So you can probably imagine my smirk when I saw this tale from, of all places, Sydney.
Now this is the kind of thing that Australia normally follows the rest of the world at. We're not a terribly pioneering country in the field of political correctness. But this was such gob-smacking brilliance that I just had to do a double-take.
If you're a parent, or potential parent, who believes that it is your role to specify what kind of "role model" your kids should have, rather than acknowledging that your kids will end up taking after you, or letting them work it out for themselves, an option that you might consider is Santa Claus.
Claus has a number of character traits that endear him to parents the world over. And he also has a few to remind us that he is not perfect. And let's face it; it is these very imperfections that make him the righteous dude that he is - kids in Christian households regularly start all their prayers around Christmas time with "Dear Santa" rather than "Dear God".
I just love the fact that some Christian parents will go out and firebomb abortion clinics and bash homosexuals, and then come home and happily allow their own children to breach the first commandment by doing this. WWJD?
But anyway, here's some facts about Claus:
1. He's magical. Not only can he levitate his imposing bulk up or down a chimney, but he can do this in houses where chimneys haven't even been built. He manages to do this all night without getting any soot on his fur-lined suit.
2. He has a flying sleigh. This is way cool. I'm told that when he visits Australia, he gives his reindeer a rest and hooks up six white boomers (large male kangaroos) to pull him around. Apparently the boomers are named Bruce, Trevor, Dave, Wally, Barry and Shane.
3. He only has one job, and that is to make presents all year for every kid in the world, and then deliver them personally. And even if a kid has been a little shocker all year, for all Claus' rhetoric about kids being nice and not naughty, he's softer than a jelly skateboard.
4. Claus hears your prayers. And he answers them too. But if your prayer was, "Can I have that hot new iPod Nano that all the kids at school have," don't be too concerned if his answer is a new pair of socks. Santa's hearing isn't all that great. But somehow, he knows what you need.
5. Claus gets a free feed wherever he goes. Of course, all these glasses of milk and chocolate chip cookies have resulted in a portly girth rivalling that of Homer Simpson's, but who cares about that?
6. Mrs Claus is allegedly rather fetching. And twenty-something, too. So what's Claus doing with a hot young wife? Well, it depends on whether you subscribe to the view that Claus is a dirty old pervert, or the view that Mrs Claus is a gold-digging tramp.
7. Claus has more impersonators than Elvis Presley and ABBA put together. And that has got to be one of the best arguments from popularity there is.
8. He works for free. Naturally, some have hazarded a guess at the Claus family fortune. Estimates vary, but the two things that experts agree on is this - firstly, it has got to be mind-blowingly huge. Secondly, you know that "secret cartel" that controls the world and how it "doesn't exist"? That's because the "secret cartel" is, in fact, Claus, his wife and his Chartered Accountant.
9. Claus has way more midgets working for him than Willy Wonka. In a rare comment on the record, the North Pole's Operations Chief Elrond hinted at some enmity between the two groups:I would like to categorically deny that any of our staff were ever anywhere near Middle Earth. With His Noodliness as my witness, if that bitch [Wonka CFO] Galadriel doesn’t withdraw that scurrilous allegation, I am personally going to visit her on the Polar Express this Christmas Eve and personally serve her with a signed and notarised six-pack of whup-ass.
10. Claus says "Ho ho ho!" A lot.
And it’s this last point that has landed some of his “helpers” in hot water. Thanks to Romulus Crowe of Marchway Memoirs who blogged about this here, some of his helpers in Sydney are now banned from saying this legendary catchphrase.
Apparently it’s now normal for Australian women, according to the personnel company that is hiring Santas, to interpret this as “Slut slut slut!”
This is despite the fact that the term “ho” doesn’t really have any widespread usage in Australia outside of impressionable homeboys and hipster 40-something English teachers wanting to be “Down with the boys in the ’hood.”
So would a ban on Santas saying ‘Ho ho ho!’ be acceptable to mums and dads? I don’t think so.
But then again, I don’t really see many mums and dads attempting to discourage the notion that believing in a mythical superhero who has provided no proof of his existence is a good thing, either.