Santa vs. com­mu­nism

The Covington News - - OPINION -

I grew up in the era when we talked about the Rus­sians and the Chi­nese as the crowd we wanted to shy away from.

They were com­mu­nists.

When I learned ge­og­ra­phy in grade school, we called that great big coun­try “Red” China. I was in a book­store in Athens when I was a teenager and saw a copy of “Quo­ta­tions from Chair­man Mao Tse-Tung.” I looked around to see if any­one was look­ing be­fore I picked it up. I then had sec­ond thoughts and went into the re­stroom and washed my hands with soap and hot wa­ter.

Now, most of the stuff sold at re­tail stores comes from China.

I am a lit­tle young to have first­hand me­mory of Nikita Khrushchev bang­ing his shoe on the podium and declar­ing “We will bury you.”

The Soviet leader I re­mem­ber most is Leonid Ilyich Brezh­nev, who had the thick­est eye­brows of any hu­man be­ing I have ever seen. If they ever ex­iled him to Siberia, he could have stayed warm just wrapped up in those eye­brows.

I spent the first half of my life be­ing told th­ese were bad guys. As I un­der­stood it, they all wanted us to wear gray clothes and black shoes and march to the beat of the same drum­mer.

When it comes to the Chi­nese and the Rus­sians, I am re­minded of Ron­ald Rea­gan’s words, “Trust...then ver­ify.”

There is a pub­lished re­port this week that the Rus­sians are send­ing a sub­ma­rine deep un­der­neath the North Pole and are go­ing to plant a Rus­sian flag on the bot­tom of the ocean to claim it for their own. The North Pole? Wait a minute. What is go­ing to hap­pen to Santa Claus? What about the elves and the rein­deer?

The North Pole was a place that be­longed to the whole wide world, just like Santa.

He was ours to the ex­tent that he would come about Thanks­giv­ing to big stores like Rich’s and hang out and lis­ten to our Christ­mas lists.

But the North Pole was that uni­ver­sal place where Santa would read the let­ters of chil­dren in ev­ery lan­guage and would fly around the world on Christ­mas Eve to make their dreams come true.

Turns out the Rus­sians want the North Pole for oil lo­cated deep be­neath the sea.

The won­der­ful land of candy canes and twin­kling lights is go­ing to look likeWest Texas. What is the world com­ing to? The Rus­sians want to take over the North Pole.

The poor elves are go­ing to have their elf hats re­placed with one of those Rus­sian jobs with the ear flaps.

The Rus­sians are also real par­tial to that high kick march­ing, which could be very dif­fi­cult in curly-toed shoes.

The cook­ies and milk will be re­placed by borscht, that aw­ful beet soup, and vodka.

If you think you have trou­ble putting stuff to­gether on Christ­mas morn­ing, just imag­ine what’s go­ing to hap­pen when you have to trust that job to a bunch of drunk elves.

And what about the fly­ing? When Santa comes fly­ing into U.S. airspace on a Rus­sian flagged sleigh, that will surely bring out the Air Force. How can kids be ex­pected to sleep when Santa’s be­ing tailed by a fighter jet. This is pretty scary stuff. But I have faith in Santa. He hasn’t let me down in 46 years. He’s been liv­ing up there next door to the Rus­sians for­ever. If the choice is Santa or the Rus­sians, my money is still on Santa. You get ’em big guy.

Har­ris Black­wood

Colum­nist

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