In League with Santa
" Of all the blessings of fatherhood, this may be the greatest: the license to act like a 5-year-old. I always believed that fatherhood would transform me in some profound way- make me wiser, more loving, more of a man. What it has really done is given me an excuse to play with toy cars. In the name of parenting, I now spend entire days in an orgy of second-childhood indulgence. I do 180-reverse slams on my son's adjustable baby-basketball hoop. I binge on Post Alpha-Bits. I spend hours watching the Cartoon Network.
In fact, now that I am a father, I act more like a child than I ever did as an actual child."
Andrew Santella, GQ- July 2004
There was a time in our lives when Santa wasn't just a senile old man in a suit. You'd line up for hours just for a chance to sit on the lap of this guy and try to pull off his beard. Then you'd have to bluff him, say you've been good all year and hope he wasn't watching you that time you threw that hamster in a deep fryer. He'd ask you what you wanted for Christmas. No matter what you said (' I want a robotic dog' or 'I want my dad to stop bringing home strange women when mummy is away') he'd Ho-Ho-Ho and you'd be blinded by a flash (another $20 spent on a crappy photo your parents would have to keep for years) then escorted away by a struggling actor dressed in a ridiculous elf outfit before 'Santa's' morphine wore off and he starts telling kids about his wonderfully eccentric anti-Semitic theories. Well, this week I got to return to that childhood for an hour or so.
It's called Santa's Kingdom and it's a massive world for children and adults alike to explore from now until...I dunno...December the 20-somethingth and I got to check out the dress rehearsal. "I'm just here because I have free tickets." I tell one of the girls working there who is dressed as a toy soldier.
"Dude, nobody cares." she assures me.
After going through the entrance of red curtains, sort of a 'Twin Peaks' Black Lodge-type deal, complete with a dwarf that speaks in backwards language you are greeted by a cute elf-chick and a penguin. So far just like any other ecstasy trip. But afterwards you get to walk in to (drum rolls) The Kingdom.
There's jugglers and clowns and a whopping big ice slide that you can hurtle down at massive speeds. There's a Post Office where you can write a postcard to Santa and an ice show that happens every half hour. If you have Peter Pan Syndrome like I do I certainly recommend a trip. Now to get back to hating everything.
I love children. They taste like chicken.