It did seem odd to me, though, that Santa Claus felt it necessary to file suit for compensation in the Danish courts, but I’m told there’s a much more of this sort of thing these days and that we should all be thankful for it. Fabulous creatures are finally standing up for their rights after years, sometimes centuries of casual exploitation. Only last year, for example, the Easter Bunny successfully sued the American Egg Board for denying him health benefits, especially the money necessary to repair a job-related hernia. Even relatively minor fabulous beings are making names for themselves outside their usual realms these days. Only a few months ago, the shocking testimony of the Tooth Fairy before a Senate subcommittee exposed at long last the long suspected ties between the sugar industry and the American Dental Association, and in a joint press conference this past weekend the Sierra Club and Greenpeace openly denounced the Sandman as a major factor in coastal erosion along the world’s littoral regions, endangering the millions of people who live in those regions.
I suppose there’s something to encouraging in all of this; it is heartening to know that the long-suffering are finally getting what’s due them, but at the same time there is something a little sad about it as well. To see Santa Claus drag himself through the interminable proceedings of a Danish court like some small businessman trying to collect money from a deadbeat customer diminishes the magic of Christmas, I think; you don’t get the ho ho ho from this Santa Claus and I don’t think you’d want to leave cookies and milk out for him. He’d probably be one of those cranky old geezers who stands next to the sled and tells the kiddies to get lost before they put a dent in his fender and he puts their name on the naughty list just for the hell of it.