Santa’s desperate sprint to safety

It’s that time of year again… the chance to put on rouge, dress up in fancy clothes and add padding for a more voluptuous effect… without the need for the usual embarrassing explanations. Yes, my audience is calling me, it’s time to dress up as Santa!

I’ve had the calling for four years. Started as a fun thing to do with the grandchildren on Christmas Eve. Don’t pretend with them any more. They got all too close to knowing it was me so it’s now just their granddad being silly as usual. But having started, the call came from playschool to do a gig for their three to five year olds. That first one was nearly the end of my beardy career, very nearly the end of me!

In my naivety I decided to meet wife Linda (a playschool volunteer) at the school gates full dressed and padded, all ready to rock and roll. Simple really, I’d pop across to the playschool building, do my thing and pop back to the car and away. Unfortunately I hadn’t reckoned on it being school playtime.

Warning bells should have sounded to accompany the usual cacophony of screams and shouts that normally rise up from any playground throughout the country at that time of day. The noise level was about to increase markedly as I moved towards the throng of children aged from seven to eleven. But at first there was an ominous reduction in noise as the kids nearest my entrance point stopped what they were doing to gawp. They then reacted by suddenly making a beeline for me in a great scream of excitement. Others not quite so near looked round to see what the fuss was all about and reacted likewise. Within seconds there were waves of school kids heading for me with frenzy in their eyes.

The playground supervisors were caught off guard. Theyd had no warning Santa was coming. Probably had warm and pleasant thoughts… but only for a few seconds. Pretty quickly they saw a beleaguered Santa drowning under hundreds of screaming kids, with a small woman accompanying Santa desperately trying to fight them off.

It wouldn’t have been so bad if the little blighters had gathered round in wondered awe. Not a bit of it. Remember, some of them were approaching eleven and were pretty streetwise. If they didn’t already know something was slightly fishy with the whole Santa theme, here was a chance to test out the theory. So the beard started to get pulled and bits of clothing tested out. If I’d have hung out there any longer I would literally have been hanging out… the first Santa streak in history. Forget the traumatised kids, a lifetime membership of the child protection register would have been my reward.

I’m sure it must only have been a few minutes, but after what seemed like a lifetime the playground supervisors managed to round up the children and I was able to stagger my way onwards to the safety of the playschool building. I gave a somewhat ragged performance before heading off home (sans costume!) for a strong cup of tea and a lie down.

This year it was playschool again, my next door neighbour’s childrens’ Christmas party, and of course the grandchildren tonight, Christmas Eve. All good fun.

Earlier in the week I popped in for lunch to daughter Beth’s, joined by Becky and Linda. Not a place to have a quiet bite to eat as the four grandchildren whizzed around in the great excitement they always display when together. Should have known something was afoot. The word ‘Rudolph’ kept coming up with unusual regularity. Every time it did Becky and Beth creased up with laughter, desperately trying to keep back tears of mirth… a certain sign that I’m the subject matter causing the merriment.

All was revealed when I extracted myself from the mayhem to return to the sanctuary of work. Attached to my car were a couple of large antlers and a big red nose. Earlier, while popping out to swap presents, my dear daughters had adorned the motor. The whole troop now followed me out to be entertained.

Still got them on the car, although the antlers drop down to a rakish 45 degree angle when the wind hits them. The reactions of people are funny. Some don’t want to make it obvious they’re looking. Others gawp. Children point unashamedly. Linda hasn’t been in the car since the appendages were added!

Hope you have a peaceful Christmas.

1 comment:

  1. Will give you a wave if I spot the be-antlered motor zipping along a fenland road.

    merry Christmas
    from Purple Podded Peas blog


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