The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town


A sketch I wrote a few years back and never managed to sell, probably because it's only sporadically and mildly amusing and is far too long.

SANTA

Casual chat between MIKE and DAVE. MIKE is busy writing, wearing an intense expression.

MIKE:
…and a Wii with loads of games and a racing bike and…

DAVE:
Sorry, what are you doing?

MIKE:
What?

DAVE:
You’re writing something, what is it?

MIKE:
Oh, nothing.

DAVE:
No, go on, tell me.

MIKE:
No, you’ll be funny about it and take the piss.

DAVE:
No, I won’t, I promise. What is it?

MIKE:
I’m making a Christmas list. For Santa.

DAVE:
(incredulous) For Santa?

MIKE:
I knew it! I knew you’d be all snide and… snide.

DAVE:
I’m sorry, but aren’t you a bit old to be writing to Santa Claus?

MIKE:
(very resentful) Oh, right. Suddenly you decide to mock my faith…

DAVE:
No, but… you do know that Santa Claus doesn’t exist, don’t you?

MIKE:
You can say that, but for me, Santa is very real, and very much part of my day-to-day spiritual experience.

DAVE:
But he’s made up…

MIKE:
Yes, you lot, mention someone’s religious convictions and you become all high-and-mighty and ‘I know better’.

DAVE:
You lot?

MIKE:
You and Richard bloody Dawkins and Christopher sodding Hitchens. Look, I’m not trying to convert anyone, I just happened to be a believer – is it too difficult for you to respect that?

DAVE:
It’s quite difficult to respect someone still believing in Santa Claus, yes.

MIKE:
Oh! Oh!

DAVE:
I mean, I’m not religious myself but I can understand someone following something which is part of a recognised belief system. But Santa is not part of a recognised belief system, he’s an obese man in a hat who laughs too much.

MIKE:
Yeah. Like Buddha. Or Jesus. Or Mohammed. You wouldn’t take the piss out of them, would you?

DAVE:
No, I wouldn’t, because they are not generally associated with sitting in a sleigh that’s pulled by reindeer, one of whom has a very shiny nose.

MIKE:
Laugh all you like. I don’t care. I have my faith.

DAVE:
It’s not even a proper faith. It’s just a myth based around some pagan superstitions and a series of advertisements for Coca Cola.

MIKE:
That’s what you say. But Santa has changed my life. He is mysterious and wonderful in ways you could never hope to understand.

DAVE:
Right. No, of course he is.

MIKE:
Now you’re just being sarcastic.

DAVE:
Yes I’m being sarcastic! It’s hard not to be sarcastic when someone says they have a spiritual belief in a man you can visit in the Arndale centre for a pound.

MIKE:
That’s not the real Santa Claus. That is merely his representative on Earth.

DAVE:
I see. Like the Archbishop of Canterbury.

MIKE:
The principle’s the same. I’m sorry if it offends you, but I happen to believe that Santa is a real force for good in this world. After all, he’s making a list.

DAVE:
A list?

MIKE:
He’s checking it twice.

DAVE:
Well, that’s thorough, I suppose.

MIKE:
He’s gonna find out who’s naughty and who’s nice.

DAVE:
Now it’s gone all a bit sinister.

MIKE:
No, that’s the whole point, you see. If you’re naughty, he won’t come down your chimney, but if you’re nice for the whole year, you get presents.

DAVE:
So basically what you’re saying is that he bribes you.

MIKE:
No.

DAVE:
He bribes you to be good.

MIKE:
It’s more a system of incentives and deterrents. Like heaven and hell, but in a much more real, and immediate sense, because if you’ve been naughty, he’ll know, and -

DAVE:
And you won’t get a Ninentendo DS Lite.

MIKE:
Exactly. But I will, because I’ve been nice. You, on the other hand, had better watch out. You’d better not cry. You’d better not pout.

DAVE:
Why?

MIKE:
I’m telling you why.

DAVE:
Oh good grief.

MIKE:
(evangelical) Because Santa Claus is coming. Santa Claus is coming. Santa Claus is coming to town. Amen.

DAVE:
That’s a hymn, is it?

MIKE:
Yes.

DAVE:
And Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer?

MIKE:
Yes, that’s one too. Though we don’t actually believe the story of Rudolph, it’s more of a metaphor for Santa Claus’s infinite capacity for forgiveness.

DAVE:
Of course it is, how stupid of me not to realise that…

MIKE:
It’s alright. I was like you once. A sceptic. A non-believer. A mocking mocker.

DAVE:
So what changed all that?

MIKE:
You’re not to laugh, alright? It’s just that, one night… I saw him. I was very young, about six or seven, lying in my bed on Christmas eve… and suddenly there he was, at the foot of my bed, stuffing presents in a pillow case. Santa.

DAVE:
Oh.

MIKE:
Yeah. And so ever since then, I have let Santa into my heart.

DAVE:
You don’t think, possibly, that it might have been your dad dressed up?

MIKE:
What -? Well, he did have the same aftershave as my -

MIKE suddenly has a crisis of faith.

MIKE:
Oh my God… oh my God, you’re right… it’s all been a pathetic lie, hasn’t it?

END

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