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Never drink with men in red.

28 December 2000
James meets Santa for a drink.

Father Christmas: Do you mind if I smoke?

Upsideclown: No, go ahead if you want to.

FC: Does it shock you? Well, I said you'd get an interview, warts and all. Like or lump it, mate.

UC: Aren't you worried about what sort of example you're giving to millions of kids out there, who will read this? Smoking is a killer.

FC: Yeah, well I'm not responsible for whatever crap kids read on the 'net. It's not like this is the fucking Terrorist's Handbook, or free hardcore porn sex with animals, is it? And anyway, it's not like anyone who reads this is actually going to believe that it's the real Santa you're interviewing. Nobody actually believes in the real Santa any more. Most people will probably think this is some sort of sick joke article, or something.

UC: Yeah, you're probably right I suppose.

FC: Indeed. Now then, would you care to join me in some fine Cuban rum?

UC: Don't mind if I do.

FC: Well, you complain about me smoking, but you don't whine about the dangers of alcohol. Well, tell you what. I've also got some rather excellent weed for when this bottle is finished. If you last that long, that is. Oh, don't look so bloody taken aback the whole time. It's Boxing Day, I've had a pretty fucking busy time recently, and now I get to let my hair down. So, relax mate. Let's down these, and then start with the interview proper, yes?

Clink, ahhhhh, glop glop glop, glop glop glop.

UC: Nice rum, by the way. Anyway, down to business. First things first, Santa: How do you deliver all those presents in such a short space of time? Surely it is not possible.

FC: Well, jumping in at the deep end, are we? Probably better if I slowly lead you into that one.

UC: Ok then, so, what do you do for the rest of the year, when you're not riding about giving prezzies.

FC: Currency speculation. I've made a packet over the past two years betting against the Euro. Kept me nicely in fast cars and fast women, and I've even had enough to branch out into commodity futures, especially oil.

UC: Don't tell me. That whole oil price rocketing thing last month.

FC: Rightyo, laddie. Me cashing in my chips so that I had enough liquidity over the holiday period.

UC: Yeah, I suppose all those zillions of presents can't be cheap.

FC: Nah, the whole delivery operation is just a tax dodge nowadays. No, every year I corner the turkey market, and as demand rockets in the last week, make an absolute killing - figuratively as well as literally.

UC: So the whole Christmas period is one huge profit-making exercise for you.

FC: People have been saying that Christmas has become more and more commercial for years. Well, that's just other people cottoning on, and trying muscle in on the action, with organic, feel-good gifts and alternative remedy bollocks. They haven't got a chance because I've been doing it longer than anyone else. Right finish off that glass, and let's play a game.


Clink. Ahhhhh. Glop Glop Glop. Glop Glop Glop.

FC: Right, from now on, the interview continues, but neither of us can use the first letter of the alphabet.

UC: You just did, though.

FC: You beginner luck. (Glop glop glop) Now, re-begin the questioning, then.

UC: Ok, Santa...fuck. (glop glop glop)

FC: Simple error, foolish boy.

UC: Right. Mr Kringle, so how do you deliver such multitudes of gifts to children in just one night?

FC: Nice one. You've picked this up quickly. The solution to your question is simply this: I don't do the whole world myself. I employ lots of people to do different regions of the world. I no longer do it myself. It's too much fucking bother, I tell you.

UC: Ok, hang, on I concede. I can't concentrate on asking you the questions I want to.

FC: That's five a's. Seven now, I suppose. Ok, game over. But we must clear the debt of downings, Treble for me and quadruple for you now.

UC: Jesus. Ok.

Clink Clink. Glop Glop Glop. Glop Glop Glop.

FC: How you feeling? You hanging in there? It's pretty strong stuff.

UC: No shit. Back to the questions. So, you franchise out the whole lot, then.

FC: Yep, and that 'Santa School' you all heard about in Australia - that's where they all get trained. It's basically advanced lock picking, and how to bypass burglar alarms. And we ask no questions about how the graduates earn their money for the rest of the year. But I think quite a few go in for art-theft. Big commissions for a good art-thief nowadays. And the tuition fees are another nice steady earner for yours truly.

UC: Fuck, I can really feel all those shots now. Can you call me a cab? One last question before I leave - where do all the presents come from?

FC: I have an island in the north pacific. You know, like Saipan where 'Made in the USA' clothes are made with cheap labour from China. I do essentially the same thing. So everyone is happy, all the kids get their presents, I dodge tax by registering the whole thing as 'charitible donations', and seven thousand chinese workers keep their jobs. Hey, you're looking a little green, I think you'd better stand outside before you puke on my tiger-skin rug. You like the rug? Shot the bitch myself.

Here Santa stops the dictaphone and guides me out to the waiting taxi. He gives the driver enough for the fare, and I think, What a nice guy. Until I realise he's nicked my wallet. Cunt.


Previously on upsideclown


Current clown:

18 December 2003. George writes: This List

Most recent ten:

15 December 2003. Jamie writes: Seven Songs
11 December 2003. Dan writes: Spinning Jenny
8 December 2003. Victor writes: Rock Opera
4 December 2003. Matt writes: The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia
1 December 2003. George writes: Charm
27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
24 November 2003. Jamie writes: El Matador del Amor; Or, the Man who Killed Love
20 November 2003. Dan writes: Rights Management
17 November 2003. Victor writes: Walking on Yellow
13 November 2003. Matt writes: Disintermediation
(And alas we lost Neil, who last wrote Cockfosters)

Also by this clown:

27 November 2003. James writes: On Boxing
16 October 2003. James writes: Jakesy's School of Urban Driving
24 September 2003. James writes: Chapter One
4 September 2003. James writes: The Silicon Soul
14 August 2003. James writes: A Room With 100 Seats
24 July 2003. James writes: English For Beginners
3 July 2003. James writes: Coldplay are crap. Discuss.
9 June 2003. James writes: It Takes All Sorts
22 May 2003. James writes: Lesson 2: Buying his Gran for a tenner
1 May 2003. James writes: Rosencrantz and Leytonstone
10 April 2003. James writes: Character Building
20 March 2003. James writes: So This Is It. What Are We Going To Do About It?
27 February 2003. James writes: Street Level Zero
6 February 2003. James writes: Reference: James Noteworthy
16 January 2003. James writes: Kissing George Clooney for just £99!
26 December 2002. James writes: Hongkong In Four Tableaux
5 December 2002. James writes: We Are Your Idea
14 November 2002. James writes: The Knight Of Spring Fervent
24 October 2002. James writes: Go On, Be Honest
7 October 2002. James writes: Cold Comfort
12 September 2002. James writes: Peas In A Pod
22 August 2002. James writes: Seed Investment
1 August 2002. James writes: We Are QPR
11 July 2002. James writes: The Road to Ossuna
20 June 2002. James writes: Pret A Teleporter
27 May 2002. James writes: A Play On Words
2 May 2002. James writes: Labour Saving Device
8 April 2002. James writes: Beggaring Belief
14 March 2002. James writes: Small Things
18 February 2002. James writes: Drop Dead Letters
24 January 2002. James writes: High-Rise Rhapsody
27 December 2001. James writes: My drift's too hip to resist.
6 December 2001. James writes: My Lord Has No Nose
12 November 2001. James writes: A Job For Life
18 October 2001. James writes: Which is the cleverest animal?
24 September 2001. James writes: Interview With An Automatum
30 August 2001. James writes: Each To Their Own
6 August 2001. James writes: An Escape, In Sonata Form
12 July 2001. James writes: Truckloads Of Goodies
18 June 2001. James writes: There's No Such Thing As A Coincidence
24 May 2001. James writes: It's All True - The Paper Says So
30 April 2001. James writes: A Letter From Prisyn
16 April 2001. James writes: I Quit
15 March 2001. James writes: An Essay In Procrastination
15 February 2001. James writes: Confessions Of An English Sand-Eater
22 January 2001. James writes: The Future And The Pasta
28 December 2000. James writes: Never drink with men in red
4 December 2000. James writes: The Underground
9 November 2000. James writes: Right answer. Wrong answer
16 October 2000. James writes: The March of Proudfoot: Part I
21 September 2000. James writes: You haven't got a chance
28 August 2000. James writes: Bad, man. Wicked
24 July 2000. James writes: I play games with street lamps

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