the hippie ho-ho guy!




jay santa

Originally uploaded by jayfherron.

Lets get this clear from the beginning-I’ve never liked Santa…even as a kid. I thought the guy was the biggest rip off -the bad kid from down the street always got go carts and ponies and all the neat stuff when at my house where I had been clearly a good kid for the month between thanksgiving dinner and the day Santa comes….and there under the tree was junk,and never what you asked the guy to bring. So I always thought-the cheap old basterd.
Then the experience in the Navy at barracks D just shoved the whole idea of crixmix in the can.
My biggest surprise at crixmix was in 1972 when my shotgun wedding bride and I somehow made it up to Washington DC to spend crixmix with my family…mostly because my mother wanted to see her new first grandson.
The stay began around thanksgiving and lasted through crixmix,so I went out to find a job for the month. To answer the question-my job history began being bleak from the beginning…I had probrebly quit a job in Florida just to get up to the city for crixmix…I cannot recall.

It was at the W.T.Grants at Aspen Hill Maryland where I was met with a frenzy of hurry up….”WE NEED YOU-QUICK!”. I had merely gone in the store to find a job unloading boxes and packing shelves but it seemed the expected Santa that was long over due for that afternoons “Santa Arrival” was never going to show up-at least sober and there I came-the only candidate fresh for the kill to be the replacement. I was a skinney long haired over tattooed hippie and they began packing a thick padding and Santa suit on me…and the next thing you know I got sent out a back door with a sack of goodies and was told to walk around to the front and make the best Santa I could muster.
It was only supposed to last that day,to just fill in for the drunk and jolly looking guy that was more fitted for the suit-be he must of gone way off the wagon because I stayed SDanta at Grants for the season.
It was kind of fun. There was this stupid obnoxious toy department manager that insisted on me tempting all the kiddies to get thier parents to buy this awful irritateing choo choo train…a gizmo that went choo choo choo choo for ever until it hit a wall or something and would cause it to turn automatically then it would go whiz whiz whiz….all the time. Three minutes of the blasted thing and you were tired of it and wanted death to come and save you. So I found a pair of tweezers and figured out a way to clip a wire inside the thing to disengage it. Oh-the toy manager guy would get upset and tell old Santa that he had to keep the train going and provided batteries…though I’d tell the guy I tried that. So…off the shelf would come a new one and for about three minutes the thing would whir and whiz and choo and bing bing and drive half the store who could hear the thing nuts. And-soon there after the tweezers came out of the un-jolly old elfs pocket….and clip. Silence.
Then the toy manager guy would notice the quiet and return with some fresh batteries and a few words for Santa….but to no avail. A new one came out of the box and new batteries were put in and sooner than you wanted….whir whir buzz buzz clang clang choo choo bing bing,and….clip would go the tweezers.
Hasbro or Mattel must of lost a fortune because of me that crixmix. After a dozen of those things mysteriously went on the blink the obnoxious toy department manager pulled them from the shelves…and Santa became the hero to the other department employees who hated the clanging choo choo buzz buzz and knew in secret that Santa was a wise man!
True story-theres me in the picture before and after.
Now-that too was a mystery to the kiddies. Part of the job meant I as Santa had to be at ‘Sants Breakfast with the Kiddies’ every Saturday morning-and W.T,Grants paid for my wifes breakfast just for showing up to be Mrs.Santa….who in fantasy is supposed to be this charming little old white haired lady…not a 19 year old hippie chick. That took some talent to explain that to all the kids-why I was hooked up to some young fox while away from the North Pole.
So dig it….the non-crixmixers somehow get led into the flock at times with out choice.
Stay happy and warm today….you too homeless Anthony in Toronto!

2 Responses to “the hippie ho-ho guy!”

  1. salome Says:

    Nice story.. made me smile

  2. foxymommylady Says:

    Bwa-ha-ha! I feel the same ways about the holidays. Not Grinchy, just the whole gift giving thing has gotten ridiculous.

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