Vanstone: More cajoling than carolling in Santa’s workshop

Vanstone: More cajoling than carolling in Santa’s workshop

Regina Leader-Post sports editor Rob Vanstone conducts his annual Christmas interview with Santa, who is unusually reticent.

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NORDPOL – Santa Claus is not coming to town.

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“I’m doing a vet day,” he explains at the start of our annual Christmas talk.

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“But don’t worry — I still get the mental reps.”

Usually Santa’s sleigh took off on Christmas Eve when a whirlwind worldwide tour began.

Not this year.

“You have to understand,” explains Santa, a gray beard from every perspective. “I’m 1,750 years old, so I’ve been around almost as long as Joe Biden.

“The grind has taken its toll. I don’t get around like I used to, so it’s time for some load management. And I don’t have to tell you what a pain it is to fly anywhere these days.”

I can only agree. Finally, try flying from Regina to Winnipeg – via Calgary! – and imagine the intricacies when the ultimate goal is the North Pole!

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And now that I’ve finally reached Santa’s workshop, I find that the whole performance is over. I mean come on!

“Stop complaining,” he says. “I gave you an exclusive gift – and it’s a big problem. It’s the ONLY gift anyone will receive from me this year.

“Now please leave me alone.”

Bbbb-but… I came all this (sniff) way for (sniff) an interview (honk).

Suddenly, relieved, there are references to jolly old Saint Nick. He smiles, if only a little, and agrees.

“Five minutes,” he says. “I’ll give you five minutes.”


LEADER POST: Forgive my incredulity, but you only have to work one day a year – and now you’re taking that one day off?! How can that be even remotely justified?

SANTA CLAUS: OK, here’s the deal. I’ll take all the heat for it, but the real problem is the reindeer. The way things have been going lately, I can really relate to Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo. Before me there was a lack of support. I’ve had all sorts of problems with lightning. The entire reindeer team has seen their best days. You can no longer afford the heavy lifting. If we were to travel tomorrow there would be several thousand bags of gifts – every UK Prime Minister is entitled to one, so this has become unmanageable – and not nearly enough lift. Too many sacks!

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LP: So an employment law problem?

SANTA CLAUS: Absolutely, so there’s another scoop for you. There’s something wrong with Rudolph, and he’s so popular that I don’t want his reputation to suffer. Do you remember when his red nose used to glow? Those times are over. We’ve tried everything to get him excited again, but we just can’t find the spark. Besides, I’ve just had enough. My backup can handle it. I’m done.

LP: But, uh, you don’t have a backup.

SANTA CLAUS: Is not my fault. Blame the manager. Bad recruitment!

LP: Is there a workaround if the reindeer just aren’t up to the task?

SANTA CLAUS: I asked some of my best people for advice. My travel agent told me that just a charter flight from Regina to North Battleford costs $8,000. No sane person would ever pay such an outrageous fare! And that’s just Regina to North Battleford and back! I have to make it around the world in one night and enter all 197 countries. I mean, even Justin Trudeau doesn’t travel that much.

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LP: You’re gone at two. The actual number is 195 countries.

SANTA CLAUS: nope Don’t forget the nations of Saskatchewan and Alberta. I’ve been told that this sovereignty thing is real.

LP: THINGS! (Itinerant reporter checks text messages.)

SANTA CLAUS: Turn off your cell phone! How rude! Have you never heard of Silent Night?

LP: Aha! Now I have a scoop for YOU! One of your elves just texted me, sharing the view that you’re a pretty indifferent boss – one who’s been heard saying “I don’t care.” And how about this little nugget? “Sure, Santa gave each of us a $500 bonus, but that didn’t put anyone’s minds at ease. The working conditions are pathetic – Elon Musk must be involved somehow – and there is no mechanism for protest. The trade union movement has failed to gain traction and there is no semblance of opposition. I mean there’s a Santa, period. Where else do you turn? And we’re all pretty trapped up here in this remote area. He’s closed the bus service so there’s nowhere else to go.” Comments?

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SANTA CLAUS: Not a syllable. I think we’re done here. I’m too busy to endure this nonsense.

LP: You literally have nothing to do! You are not traveling this year, keep that in mind.


LP: Really, what would be the use of staying where you are? The Roughriders and Edmonton Elks, for example, showed in 2022 that there is little if any benefit to being at home.

SANTA CLAUS: Now that you put it that way…

LP: And think of the children. Think of the British Prime Ministers. Think about your heritage. Want to be remembered like the Roughriders of 2022? Will this be a tearful tale of another 300-pounder who didn’t make it? It’s your job, your duty, to deliver! If you don’t, who will? You are Santa Claus!

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SANTA CLAUS: But I have to land in so many different places in a matter of hours.

LP: Not unlike a Russell Westbrook jump shot — and he makes $47 million a year!

SANTA CLAUS: OK, you sold me. But I’ve lingered on it for far too long and paid too little attention to the availability of enough hosiery.

LP: I have a last minute solution – the Country All-Stars! Just cobble together a few billion CDs and hand them in individually.

SANTA CLAUS: They solved all these problems in a short time. You saved Christmas! Honestly, I’m not sure what I would do without you…

LP: Why thank you!

SANTA CLAUS: … but I couldn’t be more excited to find out. Let’s go! Ho ho ho!

[email protected]

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The sports world is constantly changing, and so are the times. Supplement your regular sports coverage by subscribing to Regina Leader posts 306 sports fix Newsletter. Each week, Sports Editor Rob Vanstone will provide additional commentary on the Roughriders, Pats and other teams/sports of interest, along with a behind-the-scenes look. Click here to login.

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