. I don’t care how long you live in a place, you never, never get used to those ice-cold sheets rubbing up against your tender skin after you’ve crawled into bed with Mrs. Claus.


I’ve decided to spend the holidays here in your lovely neck of the woods and leave all the Christmas work to my trusted elves. I doubt they’ll complain. With today’s economy, they’re lucky they still have jobs.


But I’m no slacker, believe me. Between Destin Commons, Uptown Station, Seaside, Pier Park, Silver Sands, the malls and all the other places, Santa has been working hard to make this a Very Special Christmas to Remember.


The bad news is, like a lot of other businesses, Santa Claus, Inc. has been forced to cut costs. Gone is my state-of-the-art surveillance system, so you kids can breathe a little easier. This year, I have no idea if you’re being good or bad, if you’re sleeping or awake.


And while the price of fuel has gone down, the cost of reindeer food has reached staggering highs. If I don’t make it down your chimney this Christmas, it’s not because you’re not good little boys and girls. It’s because the Fat Man is tapped out.


I plan to appear before Congress after New Year’s, along with the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy—we like to call ourselves “The Big Three”—to request a much-needed $300 billion bailout. If there was another way, I’d certainly consider it. So in the spirit of Good Will Towards Men, please wish us luck. And while you’re at it, drop your representatives and senator an email.


Santa’s bag may be empty this Christmas, but my heart is full of love for all of you who believed in me and sent me all those letters (and emails and text messages) over the years.


And, to the kids who didn’t scream in my ears or spit up on me, I’m eternally grateful.


To the wonderful people of Destin, Fort Walton Beach, South Walton, Niceville, Navarre, Panama City, Mossy Head, etc., thank you for welcoming me with open arms.


And don’t call me a Snowbird.


This article originally appeared in the Dec. 11-24, 2008 edition of The Beachcomber.

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