Vagabondish Citizen Of The Week, All Santa Edition

2009-12-14 VB - BadSanta
© Carpetblogger

As we ease our way into the holiday season – after this post we won’t see each other again until 2010 – we thought it’d be appropriate to leave you with some cheery Christmas-related optimism. Unfortunately we read “stories” about “other people,” and so all we’ve got to offer is gnawing depression interrupted by cathartic bouts of sobbing over the future of humanity. But at least you’re getting the catharsis, right? That’s not nothing!

Anyway, without further ado, here are your contestants for 2009′s final Vagabondish Citizen Of The Week contest. For the second week in a row we’ve got a rough-and-ready final four bracket, with two sets of two similar homo sapien gems. On one side – let’s call this Bracket Santa – we’ve got the Ohio Santa who tried to kidnap a little girl and the Texas Santa who stood on his lawn wearing only a red hat and a stern countenance. We should probably mention that the Texas Santa is a lawn-ornament replica of Michelangelo’s David. On the other side of the bracket – let’s call this Bracket Anti-Santa – we’ve got the Georgia elf who threatened to dynamite a mall Santa and the Australian researcher who published an article calling out St. Nick as an obese, drunk driving, unhygienic health pariah.

We can eliminate the would-be kidnapper right away because he provides the exact opposite of humor to this post. The elf is kind of interesting on account of how he was dressed as an elf, but everything else – especially the blowing up a shopping mall thing – also falls short of funny. So now we’re down to the Texas lawn ornament from the Santa bracket vs. the Australian health researcher from Anti-Santa bracket.

The two are more similar than you might expect. Both are getting absolutely blasted by their local communities, the Australian doctor for being a scrooge and the David for being naked. Normally our panel would take the opportunity to mock parents for not appreciating sublime art – “Mommy, why is Santa naked” “because Santa is a replica of one of the greatest achievements in human history” – but this week they gave the trophy to the Australian. His mockery took the form of an actual journal article published in actual medical language. Extra points for style:

Monash University’s Nathan Grills said his study claiming Santa Claus promoted obesity, drink-driving, speeding and an unhealthy lifestyle had been written in his spare time for a bit of “comic relief”… Epidemiologically, Grills had claimed there was a correlation between countries that venerate Santa Claus and those with high levels of childhood obesity. Instead of wolfing down mince pies and brandy and idling in his sleigh, Grills suggested Santa should go on a diet and swap his reindeer for walking, jogging or cycling to deliver his presents. His respect for road rules and safety when undertaking extreme sports such as roof surfing and chimney-jumping also left a lot to be desired, the study said. It also bemoaned the potential infectiousness of Santa impersonators, saying if they sneezed or coughed around 10 times a day, all the children who sat on their laps could end up with swine flu.

For these obviously humorous albeit epidemiologically robust observations, Grills was bullied into having to issue a forced apology. So many people were so offended that this guy – this scientist – had to publicly declare himself “an avid ‘Santa believer and lover’”. As 2009 winds down, this is actually the point we’ve reached. Just think what wonders 2010 will bring.

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