Why Your Santa Hates You

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Christina Hopes
Santa doesn't really hate you, but he's damn bored.
It's not easy to get Santa to throw down. In fact, we had to talk to more than one not-so-jolly St. Nick to get the true story of what it's like to hang with a bunch of puking, snot-nosed brats and overbearing parents, all December long.

The first Santa we chatted up - an older chap who worked at Valley malls for four or five years til his Mrs. Claus made him quit to hang out with the grandchildren - complained about hours in the beauty salon, dying his (real) gray beard white. And he says his back is shot from heaving kids onto his knee. But he had nary a bad word for either the kids or the parents. What a party pooper.

Luckily we found the real deal - a Santa with complaints. Truth be told, even this guy - a youngster who pads with pillows and dons a fake beard - says he loves his seasonal gig, testing his skills as an actor by staying character for hours (and hours and hours).

But he has a few complaints, and happily vented in this 'as told to' - in the tradition of our series that has now featured everyone from a kvetching cocktail waitress to a bitching book buyer:

Puke. A lot of little kids puke. You've got to be really careful. Usually it's just a little -- then you roll with it. If it's a lot, I've gotta say, hey, time out! It's not good to get puked on when you're wearing a Santa suit -- I have limited mobility and I'm wearing mittens. But on the bright side, if you barf on me, I have a story to tell. It is surreal, I think to myself: They throw up on me and I promise I'm going to buy them presents.

Find out what else bugs Santa after the jump.

Santa's got a reputation to maintain, and sometimes that really pisses me off. You can't really get your revenge like you can with other jobs. With Santa, you always have to be nice.

Courtesy of Santa

Not all Santa suits are created equal. If someone gives you a crummy suit to wear, who's going to believe you? Then I'm just a young guy in a red felt suit. In any case, as you guessed, all the suits are hot, particularly when you are wearing them in Phoenix.

Parents are assholes. Some kids aren't ready to talk to Santa. The parents are like, "Go talk to Santa!" And the kids are crying. Even kids up to 8 or 9. It makes me feel terrible, but Santa can't tell a parent to fuck off. And then you get the teenagers who are saying, "This is so lame!" At least you can share the vibe with them.

Give me a winter wonderland, please. Santa in a folding chair. Not good. There's nothing worse than disappointing a kid who looks at you like, "I came for this?"

Present pushers. The parents push the kids to ask for what the parents have already bought. Like, "Tell Santa you want a My Little Pony set!" Sometimes I play along, but sometimes it makes me mad. I'll say, "Ho ho, that sounds like a terrible gift! I'll get you what you really want. Tell me what you really want."

You gotta be ready for anything. Some kids ask for weird things. A lot of kids ask for cheeseburgers. The strangest was a request for a vacuum cleaner. And you get some Reader's Digest specials, like "I want my Daddy to come home from Iraq." But mostly they ask for mundane things. You ask them what they want and they think, "What do I want RIGHT NOW? Some water?" Stickers, pencils, paper clips. You can't bat an eye. Ho ho ho! I'd be happy to bring you a vacuum cleaner!

Downtime. Sometimes the screaming in ears is so loud I can't stand it, and kids are puking and I'm itchy and I can't scratch. But at least I can challenge myself to stay in character. Sitting there with nothing to do is the worst, and everyone wants to keep Santa around way too long.

That's when I remember, I'm really just a guy in a Santa suit sitting here and it's hot.

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Everybody Everywhere
Everybody Everywhere

Oh for fuck's sake. You trot this beaten-to-death formula out again for Christmas, and on the day before Thanksgiving? This shit is free and I still want a refund.

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

Now, now, "Everybody"....go easy on Amy.

I have it on very good "inside' information that other than being a vindictive boss, she's also petty and completely out of touch.

Amy doesn't listen to (or seem to care about) complaints leveled in regards to the wretched journalism that this so called "paper" produces on a consistent basis.

A few months ago, I had a meeting with Mrs. Amy Silverman regarding my dissatisfaction with NT's coverage of the PHX art scene- other than being ten minutes late to our scheduled meeting, I also discovered she was boorish, unprofessional, and extremely fashion challenged.

And trust me, I AM being nice here.For more details, I refer you to:


Amy Silverman doesn't like PHX, and it shows in how she edits her paper, and the type of stories she approves for both here and in the printed version of NT.


Crassness? Check.

High School Level Journalism? Check.

For more proof of this attitude, read Amy's article from a few years back when she was just a NT reporter, called: "Phoenix Has an Inferiority Complex Or maybe you do."

The story may be five years old, but it's attitude is definitely current.

The link is at: http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com...

As Rebecca West once said: “Journalism is the ability to meet the challenge of filling space.”

And to be fair, New Times can't fill all of it's pages with strip club ads.But it sometimes makes us wish they would.


Wayne Michael Reich(http://www.WayneMichaelReich.c...)

Claire Lawton
Claire Lawton

Thanks for your ever-useful and cited feedback, Wayne.

Since it sounds like you have a solid opinion on arts, culture, and especially fashion in Phoenix, I hope you'll consider participating in our "What Are You Wearing?" feature and continue to read Jackalope Ranch.

Happy Holidays,

Claire Lawton

Wayne Michael Reich
Wayne Michael Reich

Happy Holidays to you as well, Claire!

May you enjoy your temporary turkey coma. Call me crazy, but I'm sensing some subtle sarcasm here in regards to your praise.

Since I've been a professional artist longer than you have been alive, I reserve the right to pontificate on the state of the Arts in PHX, where I have been successfully paying my dues since 1990.

I appreciate the fact that you noticed that I have a solid opinion on the art scene in PHX, even if you do dismiss it.

Here's the raw truth once again- New Times (IE: Amy) doesn't actually want input from the readers- especially if they are critical of the stories it produces.

The "What" and "Why" Series of articles that you both write and foist upon us are a perfect example of this attitude.

Whenever one of your readers has a contrary comment, NT either mocks it, whines about it, or ignores it completely.

Take this exchange involving your Managing Editor in relation to your universally panned article "Why your House Cleaner Hates You":

[Link at: http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...]

"Wait! I just had a great idea! Hey Claire, let's do a "Why Your New Times Blog Reader Who's Too Chicken to Put His/Her Name on His/Her Blog Comment Hates You." I see we have some candidates here..."

So by Amy's standards, a comment from one of NT's readers doesn't count if it's anonymous- but when it isn't, what is her excuse then?

I'm just curious and since you guys are so close, I was thinking perhaps you could give me some insight.

That is if you have the temerity to write me back- if you don't, perhaps Steve Jansen could do it again for you.

But I DO want to help you out, so here's my "Creative" contribution:

- List five things on your Inspiration Wall (real or imagined). -

1. Peter Lindbergh’s work.2. Warner Bros. Cartoons.3. Any CD by the Ozzman.4. Life.5. Amy Silverman’s resignation.

- What's your last big project? -

Participating in a group show with Project ETHOS, which produces red carpet events showcasing all emerging Millennial Generation forms of creativity in one house, on one night. By merging fashion, music, and art concurrently, they bring into existence a unique avenue for artists.

- What's your next big project? -

Developing two new shows: “1485” which deals with my near death experience last July, and a POP art show which incorporates comic book imagery and out of context quotes. Looking forward to both!

- How much do you hate being asked what your next big project is? -

I don't actually- I'm usually more annoyed at how badly written and trite the interview is when it gets published. Other than that, I just love seeing my name in print: Wayne Michael Reich... just rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

- What's something you want Phoenix to know about you? -

Despite my reputation as an acidic tongued bastard, I’m actually much much worse. I’m kidding, of course.


- And what's something you really don't want Phoenix to know about you? -

I'm writing all this while wearing Stewie Griffen lounge pants, and eating cherry pie.

And we're done!See how easy that was Claire?

In the Spirit of the Holidays, think of this as an early Christmas gift.Now you can spend more time with Amy's family.


Wayne Michael Reich http://www.WayneMichaelReich.c...

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