After years in a red suit, Santa Claus gets makeover

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 24, 2002

NORTH POLE -- It's Christmas Eve and a familiar figure will be climbing up and down chimneys delivering toys to all the girls and boys.

Everyone knows that familiar figure Santa Claus. How can you mistake the big man with the white beard, red suit, toy filled sleigh, and eight reindeer?

Well, it almost happened. An advertising firm bought the rights to a line of toys and attempted to change Santa's overall image.

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Now, the "good" guy giving toys was to remain in tact, but the company had a lot of so-called innovations planned.

The Ironton Tribune managed to obtain a recording of the phone conversations between Santa and the company. Here is a written transcript.

Rrrring. Rrrring.

Mrs. Claus: Santa, the phone is ringing. I'm busy getting cookies out of the oven. Could you answer that for me, please?

Santa: No problem, honey. Hello.

Phil O'Miself: Santa baby, what's the story to be told at the North Pole?

Santa: Excuse me?

Miself: Hey, this is Phil O'Miself. I'm the new publicist for Toys-Or-Bust. Since we bought that line of toys from your elves, I've been assigned to handle their account.

Santa: Yeah. They did that without asking. They said they needed some vacation money. But what do you mean you're taking care of the account?

Miself: Well Santa, this is 2002. Times are changing. The old red suit and white beard look are out. Technology has taken over. We're in the age of virtual reality and computer games.

Santa: What's wrong with the old image? I'm all about peace, love, and giving.

Miself: And we love that about you. But you need a new hook, maybe a new name. How does the RoboSanta sound? You wear a red suit, but with a big cape and an 'S' on the chest?

Santa: Well, first of all, Santa is my name and that's not changing. The kids all know me as Santa and I like the name. As for the suit and cape, I think that's been done. Have you ever seen Superman?

Miself: Well, we can work on that. But in order to be a super hero, you need a villain to battle. Who are these guys I keep hearing about named the Grinch and Scrooge?

Santa: Forget it. They both had a change of heart and ended up loving Christmas.

Miself: No problem. We create a villain like, say, Chnirg or Rehsurcyot. That's Grinch and Toycrusher spelled backward, but they have a more sinister aura. Don't you think there's more drama in those kind of names when you fight your arch enemies?

Santa: Listen, I don't have any arch enemies and I don't need any. The children love their Santa as a kind, gentle man who brings love and joy to all the world.

Miself: So, you're not into this make over thing I take it?

Santa: You've got it.

Miself: Well, could you do one thing for me?

Santa: Sure, what is it?

Miself: Could you bring me a Spiderman action figure and a bad guy? I promise not to try and change your image ever again.

Santa: No problem, Phil. But there are a couple of guys name Osama and Sadaam who are a couple of villains in need of a confrontation from a super hero.

Miself: I've already got cha covered, Santa baby. I sent for a real super hero. He's called Uncle Sam.

Merry Christmas!