santa’s day in san jose
photo by Michael Zelner
On Saturday December 12th, Santa frolicked in the streets of Redwood City, Palo Alto, Mountain View, San Jose and Sunnyvale. Throughout the day, Santa raced cars at Malibu Grand Prix, caroled in plazas and along the sidewalks, handed out candy canes to children, enjoyed a bout of consumerism at Walgreen’s (unfortunately the elves don’t know how to make cigarettes yet), and downed many many pints of ale. Everywhere Santa, Mrs. Claus, Miss Santa, and the elves went, people loved them. The public waved, honked, smiled, and even asked Santa how they could join (“just put on a suit and you’ll be one of us”). Santographer joined Santa to document his day. Although a media person, Santographer participated fully; he is a true Santa.
By nightfall, Santa had arrived in downtown San Jose to spread Xmas cheer at a holiday celebration in the park. Having read about Santa in that morning’s San Jose Mercury News, people began asking Santa where the other Santi were, where they were from (the North Pole, duh), when they’d “start” (start what?), and what kind of havoc they’d be wreaking. Havoc? No, that is not what Santa is about. Santa is about holiday joy. And presents, of course.
Perhaps the most cacophonous thing about Santa’s day in the South Bay was just how politely and respectfully Santa behaved. Nonetheless, San Jose’s finest felt it necessary to follow Santa everywhere he went in downtown SJ. They informed Santa (through his Santa Shadows or Santa “Men in Black”) that if Santa did one thing “out of line,” all the Santi would be arrested on charges of conspiracy. The SJ police went so far as to “encourage” (read: force) the local bars to kick Santa out. Thus Santa was denied his much needed fuel for spreading joy.
One Santa was ticketed for smoking in a bar, even though under California law another patron must complain first. Most appalling of all, one Santa was arrested for felony possession of a stick. Said stick (implausibly described as a “club” by the cops) was a torch for fire breathing, a simple circus prop for entertaining Santa’s loving fans (of whom there were many in San Jose, contrary to what the men in blue said). How very sad it was when Santa’s fans saw him shoved into the paddy wagon and taken off to jail. Many of them booed and hissed at the joyless cops.
photo by Michael Zelner
At this point Santa realized that although the fine people of San Jose deserved presents, Santa would not be able to fill their needs at the risk of further persecution and headed out into the night for the more receptive town of Sunnyvale, where Santa proceeded to fuel up on many free shots provided by the friendly bartender. A few Santi and one Miss Santa returned to Santa’s SJ outpost to help Krazy Kringle, the jailbird Santa. Back in the bar, the others were cheering “Do it for Krazy!” as they downed their shots and made merry.
Many hours later Santa was bailed out of jail by his attorney and loving Santa, Miss Santa, and Angel friends, who brought him cookies and milk because of course the police wouldn’t know the proper feeding of Santa – they have no holiday spirit. Ironically, the officer on duty at the jail did have a sense of humor and cheer – and he kept insisting that he was not part of the SJPD. Santa was appalled to learn that if he’d been carrying a loaded gun, he would have been charged with a misdemeanor and released on his own recognizance, but since he was carrying a “club,” he was charged with a felony and held until a somewhat large sum of money was presented to the police department as insurance that he would attend his court date. Of course Santa will appear in court once he returns from delivering presents around the world; he is a man of honor. Incidentally, Santa is none too worried about being convicted on such ridiculous charges, but he appreciates all the support he received from the Santa family at large.
As the night wore on, Santa began to grow tired; he’s not as young as he used to be, you know. Eventually Santa headed back to the North Pole to rest his weary head, content in knowing that in spite of the odds, Santa had successfully spread joy and cheer throughout the South Bay.
little miss kitten claws