A se­lec­tion of let­ters to Santa

The Telegram (St. John’s) - - OPINION - Bob Wake­ham Bob Wake­ham has spent more than 40 years as a jour­nal­ist in New­found­land and Labrador. He can be reached by email at bwake­[email protected]

While grow­ing up in Gan­der, I — along with thou­sands of other New­found­land young­sters — would get an Evening Tele­gram pen­cil with a fine sub­stan­tial rub­ber (as we called it back then) at­tached as “pay­ment” for hav­ing our Let­ter to Santa printed in the pa­per, not much re­mu­ner­a­tion for our writ­ing ef­forts, I’ll grant you, but then again, the ex­er­cise was also a guar­an­tee that the Weight Watch­ers can­di­date with the white beard would agree to our ev­ery re­quest.

Now, I have to ad­mit I stopped bug­ging Santa some years ago, but the Let­ters to Santa sec­tion in The Tele­gram has con­tin­ued with­out my in­valu­able sub­mis­sions, and ap­pears to be as pop­u­lar as ever, I’m told, and not just with the 12-and-un­der crowd.

My trusted source, Har­bour Deep Throat, has man­aged to ob­tain a cache of let­ters ap­par­ently writ­ten to Santa by a more ma­ture group of New­found­lan­ders this year, seek­ing not just gifts but a va­ri­ety of favours from that pow­er­ful and al­tru­is­tic fella up North.

And I have for­warded a few of them to Ms. Ed­i­tor for her pe­rusal, to be hope­fully passed onto reg­u­lar read­ers of this al­ways merry and spir­i­tual con­tri­bu­tion of mine to The Tele­gram:

Dear Santa,

First of all, I have to re­main anony­mous, to a cer­tain ex­tent, which, need­less to say, will make it quite dif­fi­cult for you to com­ply with any Xmas re­quests I make. But I can sup­ply you with some ad­mit­tedly vague in­for­ma­tion: I’m the owner of the “num­bered com­pany” that bought up some land in the St. John’s area and then leased it to an­other firm that will pro­duce mar­i­juana there. (Santa, I guess you’ve heard by now that weed is le­gal in Canada, so you might find a joint near the fire­place in­stead of a glass of rum this year in plenty of homes in the coun­try, es­pe­cially here in New­found­land where we al­ways seem to take a lead in vices; but there will still be milk and cook­ies ga­lore, just in case you get an at­tack of the munchies af­ter you and Rudolph, or per­haps you and Mrs. Claus, give each other brain tokes). Any­way, Ebe­neezer Cros­bie has been mak­ing this pre-christ­mas­time a bit rough for me, and I’d like you to bring some duct tape that I could use to keep his big trap shut about my land. I don’t know what all the fuss is about, Santa. Why can’t peo­ple just take the word of so many min­is­ters that they can’t find out who I am, or whether I at­tended the odd Liberal party con­ven­tion in the past? Thanks very much, Santa. Num­bered Com­pany Owner Dear Santa,

I know you granted my re­quest a cou­ple of years ago to be­come a cab­i­net minister, and had even sug­gested ear­lier that I join the NDP re­bel­lion — a move that, of course, ul­ti­mately opened the door to that lu­cra­tive job around Premier Dwight Ball’s ta­ble. But, Santa, I’m begin­ning to have se­ri­ous re­grets. Day in and day out, I’m on the re­ceiv­ing end of em­bar­rass­ing ques­tions in the leg­is­la­ture from that nasty crowd across the way. They bad­gered the you-know-what out me be­cause I de­cided to give that nice young woman, Ms. Foote, a job at The Rooms. And they im­plied it was her Liberal back­ground that got her the po­si­tion, Santa. There were some be­low-the-belt colum­nists who even brought up the fact that her mother, Judy, a big-time Liberal, was her­self given what those cyn­ics de­scribed as a pa­tron­age job, be­ing the pup­pet for the Queen in New­found­land. And then, Santa, they started to ask me about that “num­bered com­pany.” Well, Santa, I want you to do what­ever you can to make it stop. I don’t like be­ing a punch­ing bag. Do you think, Santa, that you could pro­vide me with a time ma­chine so that I could travel back to sev­eral years ago when I was an in­nocu­ous mem­ber of the NDP cau­cus? If so, I would al­ter my ways, in Scrooge-like fash­ion, and not join in the at­tack on Lor­raine. (I’ll never for­get her Shake­spearean-like words: “Et tu, Chrisé,” as I joined in the back-stab­bing af­fair). I have suf­fered since, Santa. Oh, how I have suf­fered. Sin­cerely yours,

Chris M. Dear Santa,

I ask only one thing of you, Santa, and that’s for the Muskrat Falls in­quiry to con­tinue right up to the next elec­tion. If you prom­ise me that, Santa, I can then safely sit on my arse and say and do prac­ti­cally noth­ing and get elected (in much the same way I op­er­ated as op­po­si­tion leader as the PC gov­ern­ment im­ploded). For sure, there’s more pres­sure since we formed the gov­ern­ment to op­er­ate in a sub­stan­tive way on be­half of our rather eas­ily in­flu­enced con­stituents, but the daily rev­e­la­tions about the Muskrat boon­dog­gle al­low me and my com­rades to al­ways fall back on the ar­gu­ment: “Look at the mess you left us!” Thanks Santa. (I be­lieve you’re a Liberal at heart). Sin­cerely,

Dwight B. Dear Santa,

We’ve writ­ten you a joint let­ter, since misery seeks com­pany, and the two of us ap­pear to be joined at the hip, and will re­main so as as­ter­isks in New­found­land his­tory books for­ever and a day.

Santa, I know our apolo­gies for do­ing what, in re­al­ity, many politi­cians have done in the past- — we just got caught— was not smoth­ered in sin­cer­ity. Be that as it may, we are will­ing to do any­thing to im­prove our im­age. How about jobs as elves in your work­shop? We prom­ise not to bother any­one. And we could live solely on hum­ble pie. Thanks, Santa.

Dale and Ed­die Ed­i­tor’s note: The pen­cils are in the mail.

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