A wee thing I wrote for a charity book of Christmas related stories by comedians…
“Sanity clause? Sanity clause? There ain’t no sanity clause.” So goes the Joke between Chico and Groucho from the Marx brother’s movie A night At The Opera.
It had been ringing in his head for months now. It was an acute reminder of people’s lack of belief. A belief that people are told they should grow out of. Silly people.
But it was that very lack of belief that had put him where he was.
Cornhill psychiatric hospital wasn’t the worst place to spend an entire year. The food wasn’t bad and he’d made good friends with many of his fellow patients. Some of them were quite happy to accept he was the real Santa Clause. But now he was full of an almost electric excitement. He was thrilled with the knowledge that 10 minutes from now the magic would kick back in and his powers would come back.
Most people think that Santa is magical all year round, but that’s not how it works. The magic window lasts four hours between midnight and 4 a.m. on Christmas day. That’s when he can be everywhere, with every present, for every person, assisted by his loyal reindeer.
Ah yes the loyal reindeer. It was those very guys that had helped put him in this situation. But even after a year in a psychiatric hospital he didn’t really blame them for staging a walkout on Christmas day. Santa knew who the real villains were. You see, what people don’t understand is that Santa and his reindeer are essentially a voluntary organization. They don’t get paid for the work they do. They rely on donations from the public. Perhaps I should add…the public that believe.
But in recent years those donations had dried up. They were disappearing because of all the bankers, corrupt politicians, non-tax paying corporations and an elite group of people that wanted to keep all the planet’s resources and money for themselves.
And so Santa hadn’t been able for the third year in a row to give the reindeer their bonus. It was because of this that Rudolf, Dasher and Blitzen had staged a walkout. But this didn’t make Santa angry. Now that he knew the reindeer would be back to get him in 7 minutes time it actually made him smile. Good old socialist Rudolf. People always misunderstand why his nose is red.
So with minutes to go and the magic set to kick back in Santa made a mental note. He made a note that all the bankers, the politicians and general greedy bastards of the world were to be put on the naughty list. No more presents for them. People also misunderstand why Santa’s outfit is red. Silly people. What other type of person but a socialist would spend all year working as a volunteer, to bring happiness to all the children of the world for the rest of eternity. And despite three of his fastest reindeer staging a walkout, he would press ahead anyway and make his absolute best effort to make Christmas happen.
But it was because of all that good will that he’d ended up here. You see with three of his fastest reindeer out on strike, the magic sleigh was running at twenty per-cent less than normal speed. That is why he never made it back to Greenland in time. The magic wore off at 4 a.m. And when the magic wears off the presents disappear, the sleigh disappears; the costume disappears and most importantly of all the reindeer disappear. And so at 4.01 a.m. on Christmas day he found himself stuck. Magicless, in Aberdeen.
It put a wry smile on his face now that he’d been so naive. He’d spent so much of his time away from people during his working year that he’d forgotten people had stopped believing. That’s what happens when the world treats them unfairly and makes them sad.
So when he approached a police man early on Christmas morning asking for directions to Greenland…Well, you can fill in the rest of that story for yourselves.
But all that was in the past now… Counting down… 5 seconds to Christmas day…5, 4, 3, 2, 1. WHOOSH!
That was the noise the magic made when it kicked back in. WHOOSH! And his costume reappeared upon him. People who saw him that night swore he actually sparkled. WHOOSH! And the sack was on his back. WHOOSH! And his boots and belt fastened upon him. WHOOSH! And in the distance you could hear the sound of sleigh bells. Sleigh bells being drawn by magic reindeer. Fast magic reindeer.
And with all that Santa began to laugh. A laugh filled with the purest of joy. ”Ho, ho, ho!”
But before Santa made his way magically around the world he wanted to do something he’d never done before on Christmas day. He wanted some people to see him.
He made his way out of his own room and headed for the depressed people’s ward. All the doors were obviously locked in the hospital, but that can’t stop Santa. As all the believers know very well that he has a magic key. (The one that he uses for houses that don’t have chimneys)
When he arrived at the depressed people’s ward he took a deep breath…and then threw the doors open. “Ho,ho,ho! And a merry Christmas to one and all.”
And JUST LIKE THAT! Twenty depressed people were cured of their malady. Because now they had something to believe! Santa had reminded them there is always love in the world.
Then he headed up to the deluded peoples ward. Another deep breath, “Ho, ho,ho! And a merry Christmas to one and all. And JUST LIKE THAT thirty deluded people felt better about the world. Because now they knew that some of their strange ideas are obviously correct!
Finally on that magic night Santa made his way to the staff room. He wanted to thank them for all the hard work they do throughout the year. A final deep breath. “Ho,ho,ho. And a merry Christmas to one and all.”
Some of the staff nearly shat themselves. And with all blessings to all the good people of Cornhill Psychiatric hospital done, Santa climbed out the window and onto his sleigh. All the striking reindeer were delighted to see him again. WHOOSH! And he was gone.
Back in the staff room the chief psychiatrist turned to a doctor and said, “Well what would you call that?”
The doctor replied, “That my good friend, I would call a misdiagnosis.”