Optional page text here. The Beast's Lair: The Anti-Climatic Santa Claus Experience

Saturday, December 09, 2006

The Anti-Climatic Santa Claus Experience

I have spent the last two days both in a hospital and in my bed with a severe stomach flu. Not fun at all. But, I am on the road to recovery.

Today, I felt like getting out for a few minutes, so Andi and I went to Kroger, I wanted to pick up some V-8 Fusion I saw advertised. Apparently, this stuff gives you a full serving of vegetables and fruit in one 8 ounce glass. My partner in crime James Aaron has recently gone on a super health kick, so I figure I better step my game up as well.

Anyway, as we enter in Kroger through the automatic doors, we walk first into the fruits and veggies area. I think this is typical of most Krogers now days, the first thing you enter is the fruit section. We didn't need fruit, so we made an abrupt right turn to walk toward the juice isle, and much to my shock we found ourselves face to face with Santa Claus! He was jolly enough, gave a quick wave and even yelled something to us as we passed by. There were no children in line to see him, and there was no grandeur whatsoever about his presence. He was just a typical costumed Santa Claus who somehow got stuck in a normal chair next to the fruits and veggies at the entrance of Kroger.

I mean, come on. This is Santa Claus we are talking about here. The rest of my shopping experience was tarnished by the complete lack of proper care for the presentation of the one and only Santa Claus. It seems that we need some kind of federal law that limits the number of cheesy, poorly done Santa Claus meet and greet stations. I was embarrassed.

But then again, I have always had a tendency for the dramatic. I have always thought the buildup of a program, event or whatever spectacle might be taking place is equally important to the actually event. This is one reason why Universal Studios and Disneyworld get such high praise in my book. The waiting in line for the rides is sometimes even more fun than the ride itself! And at a minimum, makes the ride much better than it actually is. It's all about detail.

So, here are a few quick Santa Claus presentation rules that I have prepared. If I were going to have a Santa Claus meet and greet, I would make sure these things happen.

1. The Santa Claus MUST NOT be visible from outside the "inner chamber." You can see the entrance to the meet and greet, you can see the beautiful decorations, but you cannot see the real deal until you are inside and making the journey to meet the legend. This just simply increases the excitement to know you are walking closer and are about to meet Santa Claus.

2. There has to be some excitement at the entrance. This includes music, a few elves and maybe a couple of reindeer who are all prancing around with joy that Santa Claus has actually taken the time to travel from the North Pole to visit this little hole in the wall in west KY.

3. Allow the "elves" to play simple games that attract children. Whatever it takes to form a line. A Santa Claus meet and greet without a line of children waiting to get in is ridiculous. In this rare exception, it really is all about the hype.

4. Whatever you do, DO NOT place the legend in open sight view next the fruits and veggies. Good grief.


Anonymous Paul, in Bethel Park said...

Hey, Beast!

Glad you are feeling better.

I had the pleasure of being Santa Claus at a local strip mall a few years back. (It was fun stuffing my costume with the pillows, etc.)

The first child I saw came in with an entourage of fireman. Anthony, you see, was a "Make-a-Wish" child.

He was a cool, little guy, about six or seven, with a flannel shirt buttoned at the neck, jeans and Chuck Taylor black shoes.

When I asked him what he wanted, the only things he wanted were things for his mother, father and brother. He asked for nothing for himself.

He gave me a big hug, said Merry Christmas and said he loved me.

I will never forget that experience God gave me. Anthony died of leukemia less than three months later.

So, on behalf of Anthony, Merry Christmas to you, your family and everyone who reads your blog.

December 10, 2006 12:30 PM  
Blogger The Beast said...

Thank you so much brother. Perhaps the "fruits and veggies" Santa will have a meaningful experience like the one you have shared. Blessings to you!

December 10, 2006 3:35 PM  

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