Wednesday, December 21, 2005

One Sorry Santa

Santa in His Changing Room

Because of the surge in the poles of my popularity rating among Kazamaura’s six year olds after my appointment as Ikokuma Santa I was pretty positive about my return to office, this time as Hebiura Santa. I was even more excited when I learned that my Santa time at the Hebiura pre-school coincided with the massive end of year cleaning time at the junior high school. At 1335 hours I left the junior high building with the phrase “so long, suckers!” echoing in my heart, only to discover that my wife had gone shopping and locked the doors to our house. I had forgotten to mention to her that I always keep my car keys in the little basket by our door instead of in my pocket. I waded around the house through the snow in search of unsecured windows, but when Yuko locks up, she’s thorough. At 1342 hours I made an executive decision that it would be embarrassing to beg anyone at the junior high school or the board of education for a ride, and that it probably wouldn’t take that long to run to Hebiura. It did take that long, and I didn’t run (not all the way, at least—my lungs didn’t allow it) and I was very sweaty by the time I got to the preschool half an hour later. Then, of course, the double-sided adhesive tape on my Santabrows and Santastaches wouldn’t stick to my sweaty face. Nevertheless, I am happy to report another successful year in office. Here is a partial translation of Q & A time with Hebiura Santa:

Q: Where did you come from?
A: The North Pole.
Q: How did you get here?
A: I ran. My reindeer caught the flu.
Q: What food do you like?
A: Natto and Takoyaki.
Q: Did you bring any presents for us grandmas?
A: Um. (Glance at preschool headmistress). No, sorry.
Q: Are you married?
A: Yes.
Q: Do you have kids?
A: Almost.

It’s hard to say how much of this information was disseminated accurately since the questions were posed in Japanese, Santa spoke exclusively in English (except when whispering in the preschool teacher’s ear), and the headmistress had only her imagination to guide her in interpreting what Santa said to the kids.

The Lamppost—It’s Always Winter and Never Christmas in Narnia: Last year, when Tsugaru JETs suffered through shovelling a couple of feet of snow every morning, in Kazamaura I only had to shovel snow twice the whole season. So what’s going on this year? We didn’t even have snow yet on 21 December last year, but I’ve had to shovel snow three times already.