December 15, 2006
This week Scooter called to tell me he had gotten a temporary job through his cousin Ronnie, who is GM over at Westpark Mall. Because the regular mall Santa had come down with the flu, they desperately needed a stand-in. Scooter begged Ronnie for the job, even to the point of making a big scene in his office, crying and threatening to kill himself, until Ronnie finally relented. Scooter told me he was determined to bring a new degree of dramatic realism to the Santa Claus character. He was also excited by the prospects of scoring with some hot single moms. The fact he absolutely hates kids didn't seem to dampen his enthusiasm for the gig.
I have to admit Scooter really worked hard preparing for this job. Whereas most people would be satisfied with just being able to Ho Ho and merely look like Santa, Scooter decided to "go deep" into this character, and in his words, "Peel away the veneer of this jolly, yet tortured soul who drives midget slaves to manufacture luxury goods in a remote hidden sweatshop." Cool. He reasoned that in order to supply all the world's children with toys in just twelve months, Santa would have to be on stimulants, sleep deprived, and mercilessly driving his elves. It stood to reason the real St. Nick would have to be skinny, high-strung, and mean. Scooter felt his "edgy" Claus would be the perfect vehicle to showcase his dramatic acting skills, and hopefully get him some chicks.
I was at Westpark Mall last Tuesday when Scooter/Santa made his entrance. While the kids didn't seem too concerned, several parents were noticeably taken aback by Santa's gaunt appearance and hyperactive mannerisms. I felt Scooter's insistence that his "elves" wear leg irons to highlight their forced servitude was a little over the top, but that's just me. On a positive note, his politically correct costume featured a turban and Orthodox Jewish hair and beard. Finally a Santa for all people!
It was fascinating watching Scooter dramatically plumb the depths of this character as he maniacally coddled the children then berated them, all the time screaming at the elves to build more toys, while continuously popping diet pills and chocolate-covered espresso beans. The fun all came to an end when a terrified two-year-old peed all over Santa's lap, causing jolly old St. Nick to cut loose with a stream of profanities and jumped up so fast he flung the little rug rat over the velvet ropes and into the Hickory Farm's sausage display! In the ensuing fracas, Scooter took out the kid's charging 250-pound mom, two mall security guards, and cousin Ronnie with a six-foot fiberglass candy cane, before finally being dropped by an elf's two-fisted uppercut to the nuts. Wow!
Fortunately for Scooter, he was charged only with simple battery, but his cousin Ronnie was fired, and no doubt the mall will be sued for millions. In retrospect, I guess Scooter probably took the character too far. Just the same, I'm proud of his attempt to strip away the fantasy surrounding this workaholic midget slave-master. Scooter said it was the best job he's ever had, and easily the happiest 14 minutes of his life.