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Monday, December 20, 2004

Unintentionally funny headline of the day

From the Grand Rapids Press:
What makes a great Santa? It's more than just ho, ho, ho
I'd guess that they meant to put "ho, ho, ho" in quotes, but the rest of the article supports my interpretation--that mall Santas are ho-ing for their corporate masters, making sure that profits and credit-card debts stay high:
Santa for hire is big business. There are dozens of companies around the country that train Santas before they are sent to malls, church fund-raisers, Christmas parties -- even bachelorette parties.

And the pace isn't slowing.

The average arrival date for mall Santas is Nov. 20, according to a survey by the International Council of Shopping Centers. Santa was visited by about 6,000 kids per mall during 2003, it said.
Noerr Programs is a Colorado-based company that trains nearly 250 Santas who work in about 200 malls across the country.

"What a Santa does and says can make a huge difference," President Judy Noerr said. "People will shop Santas. Mothers will talk about them in their neighborhoods. If people find a Santa they like, they'll drive hundreds of miles."
Great. Just what we need as peak oil and global warming approach--parents willing to drive hundreds of miles to have someone lie to their children. Not that they mind:
The reindeer, including an antler-heavy 1 1/2-year-old named Thunder, add credibility.

"My third-grader is asking questions, so having the reindeer here was fabulous," said Julia McGonigal of Rockford, who brought 8-year-old Mikaela to see Santa after a Christmas concert. "When we came out, she said, 'Mom, I've got to do my list,' so I think we're good for another year."
Good job, Julia. Keep your third-grader ignorant for as long as possible. Maybe Mikaela can go straight from Santa to drugs and never have to deal with reality at all!