Ever Wonder What It's Like To Be A Mall Santa During The Christmas Season?Santa brings out the best and the worst in people, and the big red suits seems to give an almost supernatural insight into human nature.
It's getting to be that time of year when the mall Santas are coming out in force. Malls around the country are adorned with large, fake winter wonderlands, golden thrones, plastic reindeer, and out-of-work drug addicts and alcoholics who need the money take seasonal part-time jobs dressed up as green elves and Santa clauses, spreading that warm, yuletide cheer.
While it is a common stereotype that a "Santa" is usually a drunk old white guy earning some extra dough to pay for his booze habit (mostly because that's a funny image that is antithetical to the nature of the character), a great deal of men who play the role are often the unsung heroes of the season. Something about putting on the suit seems to bring out both the best and the worst of human nature, often putting Santa into a rather awkward and sometimes shocking situation. I can speak from personal experience, because when I was in college, for a few years I played a mall Santa during the Christmas season. Something about donning the suit, hat and beard unleashes a barrage of random and crazy experiences from total strangers, all made worse by the fact that you're wearing colorful arctic gear in a 75-degree building, abuzz with frantic people clamoring to spend their hard earned money on stuff most people don't need, and mostly for people they don't really know--that aunt or uncle they only see once a year, the brother-in-law that hates them, or the crazy secret Santa thing that the company you work for makes you do.
If you're bored with your life and want to go on a hell of an adventure (and you have the time to do so), you might want to consider giving a job as a Santa a try. The things that adults and children alike will do and say to you (both good and bad) will be burned into your memory forever. Among the experiences are the extremely funny gifts that children ask for such as making their mean and nasty brother or sister disappear, "giving me boobies", or a toaster that makes macaroni and cheese inside a poptart; to the more disturbing and sad requests such as bring daddy home from war, my parents to quit screaming all the time, or make my uncle Jim stop touching me.
Also, during a recent comedy club show, a woman comes onstage to participate in a routine I'm performing, only to sit down, give me a dirty look, and give me a double-dose of the "Let's Go Brandon" sign. In today's episode I speculate a bit as to why, but tell the story and leave it up to the listeners to decide.