Ho, ho, ho!

We have to admit -- at first we were skeptical. We sent off the letter to Santa Claus at the North Pole. We even took the time to look up the ZIP code in our handy-dandy almanac. Of course, we never expected to get anything back. Then, the letter came. A Wacky Tree

That's right, Santa Claus -- the big guy himself -- wrote us back! In slightly sloppy handwriting he told us that he'd be more than happy to sit down for an interview with us, breaking his centuries-long silence. He told us to just come down to our dorm lobby (the only place on campus with a chimney) that night and wait. We did.

It was about two o'clock in the morning. We had been studying to pass the time for the last several hours. People filtered in and out of the lobby, asking us why we were there. For some reason, they refused to believe that we were waiting for an interview with St. Nick. Finally, we drifted off to sleep. However, our repose wasn't to last long. We were startled awake by the jingling of bells. The next thing we knew, Santa Claus was standing right in front of us, looking jolly as all heck!

"All right...I'm ready to talk!" said the formerly mythical being. And we did.

verbosity: Mr. Claus, we wanted to begin--

Santa Claus: Please, call me Nick. I've gone by so many names through the years: Santa Claus, St. Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Natasha. Sometimes, I just prefer the simplicity.
v: Okay, um, Nick. We wanted to begin by asking you to please describe exactly what you do.
Nick: Well, it's more or less common knowledge, I think. I spend all year making a list of all the bad kids in the world, and, when Christmas rolls around, I totally ignore them.
v: That's really kind of mean-spirited, don't you think? We thought you were all about rewarding the good kids--not punishing the bad ones.
N: Whatever. It's all semantics when you get down to it.
Santa, um, walking.  With a sack. v: All right. Um...do you have any upcoming projects you'd like to talk a little about?
N: Actually, this is a very busy time of year for us up at the North Pole. All of the elves are hard at work putting together toys, I'm double-checking my list, and the wife is keeping us in egg nog for the duration. I think this Christmas should be a good one for Team Santa. We've got a crack team of elves this year and the reindeer have been working out in preparation for the run.
v: About those toys...we've heard (from certain sources that wish to remain anonymous) that some--maybe most--of your toys aren't coming from the hands of subjugated elves, but instead from the hands of subjugated Asian children working in sweatshops around the world. What do you have to say about these allegations?
N: Those rumors are absolute poppycock! Don't believe a word of them! There is no proof whatsoever to support them and I refuse to comment any further.
v: What about toys that come from well-known companies? Do you have a license to make all those Power Ranger action figures, or is it pretty much all black-market merchandise?
N: Listen, I don't have to put up with all of these questions! You're starting to make me angry! What are you trying to do -- ruin the magic of Christmas?
v: As a matter of fact, that's something else we wanted to speak with you about. How do you feel about the rumors that have been circulating for centuries that you "don't really exist?" That you're "just a myth?" That "you're actually a Russian spy sent to infiltrate our homes every winter?"
N: Frankly, those rumors hurt. I admit that quite a bit of the myths parents teach children may not be true. However, the fact that I'm here tells you that I'm not some sort of Tooth Fairy, doesn't it? Can we please change the subject, though? I'd rather not talk about all of this.
v: Sure thing, Nick. In a totally different direction, what's your involvement with the Internet? Do you "surf the Web?" Have you ever thought of cobbling together a website?
N: I'm not a big fan of the Internet, per se. I've toyed around a little with it, but it's just not worth my time. I'm a pretty busy guy, you know. However, there are quite a few sites out there that are attributed to me that I have nothing at all to do with. A lot of them even have fake e-mail addresses where children can supposedly e-mail me! Just a warning, kids: if you're e-mailing it, it ain't coming to me. Use the postal service. You don't want to get those guys upset, anyway.

Wow!  A sock! It was suggested once that I put together a website, but the consulting group I was with was asking for a little bit too much money. It's not cheap to build and give away toys to millions of children a year. Sometimes you just have to sacrifice the extras.

v: So, what's the average weekend at the North Pole like for you? Getting some much-needed rest? Partying? Spending time with the wife?
N: Let's see...after a long week of toy-production supervision and list-maintaining, I try to relax on the weekends. Occasionally, I join in on some of the reindeer games, but they tend to play a little rough. Even two-hand touch hurts when your opponents have hooves.
v: If there was one thing you could let the world know about yourself, what would it be?
N: I'd just like to say that I'm not really a big fan of milk and cookies. It was all right for awhile there, but it's a little redundant now. A little tea might be nice occasionally on a cold winter's night -- maybe even a bowl of soup. Just, please, no more milk and cookies.
v: What can we expect from Santa Claus in the next year? The next five years?
N: I plan to keep on doing what I've been doing for years. It's pretty much gotten to be a habit, I guess. Of course, you never can tell what to expect. Maybe I'll wear a different suit next year. Maybe I'll shave my beard into a goatee. I pride my self on being dynamic.
v: Now, we want to ask you what could be our most important question. Are you going to bring us that monkey we've been asking for all year this Christmas?
N: That's you guys?!? I thought I recognized your names! Oh, I've got a special file on you. Sending me four and five letters a week...sheesh! You guys are a bunch of annoying little--
v: Santa, wait!
N: That's it! I'm outta here! You guys can just cram your friggin' monkey!

That's right--we pissed off Santa Claus. Bad. I guess we all know who's not getting anything this Christmas. Anyway, we thank Santa for taking the time to talk with us, and we'd like to apologize for upsetting him. If you're reading this, Santa, could you please reconsider the monkey thing, though?

[back to verbosity]

Of course, this interview was entirely fictional. If it had been a real interview, it would have gotten top billing on the front page.